Ah…Valentine’s Day. It’s a very special day to honour the people you love today. Hopefully, you have been doing your best to do this each and everyday! For some, it may also be a very difficult day that brings painful memories to the surface. If you have suffered a significant loss or breakup, a day like today seems like a pretty good one to avoid. Which is totally acceptable and understandable. A broken heart is a very difficult thing to take care of. But what do you do when you’re ready to move forward and learn to love with an open heart again?
I’m generally a pretty content person. There have been a few times that have really brought me into a period of deep-seated sadness. The loss of my father after battling crazy cancer is one of them. Realizing that you have lost someone who has been a constant in your life is an indescribable feeling. While the initial raw feelings will eventually transform into a more “refined” sense of loss, they leave an indelible print…one that can eventually strengthen or uproot you. These periods of loss and change are times when support from family, friends and your health team are very much in order. For those who have a hard time expressing their emotions verbally with a counsellor and/or friend, Chinese medicine and acupuncture can be very helpful to release you from the incredible sadness that is weighing you down.
Acupuncture serves to unblock stuck energy in the pathways of the body, also known as “meridians”, that are closely connected to the nervous system, immune system, and circulatory system. By using specific points along the affected channels, the body responds by physically relaxing tight, contracted muscles, increasing blood flow to the local and adjacent areas, warming up the torso, limbs and extremities, and calming the mind. The little pins that are inserted are hair-fine in thickness and glide smoothly under the skin. Most people experience an initial mosquito bite sensation followed by a warm / cool tingling sensation around the points. The complete state of deep relaxation that follows is something that not only offers immediate physical and emotional relief, but can help reset long-standing holding patterns and behaviour.
When someone suffers from a broken heart, there may be accompanying symptoms of shock, fear, anxiety, insomnia, poor appetite, low energy, and long-standing grief. Acupuncture can help you address these concerns as well.
In Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), it is said that the Heart (心, pinyin: xīn) is the “Monarch” of all the other organ systems and the whole body. It governs the blood and vessels and stores the Shen (mind). Without the heart, the brain could not function. When the heart is working properly, there is a brightness in the eyes, a sharp memory with a clear and open mind, and a joyful heart. When you look at someone with healthy Shen there is a general feeling of the whole body and spirit being vibrant, healthy and happy. This person radiates such energy and spirit that it is hard to resist them!
Whatever your association with February 14th, let it at least serve as a reminder to take the time to really nurture and care for yourself, whether it be with acupuncture, meditation, prayer, exercise, a nourishing meal, a walk with a friend, a hug from someone you love, or all of the above. After all, you have been gifted with this body and soul that makes you unique. There is no one else like you! So take the time to figure out what you need to help create the best, happiest version of YOU that you can send out into the world.