Settling the body and mind – much more than relaxation
Traveling the world can be an expression of life’s struggle. While experiencing new places and cultures and meeting new people, you also have to manage the necessities of daily life – eating, drinking, moving from place to place, finding accommodation, sticking to a budget and so on.
At the beginning of your trip, you are full of curiosity and eager to have new and unique experiences. As your time on the road grows longer and your tiredness accumulates, however, you start getting used to having unusual experiences and rather sick of constantly being in a totally different culture. Eventually, during your long travel, even extraordinary experiences start to feel ordinary and you sometimes miss the comfortable routine of your life back home.
These feelings can be signs from your body that you need to restore your energy. This condition is similar to mild adrenal fatigue syndrome. At these times, you need to let your body and mind settle down for a while by turning off your unconscious tension.
The Case of the Traveler, Ms. B
When Ms. B came to me for a session, she was almost completely run down following a 6 month trip throughout India and South East Asia. She really enjoyed the cultural differences during the first part of her travel, but she gradually got worn out from her constant wandering from place to place.
She woke up with a little burst of energy one morning, then came in to have a session with me.
Fatigue, loss of enthusiasm, needing more coffee than usual to get going in the morning and stay alert throughout the day. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), this condition is known as kidney yang deficiency.
By palpating various energy nodes, I got a sense of emptiness around her tantien (center of Chi energy, slightly below the navel). This indicates kidney dysfunction and loss of energy. From the TCM perspective, “kidney” does not mean only the organ as it does in western medicine, but rather what might be called a broader “kidney system.” TCM uses organ patterns to help describe the processes and relationships within the body. I also got a sense of tension around her head. This indicates lung and liver imbalances with blockages in her energy flow.
Using a combination of Japanese style gentle acupuncture and shiatsu, I devoted her session to “deep rebalancing and re-energizing” treatment. This treatment is characterized by calming the nervous system and regulating the energy balance. As a result, her self-healing power activated again and she entered a state of calmness and felt completely rejuvenated after the session.
When people enjoy different circumstances or face an unusual situation positively, they feel energized. On the other hand, when they notice that they are starting to suffer from the different customs or are fed up with the cultural differences, their body might be telling them that it is time to stop and rejuvenate themselves.
Every time I facilitate the activation of a patient’s self-regulatory system like this, I get the sense that something much more profound than simple relaxation has occurred.
This cannot be learned conceptually, only experienced for yourself.
My advice is that if you feel exhausted like this by your travels at some point, stop for a bit and find a way rebalance and re-energize yourself. Once you’ve done this, by all means get back to it and keep on learning from the experiences. That is life.