Category Archives: Personal Development

Internalizing Stress? Who…me?


“Woah, you’re pulses are so thin and deep!”

“The diagnosis is you have a wei qi invasion of heat as well as spleen qi deficiency, blood deficiency and blood stasis.”

“Do you have energy everyday?” Yes…at about a 8 of 10…but in the morning sometimes I really have to push myself. And despite the fullness of my life. Sometimes, sometimes I feel an inherent hollowness in all of existence.“So you have empty energy. We need to build you up from the core. Your spleen is so taxed, thats what happens for a lot for students”

This is some out of context -not exact quotes- from my recent visit to a new acupuncturist, who is a TCM practitioner. Some of that is medical jargon (that she shared with me knowing I’m a student and interested) and really isn’t as life threatening (currently) as it sounds. But, still. It’s not sustainable.

TCM = Traditional Chinese Medicine

She gave me herbs for my wei qi invasion and suggested I seriously stop eating energetically cold foods like raw salads and smoothies (sure! SO sick of them, now that you mention it.) until March (Spring time.) And of course, an acupuncture treatment.

As a student practitioner of WCFEA – Worsley Classic Five Element Acupuncture, this TCM business is a whole new ballgame. Currently I’m in the young stages of learning the TCM language/modality because I need the knowledge to pass my national board exams for acupuncture.

The difference of these modalities is their approach in diagnosing and treating. The focus for WCFEA is the whole picture of someoneS life and the patterns of subtle energies in a persons core being, which presents itself in several ways, including emotions. TCM looks at patterns in someones system on a mostly physical plane of messages. We both use pulses, needles and the same acupuncture points – but the approach is entirely different. A classmate who has studied both styles of medicine so eloquently explained to me (a couple years ago) in metaphorical form, that TCM looks at the weather patterns and begins treating there where as WCFEA looks at the quality of the seasons and begins treating there. I’m so glad I began treatments with WCFEA and now, I’m giving TCM a go. The line between the two modalities is very blurry and not always given the respect and classification they deserve from within the profession and for someone outside of this field of work – the difference is probably even more fuzzy.

My acupuncturist said, in response to the fact that WCFEA tends to help a lot more with psycho-emotional/psycho-spiritual problems (which tends to also clear up the physical symptoms) I’m actually looking for a Five Element acupuncturist to join my practice – I just don’t go there with my treatments and cant imagine how people practice both, they are SO different.




I’ve gone a whole year without one-on-one individualized acupuncture treatment and about a whole year without consistent writing, in this blog, about my acupuncturist path. Even the thought of writing on here- even if it was scratch- was daunting to me…so I ignored it. Is there a correlation here? Was my writers block more of an energetic block?

As an aside and as an update: Life is going WELL. Very well. I’m a happy camper, except for my serious qi deficiencies that is. And stress, what stress?

 “Are you stressed?” No. Not really.Are you internalizing stress?” I…don’t know?

…though that could explain why I’m having period cramps again in the last 8 or so months. I know enough about “woman’s bodies woman’s wisdom” and period cramps are not just present for shits n giggles – they mean something is imbalanced. This month I didn’t pop an IB profen (which sometimes, in order to function, I have to), and I sat with my pain. I whined to my boyfriend. I took a warm bath to relax the contractions. I laid down and worked with my breathe. All the while knowing that I’d be going to my new acupuncturist later and I didn’t want to take any drugs beforehand.

She put the needles in…..turned calming music on and the lights down low…..

“Okay, try to relax, call my name if you need me I’ll be in the other room.

The words, try to relax echoed in my head after she walked out of the room. The sensation of energy moving through my body as I lay perfectly still was apparent. Try to relax. Try? I don’t need to try, this chica is SO good at relaxing. Try to relax. It’s interesting she told me to try to relax because I don’t feel I’m totally relaxed. Where is there tenseness in my body that I can let go of? Okay…yeah…I think this is relaxed, perhaps my eyes should be shut. 

And then came the thoughts. How am I going to sell my practice, my style, my approach? Can I practice both WCFEA and TCM? Do I want to? Does the client have to chose? Should I give them a choice, they won’t even know…or will they? What should my tag-line be? Are people going to want to come to me? How will I start this? Am I going to get clients? The funds? etc…etc…etc…Listen to these thoughts. I’m not relaxed! Am I internalizing stress? Is this stressing me out?

After the treatment, I felt no cramps and my energy felt awake and alive- but, why couldn’t I relax? Maybe the treatment brought stuff up for you, and that may happen all week, you meditate- good, meditate on it all…. allow it to come up….

Why am I so resistant to the admittance of stress in my life? Because it conflicts with my constant flow of gratitude for how good things are. Perhaps I want to stay strong.

Often times, at the sign of stress- I make a plan. “This this and this.” It gives me a sense of order and control. There’s a feeling that I’m not allowed to be stressed, because I’m a “healer”. Who wants a healer thats stressed? Not many people can see this about me, that I may be stressed, neither can I!

But I’m taking my chinese medicine doctors orders right now – and letting the uncomfortable feelings of stress come up. I’m not going to try to fight them, plan or recipe them away. There are no answers right now. This entry is a bit scattered and a bit incomplete… such is my life right now. Despite being on course, maybe I’m a bit of a mess. I’ve got no complaints and its hard for me to even utter that my path is hard, but maybe it is. Sure it is. There’s a lump in my chest just writing this, what’s that about? It’s stressful because its unknown and its up to me. In 6 months I’ll be in the light at the end of the tunnel of graduate school and then 3 gigantic and expensive board exams are a few months thereafter.


They say the first step to getting better is admitting you have a problem, so here I go.

I am stressed.