As you may know I’ve been writing about depression and anxiety lately because I’m just so damn passionate about it based on my personal and professional experience with it. In fact this past weekend, I geeked out and went through all my books on the subject from an East meets West approach.
Yup, that’s just how I roll on a Saturday night. In fact, there’s truly no other place I’d rather be…actually, scratch that.
I’d rather be doing that researching while in Bali.
By the ocean.
With my handsome fella fanning me and feeding me grapes.
At any rate I just gobbled up all the info and I thought I would share some of the juicy Chinese Medical tid bits that you’ll totally dig if you’re looking for some help.
So when it comes to beating depression, I got your back babe!
Organ Theory & Depression
The idea that our organs could actually correlate with our emotions sounds like crazy pants talk right? Wrong. In fact for centuries Chinese Medicine has spoken about spirits and energy within the organs and how physical and emotional manifestations can arise. Sounds woo woo? Well, hear me out:
When most people think about depression, they think sadness, but it’s actually anger turned inwards. And based on the amount of women I’ve seen through my consultations, I’m always amazed at how many of you are Queens of suppression. It was almost as if somewhere down the line we were told that if we expressed how we felt we’d be thought of as, “weak”. (**shaking fist in the air**).
You see, the liver is responsible for the “smooth flow of Qi”. In other words the smooth flow of energy which lends itself for all of our organs. But if we’re pulling late hours, drinking too much, not getting enough exercise, going through a huge bout of mental stress and gorging on sugar (and that means alcohol and excess carbs too), then our liver’s energy doesn’t move. This disturbs the spirit of the liver (the “Hun”). When we repress our emotions without an opportunity for transformation, depression arises.
Now bear with me as this part is going to get a little abstract. According to Chinese Medical Five Element Theory, the kidneys (think adrenals in this case) is the “mother” of the liver (which is her son). So if her son, is totally congested for a long period of time, then the kidneys (the mama) is going to get run down. So from an Eastern perspective, our adrenals can’t keep up and we burn out. From an emotional perspective when this happens, you might even feel fearful – the emotion when the kidneys are out of balance. If this continues, the moisture that the kidneys are supposed to give to our heart (because it’s responsible for water metabolism) is no longer there and our heart develops lots of heat, disturbing the spirit of the heart (the “Shen”). What follows?
So what can be done? Here are two steps that you can begin doing right now:
Unpasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) for Liver Congestion & Depression
I know there are some of you who can’t palate the stuff, and if so, then mix a teaspoon into your water and sip it daily. Otherwise, I’d suggest going for gold and taking 1 tsp straight up about five minutes before food. It’ll help you digest your food and prevent bloating but more importantly, it’ll help your liver’s energy. ACV is sour, which has an affinity to the liver (bitter is for the heart). You’ll notice that when you take it, you’ll immediately pucker up and that’s forcing bile to be squeezed out moving that Qi.
In North America we often don’t use sour and bitter profiles, so we’re so missing the therapeutic buck here.
Now sure, you can buy one at the health food store, but my recipe is cheap and easy to make on your own. Plus I feel very witch-like making it and I totally dig that.
Lastly…I LOVE me some aromatherapy and two trusted brands I love are Living Libations and Divine Essence.
So if you haven’t added lemon into your world, do so now and if you really want to jack things up add in one teaspoon of MSM powder that will further facilitate liver function. Not only do I add lemon to my water daily, but I also have a bottle of lemon essential oil on my freedom desk (aka my work desk) among many others. I know some people use carrier oils (i.e. jojoba, almond oil), but I’ll put 3-4 drops on my palms, stop everything I’m doing and breath right into my lower belly three times. I’ll say a little positive affirmation and I’ll leave you with what mine was today that popped up during meditation (feel free to pin this baby):