I’ve spent my career working with people who are dealing with stress. Job stress. Relationship stress. Financial Stress. Stress from trauma and illness. Stress, we now know, is the hidden cause of many of our most troubling problems.

Why is this the case? What is it about stress that makes it so problematic? Why are we susceptible?

I’ve found that Chinese Medicine gives us a compelling and clear picture of this whole stress business.

From the perspective of Chinese Medicine, wellness–including physical and emotional health–is the result of maintaining balance amidst constant change. In this framework, images like water flowing down the mountain or a willow tree blowing, but not breaking, in the wind, convey the key ideas.

For us, it comes down to maintaining the internal flow of our Qi through the meridian system and keeping smooth, harmonious, communications and relationships between all the organs that allows us to “go with the flow” when faced with potential difficulties. Since the function of each of our key organs can be read through our emotional reactions, our emotions can alert us to where the internal balance breaks down. Anger, irritation and frustration tell us that our liver is not functioning as well as it could. Anxiety and fear point to the kidneys. Each of us is part of an interdependent, harmonious whole. We know that when any one system is overwhelmed, the whole network of relationships is compromised.

If our body is in balance and our Qi is strong, we remain positive, hopeful and resilient when faced with challenges, even significant and disruptive ones.

Qigong is beautifully suited to help us build the inner strength to go with the flow. The best Qigong builds Qi and helps the meridians maintain their relationships to all the organs (and to the whole body) and to the Universe around us. Qigong helps us to harmonize with the changes occurring rather than resist them. With practice, we can be like water and continue our unique journey undaunted. Our journey cannot be stopped.

In my work, I teach people Qigong practices and use Medical Qigong to help support each person’s innate ability to develop these strong, harmonious relationships and in this way to become more resilient.

This summer, I’m giving 2 talks about how to Manage Stress Naturally. I’ll be talking about these issues and teaching the 4 Energy Gates an accessible, yet powerful, program to help keep your Qi flowing and your body in balance.

The first of these classes takes place this Wednesday, June 25th from 7-8 pm at the Zero Balancing Wellness Center, 809 Ridge Rd, Suite 200, in Wilmette. The second class will be held on July 9th. All the information is here.

I hope to see you there!

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