.Often, pain is a result of inflammation caused by injury or disease. How do your emotions affect inflammation? How do your emotions affect pain? In a recent published study in the journal Emotion and summarized in an article in Psychology Today, having a diversity of positive emotions: active, alert, amused, at ease, attentive, calm, cheerful, determined, enthusiastic, excited, happy, inspired, interested, proud, relaxed, and strong - reduces inflammation. The study followed 175 adults, ages 40 - 65 years, and measured blood markers of inflammation; IL-6, CRP, and fibrinogen. 30 days later those who on a daily basis experienced a breadth and abundance of positive emotions daily had lower circulating levels of inflammation.
This reaffirms the interconnectedness of emotions and their effect on health, In Chinese Medicine, our physical and emotional states are intimately intertwined. Positive feelings and help promote health so practice some 'emodiversity'. We tack on these emojis on our texts and emails daily, let us feel these 16 positive emotions daily to reduce our inflammation and susceptibility to disease.
Shinrin-yoku Forest Therapy, the medicine of simply being in the forest. Shinrin-yoku is a term that means "taking in the forest atmosphere" or "forest bathing." It was developed in Japan during the 1980s and has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine. A couple of days ago, I had a midday break and I am grateful only 10 minutes away from my office, I immersed myself in open green space with live oak, redwoods and madrone trees, with irises, and shooting stars flowers dotting the understory. Studies show the benefits of being in the forest boost immunity and mood as well as reduce stress and lower blood pressure. I do have a preexisting condition - I love trees. I pursued my love of trees to Upper Peninsula Michigan and studied for a Masters of Science in Forestry, as a tree planter and Environmental Volunteer with Peace Corps Ghana, and as the Community Forestry Coordinator with Utah Forestry, Fire & State Lands. Now as a Chinese Medicine practitioner and acupuncturist I appreciate many of the medicinal herbs sourced from forests. If you have an opportunity, go take a forest bath.
I chose the name hedgehog blog because hedgehogs are cute and they look like they are acupuncture models with their "needles" covering their bodies. I hope these blog posts educate and inform you about Chinese Medicine and Wellness.