Depression is a sticky word in our society. We don't like to really talk about it and most people feel shameful if they are "depressed." We use happiness as a way to describe how well we are doing in our lives. If we are successful, if we are fulfilled, if we are in a good relationship then the next assumption is that we are happy, right? The fucked up thing is that many of us are depressed while having all the good things in life. So what do we typically do in reaction? We turn to our addictions! The weed pen, the wine, the phone, blah blah blah. This blog is not intended to make us feel dumb for what we are doing to cope with the complexities of life but to provide a different outlook to the physicality of depression.
When I went to Chinese Medicine school one of the biggest takeaways was the understanding of the physical body when it comes to depression especially for a postpartum momma bear. In Chinese Medicine, depression is an example of blood deficiency, or in other words the body not transforming food and drink into the key components of blood. Without proper transformation the person is left with less blood which is the sustenance for a stable mood and the ability to deal with life as it shows up.
The second component of depression is stagnation of energy. When energy gets stuck in the channels, the experience is pain or outbursts of anger. If a person doesn't let the anger out, it reforms as internal frustration and then reforms again as sadness or powerlessness (aka depression).
What else do you think moves qi in the channels? Alcohol!!!! Alcohol moves the qi of the body which is why a nice cold beer at the end of a stressful day is epic or red wine in the cold of winter feels medicinal. When something challenging comes your way and the energy in the channels of the body is not in a steady flow, the outside stimulus is enough to cause the desire to drink, smoke, fight, text, sex, etc. Depression of energy in the channels (we are always mad before we are sad) turns into wanting to stay hauled up at home. In essence, reaching for the wine or the weed pen is a medicinal reaction but the problem is when it is more than one or all day long. More than one drink is a depressant for the body so the reaction that was helpful becomes part of the problem. You see where I am going with this? It is important to move the body's qi but moving it before you are in a panic mode with drugs and alcohol. Move it before you loose it.
Some positive ways to move your qi (there are so many so use your imagination):
1. HOT SHOWERS. The warmth of the shower opens up the channels for the energy to move freely. On an emotional level, the comfort of it can take your mind off what is bothering you and causing the stress inside. The power of relaxation in the beginning, middle or end of the day should never be overlooked. When the body is relaxed, creative ideas have the opportunity to present themselves. The more relaxed the body is, the more available big ideas become.
2. COLD SHOWERS. Find. Your. Grit. If you have the courage to stand in a cold shower for three minutes while vigorously rubbing your skin, you will have the courage to face your day. Hydrotherapy is a traditional Kundalini yoga practice that has an endless amounts of benefits. The cold water stimulates the blood in the internal organs causing them to rush out to the capillaries on the surface of the skin. This cleanses and energizes the glandular system which is in charge of our hormonal secretions. For the best way to do it, follow these directions.
3. BREAK YOUR OWN SWEAT. Cycling, running, dancing... you name it just get involved. It doesn't matter what it is so much as that it gets you into a good sweat. The ability to release sweat through the skin is one of the most powerful self-healing tools you own.
5. PEDICURE. Get the dead skin off of your feet, stat. My new favorite tool in the world is a foot scraper sold on Amazon. You may get regular spa pedicures and not need this tool at home but personally, this thing was a game changer for me. I run a lot, ride a lot and generally don't have the time for a pedicure. Knowing the importance of soft feet I went looking for a solution and THIS IS IT. Every channel of the body is connected to the feet and the more circulation and love you can give to your feet, the better. Soft feet leads to a soft heart. A soft heart leads to letting more love in and who doesn't benefit from more love?
6. WALK WITH A FRIEND. Sometimes the idea of running or going for a workout can feel 100% impossible when you are lingering near a depression. If you have a friend that is willing to walk it out, put on your shoes and get out of the door. If you feel worse after walking with your friend, change your walking partner. Moving the body is your greatest place of power and you should always feel empowered after doing so.
7. ACUPUNCTURE/MASSAGE. The gift we have as humans is that we can help each other when in need. Let someone else take care of you and move the energetic blocks inside.
This is a powerful, contemplative time of year. The planets are set up for us to go inside and reflect on what is working and what is not working. If you don't do this from a powerful position, depression can seep in and you can be left with feeling alone and lost. If you are feeling that way, start moving the body to get yourself out of that position. Pivot yourself out of a powerlessness place and move into a place where you can see what needs to change and what needs to get done. You can't get these things done if you are depressed. So... how do you get there? Move your body, move your qi, do the things that get you connected to your highest self, and keep your friends close. We are all in this together.
#YouAreEnough #theVLife #theVGlow