The Evolution of My Healing. The Plight of the Spleen Qi Deficiency.
I’ve said it before, but it never ceases to amaze me how long I went without questioning why my body reacts to certain things.
How did I go some odd 25 + years without wondering why I didn't feel healthy all the time? My quest, for me, started happening a few years ago… really as soon as I started getting regular acupuncture. Up until then, I accepted things as one usually does. Rashes went unchecked, eczema was unquestioned. I didn’t believe anything was radically wrong with me, or if there was—there wasn’t anything much that I could do about it. Things just naturally become phantom pains that I accepted.
A couple of months ago, my learning of acupuncture changed and was strengthened by a big discovery. Even though I had not known much about the particular things that ailed me, the diagnosis that was given to me when I first entered Lisa’s doors became a life-changing one as the months went by. Mainly because it began to reveal itself slowly. So much of being a student of Chinese medicine has been feeling like I constantly don’t know enough, but want to know more… and so when I was in Australia, I decided to really look into what exactly “Spleen Qi deficiency” was… and how to actually start bettering myself.
Firstly, though, I have a confession.
Lisa will attest to this but I truly hate taking my herbs. Sometimes, if I don’t down them like a shot, they get lodged in my throat and I can taste the sediment… and it’s terrible... BUT (and this is a big but) I have actually felt them to be incredibly useful in the last few months because I’ve felt them change my constitution in a REALLY BIG WAY. All of the heaviness I once felt isn’t there inexplicable any more. And, if the heaviness is there one day, generally I know what’s causing it. If not always, nine times out of ten it comes back to what I’ve been eating, or really—how I’ve been cheating.
Embarrassingly, I actually forgot my herbs on my trip to Australia, which actually made me seek out ways to learn even more about spleen qi, and that strengthened my journey as well as my commitment to them. I actually found myself missing the impact of the herbs, and made me want to be better with them.
For those of you who take herbs and also need a boost here’s a reminder: the purpose and use of my prescribed blends, as I recently learned, is to create a balance in my body and to eliminate stagnation and dampness. It’s a sustained effort though. So much of having an effective acupuncture routine is not just the practice of getting the physical needles, but also the herbs/supplements/ food you intake—and, for me, and maybe also for you, how to resolve and process the trauma that comes out. All these things combined is what Traditional Chinese Medicine is.
As someone who has specifically spleen qi deficiency, eating bitter foods is particularly good for my digestion. So the herbs I take may fall into the category, but also introducing more leafy bitter greens (such as dandelion greens and brussels sprouts) has made a significant change. Also, drinking the herbs in warm water, right after I drink lemon juice first thing in the morning, has also been helpful for this. Reminding myself that I should never eat cold foods (as they say in TCM, your stomach and gut is a stove, and you should avoid shocking your system with cold things) also acts as a constant reminder that healing is not a linear journey and, not only that, it’s definitely a holistic one that needs time, investment and considerable amount of attention. And that rest, and self-nurturing are definitely things we forget to prioritize.
Lastly, a big question I’ve considered a lot in these last few weeks is how do I keep my mind quiet?
An overactive spleen definitely is a sign of an overworking brain. Ever since I was young I haven’t been able to shut my brain off. Sometimes I wonder how I even get to sleep some nights… but reminding myself that rest and sleep are important parts of healing is definitely an exciting and important endeavor. I think what’s been helpful is to find myself safe and relaxed on the table with Lisa.
Something that I’ve really started to enjoy (surprisingly) is DU 20, the point right at the top of your head—sort of the tip, or the crown—which simulates a certain peace and calmness whenever Lisa puts it in. I’ve noticed how quietly and efficiently it reduces my stress levels, and how lucky I feel to constantly unravel this pathway to self, so that I can slowly begin to heal. Each week I feel like I’m uncovering something new, even if it’s about something that I already thought I’d unlocked before.
About The Author
This guest post was authored by Fariha Róisín, a talented writer based here in Brooklyn. We are indebted to Fariha for sharing this experience. We are humbled to be in service to such a brave, strong & beautiful human and it is with great gratitude we are able to share Fariha’s writings with our community.
Fariha Róisín has written for Al Jazeera, The Guardian, Vice, Fusion, Village Voice and many others and additionally has previously written a self-care column on The Hairpin. Fariha will also soon have two books published and currently has an astrology column for them. We encourage you to discover more:
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A Note From Garden Acupuncture: