Welcome to a new solar year. Most of us at this point have dispensed with the making of resolutions, having experienced a disappointing pattern of unfulfilled goals and wishes over the years.
We all know by now that the secret to success is having a plan - and executing it. In the execution of the plan - particularly when we are engaging in the internal work of self-improvement - we can bump up against some of the deepest and most uncomfortable parts of our story.
If you're looking to change something in your life, your self, you must be prepared to let go of a part of yourself that's familiar and it is it's own form of death. The letting go of a previous identity and the emergence into a new one.
The understanding of this existential axiom is either they key to your success... or the truth that makes you remain in your comfort zone.
The process of renewal necessarily involves the mourning of that which is released. If you have goals and intentions set for this year, engage with yourself lovingly, intimately, tenderly. You're giving birth to a new version of you. How you treat yourself along the way determines which version of you shows up at the end of the cycle.
Chinese Medicine 101: Ancient Insight for Modern Minds
You Gotta Die a Little Bit
Chinese philosophy is most heavily influenced by Taoism and Confucianism, each of which regard death as merely another phase in the cycle of experience of the soul. One is encouraged to contemplate death as a general concept of one's death specifically-expressly for the purpose of living with greater intention and clarity in the now.
Contrary to Western Culture, in which we tend to experience discomfort when discussing death, Eastern cultures integrate the concept of death into living.
Rituals and practices throughout the year - particularly the practice of cleansing and meditating to provide one with the opportunity to regularly experience the death of a phase/habit/season/cycle and renew oneself to life with freshness and clarity.
Renewing Yourself to Life with CBD
The Chinese and other close-to-earth cultures have long recognized the spiritual effects of cannabis, and have long utilized the herb for its psychodynamic properties. The entheogenic use of cannabis is widely known throughout the world's shamans, valued for its ability to allow the human soul to engage more actively in the realm of spirit and intuition. The practice of meditation, fasting, ritual cleansing, and cannabis/psychodynamic herbs use is seen a tool of spiritual ascendancy, not at all concerned with recreation and entertainment.
The warnings against overconsumption/abuse of cannabis are clear in the annals of Chinese Medicine. The ShenNong BenCao Jing (approximately 100CE), recognized as the oldest extant text on Chinese Medicine cautions physicians to watch for dissociation and psychic breaks in the patient as indications that the physician has prescribed too much cannabis and has untethered the spirit from the body.
In our modern times, we have the gift of experiencing all the benefits of cannabis with none of the psychoactive effects.
CBD - or cannabidiol - is an extract of the hemp plant that has the following benefits:
Proper Inflammatory and Pain Response: Inflammation is a partner with pain; so helping the body maintain a healthy inflammatory response will also encourage better pain management. CBD helps the central nervous system respond appropriately to stimuli that influence the body's inflammatory response. It also encourages normal levels of cells and enzymes involved in the inflammatory pathways to assist in regulating this response, and this, helps ease pain.
Healthy Neurotransmitter Levels: When CBD activates cannabinoid receptors, it encourages the body to balance its production and secretion of neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine, dopamine, GABA, histamine, serotonin, glutamate, and noradrenaline. Balanced neurotrasmitters support a healthy mood, a positive outlook on life, and a sharp memory and cognitive function.
Supports Gastrointestinal (GI) Health: The digestive tract appears to have high levels of endocannabindoids. Thus, phytocannabinoids may help to support health gastric motility (movements of food through the digestive system) as well as a healthy appetite.
Immune Health: Cannabindoid receptors in the immune system help regulate cellular activities in order to maintain a healthy immune system response.
Protects the Brain and Nervous System: CBD helps protect the brain and nervous system by supporting balanced neurotransmitters, proper brain stimulation, and healthy cell growth and activity. It also helps maintain a strong blood-brain barrier, which protects the brain from free radicals and toxins.
If you or your family member would benefit from taking CBD, please contact Dr. Mel to schedule a consultation to discuss the role of CBD can play in your and your family's health.
Mel Baker-Thompson is a New York State licensed Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine with over 3,000 hours of clinical and didactic training in Eastern and Western medical modalities. She has developed the Whole Life Integration Method to take natural functional medicine to the next level - incorporating the role of the mind in the optimization of authentic health. Over the last 20 years she has treated physicians, therapists, Rockettes, even an Olympic-qualifying athlete. From infants to grandparents, she has crafted an approach to health cultivation that combines the wisdom, skill, and acumen of Chinese Medicine with nutrition therapy, manual therapy, essential oils, and insight meditation to remove health disruptors in the body and mind.