By Shoshanna Katzman
When working toward balancing the energetic system of a person with a thyroid issue, a Chinese medicine practitioner keeps a keen eye on how excessive heat or deficient cold manifests within their body. This is based on hypothyroidism being a deficiency syndrome of kidney energy in the form of coldness and hyperthyroidism being an overabundance of liver energy in the form of heat. Thyroid imbalances may also involve imbalanced energetics of the spleen and heart meridians. Moreover, a practitioner continually looks for additional root causes contributing to a person’s overall health picture particularly in terms of lifestyle patterns. Treatment of the whole person is of primary importance with special attention to how qi (vital energy) flows throughout the body. The goal is to release blockages and to rectify deficiency or excess to re-establish balance and abundant flow of energy.
Throughout this process, a Chinese medicine provider determines if a predominance of yin or yang energy exists with yin being more cold/internal and yang being more hot/external. An assortment of Chinese medicine treatments and lifestyle recommendations are available to help re-establish balance between these opposing yet complementary energies. For example, acupuncture treatment is an appropriate treatment to restore yin-yang balance thereby bringing thyroid function into a more favorable state. This includes stimulating acupuncture points on the liver and kidney meridians to establish proper qi flow.
Positive results are further achieved through Chinese herbs for which many possibilities exist depending on presenting signs, symptoms and energetic constitution. In terms of Chinese dietary recommendations, eating more warming cooked foods would be best for a hypothyroid presentation due its association with an overabundance of cold (yin) whereas avoiding hot spicy foods would be appropriate for hyperthyroidism as it often stems from too much fire (yang) in the body.
Another viable option is the practice of Qigong exercises that target the endocrine system and strengthen vital organ function. Taiji exercise is another excellent choice for building qi flow, harmonizing the emotional body and balancing yin-yang energies. Both forms of these ancient Chinese exercises help one to live in harmony with nature along with inducing an overall state of inner peace and improved stress response. The slowness of Qigong and Taiji, furthermore, helps a practitioner stay present in the moment, to relax more and take time for their self rather than needlessly rushing from one activity to the next. They also learn to breathe into their belly and become more mindful of taking deep breaths throughout the day.
All in all, integrating these Chinese medicine modalities preserves qi of the kidneys, creates free flow of liver qi, promotes ability of spleen qi to transform and transport nutrition throughout the body and balances qi of the heart to maintain an even emotional state and pacify the spirit. In more modern terms, they are said to promote energy, mindfulness, proper metabolism, balanced emotions and peak immunity while decreasing inflammation.
Chinese medicine approaches should always be integrated while working with an allopathic physician, as restoring and maintaining health is best accomplished through combining medical wisdom from both western and eastern approaches. Find competent practitioners to guide you in this quest and be vigilant about following their recommendations to create new and healthier patterns of right living. Stay with your course of action and manifest positive outcomes via concerted effort to bring vibrant energy, balance and harmony back into your life.
Shoshanna Katzman, L.Ac., M.S. has been director of the Red Bank Acupuncture & Wellness Center in Shrewsbury, NJ for over thirty years. She provides acupuncture along with her associate Kelly Van Sickell. Shoshanna also offers Chinese herbal consultation and classes in Taiji and Qigong which are ancient Chinese exercises practiced for health and longevity. She is author of Qigong for Staying Young: A Simple 20-Minute Workout to Cultivate Your Vital Energy and soon to be released Center of Power Curriculum: Life Mastery through Taiji. Shoshanna is also co-author of Feeling Light: The Holistic Solution to Permanent Weight Loss and Wellness. For more information call or text 732-758-1800 or send an email to email@example.com.