Anxiety and Oriental Medicine
“a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.”
The dictionary definition of anxiety gives us a hint of the misleading nature of anxiety. It Appears to us as if it is about an imminent event, or a specific outcome, yet we often find out once this event passes that the anxiety is still there, or worse, it transforms itself into a new concern.
While resolving our problems in life may no doubt eradicate sources of anxiety, we often need to remind ourselves that sometimes our restlessness is not caused by the subject of our anxiety but by some other imbalance, one that is perhaps not even clear to us.
A person that suffers anxiety feels and usually is imbalanced. It is like trying to go about our everyday lives while standing on a ball instead of on solid flat ground. Very often the source and reason for the anxiety has little or nothing to do with the reason we believe we are anxious about.
Oriental medicine is the science and art of putting things in balance. Therefore, it is not surprising the oriental explanation is that anxiety appears whenever tension arises anywhere within our system as a result of falling out of balance, either physical or mental.
A person who suffers from digestive issues, for instance, may be described, in Oriental medicine terms, as suffering from heat in his digestive system. This heat, or discomfort is an imbalance that creates the tension that manifests itself as a mental restlessness- ergo anxiety.
Clients who come to my clinic to deal with their anxiety are often impatient when they think I am dealing with other problems besides their anxiety, thinking that I should be more focused on their anxiety. They fail to realize that the balance needs to be restored to reduce their anxiety, and that it is often anxiety itself which makes them impatient, thus standing in their way to resolve it.
So while we do have in our bag of tricks a set of tools that calms the minds directly, we often seek a strategy that will address the underlying source of imbalance that causes (or contributes) to the current imbalance.