While pondering what to write about this month, it occurred to me that it might be interesting to share a couple of recent experiences I’ve had with interpreting messages from my body. We all have aches and pains, some familiar/chronic and some unfamiliar and perplexing. We usually think about these aches and pains as being of musculoskeletal origin. That may be true, but a painful flare up could be due to an inflammatory process from food or a neighboring organ or meridian. I hope that sharing my personal stories will help you to think about possible reasons for your discomfort. When we know the source, we have a better chance of correcting it quickly.
- I have chronic rib pain on my left side. It seems that at least one of my ribs has a sloppy joint between it and its paired vertebra. This causes many of my ribs to pop and shift, creating discomfort. I manage it with strengthening exercises, chiropractic, massage, and acupuncture. A couple of weeks ago, the ribs were especially irritated and inflamed. When a chiropractic adjustment didn’t give the usual relief, it occurred to me that maybe my spleen was having an issue. The spleen is located directly under the affected ribs. I muscle-tested myself, and found that the spleen was stressed. I didn’t find a specific stressor, but did find a supplement, Spleen PMG from Standard Process, that offered support to the spleen and did the trick. Within a day or two, I was back to my usual level of management.
- Several months ago, I started having a right hamstring issue. Somewhat suddenly, I wasn’t able to comfortably do a Downward Facing Dog pose while practicing yoga. I’m not sure how I injured it, or if I actually did. I worked on it and tried to help it heal with massage, acupuncture, and stretching. It was very stubborn! After a couple of months of not much change, I finally decided to try an acupuncture technique of pricking and bleeding an acupuncture point at the end of the bladder meridian to relieve the restriction in the meridian. The bladder meridian runs from the inside of the eye, up over the head, down the back, down the back of the leg (along the hamstring), and ends at the outside edge of the little toe. I did the treatment just before I started a yoga session. When I got into Downward Facing Dog pose, the pain and flexibility was at least 75% improved. From this point of increased flexibility, it was much easier to fully rehab the hamstring.
- A few months ago, I had a similar situation with sudden mid-lower back tightness and discomfort. After a couple of days with no change, I started testing myself, suspecting a kidney issue. Indeed, it was a kidney issue. Again, I found a supplement, this time Renatrophin PMG from Standard Process. I was back to normal within a couple of days.
- Another story I will share is about my arthritic big toe joints. I’m pretty certain that the arthritis was originally triggered by mercury toxicity after a lot of dental work in my late twenties, which included removing old amalgam fillings. If only I had known that the amalgams and their removal was the cause way back when, I would have been able to do more to support my toes! In the last 10 years, my big toes were what taught me that I was very sensitive to oxalates in my diet. (See the previous issue of the Red Clover Clinic Newsletter for more information on oxalates.) I first realized that if I ate spinach, my toes would flare up. Then cashews. Then beets and chocolate. The list goes on… The degeneration and pain in the joint is pretty severe, but I’m able to manage it with strengthening my feet, wearing proper footwear, and avoiding oxalates in my diet. However, the toes still occasionally flare up.
It finally occurred to me that the reason for these flares is that the big toe joint lies at the beginning of the liver meridian. The liver is a major detoxifying organ in the body. When the liver is stressed, the big toe joint area becomes swollen and painful. Often this happens when my body enters a cycle of detoxification. If I find appropriate supplementation to support the liver and kidneys, it quiets the flare up fairly quickly.
- The final story is about my dry, irritated eyes. I’m sure there are many contributing factors to my eyes being more dry than they used to be, most notably aging. That said, one of the most helpful supplements has been Cytozyme LV from Biotics. In Chinese medicine, the liver meridian opens to the eyes, which means that the liver meridian is intimately connected with the health of the eyes and vision. Muscle testing showed me that my liver was the stressor to my eyes, and that’s how I found the right supplement.
When working with my clients, I’m always looking for clues like these to get to the bottom of their ailments. When a musculoskeletal complaint stays flared up, I look for underlying reasons such as these. Emotions are another possible trigger, and you can read more about how I deal with emotional blockages in the July/August 2022 issue of the Red Clover Clinic Newsletter. If you need help making sense of what your body is trying to tell you, I would be happy to help!