... that he states I have a strong foundation of health; that my body is still healthy and disease-free and I still have the time and ability to "turn around". Among all the tests and checks he did, he confirmed that my body is free of cancer and that my heart is healthy and sound. I have no worries of cancer, because I know intuitively that cancer is not part of my health karma. I was concerned about my heart, becuase of my lack of exercise and sugar-addiction, but he confirmed that all my heart points are healthy. He stated that I was lucky, because many women my age are suffering from breast cancer, heart disease, and being overweight. I had to laugh at that, with my 30 pounds of extra fat I am jiggling with. But he restated that I am healthy! He confirmed what I think is one of the major issues: hormonal imbalance, caused by weak kidney meridian and weakened yin. He carried all sorts of interesting tests and therapies on me, and showed me self-therapies I can do at home. He also reminded me that diet is one of the most--if not the most--important factor that will act upon my health status, and to eat more root vegetables, which increase yin energy. I received acupuncture, cupping, and ear beads to press (ear beads are tiny beads taped to acupuncture points in the ear that are to be pressed multiple times over the course of the day, that stimulate specific acupuncture points, so that these points can be self-stimulated by the patient). He also pressed and squeezed multiple points along my back and shoulders to check heart points, did an O2 saturation test for acidity related to cancer, pounded on my upper back to relieve depression and stimulate Qi, and tapped around the occipital and frontal lobes of my skull to stimulate yin energy, Qi, and relieve depression (or vice versa, I can't recall).
I have performed my own intensive research on acupuncture, TCM, women's health, and women's hormonal/emotional/spiritual shifts and transitions the past few years, and Dr. Zhang confirmed much of what I already thought was going on in my body/heart/mind/soul. As humans enter their 40s and 50s, hormones decline (well, it actually starts in the 30s, but evidences itself with symptoms after 40), as well as energies (physical, Qi, kidney, liver, etc.). Significant decrease in testosterone in women cause commensurate declines in (what is felt as) energies, termed as Qi in Eastern Medicine, and physical energy the West. In essence, we both think this decline is what is causing my lack of energy, which leads me into a black spiral of depression because I don't feel like myself. In fact, I was ruminating just last week on this feeling that I have had for some time: I don't even know who I am...who is the person I've become ... my personality has changed and I don't recognize who she is at all! That energetic, fearless woman who is so positive she can drive people nuts has transformed into a permanently (see?!) tired, fearful, constantly anxious, negatively black-mooded woman. WTF!!??
The good news is that I DO have a strong foundation of health because of all the running, cycling, hiking, etc., I've done throughout my life; ESPECIALLY all the running I have done for 25+ years! I've been a runner since I was in my early 20s and I also visualize myself running into my 90s, so this is a good indicator of a healthy lifespan. So while my health has declined --really only over the past year-- I have 46 years of healthy lifestyle compared to 2 years of health struggles, in comparison! Ok, that perspective helps me a lot! I admit how challenging it is to stay positive and keep a happy forward-looking perspective with all that I have been through since 2014:
So there it is, and hopefully, I am closing in on the end of my journey BACK to complete health and wellness and energy! I have been spending $300+ each month on acupuncture and herbal treatments to help me survive and get well. I am starting to feel more positive. I've also been doing intensive self-analysis to see what I need to do internally--spiritually, mentally, emotionally-- and what I have been doing that has increased my stress and decreased my sense of security and sense of self. While I felt I have lie on my bed doing nothing, in retrospect, I have been working my ass off emotionally to regain a foundation of emotional and mental and physical and spiritual health. I've learned that the most important aspects of life (for me) are health and a sense of security in all areas. I've stopped moving (from geographic place to place) so that I can rebuild the physical, emotional, and financial base I need to stand firm and strong. I've stayed out of relationships so that my heart and soul and truly heal. I've allowed myself the downtime I need to heal physically and emotionally. I've studied and read and researched women's archetypes and transitions, Taoism, Ayurveda, vulnerability and shame (Brene' Brown's work), women's health and wellness, acupuncture, Qi Gong, TCM... I know there is more... The self-critical aspect of me (who overshadows too much of my Self) has condemned me for my fat-inducing slothful ennui of the past year, but when I see it typed in black-and-white, I acknowledge all of the hard work I have done, and how it has been such a struggle against fatigue and ennui and depression to even remain moving forward and alive. At times I have only gotten out of bed because I was due in at school. In fact, at times, school is the only thing in life that kept me going. (I am grateful that I love what I do and where I do it, so much!)
So here I am, not only trying to get back to where I was, but perhaps, establish something new and not hold myself to the (currently) impossible standard of "where I was".
And here's the horses!
...is practicing gratitude every day for 365 days. Began on April 22, 2016, let's see how life changes over the course of this next year!