Paul Gaucher and Dove Sprout are co-owners of Creston Acupuncture Natural Health Centre. (File photo)

Paul Gaucher and Dove Sprout are co-owners of Creston Acupuncture Natural Health Centre. (File photo)

Natural Health Approach: Why Do I Feel Stuck and What Can I Do About It?

‘It’s not surprising that there is an all-time high of stress-related disorders, depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol dependence, and burn out.’

By Paul Gaucher and Dove Sprout, co-owners of Creston Acupuncture and Natural Health Centre

The answer is really quite simple. You feel stuck because you are not living life in accordance with your highest potential, your most authentic self, your spirit, your soul… the part that makes you who you truly are. It’s almost as if we were born into this world to discover the question to begin with. From the moment we are born it is bred into us, with well-meaning relatives often asking, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” But children aren’t thinking about what they want to be when they grow are, instead, they are thinking: “I want to go to the park to play”, “I’m tired”, “I’m hungry”, or “Wow, look at this cool stick”. Children enjoy and are attentive to the present moment.

We realize pretty quickly that in order to “thrive” in this world, we better get our head out of the clouds. Unless we work hard, get the grades, get the degree, or the big job that earns the most money, our basic human right of love and acceptance is at stake. So, we put our heads down, we go-go-go, we work endlessly, we ignore our needs for rest, for fun, for connection, for joy. If we finally “get there”, we realize we are still not fulfilled, and so the striving continues because just around that next corner is the promised land that we will see all the fruits of our labour. Some of us are born without equal rights or opportunities, so it’s almost like the hand of cards we are dealt doesn’t stand a chance… so we fold. It’s not surprising that there is an all-time high of stress-related disorders, depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol dependence, and burn out.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) we talk about Liver Qi Stagnation. TCM theory explains things from a different perspective. So, when I refer to the liver, I’m not referring to the actual organ (though it can be impacted), but the energetic component of what it does in TCM. The liver is responsible for the smooth flow of energy and emotional energy throughout your body. The liver is also the organ most directly impacted by stress. The element of the the liver is wood. So if you can imagine, in a healthy state, the liver can be related to an image of bamboo. Bamboo is very strong, but it is also very flexible and it is able to bend where the wind blows it without breaking. When the liver is impacted by continual day after day stress, wood can be likened more to roots of a tree, but instead of spreading out into the ground in an even healthy way, the roots can become all knotted up on themselves. This is the TCM equivalent to being stuck. In western society, Liver Qi Stagnation in itself is a pandemic, and it’s easy to see why when our eyes are open to the state of the planet. Accompanying this is unprecedented highs of auto-immune disorders, stress-related disorders, mental health disturbance, and burn out. These are all just symptoms that manifest from having those tree roots all knotted in on themselves because the energy that was once “going with the flow” has turned inwards and is now is now “attacking” itself.

The noise is LOUD out there in the world right now. There’s COVID-19, there’s mandates, there’s global division, there’s debates of all kinds, there’s environmental disasters and climate change, there’s racism and prejudice, there’s extreme economic diversity, there’s judgement, bitterness, and hatred between family and friends. In all of the research I’ve been doing lately, I heard somewhere this interesting perspective: “Maybe all of this is not happening to us, but FOR us”. There is always polarity because of the very nature of Yin & Yang. But within Yin & Yang, there is a stillness, a truth, an authenticity. We always have the choice of how we wish to manifest that in the world.

Here are a few ideas that can be helpful to become unstuck:

• Turn down the noise and unplug from the news and social media.

• Get really quiet and LISTEN with your whole being. Try a meditation practice.

• Return to nature by going for a hike, walking, sitting by a creek, or even just breathing in some fresh air.

• Move your body in gentle ways with Tai chi, Qigong, yoga, walking, or dancing.

• Get a treatment that eases your stress, calms your mind, and relaxes your whole body.

• Journal, without editing yourself. Try writing down your dreams before your eyes are even fully open.

• Engage in activities that bring you sheer childlike joy. These will not make you tired, they will nourish you.

• Ask God/Great Spirit/Creator/Source: “What is the next right move?” (Oprah Winfrey)

• Repeat these steps as often as necessary.

If you’re able to do these things for long enough, eventually you may have a greater sense of your true authentic self and how you can channel that to be of service to the greater whole. You will not get through life unscathed. That’s part of the human journey, but if you keep practicing coming back to the essence of what makes you who truly you are, each time will be a little easier.

Paul Gaucher and Dove Sprout co-own and operate Creston Acupuncture & Natural Health Centre from their brand new location, 219 10th Ave N in downtown Creston. For more information or to book an appointment, call the clinic at 250-428-0488, check out their website, and follow their Facebook and Instagram.

READ MORE: Natural Health Approach: Maintaining a Healthy Morning Routine

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