Very often patients tell me that they feel as though they don’t have enough time in their lives. They feel as though they are on a constant treadmill fulfilling their duties and responsibilities with no time ‘for themselves’. They have no time to shop for healthy food, no time to prepare it even if they have managed to get it, no time to eat properly and no time to relax. I really feel for them. It’s a terrible state of affairs.
When such patients come in for their first consultation I notice that they talk quickly, the words come tumbling out as though there isn’t enough time to tell me everything that they need to. It seems like there’s no space between the words and no space between the thoughts. Not surprisingly they often complain of poor sleep due to the incessant chatter in their heads at night.
When I take their pulse I notice that there are no clearly defined gaps between the beats. I know when I feel that type of pulse that the patient needs astringent herbs, especially Aesculus, more commonly known as Horse Chestnut. Aesculus tones of the cardio-vascular system and one of the effects of this is that the pulse becomes better ‘defined’. I have also observed time and again the ability of this herb to assist with the creation of boundaries in people’s lives. They report back during follow ups that they have been able to start saying ‘No’ to people and feeling more clear about what is important and necessary. Many people take on too much before their health is up to it. They need to be selective while they are rebuilding their energy and resilience.
Maybe the obvious advice to these people would be to calm down, to start meditating or doing mindfulness practices. Realistically though you can’t expect someone caught up in this pattern to be able to comply easily. Their whole body is programmed to rush.
As a herbalist I know that if the body is in better balance then the mind will follow, after all there is no separation between body and mind. The first line of treatment in my clinic then is to help tone the cardio vascular system and to create space between the beats of the pulse. Once this is in place the patient will be much more receptive to meditative or mindfulness practices.
With the introduction of meditation and more space in their life the patient feels a huge sense of relief. Time seems to slow down. The pulse feels different too.
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