Friday, January 29, 2010

The Reasons Why



Do you believe in cause and effect? Some days I'm not so sure there is an explanation for every single thing, or maybe it's more accurate to say that some days I believe the world to be so complicated that there really is no way to explain why things are as they are, which is not to say we shouldn't try. But perhaps we are a bit ambitious to believe we ever can. I mean really.

I'm thinking about cause and effect this morning because this week, I believe somewhat inadvertently, the Sufi acupuncturist named his diagnosis of my most central disharmony. He was trying to explain his approach to helping me through my springtime allergies, something we are already gearing up for. I'm sure he didn't realize I would spend most of the afternoon after my treatment looking through books on Chinese medicine, finding the symptoms associated with this disharmony, connecting the dots in my never ending search to figure out WHY I am the way I am.

What I learned was indeed fascinating and spot on. No wonder I overreact to the surge of life force in spring! The diagnosis, kidney yang deficiency, means that my life gate fire is subdued. In order to respond appropriately to spring in the fecund midatlantic, one must have a roaring bonfire of kidney yang to balance the inner with outer. Because of the weakness in my life gate fire, the upsurge of spring feels like an attack. My body overreacts. Back in the days before I saw the acupuncturist, all of May was a miserable fog of sneezing, dripping and congestion.

What I especially love about this diagnosis is the fact that it's not my fault! Kidney yang is something you're either born with or without. My mother, like most American moms in the 1950's, smoked cigarettes, drank martinis and coffee while pregnant. Am I saying it's her fault? Nah. She had no idea she was depleting my resources; she was just living her life. My diagnosis is a case of no fault disharmony. As it turns out, I've done my best, unconsciously, to restore that deficiency. All the foods I love the most help build kidney yang. Edifying to know I've tried.

The way my energy flags in the afternoons, my spring allergies, my flaky willpower, the fact that I have such a hard time returning phone calls? It's NOT MY FAULT people, it's not. It's not weakness of character or psychosomatics or neurosis, oh no! It's kidney yang deficiency. Cause and effect - oh yeah!

I know, it doesn't account for every one of my flaws, it is not a unifying theory of everything nor is it a bullet-proof excuse, but I'm kind of in love with my diagnosis this week. It feels nice to take myself off the hook for a few days, it really does. OK? OK.

21 comments:

ellen abbott said...

Isn't it great when you finally get an answer to a problem that has been plaguing you for a long time? I used to go to a whole body healer (chiropractor) and he would have the uncanny knack of zeroing in on my emotional states and problems through manipulating my body. I've been feeling so well the last several years that I haven't been back to see him. His approach to allergies was alignment and accupressure, getting all the systems up to optimal function so they could fight and protect. I had terrible, miserable allergies when I was a kid but outgrew them at about 20. Not to say I don't get the occasional allergy attack, but mostly it doesn't bother me anymore.

And why would you think your terrible allergies were your fault anyway?

Oh, and I have trouble returning phone calls too.

Reya Mellicker said...

I'm not surprised that we share telephonophobia.

My allergies have not been terrible since I started seeing the acupuncturist. He has never explained what he's doing until this week.

willow said...

Wow, this is fabulous stuff. I wonder if I suffer from the same kidney yang disorder. I'm going to just tell myself I do. What kinds of food are you eating to combat it?

Reya Mellicker said...

Warming foods are supposed to be good: chicken, salmon, some shellfish. Also winter squash, beans, sweet potatoes, peas, carrots. I love all those foods!

Barry said...

I did a quick internet search for more information and found the following:

Kidney yin, also called primordial yin, true yin or true water, is the foundation of the yin fluid of the whole body; it moistens and nourishes the organs and tissues.

TCM kidneys
Kidney yang, also called primordial yang, true yang or true fire, is the foundation of the yang qi of the whole body; it warms and promotes the functions of the organs and tissues.

This is very interesting Reya.

Mary said...

Very interesting - the prognosis - I love this. But mostly I want to blast the whole cause and effect thing...now I do believe in Karma - but I don't like it when someone always cries " What did I do to deserve this?" I always told my kids - life is not a cycle of cause and affect... this kidney yang is the difference between your actions causing something and there being a reason for something - does that make sense?

glnroz said...

I discover the most interesting things by coming here, thnx..

get zapped said...

I truly enjoyed your open and honest, not to mention, informative post. Our bodies are so complex. It is important to make friends with all parts, especially those we'd rather not deal with. I'm in the process of investigating why I have sleep issues. The docs automatically want to put me on a CPAP! I want to know what is causing the problem first, see what other alternatives may help. Anyway, I share how much I'm moved by the reflection photo - it's beautiful and expresses a lot.

Happy Friday!

janis said...

Reya~ I love that first photo! So intriging!
Interesting post. My cousin works for an Acupunction Office and I am considering looking into seeing them for some whole bodytreatments. As I am aging, I am finding more aches pains and werid things happening. I want to stay away from medicine as I am already jacked up on meds!

Ronda Laveen said...

So does this meant that when Sufi gets you straightened out you'll like to make telephone calls?

I'm going to be laughing and thinking about this one all day!

Tom said...

i'm 'lergic to just about everything--which made getting Toby a big big deal. He's nonshedding so, so far good...but if you could bottle up some of this kidney yinyang for me, maybe my perpetually stuffy nose could have a vacation!

Barbara Martin said...

Thank you, Reya, for providing these interesting views on life.

Annika said...

I really enjoy your blog and particularly the photos.

I hope you don't mind that I will be adding you to my blogroll of inspiration!

Annika

http://annikalundkvist.com

Reya Mellicker said...

Ronda you are so funny. Oh man, if I started enjoying phone calls, I would worry that I'd been replaced by one of those pods in The Body Snatchers. Wow.

Tom get ye to an acupuncturist! For the last two years my spring allergies have been mild. I've had many needles stuck into my body and have to drink some very strange tea but - it works!

Janis I hope you do find a practioner of Chinese medicine. I can't tell you how much better my overall health is since I started seeing my doctor. Truly astonishing!

Reya Mellicker said...

Mary I do believe in cause and effect but I don't think it's as simple as we're lead to believe. An eye for an eye? That makes no sense to me. But I do believe in the interconnectedness of all things, so if there's a tug on the web of life over there, I'll feel it in some way over here.

I'm against guilt in all forms, including the idea of karmic guilt - you were bad in a past lifetime so now you're being punished? I don't buy it.

Mary Ellen said...

Hi, Reya! I've been thinking my own fairly serious seasonal sag in energy (November through about now) is combined aging and lack of light, but perhaps some TCM would be helpful. Worth a try. I like your open minded excursions into alternative paths of wellness and self-understanding.

lakeviewer said...

We are complex systems in a complex world. Not one cause, one effect. But, many causes, many effects. We can try to explain things as we learn more about our complex world, but we are just approximating, hypothesizing with the data we have at hand.

robin said...

I've never thought you were at fault. That m'dear is My deportment!

Ronda Laveen said...

HA! Opening the pod now...

Mrsupole said...

I suffer from allergies year round due to being allergic to so many things. It is nice to hear about anything that helps someone with their allergies.

I hope you have a great spring this year.

God bless.

Reya Mellicker said...

Robin, I love you.

And to all who suffer from allergies, I'm telling you, TCM is really effective! It doesn't work for everything, but for allergies it is almost miraculous.

Not so much for returning phone calls, though. At least yet.