Feeling flat? I can see the future

Feeling flat? I can see the future

What do we do when all plans are out of the window? Perhaps you had arrangements for this summer. Maybe you were getting married, going abroad on your dream holiday, finishing your leaving cert or celebrating a big number birthday but now all those plans are gone. Even as lockdown loosens and restrictions ease, we can be left feeling flat. Without working towards a hopeful future we had planned, we can feel despondent in the present. Good news, Traditional Chinese Medicine with a focus on diet and acupressure points can help us appreciate this period of uncertainty and even guide us into a more balanced, happier future.

Firstly when you are lacking mental brightness and positivity don’t push yourself. Simply be where you are. Notice what is around you, name five things that you see or hear that are beautiful. This can be hearing birdsong, seeing how green the grass is or, sensing how the breeze moves the leaves in the trees. When you prepare food, do it with love. Arrange your meal on the plate so it looks beautiful, clear and set the table with care so you eat with appreciation. These are small simple tips that in Chinese Medicine that feed the heart. This organ is the emperor of the body, it stores our spirit and is represented by a flame. Don’t let your fire dwindle, feed the flame and lift your spirit by seeing and creating beauty right here, right now. The season of the Heart is the summer so choosing all those fantastic summer foods such as watermelon, strawberries, raspberries, redcurrants, beetroot, tomato, radish and red peppers benefit the heart physically and emotionally. Try experimenting and put them together in a new way so you see your food as alluring and elegant.


Watermelon works well in a salad dish and complements a barbeque splendidly. In Traditional Chinese Medicine this ingredient cools summer heat. When your inner flame is burning too brightly and you are overheating, red in the face or sweating profusely, juice this fruit or munch on segments to move blood, reducing pain and heat around the joints, making this a perfect food for gout, arthritis and fibromyalgia.
1 medium watermelon
100g feta cheese
1 red onion
A handful of fresh basil leaves
2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil

Chop the watermelon into bite-size pieces. Slice the red onions into paper-thin, half-moons and sprinkle them along with the crumbled feta onto the watermelon. Scatter the basil leaves and drizzle the olive oil over the top to finish.
Tip: Choose a watermelon that has wide spaces between the dark green lines – they’re sweeter that way.


A physical exercise to shift stagnant downturned emotions is to make loose fists and lightly pummel the front of the thighs. Bring the fists up and down over the quads, which are a group of four large muscles at the front of the legs between the knees and hips, for about 30 seconds. This stimulates the Stomach and Spleen channels, responsible for harmony and comfort in the body. So rather than reaching for something sweet to raise the spirits try a little light pummeling which after a couple of days, works wonders in lifting despondent spirits.

It can be hard to appreciate the present when the future feels uncertain but being in the heart in the present moment can transform tragedy to inner strength.  Be kind to yourself. I cant assure you there are better things on the way but there will be different things and if we can keep the eyes open appreciating the beauty in life, right here right now it will help glide us easily along the path to a bright, balanced tomorrow.

 

For more information on Shiatsu Conscious Cooking visit www.joannefaulkner.ie @joannefaulknerShiatsu on Facebook and Instagram
Buy the book full of recipes, tips and Chinese Medicine at www.joannefaulkner.ie


Do you want to understand your body and take control of all areas of your health?  Take the Online Courses to become more body confident, loving your food, loving your body, and loving your life.

Courses include: 2 Online Shiatsu sessions with dietary advice PLUS Copy of Conscious Cookbook sent straight to your door
PLUS 30 Days / 30 Videos – bitesize cookery programs, Chi-Gong exercises, and self-shiatsu acupressure points in your own home.

Choose from:

  1. Stopping Sweet Cravings
  2. Sexy Savvy Menopause
  3. Reduce Pain in Fibromyalgia  and Chronic Fatigue
  4. Good Food: Better Health
  5. Good Food: Better Sex

Watch the video to find out more at https://joannefaulkner.ie/online-courses/

 

Build a Defensive Glow as we Leave Lockdown

Build a Defensive Glow as we Leave Lockdown

As we come out of lockdown, beginning to mix and mingle with other human beings, albeit at a safe distance, our immune system is going to need to be stronger than ever. There are lots of opinions out there about how to strengthen our resistance to the Coronavirus and without doubt, bad diet is certainly one of the most frequent causes of poor immunity. Viruses usually enter the body via the lung and are detected in the main by receptors in the Large Intestine.

Eat Pungent Foods to Absorb Vitamin C

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Lung & Large are paired together. The flavour of the food to strengthen these organs is pungent, so food in this category include onions, garlic, ginger, chilli, turmeric, cayenne pepper, coriander, and cloves. Many of these foods are packed with selenium, zinc and vitamin C. Onions especially have phytochemicals that act as stimulants for Vitamin C within the body.

Vitamin C is the go-to chemical when we need a boost of energy or support the body getting through the flu or a cold. The pungent flavour, helps the absorption of Vitamin C found in many foods such as parsley, kale, broccoli, berries, tomatoes and red pepper. Remember the body cannot store Vitamin C so it’s essential to eat every day and mix it up with the pungent onion family that help with absorption.

 

Eat Naturally Sweet Foods to Boost the Immune System

The 5element system in Chinese Medicine is a holistic system that helps us understand and help our body to be the healthiest and happiest it can be. The Spleen-Pancreas is the mother of the Lung and the Immune System. It’s flavour is sweet which corresponds with western medicine as it is the Spleen-Pancreas that govern insulin and blood sugar.

If we have been overindulging in the sweet stuff during lockdown, which includes alcohol high in sugars, now is the time to address this as sugar significantly reduces the ability of the body to protect itself. Vitamin C and sugar compete to use insulin to travel around the body and into the tissues of cells. Usually, sugar wins and so there is less absorption and use of vitamin C to repair and protect the body.

White blood cells that protect the body against invading infections also have their defensive function significantly impaired by overconsumption of refined sugars. So instead of reaching for the biscuits go for naturally sweet foods such as parsnip, sweet potato, butternut squash and carrot. These help spleen function by releasing their sugars slowly and regulating insulin levels.

Reduce Cravings, Tension and Toxicity with Simple Hand Exercises

Connection and physical touch is really beneficial to this organ and reducing sugar cravings. Unfortunately, hugs and tactile behavior is the thing we may have been lacking during lockdown. Instead, we may have been filling this emotional hole with chocolate, cake and banana bread. As a Shiatsu therapist, I see how beneficial touch is for health. It helps relieve pain and tension. It relaxes the body improving neurological function, digestion, sleep and breathing while releasing fear, so something we all need as we move through uncertain times. Don’t wait for someone else to touch you, practice simple self-shiatsu, massage, beginning with your hands.

There are potent acupressure points around the body that have a direct effect on organs and well-being. Large Intestine 4 is a strong elimination point that helps if you have fatigue or the is body overloaded with sugar and toxins. It also helps reduce spasms in the colon that can come after eating or during times of stress.

Find the point by pressing the thumb against the side of the first finger to make a mountainous, fleshy bulge. At the top of the peak you will find Large Intestine 4 (LI4). Release the thumb from the forefinger, pressing and massaging into the point, with your other hand, until you feel it softening and supple. You mustn’t press too hard, you aren’t digging a hole and you don’t want to bruise your hand, you are simply connecting with your body. Feel your lungs fill with oxygen, your diaphragm moving and your intestines relaxing as you press into the point.
You have two hands so make sure you find LI4 on your other hand too. Rub and massage all over your hands, giving a squeeze to the fingertips to stimulate blood and energy flow. Clasp your hands together, rubbing and rolling the heels of the palms so all the bones and flesh of your hands flex and are physically manipulated.
This self- massage boosts spleen function sending the energy upwards towards the lung and together these organs form your barrier of defense. Like a glow surrounding your body this defensive chi-energy from these healthy organs will help protect us as we emerge from lockdown and enter the world.

For more information on Shiatsu Conscious Cooking or to buy the books full of recipes, tips and Chinese Medicine visit www.joannefaulkner.ie or find her on Facebook @joannefaulknerShiatsu where she offers Free Morning Chi Gong sessions at 8:30 am during lockdown


Do you want to understand your body and take control of all areas of your health?  Take the Online Courses to become more body confident, loving your food, loving your body and loving your life.

Courses include: 2 Online Consultations PLUS Copy of Conscious Cookbook sent straight to your door
PLUS 30 Days / 30 Videos – bitesize cookery programs, Chi-Gong exercises, and self-shiatsu acupressure points in your own home.

Choose from:

  1. Stopping Sweet Cravings
  2. Sexy Savvy Menopause
  3. Reduce Pain in Fibromyalgia  and Chronic Fatigue
  4. Good Food: Better Health
  5. Good Food: Better Sex

Watch the video to find out more at https://joannefaulkner.ie/online-courses/