Is Technology Harming Our Livers?
We live in an amazing time with portals of freedom opening up constantly. The possibilities are endless, thanks to the internet and the speed by which we can access information. Personally I love it! Yet, one thing we can be certain of is what many have referred to as the "cosmic joke"- technology was created as an attempt to make our lives easier and more leisurely, and it’s done the exact opposite. We’re now plugged in, and while it’s fun for the most part, we’re not spending our days sipping lemon cello on the front porch while our robots get all the work done! We now have email inboxes that are unfathomably full of obligatory reads, and of course there’s that addiction every one feels to compulsively check for a message or a ‘like’ for validation of our existence.
Blah, blah, blah. Nothing new. We all know it, hopefully we accept it and roll with it, and also feel a certain amount of excitement about the massive opportunities that await us as a human race.
Here’s the thing, the energy of tech is carrying us out of our bodies and exclusively into our heads. Can you feel it? The buzz creates a wee bit of an imbalance in our overall health and I think we should stay on top of it if we want to live long healthy lives.
Here’s something to think about. From a Chinese Medicine perspective the Liver relates to the eyes and vision. From the wisdom of this medicine, it’s been recommended that one not read (a regular ol’ book) after 10pm, because the strain on your eyes that late at night can “deplete liver blood”. Depletion of “liver blood” can lead to an assortment of ailments including migraines, dizziness, menstrual problems, fatigue, poor vision, and over time can turn into high blood pressure and lead to stroke- and that’s the VERY short list. Add the screens, the scrolling and the cortisol release from our adrenals and our livers are now being asked to do a bigger job than they ever signed up for.
I think it’s all is good and as it should be, as everything is. It’s probably okay to keep scrolling through those Facebook posts... Just not late at night and not without involving some kind of intervention in our lives. If we want to optimize our health and vitality we have to find balance and step into silence in order to remember who and what we really are. No amount of social media will ever get you closer to your highest self, and there’s no short cut to spiritual awakening. The road requires disciplined meditation and catching your mind when it wants to wander off to your Instagram feed. Mental stimulation and information are great, but so are stillness and quiet. We’re seeking balance, right? Creating emptiness in our mind is equally as important as creating knowledge.
Here are some little tips to keep you on track:
1.) Make sleep a priority. According to what is called the horary clock in Chinese Medicine, the time that the liver is most active is between 1 and 3 am. Chinese Medicine holds the idea that the blood should rest in the liver when we sleep in order to replenish the organ. When we don’t sleep well, the blood moves to the head and our liver health is compromised (not to mention the next day!). Before you go to bed at night, take a few minutes to massage the base of your head- right where your head and neck meet. Definitely do not watch t.v. or stare at a screen right before bed and avoid keeping electronic devices by your bedside, which will really upset your natural rhythms and interfere with your yin and yang cycles.
2.) Take the Chinese Herbal Formula called Xiao Yao Wan. Okay, so 99.9% of the time it’s important to have a qualified Chinese Medicine doctor diagnose and prescribe herbal treatment for you, but this is a formula that I believe could help everyone (and it’s available at most health food stores). The reason is that it addresses the basic breakdown going on in most western bodies- a weak digestive system complicated by being too stressed out. It helps the Liver do it’s job of creating free flowing movement of Qi, Blood and Emotions in your body, and helps strengthen your digestive system. (If you have PMS, this is the best possible formulation for you!)
3.) Meditate with a focus on bringing your awareness into the body. Guided meditations can help with this, such as the ones found HERE. A primary cause of disease is a lack of embodiment. This is so important to understand. When we’re in our head, instead of being present in our bodies in the moment, our body tries to get our attention through causing pain and discomfort, at which point we’re required to attend to it. Why not prevent this and spend some time with your conscious awareness in your body for ten minutes a day.
4.) Make a commitment to spend at least one day a week away from all social media feeds, and if possible, away from your computer, iPad and phone altogether. Even better, take a three day weekend and unplug. Addiction is an interesting problem amongst humanity, and it seems to me that most people have some kind of addiction. When I was in China we were in the hospital treating a young boy for a legitimate addiction to video games. He seemed totally strung out and was completely checked out from reality. His parents were very concerned. Apparently, this is a common condition seen by doctors in China. How is the behavior of many adults in this culture any different? We just don’t have our parents watching over us. Catch yourself if you have addictive tendencies with technology and as a gift to your soul, practice restraint.
5.) Lastly, check your posture!! Are you rolling over in your neck and upper back to type or check your phone? Look up! Stretch. Don’t let yourself get locked into that body posture, because if you do you’re going to regret it. Over time you might start to get headaches, shoulder pain, neck pain and stiffness, and it will close off all the upper chakras that give us access to intuition and spiritual insight. Move your spine in the opposite direction several times a day.
Well, this seems like an appropriate time to invite you to like my Facebook page, wink wink. We’re all in this together! xoxoxo