Blog Posts

Spring & the Wood Element in Chinese Medicine

Posted by on May 9, 2018 in Blog Posts | Comments Off on Spring & the Wood Element in Chinese Medicine

  The Wood element- Liver & Gall Bladder Energies   Yes, it finally feels like spring has fully arrived! The wood or ‘tree’ phase (Jarmey: 1999, p.152) represents the first phase of the Chinese five element cycle and it is about new beginnings, growth, emerging from the depths of winter and beginning to actualize our creative potential. It relates to spring which is ‘a time of rebirth, sudden growth, and rapid expansion” (Beinfield: 1991, p. 160) As we are part of nature we can relate all of these qualities of spring and energies of trees to ourselves and begin to understand how we can work with them and bring them into balance especially in relation to the other elements in the cycle. (Fire, earth, metal and water). If one thinks of wood more as tree or living plant it helps to animate the quality of this element better. A tree is “flexible, bending, yielding to the wind, yet strong and durable,”  (Connely: 1994, p. 21) Like trees, when we flourish we are grounded but flexible and strong, full of vitality and able to grow. Plants are constantly adapting to changing circumstances, being resourceful in how they grow, at times competing but also cooperating to create a functioning ecosystem.     Liver and Gall Bladder   The energies of the liver and gall bladder organ systems are associated with the wood element. The liver is known as the ‘strategic planner’(Jamey:1999, p.152 ); source of our authority, decisiveness and direction. The creative stirrings may have begun in the deep winter but the liver then sharpens the vision or aspiration into focus and the gall bladder, with its courage and initiative, goes about making the decisions and taking the steps to bring it into fruition. When the wood element is in balance, we are flexible in our attitudes and clear in our decision-making and how we deal with the challenges of life. When not, we can be too controlling, rigid in our thinking and also in our bodies, especially the tendons, sinews and joints, which are ruled by this element. This can express as a lack of coordination, spasms, and muscle tightness. A plant grows in all directions, down through its roots, up through its stem and out through its branches and leaves. In Chinese Medicine, the wood element governs the free flow of Blood[1], Ki[2]and emotions in the body. When out of balance, (ie wood can easily become too yang[3]) either through foods that aggravate the actual wood organs or through thinking, emotions and behaviour that tip it off kilter, we can start to experience symptoms like headaches, pain and tension in the neck, shoulders, hips and other joints where energy is getting stuck. We then start to experience anger and frustration, the emotions of wood, which can then further aggravate the imbalance. Liver ki stagnation can easily lead to the above emotions and others such as irritability and depression. Stagnant liver ki can also invade the earth element causing digestive issues ie IBS as well as other symptoms like chest tightness, a lump in the throat, sore breasts, mood swings, PMS, and nausea. Tell tale signs of a wood imbalance are a marked presence or absence of anger. A healthy state is the ability to feel and express all emotions. ‘Liver that is unable to properly nourish and store the Blood can lead to scanty menstrual periods, pale and dry skin and hair, dizziness, cracked and brittle nails, and numbness’  (Raichstein, 1998, p.270)(Beresford-Cooke: 1996, 124)     The colour is green   Interesting also, that a greenish tinge to the face can be an indication...

Read More

Shiatsu Workshops

Posted by on Mar 9, 2015 in Blog Posts | Comments Off on Shiatsu Workshops

This introductory shiatsu workshop will be a day to explore the wonderful Japanese healing art of Shiatsu through simple breath and posture awareness, becoming comfortable in the body, learning how to connect to self and other and developing quality of touch. You will be introduced to the basic principles of Shiatsu and be given simple techniques to take away with you and practice. Lioba is a graduate of the British School of Shiatsu-Do where she completed a three year study in 2008. She has also attended courses and workshops with Saul Goodman, Suzanne Yates and Keith Philips from the Bristol School of Shiatsu. Lioba is also a masseuse and yoga teacher and soon to become a nutritional therapist. She currently lives in Bristol and is passionate about sharing her knowledge and experience. The day will start at 10 am and finish at 5 pm with an hour break for a shared lunch and tea breaks as necessary. The introductory Shiatsu workshop will be run on three different dates so hopefully you can make it to one of them! Dates 22nd March, 18th April, 10th May Cost £45 per day Contact lioba@anahata-wellbeing to book your place Please follow and like...

Read More

Upcoming Partner Yoga Workshops

Posted by on Apr 11, 2014 in Blog Posts | Comments Off on Upcoming Partner Yoga Workshops

26th of April: 3- 6 pm Wilder Street Studios, Bristol, BS2 8QA 31st of May: 4.30-7.30 pm Wilder Street Studios, Bristol A wonderful opportunity to explore yoga in partnership with someone else. This is a creative and profound practise. The workshop is interspersed with simple but effective bodywork techniques. Be prepared for a deeply relaxing, fun and different experience! Please contact me to book your place. £25 per person. Feel free to come alone or bring a partner. No previous experience of yoga is necessary. Please follow and like...

Read More

World Yoga Day Event- 23rd of Feb

Posted by on Feb 27, 2014 in Blog Posts | Comments Off on World Yoga Day Event- 23rd of Feb

World Yoga Day 2014 flier A5 What an amazing day! There were four of us teaching a two hour yoga session at Hamilton House and about 40 people turned up raising around £400! All the proceeds went towards supporting Syrian refugees. I led a yoga nidra at the end of the session. Yoga nidra is a fantastic practise. It is called the science of yogic sleep and is about systematically taking the body through a process of deep relaxation through breath, visualisation and a rotation of consciousness around different body parts whilst the person or mind remains awake and aware albeit in a very dreamy state. It is a way of accessing the unconscious or subconscious mind and also achieving deep states of relaxation. One makes a ‘sankalpa’ or resolve at the start of the practise. This may be a habit one is trying to break or a quality one is trying to cultivate. One then repeats it at the end of the practise. It is a powerful way of accessing the deep recesses of the mind. I hope to upload a yoga nidra soon for you to experience from the comfort of your own home. Hari Om Tat Sat ! Please follow and like...

Read More

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)