I and I… and my environment

 “Yo soy yo y mi circunstancia” (I am I and my environment )


I recently came across an article on the internet from the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry exploring the link between the gut, it’s bacteria and our mental state of health.

The title comes from the core philosophy of 20th century Spanish philosopher Jose Ortega y Gasset and means that “I” cannot be separated from “my circumstances”. Or put another way – my environment (both inner and outer) are one. If you consider how much bacteria lives in your gut, it can make one wonder who you really are!

In his book “When the Body Says No” author Dr Gabor Maté points to an inherent connection between psychological/environmental experiences and medical afflictions. He states that most unexplained digestive diseases and disorders root back to autoimmune deficiencies created by the sympathetic nervous system in its attempt to process hidden stress and/or trauma which overwhelmed the person’s coping strategies, often beginning in childhood.

In addition, the modern industrial era has brought unique challenges to the natural process of digestion. Globalism has introduced a diversity of foods from all over the world into our diets at a rate that is unprecedented in the evolution of the human species. Our food has also undergone major changes in the ways of processing, additives, preservatives, genetic engineering, pesticides, hormones, chemical fertilizers and mono-crops. Faced with these rapid transformations in food production, locale, and seasonal availability, it is no surprise that a large percentage of clients are suffering from digestive issues that range from allergies/sensitivities to chronic inflammatory bowel conditions.

This mirrors the understanding of Classical Oriental Medicine where the root of many digestive disorders is understood to emanate from a deficiency of the Heart Qi (the Shen or Mind/Body) which subsequently impacts the Spleen (which encompasss the transformative processes of the digestive system). This root imbalance produces heat or cold which manifest as a variety of symptoms.

Digestive issues may take the form of bloating, inflammation, constipation or pain. Additional symptoms can include overthinking, poor memory, insomnia, fatigue, skin rash, rhinitis and anxiety to name a few. Symptoms tend to abate once a feeling of self-agency, control and/or acceptance is reestablished.

I see many people in my clinic suffering from chronic or acute digestive issues and have found acupuncture and moxibustion to be extremely helpful with both th underlying imblance an the resulting symptoms.

June 17, 2018