Archive of ‘Qi’ category

Being in the ‘Don’t Know’ Space

By Rhiannon Griffiths

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You know that thing when you go somewhere + all of the quotes, readings, teachings or asanas seem to be made just for you, speaking directly to your soul, giving you exactly what you need at the right time? Well that was me, Kanti Freeman’s Divine Harmony yin yoga day this weekend…

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Long-hold poses to gently move the (previously) stagnant Qi in the Liver + Gall Bladder meridians (channels), helpfully working with the Wood Element + it’s frustrated eclipse-related restlessness, plus accompanying Buddhist wisdom about “not knowing” – all themes I had discussed in my vlog this week…

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“We don’t always trust it because it can be difficult + uncomfortable to walk the way of not knowing… (Yet) ‘don’t know’ is very good for cutting through doubt…

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When the mind is constantly trying to solve problems that it can’t solve properly, we can find ourselves in a very small world, a world that is tight, predictable. It is very important to be with the open mind, the ‘don’t know’ mind.

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When we say ‘don’t know’, nothing has changed externally, but internally we have suddenly stopped sticking to the idea that we SHOULD know, that we MUST know… And we’ve also stopped our loyalty to the opposite idea, the despair of worrying that we will never know… So we just sit quietly on our (meditation) cushions + just notice…” – Ajahn Sundara

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So, as the beautiful Kanti asked us during the session, can you be ok with just sitting in the not knowing?

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In full transparency, my Water Element + it’s love of safety, certainty + control, really makes TRUSTING the unknown, staying in the ‘don’t know’ space, a real challenge for me… It’s scary + unfamiliar… I’m learning + growing in this eclipse season, the moon isn’t giving me any other choice!

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P.S. my parents bought me back this sweet little Buddha (in the phot above) from their trip to Vietnam + Cambodia earlier this year… My sisters got biscuits, I got a Buddha, obvs…

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Watch the vlog about the eclipse season, the itchy-stuck Wood Element energy + what to do when you don’t know what’s next for you, here

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If you don’t know what Element you are, download the FREE ebook here

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Learn more about the deep coaching course, “Embrace Your Element – 9 Weeks to Life Changing Self-Acceptance”

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Or check out the all seasonal wellness courses that you can access online & do at home

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Eclipse Season, the Wood Element + What to do When You Don’t Know What’s Next

By Rhiannon Griffiths

We are in eclipse season & it’s BIG, there are three this time, when there are normally only two, & most of us are feeling it in one way or another, I know my patients certainly are, & I most definitely am right now… I have recorded you a video of a download I had late at night about what’s going on energetically for us right now, & what to do when you just don’t know what is next…

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And if you prefer to read, rather than watch or listen, then the words are below…

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I’ve been having a lot of chats in clinic about this “emotionally itchy” energy that so many of us are feeling – knowing there are big shifts & big changes happening or ABOUT to happen, but we don’t know what they are, and things aren’t moving forward, we have to wait…

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Itchy energy is Wood Element stagnation, the frustration at HAVING to sit still, HAVING to wait, not knowing what’s next, not being able to SEE what’s next, not having the Wood Element’s virtue of VISION, to have the vision of the future, to be able to see the bigger picture… There’s a reason for that old saying “you can’t see the wood for the trees” when we are unable to see the bigger picture… It’s all Wood element energy in Chinese Medicine…

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Cross, frustrated, impatient, and irritable feelings are all the domain of the Wood Element – that WANTING to shout “hurry up” to the universe, (or to the moon, or the eclipses), you want the next step to be revealed, but it’s too slow & it’s too uncomfortable to be in this “itchy”, restless energy…

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And whilst we aren’t in Spring right now (in the northern hemisphere), which is USUALLY when we might feel this kind of energy within us & around us, (as Spring is the associated season of the Wood Element) – and think about how we have to sit & wait in Winter, before we can actually SEE the growth of shoots & buds coming through the ground – and in some years, it feels like that wait for Spring is endless, it takes sooooo long that we get impatient & frustrated…

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So it’s the same energy we have here now, although in a slightly different context – and yet it’s potentially no surprise that as this eclipse energy, the bigger planetary alignments, as THEY ask us to make big changes, to grow, to expand, to EVOLVE, to ALIGN with growth, to push through the stuff that is illuminated in this eclipse season, to flow WITH whatever happens, not to resist or block things that are changing during this time of crazy big shifts – THIS is what we recognise as Wood energy in Chinese medicine… It’s about FLOW of energy – the Wood Element Organ of the Liver, ensures we have good & correct flow energy in our bodies & our lives – so if we are not in flow, we get stagnation… when we resist, we get stuck, we get stress and pain…

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And THIS is what the planetary stuff, the new moon & full moon eclipses – this season of three eclipses – THEY are asking us, or maybe even forcing us to GET into flow, to GET into alignment… To leave behind the stuff in our lives that has been creating stagnation, things we have outgrown, things that have been causing us pain, not allowing us to flow, to get OUT of sameness, out of stuckness in our lives – physically, emotionally and spiritually…

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And this is the tree, this is the Wood Element at its finest, it is growth, it is upwards & outwards movement… and this is for ALL of us right now, whatever Element type we are, not just the Wood Element type people…

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So what can we do NOW, in this weird, restless waiting time? What can we do to move this stagnant energy, if we can’t move forward yet (because we do kind of have to wait right now), or if we don’t actually know what’s next?!

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I go through breaking down the big visions and our big plans, into smaller, easier steps to reduce overwhelm, ALLOWING us and ENABLING us to move forward more EASILY, in my online Spring course, but for today focus on JUST ONE SMALL THING that you COULD do today to move forward – it can be a TINY thing, but just STARTING TO SHIFT some of the stagnant Qi, that WILL help you feel better…

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And right now it’s hard because NONE of us, including me, really know what is next for us, what the big vision or big change in our lives is going to look like… so if you can’t even take one tiny PRACTICAL step forward right now, because its too unclear, just focus on moving the stagnant Qi in your BODY and your emotions…

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Drink hot lemon water, or green tea… MOVE your body – walk, dance, do yoga, stretch – all of these MOVE Qi physically and emotionally – if you can’t do something with the BIG life stuff yet, do one of these small things to shift the Qi & get some sense of FLOW back again…

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And obviously, I must say, I am not an astrologer – I have some amazingly talented people that I consult when I need more insight – but Chinese Medicine wisdom very much has the “as above, so below” school of thought, with heavenly Qi & the importance of balancing our connection to the heavens (through the Metal Element) as well as to the earth (both the literal Earth, the ground, & the Earth Element itself)…

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And THIS is how we live a Five Element life & how we live in alignment & flow – we see what the energy of the moment NEEDS, or what it is asking us to do, and adapt or live accordingly, even when it’s challenging & “itchy” – because as long as we let go of resistance, remove stagnation & embrace flow, we have balance – and in Chinese Medicine, balance is key – balance in our bodies, our minds, our emotions & our souls…

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I hope this has been helpful & maybe gone some way to explain some of the stuff you’ve been feeling or wrestling with these past couple of weeks – let me know, & let me know if you’d like me to do more of these kinds of Element energy videos for you…

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Sending much goodness & bye for now

R xx

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If you don’t know what Element you are, download the FREE ebook here

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Learn more about the deep coaching course, “Embrace Your Element – 9 Weeks to Life Changing Self-Acceptance”

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Or check out the all seasonal wellness courses that you can access online & do at home

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Acupuncture Awareness Week 2015 – Stress

By Rhiannon Griffiths

The 2015 theme of The British Acupuncture Council’s Acupuncture Awareness Week, during 2nd to 8th March, is STRESS. I am thrilled that the BAcC has chosen this topic to focus on this year, because it is such a common modern day condition, and not many people know acupuncture can actually really help with stress. And make sure you scroll to the bottom of this page for special FREE offers, videos and more!

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Acupuncture Awareness Week 2015 - Stress

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A recent study, commissioned by the British Acupuncture Council for the awareness week, reveals British stress levels are on the increase, and we are risking our health by turning to sugary food, comfort eating and alcohol to help cope with modern life. The study of 5,000 adults found that over half of the UK are more stressed now than ten years ago, a third of us admit to comfort eating when stressed, a quarter confess to drinking alcohol and as a result 1 in 5 admit they put on weight.

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Despite 70 per cent of the UK saying they are aware prolonged periods of stress can have a long term impact on their health, almost half of people admit they just put up with it, and two thirds say stress is unavoidable in their life. A lack of time (41%), wanting to have it all (25%) and difficulty switching off from work (24%) were cited as the top reasons for the rise of burnt out Brits.

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In scientific terms, acupuncture has been shown to stimulate release of endorphins (the happy hormones) and oxytocin (the calm and contented hormone) – leading to reduction of stress and pain. Yet the statistics showed that 1 in 10 of us think stress isn’t serious enough to seek help, and 67% say they didn’t know acupuncture helps to release endorphins, in order to combat stress.

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In Chinese Medicine we view this process as harmonising Qi within the energy pathways of the body, restoring balance, health and wellbeing. It is why acupuncture is so relaxing and makes patients feel so good.

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Stress was originally a scientific term, first used to explain the temporary ‘fight or flight’ response in organisms, but is now used regularly to describe a range of physical and emotional symptoms.

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Many people suffer stress or feel “stressed out”, experiencing emotional signs such as feeling frustrated, irritable, tearful, overwhelmed, anxious, worried or depressed. Additionally, physical symptoms such as exhaustion, muscle tension, tight neck and shoulders, irritable bowel, nausea or migraine may also be indicative of high stress levels.

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In Chinese Medicine, we believe our emotions can be a huge cause of illness in our bodies – so stress, fear, worry or frustration can prevent the smooth flow of Qi energy in the body, creating stagnation in the channels, or depletion of the body’s overall energy, ultimately causing imbalance or pain.

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Acupuncture seeks to address the ROOT CAUSE of the stress, and relieve anxiety, exhaustion or overwhelm by boosting the energy that is lacking, or moving the stuck energy that is causing tension. It is this differentiation of identifying EXACTLY what is going on in a patient’s body, that is the benefit of using acupuncture to treat stress, and means the results are often better in the long term.

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I see many patients who are exhausted from being permanently stuck in this ‘fight or flight’ stress pattern – this is the daily norm for people, with extended hours in the office, balancing work and home life, a lack of proper rest or nourishing food. Acupuncture can provide vital support to break this vicious cycle.

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Rhiannon Griffiths Acupuncture AAW Thame

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To mark the awareness week I have many opportunities for you to get involved with learning more about how acupuncture could help you, & also for you to access FREE information about stress:

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+ see what my patients (pictured above) have to say about STRESS – pick up your FREE copy of THAME OUT

+ join the FREE “7 Day Stress Busting Challenge”, on instagram, Facebook & Twitter or sign up HERE

+ download your FREE “How to Help Physical & Emotional Stress” information sheet now

+ read the blog post “Top 10 Ways Acupuncture Helps Stress” on this website

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NOT SURE WHAT TRADITIONAL ACUPUNCTURE IS, OR HOW IT WORKS? WATCH THIS NEW VIDEO:

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THIS YEAR’S AAW 2015 CELEBRITY ENDORSER – DONNA AIR – ON ACUPUNCTURE & STRESS:

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SEE ME TREATING STRICTLY COME DANCING’S CAMILLA DALLERUP:

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WATCH THE PLAYLIST OF FREQUENTLY ASKED ACUPUNCTURE QUESTIONS:

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© Rhiannon Griffiths 2015

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Awesome Aussies – Jia Ni Teo

By Rhiannon Griffiths

I am utterly thrilled to share another one of my “Awesome Aussies” with you today… she is another beautiful health-focused soul that I met during my trip to Australia in March. The second person in my Awesome Aussies blog series is the fabulous Jia Ni Teo.

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awesome aussies

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Who is Jia Ni? She is an intuitive life coach, the creator of the “Happy, Healthy, Abundant in 6 Weeks” online program, and is now looking to work with energy blocks within her clients.

In Australia we met up: in Sydney, and went to the Conscious Club.

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jia ni & rhiannon pic

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I also met Jia Ni online during Connie Chapman’s 90 Day Transformation Project last year, as I did with so many of the women I will be featuring in this blog series… hear in this video below about our time together in that group, and all about why my favourite subject – ENERGY – is sooooo important for holistic health, and what great things Jia Ni is now doing by working with energy as well as nutrition.

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[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heCDvGC23vw%5D

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Visit jianiteo.com for more information and to get tons of free goodies that give you just a TASTE of the fabulous things this girl has to offer!

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jia ni logo

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© Rhiannon Griffiths 2013

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6 Ways to Activate The Wood Element Now

By Rhiannon Griffiths

I was recently asked over on my Facebook page, how we can bring more of the Wood Element into our lives? Well, ask and you shall receive! This time last year I wrote about Spring being the season of the Wood Element, in a post called Woody Springtime, but here is a short post on how we can activate the Wood Element, right now, at it’s most potent time… well, if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere that is!

1. Activate the Wood Element Taste

Each of the Five Elements has a “taste” associated with it. Fire is bitter, Water is salty, Earth is sweet, Metal is pungent and Wood is sour. Drink warm lemon water, or apple cider vinegar first thing in the morning. It will go to the Wood Element’s organs of the Liver and Gall Bladder, helping to activate their function of detoxification and movement of the Qi.

2. Move the Qi Physically

Part of the Liver’s (Wood organ) function is to move the Qi (energy) in the body smoothly to all areas of the body. It is when this movement is impaired that we get stagnation and pain – including stress, irritable bowel syndrome, tight shoulders, painful necks, headaches, migraines and so on… To help the Wood Element out, we should MOVE our bodies regularly to help move the Qi, and keep the flow nice and smooth. This could include running and going to the gym, but it doesn’t have to be as energetic as that, walking, dancing to your favourite song, or doing something slower like pilates or yoga ALL move the Qi physically!

3. Put those Plans into Action

The Wood Element is all about organising, planning, making decisions and acting on those plans. You might find that until you start properly coming out of the hibernation and slowing down of Winter (the Water Element), and into the active season of Spring that you feel stuck, stagnant and a bit low or depressed. This might be MORE of the case this year as we have had a LONG and hard Winter this year, and only NOW are things starting to bloom and blossom and move FORWARD. If you have had something in mind, get that Wood energy flowing and actually START putting them into action! You and your Wood Element will feel MUCH better for it!

4. Move the Qi with Food Energetics

As we have seen above, moving the Qi physically is important in helping the Wood Element and Liver function correctly, but we can also do this with food and drink via Chinese Food Energetics. Green tea is a great Qi mover, which makes it a very good stress-busting drink, perfect to have in your desk at work! Choose this over coffee, which only serves to put additional strain on the Liver. Additionally, it is not surprising to find that many seasonal foods such as new carrots being pulled up at this time, also help to move the Qi – nature does tend to provide EXACTLY what is needed at the RIGHT time! Take a look at how to make my green tea & carrot cake, perfect for activating and supporting the Wood Element in it’s season of Spring.

5. Assert Your Boundaries Appropriately

Another great way to activate the Wood energy at any time of the year, and bring more of the Wood Element into our lives is to assert our boundaries. This can be a tricky one for some of us, and this is where the word “appropriately” comes in. If you think about the way a willow bends and sways in the wind, it is TOO flexible, and if we use that anaolgy with our boundaries, that is not helpful for us, nor those around us – if we take on too many projects, we don’t end up doing ANY of them very well. Conversely, an old oak might not bend in the wind at all, until an almighty gust cracks it in half because it is so rigid and brittle. If our boundaries are too rigid, we cannot grow upwards and outwards as a tree ought to, we cannot change and develop. Check in with how flexible or rigid you are with your rules and boundaries, could you bring more BALANCE to your Wood Element right now?

6. Have Acupuncture

We have a couple of ways in which we can help bring more of the Wood Element into a patient’s life during the Spring. We can use what we call the horary points (Wood acupuncture points on the Wood energy channels) during the season, to ACTIVATE all the virtues of the Wood element, and help a patient embrace the energy and move forward with all the planning, organising etc that they may need to do.

We can also needle the Wood points on the channels of the Element that the patient is… this might sound more complicated, but it isn’t. For me, being a Water CF, I tend to have more points needled on the Water channels (Kidney & Bladder channels because they are the Water organs)… so during the Spring, I wouldn’t necessarily have the Wood horary points, I might have the Wood points on my Water Channels done. This then activates the Wood energy within the context of my Water Element; for example, encouraging action on plans made, might help my Water to not have such a BIG fear of the future, because there is movement going forward, my Water is no longer “frozen”.

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Don’t forget each of us has ALL of the Five Elements – Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal & Water – within us, we just tend to have ONE of the Elements that we resonate most with, or is like our default setting… so although this post is PARTICULARLY relevant to those Wood CFs (constitutional factors or constitutional Elements) amongst us, during the Spring we can ALL benefit from activating and connecting in with the Wood Element.

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© Rhiannon Griffiths 2013

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