-Iona Marsaa Teeguarden, Founder Jin Shin Do®
anxiety can show up in Chinese Medicine as sadness (hypoactive Shen) or over-joy and shock (hyperactive Shen).
In Chinese medicine, extreme emotions of Shen are referred to as "evil" emotions, which is not to say that they are evil, but extreme, not bad. Whereas over-joy may seem like a positive emotion, both over-joy and shock are considered evil, or extreme, emotions. The classics say that both are strong passions which can reduce the bodymind energy. Over-joy translates into excitement, which can be addicting, and many can confuse it with joy. "Over-joy comes from a sudden "change for the better" which in effect bursts the heart open, or else is a compensation for the closed heart which cannot feel joy."
Here we will be focusing on the evil, or extreme, emotion of "shock", which leads to anxiety in the heart, or hyperactive and disturbed Shen. The classics say, "During shock, there is no home for the Shen." Shock causes chaos for the body energy and spirit. Shock may be characterized by traumatic, "shocking", or very stressful events. These can be immediate shock or "fright", as in someone immediately pulling out in front of you in their car, or long-lasting shock experiences, such as childhood trauma or the death of a loved one.
Western medicine states that shock can result from emotional stress and excessive fear, joy, anger, or grief, as well as from physical injuries and even an overdose of drugs. "Traumatic shock" may typically involve involve injuries, yet all injuries carry some degree of shock. Hyperactive Shen is being "all fired up", and includes emotions causing hyper-excité, elation, restless gaiety, nervousness, anxiety and hysteria. Hyper-excité is a "state of excitation beyond that warranted by the actual event, derived by reading something into it."
Stage fright is hyper-excité arising from expectations about horrible or wonderful events that may or may not happen in the future. Removed from the present, we may have difficulty relaxing because we are stressed out about upcoming events. Stage fright often occurs when we are attempting to control natural processes or control the outcome of certain experiences. Anxiety can deplete our energies, leaving us angry and frustrated and "stressed out".
-Iona Marsaa Teeguarden, The Joy of Feeling
Teeguarden states, "When the Heart is in harmony, the face has a healthy luster and has color. When the Blood and the pulse are weak, the face is pale and lusterless. When the Heart energy is weak, the Blood and the pulse grow faint, and the face loses its redness (and may become dark). Stagnation is indicated by a purple coloring."
What is the difference between anxiety and fear? In acupressure theory, fear corresponds with the Kidney Meridian, while anxiety corresponds more with the Heart and Lungs. While fear may be object-specific, anxiety is "vague and indirect". They both stimulate the sympathetic nervous system of "fight or flight", however anxiety "begs to be attached to something and often looks for signs of impending misfortune." Causes of anxiety are often unconscious and involve the fear of losing control.
- Choosing to recover
- Align with your purpose or life path
- Practice hara breathing and remember to breathe!
- Therapeutic human touch and therapeutic massage
- Work through the fear of being hurt
- Universalize the anxiety and see it as normal under the circumstances
- Allow our feelings and memories to surface and release
- Allow yourself nurturing bodywork to open meridians such as Jin Shin Do® Acupressure
- Creative pursuits, art, and activities stimulating childlike joy
- Connect with your core self through movement and meditation
Teeguarden, Iona Marsaa. (2009). Jin Shin Do® Bodymind Acupressure® Intermediate Handbook (2).
Idyllwild, CA: Iona Marsaa Trust.
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