The Mind/Body Relationship
Your mind affects your body's health. Medical research and scientific studies have proven that a person's emotions are closely tied to the nervous, hormonal and immune systems.
Psychological distress may suppress the immune system, for instance, to the point of physical illness. Our mental states, from being peaceful and compassionate to being fearful and angry, can trigger different chain reactions that change blood chemistry, heart rate, and the activity of every cell and organ in the body.
Emotions and Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese medicine has long considered emotions as possible causes of disease. Seven emotions are considered to have the strongest effect on the body. They are joy, anger, sadness, grief, worry, fear and shock. Some are gradations of the others.
Emotional qualities are not themselves a problem; all of them may occur in healthy individuals. But when an emotion is either excessive or insufficient for a long time, or when it arises suddenly with great force, it can lead to imbalance and illness.
In Chinese medicine, emotions are associated with different organs. Imbalance in one of the emotions tends to produce disharmonies in the corresponding organ and vice versa. The whole body may become involved.
Unlike Western medicine's emphasis on treating the disease, Chinese medicine is concerned with a person, including his or her unique physical and emotional state.
Oriental Philosophy and Emotional Health
As a doctor of Chinese and Western medicine in China for 10 years, and in her Chinese medicine practice in Vancouver since 1991, Dr. Jian Chen-Bristol has found that for many of her patients, emotional problems are often tightly linked with ongoing physical conditions.
One common pattern in many people's lives is the onset of stress, then an effort to relax or relieve the stress, and then the resumption of the same unproductive thinking, attitudes and behaviours which brought on the stress in the first place.
In order to end this cycle of stress and worry which can often lead to physical problems, Dr. Chen-Bristol has noticed that a change in thinking and attitude is a necessary first step to better health.
Through attentive listening and introduction of Oriental philosophy, Dr. Chen-Bristol discusses with her patients about finding meaning in life events and crises. She also assists her patients to look at the past, present and future in a more constructive and productive way -- most of all, to help her patients to move on.
She offers this service on a one-to-one basis to anyone wishing to improve their emotional and physical balance and as an aid to personal growth.
Chinese Breathing Exercise
In order to achieve better results, Dr. Chen-Bristol also introduces a Chinese breathing exercise along with Oriental philosophy.
This simple attention exercise helps to improve concentration, relaxes the body and gently reminds us of Oriental wisdom towards life.