Spring is one of the best times of year to make some intentional personal and emotional development progress. Because the Liver, as the Yin organ, is responsible for the smooth flow of blood and emotions throughout the body. Therefore, Liver stagnation or an overactive Liver can cause some significant emotional build up. The Gall Bladder, as the Yang organ partner to the Liver, is responsible for storing and excreting bile and governs decision making, planning, dreaming, inspiration, and assertiveness.
When it comes to emotional balancing, de-stressing, and nourishing your spirit take your cues from the season. Originally published at patriciafitzgerald. You can learn more at patriciafitzgerald. Fitzgerald is also a volunteer with Los Angeles Animal Services and is dedicated to supporting the animal rescue community in matching homeless pets with loving hearts and homes.
There is a reason people often get inspired to start spring cleaning this time of year. The Liver and Gall Bladder work together to move blood and bile, and play pivotal roles in: Spleen and Lung health—which can affect your immunity and susceptibility to seasonal allergies The tendons—which can impact flexibility and strength And your eye health—clear vision moving forward While there are many ways to support your Liver and Gall Bladder, my advice is to take your cues from the season and take it slow.
The risk of developing T2DM increases when a parent or sibling has the disease [ 8 ]. The environment has great biological impact on human health and disease. There is a growing body of literature suggesting a role for epigenetic factors in the complex interplay between genes and the environment, particularly in common complex disorders, like T2DM [ 16 ]. Studies have demonstrated that nutrients can reverse or change epigenetic phenomena such as DNA methylation and histone modifications, thereby modifying the expression of critical genes associated with physiologic and pathologic processes [ 17 ].
An improper diet high in sugar, carbohydrates and fats and inadequate exercise are contributing factors in the onset of T2DM.
Fructose may also lower metabolism and alter how fat is stored and give rise to the buildup of visceral fat [ 18 ]. Fat distribution in the body is important; if fat is stored primarily in the abdomen as opposed to the hips and thighs, there is a higher risk of developing fatty liver, insulin resistance and T2DM [ 8 , 9 , 19 ]. Fatty liver is associated with metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance [ 9 , 19 ]. One can have fatty liver and not be overweight. If one is overweight and has acquired insulin resistance, losing weight and lowering blood glucose levels through exercise and dietary changes can improve insulin resistance [ 9 , 19 ].
Exercise is important for regulating one's body weight. Physical activity acts like insulin in that it uses up glucose. Physical activity also makes the body's cells more sensitive to insulin [ 8 ]. Obesity is a major risk factor in T2DM because obesity can lead to metabolic disorder and insulin resistance [ 14 ].
Many obese people do not develop diabetes, but most people who have T2DM are obese.
It is important to point out that people who are not overweight can develop T2DM [ 11 , 15 ]. Sometimes people who do not appear to have noticeable symptoms may have T2DM and be undiagnosed for many years until complications arise [ 8 ]. In a healthy person, the pancreatic beta cells secrete insulin into the bloodstream and the insulin circulates and enables sugar to enter into the body's cells for the production of energy [ 8 ]. Insulin lowers the amount of sugar in the bloodstream and as the sugar level drops, the pancreas also decreases insulin secretion [ 8 ].
In T2DM, this process is impaired because as sugar builds up in the bloodstream the pancreatic beta cells release more insulin but over time the beta cells cannot manage the high levels of blood sugar and they start to lose their function [ 8 ]. Excess sugar in the blood can affect nerve conductivity by impairing the tiny blood vessels that nourish the nerves leading to neuropathy or sensations of tingling, numbness, burning or pain, especially in the extremities.
Over time it can lead to the loss of blood flow to the extremities and develop into gangrene [ 8 ]. One of the early signs of nerve and blood vessel damage from T2DM in men is erectile dysfunction [ 8 , 9 , 20 ]. The damage to tiny blood vessels can also lead to retinopathy, blurry vision, eye damage and even blindness [ 8 , 9 ].
In the view of traditional Chinese medicine, the etiology and pathogenesis of diabetes shares much in common with biomedical perspectives. The etiology of diabetes can originate with preheaven kidney essence or kidney yin deficiency and weakness of the five zang organs that predispose a person to further imbalances such as spleen Qi deficiency and dampness [ 20 ]. Similar to biomedicine, it is important in TCM for practitioners of acupuncture and oriental medicine to think about the digestive function of the pancreas in the treatment of diabetes mellitus [ 20 ].
TCM explanations of the function of spleen Qi relate to digestion, namely the transportation and transformation of fluids, whereas the biomedical understanding of the spleen has nothing to do with digestion. The biomedical spleen plays a key role in the body's lymphatic and immune system. In biomedical and Chinese medicine perspectives, lifestyle behaviors are also important and can trigger diabetes. From a biomedical standpoint, epigenetics plays a role.
Behaviors such as overeating of certain foods, environmental factors, a sedentary lifestyle, or the opposite—overtaxing the body with prolonged stress or overexertion, can turn on genes that lead to T2DM. Likewise, a sedentary lifestyle can weaken the Qi because not enough Qi is generated to invest in the strengthening of the body [ 23 ]. In Chinese medicine, moderation is key.
Too much or too little of any one thing can disrupt Qi flow and balance, so just as a sedentary lifestyle weakens the body because it is too yin, a lifestyle that is too yang with a high level of activity that exceeds the body's resources can also weaken the body [ 23 ]. In particular, overworking and not balancing one's energy with enough rest or proper nutrition can deplete the vital energy.
Chinese medicine also speaks of overindulgence in sexual activity which weakens the energy of the kidneys and depletes the essence. Prolonged stress and emotional imbalance are also factors that weaken the energy of the organs and the Qi, blood, yin and yang and create disharmony in the body that over time leads to disease. Xiao Ke can also refer to stages of diabetes including prediabetes and diabetic complications [ 20 ].
In other words, Xiao Ke is a general term which is not the equivalent of diabetes mellitus. The diagnosis Xiao Ke Bing, or Xiao Ke Disease, is a group of symptoms related to diabetes that can be further differentiated.
Please contact me directly to arrange. Private sessions can be done via Skype from anywhere in the world. This, I have learned, is the ancient way. As I water the seed of understanding in me, my heart opens to love - which is the greatest possibility to dwell in. Evelyne is a licensed Heilpraktikerin alternative practitioner and lives near Munich, Germany. Mindfulness in the Classroom. Additionally, learning science shows us that movement activates the brain and improves cognition.
Upper burner Xiao Ke was traditionally characterized as Xiao Ke with predominant thirst. Middle burner Xiao Ke was characterized by excessive appetite and heat and lower burner Xiao Ke was characterized by excessive and frequent urination [ 23 ]. In modern times, it is important to not give a TCM diagnosis and Xiao Ke differentiation only according to the predominance of excessive thirst, hunger, or urination.
It is more appropriate to look closely at the whole body's system, symptoms and patterns and to take into account all the contributing factors including preheaven essence congenital inheritance , postheaven lifestyle diet, exercise and stress , as well as one's emotions and environmental stressors. To provide an overview, the following are some common TCM pattern differentiations associated with T2DM from acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine treatment perspectives.
The kidney is central to the Chinese medicine understanding of the pathogenesis of T2DM. If one has constitutional kidney deficiency, one may already be deficient in yin and may be predisposed to other organ imbalances. This is somewhat similar to saying that one's genes might set them up for epigenetic changes that can be triggered by certain exposures, lifestyle behaviors, or by prolonged stress or emotional imbalances. Overexertion such as overworking without adequate rest and overindulgence in sexual activity deplete the kidney yin and jing [ 25 ].
A main etiological dynamic in T2DM is kidney yin deficiency at the root which causes dryness heat symptoms as the branch [ 20 , 25 ]. The relationship between yin deficiency and dryness heat is a circular mechanism because as dryness heat builds, it further consumes the yin fluids [ 25 ]. The hyperactive fire resulting from kidney yin deficiency flares upward, resulting in dryness of the lung and heat in the stomach, which combined with kidney yin deficiency, causes diabetes [ 25 ].
In addition, chronic kidney yin deficiency can diminish the generation of kidney yang. Combined kidney yin and yang deficiency can in the long run lead to kidney qi failure, making the kidney unable to regulate the exiting of body fluids and manifesting as the need to urinate directly after drinking [ 26 ]. In the Chinese medicine theory, the lung is responsible for the descending and distributing of lung Qi and is the upper source of the circulation of water or body fluids [ 25 , 26 ].
Heat and dryness that consume the yin fluids can injure the lung which then cannot function as well to distribute body fluids and this can present as thirst. Because the lung Qi is responsible for regulating the body's water passages, if lung Qi fails to do this, water and fluid will go directly downward leading to excessive and frequent urination [ 25 , 26 ].
The liver also plays a central role in the Chinese medicine view of the pathogenesis of T2DM.
It is a fairly recent understanding in biomedicine that emotional stress can trigger the onset of T2DM and it is recognized that stress exacerbates high blood glucose levels in people with T2DM [ 14 , 26 , 27 ]. In Chinese medicine theory, the liver is responsible for regulating the smooth flow of Qi throughout the body.
Liver Qi stagnation results from stress or excessive emotions and is particularly associated with anger, frustration, irritability, or depression. Constraint and heat from stagnating liver Qi can cause the liver to overact on the middle Jiao which weakens the pancreas Qi and engenders dampness and can also cause too much heat in the stomach, leading to an excessive appetite. Liver Qi stagnation can engender heat in the blood and cause blood stagnation.
Blood stagnation impairs fluid distribution and can be accompanied by phlegm stagnation. Heat turns into dryness heat and consumes the yin and can lead to a deficiency of yin in the liver, kidney and stomach [ 20 ]. In addition, spleen Qi deficiency and the accumulation of dampness or phlegm can lead to the stagnation of phlegm and Blood in the collaterals. From a medical Qigong perspective the main causes of T2DM are associated with an imbalanced autonomic nervous system, weakened pancreas energy, low kidney energy and excess energy of the liver.
During a randomized controlled pilot study conducted at Bastyr University in , a particularly striking and common pattern found in patients with T2DM was a disharmony of Qi flow between the liver and pancreas [ 3 ]. According to five element theory, the phenomenon of the liver wood element overpowering or overacting on the pancreas earth element [ 3 ] was the main dynamic.
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In addition, an underlying factor observed was a weak kidney or water element. These observations are in alignment with TCM theories about the role of the kidney and yin deficiency affecting the energetic function of other organs. Qigong exercises that focus on boosting kidney and pancreas energy and relieving stress from the liver and autonomic nervous system can be particularly beneficial in managing T2DM [ 3 , 27 , 22 ]. Medical Qigong is defined as the system of authentic Qi vital energy practice, which empowers the body to heal itself and to facilitate the healing process of others.
Medical Qigong is another branch of traditional Chinese medicine.