It’s often been said, “You are what you eat.” Traditional Chinese medicine takes this one step further by saying, “You are what you think.” Many of Grand Master Lu’s students have heard him use this expression, but what does it truly mean?
So many things are thrown at us on a daily basis: decisions need to be made on everything from meal planning to medical care, the morning news spews stories of ongoing hatred and violence, and we are constantly bombarded with worries and responsibilities—so much so that the cycle never seems to end. We may think that when the day ends, the day’s worries do as well, but TCM believes that your mind, body, and spirit are all connected into one unifying whole. Everything that you ingest, you ask your body to digest—whether that’s food, worries, deadlines, or news headlines. And ingesting all of that negativity takes a strong processing system.
Therefore, when we speak of metabolism function, we do so in a holistic way—one that encompasses the body, the mind, and the spirit. Most of what our body processes is at the level of the mind. Think about it: you eat three meals a day, and maybe a few snacks in between. Food is certainly important, and food’s Qi, as well as its messages, are essential for healing certain conditions. But even if you fed your body only pure, whole foods, you’d still be asking your body to process worries, fears, anxieties, pressures, deadlines, news stories, school report cards, and much, much more—which are all at the mind level.
So, to improve metabolism function, there’s no way around it: you have to deal with the mind. Where does the mind get its material? The mind is based on beliefs. These beliefs can help you grow or they can limit you. They create thoughts and generate emotions. Most people don’t think of emotions as powerful, energetic frequencies. However, these frequencies have the ability to impact metabolism function in a major way. That’s why the mind is such a critical player in health and wellness.
Let’s look a little deeper at the emotions associated with the vital triangle of healthy metabolism function: Kidney, Stomach, Liver. Fear, which is associated with the Kidney, can make your whole body change. It can make you feel depressed, sap your Qi of life force, and can make you lose your appetite. The energetic frequency of fear can also create an anxiety attack. Once your emotions reach this level, your metabolism function will definitely slow down. Excessive worry can affect your Stomach function. And, of course, anger, stress, frustration, and irritability have a serious impact on Liver function.
Emotions are the processing of the mind. What do we say when we encounter too much information or emotion? “Let me sit on this,” which means, “Let me find a way to digest what you’re telling me.” The mind is a digestive organ. Its function is to process those intangible aspects, or energetic frequencies, of the mind—consciousness, thinking, emotions, feelings, wishes, desires, intentions, imagination—even dreaming and psychic ability. This kind of energy has consciousness and purpose.
Your life and your health are based on beliefs that you choose to hold. What kind of material do you allow your mind to receive to nourish and support its growth?
Excerpted from Digesting the Universe: A Revolutionary Framework for Healthy Metabolism Function by Nan Lu, OMD with Ellen Schaplowsky. Get your copy here.