The time of year when school starts again is always exciting! The kids are ready to see friends they haven't seen all summer. Parents are shopping to find the best deals on clothes and school supplies. Teaches are preparing their classrooms to invite children into an environment of learning. And then there's college! The excitement of college alone is like grade school times 5!
But for some, actually a lot of people, going back to school creates plenty of anxiety!
Back to school anxiety is nothing new. CNN reported in 2015 the top issues kids and parents become anxious about. Those are tests, how hard and how much homework there will be, and bullying.
Everyone will have some level of worry anytime there is a change in a routine. And that is to be expected. When the worry and anxiousness become excessive, it will effect sleep, the ability to concentrate, and may even cause palpitations.
What can we do to ease the worry so that it doesn't get out of control? Traditional Chinese Medicine has quite a few answers!
According to some theories in Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM, here in North America, we are moving into late summer, which is the season of the earth element. When the earth element is strong, it's very supportive, stable and nurturing. Think of how good earth grows good plants and is the foundation for tall buildings. So when earth is weak, how is it able to support? If you don't have the proper support, you cannot build a good foundation for anything. Without the proper foundation, things fall. Think of mudslides and erosion.
Every season of the year is associated with an element and an organ or group of organs. The organs associated with earth are the stomach and the spleen. When your stomach and spleen are functioning well, food is properly digested so that your body has the nutrients it needs to make blood and other fluids to nourish all organs of the body including the brain! When the brain has the fuel it needs, you can be focus and alert but calm.
When stomach function is weak, your body has a hard time getting the nutrients! If the body, especially the brain, doesn't get nourishment, it will steal it from somewhere. Usually it's the stored energy in the kidneys called jing. This is like battery power for your body. When you use up all of your jing, you will no longer be living. When fuel and jing get low and the brain doesn't get food, this shows in the body as fatigue, restlessness, irritability, or insomnia. Mentally, you may have a hard time remembering things and lack concentration. Emotionally, you might worry or fear excessively. Not surprisingly, all of these symptoms in excess indicate an anxiety or panic attack in the medical community!
It will be very wise for you to pay attention to your earth element this back to school season, and if your stomach function needs strengthening, here are a few tips to help improve it:
You must make sleep a priority!
Staying up for a late night cramming session is never a good idea! Your body NEEDS sleep to repair and restore. Also, the stomach makes two key hormones during sleep: dopamine and norepinephrine. You need these hormones to regulate how good you feel throughout the day and keep your brain sharp!
You must be properly hydrated!
Did you know that if you don't drink enough good neutral pH water that your body won't have enough fluid to make stomach acid to digest your food? You must drink water (not milk, soda or juice) 20-30 mins before a meal to help digestion!
You need to exercise...with your stomach in mind!
We're not talking about doing hundreds of crunches! You can exercise to stimulate your digestive function! What you want are exercises to strengthen your earth element and Qigong (Traditional Chinese Exercise) has plenty of easy exercises that don't take a lot of time to do! If you can, do them before eating!
Do your Stomach exercises anytime! Purchase here!
Whether you are getting ready for your big test or the big game, give your body what it needs and it will perform at its highest level!
Would you like to do Qigong with us live?
If you live near Charlotte North Carolina, we teach weekly classes every Friday 6:30pm and every Sunday 1pm. Classes are for all levels of fitness and all levels of Qigong knowledge. Yoga mats and special clothing is not necessary and you don't have to take off your shoes!
Stay updated on when we introduce streaming video classes if you do live close by.
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