Having practiced acupuncture and Chinese Medicine in Summit County for more than twenty years now, I have asked many people questions about their health and well being. I ask about their sleep, their energy, their menstrual cycle, their digestion, and if they have headaches. I also inquire about their emotional state and stress levels. These days, with our political up- heaval, keeping up with increasingly busy schedules, and trying to simply maintain our everyday lives, serenity seems to be a bit elusive. Each day, I hear over and over that my patients have trouble sleeping and are experiencing anxiety and depression. When I ask them what they would like more of in life or what they feel is lacking, the answer I hear is JOY!
In Chinese medicine, joy is the emotion belonging to the fire element. It is housed in the heart along with love. Peacefulness of the spirit and tranquility of the mind are indicative of the harmonious workings of the heart. If the heart energy is disturbed by confusion, stress, or anger it becomes out of balance and results in anxiety, fearfulness, and sadness. Patients lacking joy in their life often complain of insomnia, heart palpitations (feeling one’s heart beating in their chest), night sweats, excessive or disturbing dreams, irregular or rapid pulse, shortness of breath, mouth or tongue sores, edema (retention of water), nervousness, emotional sensitivity, lack of energy, and high blood pressure.
So, how do you invite joy into your life? Of course you can visit your local, state, and nationally licensed acupuncturist (me!), who will insert fine needles along pathways in your body to balance your heart energy. Acupuncture provides strength
and nourishment where there is a deficiency or weakness, and can promote the free flow of Qi or energy so that stress is alleviated. Chinese herbs are another safe and effective method to address any imbalance along the heart meridian causing the above conditions, including insomnia, anxiety, agitation, stress, “wired and tired” feelings, and/or palpitations.
And what can one do day-to-day to encourage that tranquil and peaceful state of being? The color of the fire element is red. Place a red, rose-scented candle on your table, or a vase filled with bright pink gerbera daisies in your bedroom, or wear a
magenta top with your favorite jeans. Soak your worries away in a hot springs while watching the vibrant, coral colors of the sunset over the mountain tops. Light a candle and sip a cup of rose hip tea while reading a poem or two about love. Place a
piece of rose quartz under your pillow. Meditate, open your heart, exhale, and place your intentions towards seeking and finding joy in your life.
Lynne Drakos, owner of A Balanced Crane, has provided Summit County with natural health care for more than twenty years and is the area’s longest practicing acupuncturist. She graduated from Southwest Acupuncture College in 1995 with a Masters of Science in Oriental Medicine which, at that time, was the highest degree offered in her field. She also holds a Master of Science in Anthropology and Environmental Science from the University of New Mexico. Her extensive training in both western science and eastern philosophy allows her to treat her patients with both knowledge and compassion.