Chinese medicine is more than just treating health symptoms. It’s bringing the body back into balance using lifestyle improvements, self-care and -respect practices, and nourishing our vitality. Brodie Welch joins me to talk about how she uses acupuncture, qi gong, and Chinese medicine to help high-achieving women start enjoying their lives again.
Listen to the Episode
How to Break Free of the Yang
- Make time for joy
- Make time for rest
- Make time for proper nourishment
- Rest your mind and observe where you’re coming from
- Live from a place of balanced ease and balanced action
- Treat yourself with the same kindness you would treat someone else
About Brodie Welch
Brodie Welch is a Licensed Acupuncturist, board-certified herbalist, and self-care strategist. Brodie helps self-aware, high-achieving women break the cycle of stress, overwhelm, and self-sabotage so they can enjoy the lives they’re working so hard to create, and truly embody self-respect.
Working at the confluence of wellness and personal development, she helps thousands of clients optimize their weight, digestion, hormones, sleep, mood, and vitality. A lifelong student of consciousness, Brodie has been practicing meditation, yoga, and qi gong for over twenty years and holds teaching certifications in each of these disciplines.
She synthesizes ancient techniques from Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, and yoga with the latest research in neuroscience, functional medicine, and habit change to help her clients thrive. Her holistic self-care boot camp program “Level Up Your Life” helps women bridge the gap between what they know they should be doing to take care of themselves and actually doing it – without feeling guilty.
She’s the founder of Life in Balance Acupuncture in Corvallis, Oregon, where she has been treating patients since 2003. She’s also the creator and host of A Healthy Curiosity: the podcast that explores what it takes to be well in a busy world.
Prioritizing Yin Energy
Brodie Welch explains how she uses Chinese medicine to help people of all ages reclaim their health and move in the direction of life and vitality. A big part of her work is helping her clients embrace the Yin side of their life as society obsesses over the Yang, more masculine, traits.
As with everything on this planet, we, too, go through seasons and cycles. However, Western society encourages us to stay in our Yang energy, foregoing the season of winter. Brodie encourages you to embrace wintering: rest, rejuvenation, and rehabilitation.
Brodie shares some of the ways to break free of our Yang addiction. By prioritizing rest, joy, and proper nourishment, we can start to reclaim the Ying in our life.
Find Balance with Chinese Medicine
It’s all about finding that balance – but since we’re so far into the Yang, we need to be intentional about our self-care and self-respect practices. Brodie shares how she differentiates self-care and self-respect, and how respecting yourself and showing yourself the same attention and care you would someone else is the best form of self-care there is.
Chinese medicine is not just living intentionally – though that is a big part of it. It’s also practicing qi gong, acupuncture, meditation, and embracing herbal remedies. The very nature of Chinese medicine helps reduce stress levels and softens some of the more uncomfortable symptoms of menopause and peri-menopause.
How can you find the Yin-Yang balance in your life? What Yin practices will you start incorporating? Call the Integrative Health and Hormone Clinic today and schedule your first appointment at 319-363-0033.
“There are all these different ways that we use to restore balance to the body. Chinese medicine, at its core, is really applied philosophy. You can make a choice every day to live in a more Yin way or a more Yang way.” [6:43]
“Health isn’t just the absence of disease. It’s nourishing our vitality. It’s living in accordance with who we really are. There’s this consciousness dimension of things. We need to make sure that we are in alignment, that we are living in energy integrity and not dipping into our energy reserve.” [12:03]
“In Chinese medicine, we can see things coming before they actually manifest. We can take someone’s pulse and sense an imbalance before it shows up. We can look at the signs and symptoms that will affect an organ to see that if it’s not addressed, it will get worse. The most potent force in life that we have to work with is what we do with our time. What we do each and every day makes so much more of a difference than what any practitioner of any stripe can do for you in an office.” [19:06]
“I think qi gong is one of the most powerful self-healing practices people can ever learn. It’s so accessible, whereas yoga can be really daunting to people. As we think about aging, ways of staying supple and flexible, reducing falls, improving bone density, and quality of life. There are so many studies on qi gong as being super effective in helping people maintain their health throughout their lives.” [33:29]
In This Episode
- What Chinese medicine is [4:00]
- Why we need to recognize and participate in the season or wintering [8:45]
- Why it’s difficult to opt-out of the Yang culture that permeates Western culture [15:00]
- What practices to adopt to break free of Yang addiction [16:15]
- The link between self-care and self-respect [18:15]
- How Chinese medicine treats stress [22:15]
- How to move your life in the direction of life rather than imbalance [28:00]
- What acupuncture is and how it impacts your health and body [29:00]
Links & Resources
Additional Resources Mentioned
Brodie Welch 0:03
If you don't already stop at least a couple times a day, then ask yourself what do I need right now that could be a really potent practice going forward.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 0:12
Welcome to the your longevity blueprint podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Stephanie gray. My number one goal with this show is to help you discover your personalized plan to build your dream health and live a longer, happier, truly healthier life. You're about to hear from Brody Welch. Today we're going to talk about Chinese medicine as well as the connection between self care and self respect. Let's get started.
Thanks for joining me for another episode of The your longevity blueprint podcast today I have on for our guest, Brody Welsh. She's a licensed acupuncturist board certified herbalist and self care strategist, Brodie helps self aware high achieving women break the cycle of stress, overwhelm and self sabotage so they can enjoy the lives they're working so hard to create and truly embody self respect. Working at the confluence of wellness and personal development. She has helped 1000s of clients optimize their weight digestion, hormones, sleep, mood and vitality. Lifelong student of consciousness. Brody has been practicing meditation yoga Chee Gong, I hope I pronounced that right for over 20 years and holds teaching certifications in each of these disciplines. She synthesizes ancient techniques from Chinese medicine, Ayurveda and yoga with the latest research in neuroscience, functional medicine and habit change to help her clients thrive. Her holistic self care boot camp program to level up your life helps women bridge the gap between what they know they should be doing to take care of themselves and actually doing it without feeling guilty.
She is the founder of life and balance acupuncture in Corvallis, Oregon, where she has been treating patients since 2003. She's also the creator and host of a healthy curiosity, the podcast that explores what it takes to be well in a busy world. Learn more at Brody Walsh comm so welcome to the show. I'm excited to be here, Stephanie. Thanks for having me. I first met you years ago, when you had me on your podcast when I was launching my book, your podcast has been very successful as you have several more episodes than me. So I'm honored to have you on my show here and hear more about what you do so which really is Chinese medicine? So let's start off with your philosophy and how you got into studying Chinese medicine. Really, What's your story? And when what we'll talk about what Chinese medicine is?
Brodie Welch 2:20
Sure, well, I thought growing up, I was really obsessed with social justice and environmentalism. And I really thought that I was gonna change the world with a capital C and be like an activist or a civil rights lawyer or something like that. And as I was striking out in the field, realizing that like, wow, if I if this is what I do for a living, I'm going to be miserable to be like stirring up conflict and that kind of thing all the time. And I and yet, it was the only thing I could imagine doing. And so while I was figuring out kind of the what's next, I went to massage therapy school and while working and then fell in love with Chinese medical theory in a Shiatsu class.
So there's this, that basically Shiatsu is bodywork that uses the same philosophy that Chinese medicine acupuncture is rooted in. And when I learned about yin and yang about the five elements about the body as an ecosystem, all of that really resonated with me at such a deep level. And I realized that that was going to be my next step. And so it was one of those like, Okay, this is a way that I get to actualize the values of being able to do something helpful for people, while at the same time living a life that was going to be fulfilling for me.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 3:34
So instead of dealing with conflict, after reading your bio, it sounds like you're now helping women, regardless of what conflict is happening in the world, take care of themselves, prioritize self care. We're gonna we're gonna get into. Absolutely, yes. So let's go back to Chinese medicine for a moment. So what exactly is the Chinese medical philosophy or view of health? What is that? Because we haven't we talk a lot about functional medicine on this podcast, we talk a lot about mindset. But what is Chinese medicine?
Brodie Welch 4:01
Well, Chinese medicine is a complete system of healthcare that originated in China, and its branches are acupuncture, or biology, lifestyle and diet, exercise somewhat even include meditation and Fung Shui and bodywork as like, basically all these different ways all these different branches of the medicine that all work to restore the body to homeostatic balance, essentially, so it encompasses with the body mind spirit based medicine, because really, if you think about what this medicine is rooted in, it's originated with Dallas looking out at nature and and realizing that like, hey, if it's out there, it's in here, if it's existing in, in the natural cycles, that really everything in nature goes through a cycle of birth, growth, maturity, decline and death. Everything you know, kind of goes through the cycle that and that life is made up of a balance of these two forces in the world, right, the forces of yin and yang and so we need a balance of that which is warm and To active and transforming and protective and versus that's the young aspects and the aspects that which is stillness and cooling and calming and grounding and nourishing.
And so basically, the idea is that we create balance in the body that instead of thinking of the body as a machine, we think about the body as this interconnected ecosystem. And that when if someone is wanting to be treated for a symptom, let's say, a digestive issue, or a sleep issue, or a hormonal issue, that we're not going to look at that much like in functional medicine, we're not going to look at that in a silo, we're going to look at it in the context of everything else that's going on in that person's body, and tie it together so that we can kind of name this underlying pattern of disharmony, which is like at the root of whatever branch is manifesting. So like the branches would be all the different kinds of symptoms, and the systems that we think about in the body, from a Chinese medicine perspective, or we can think about the heart or the liver, the lungs, or the kidneys, and the energy, there's going to be like liver, Yin and Yang, there's going to be heart Yin and Yang, there's going to be ci and blood, there's there's these ways of thinking about the different systems of the body, so that when a symptom shows up, we can assess it through this through this other lens, and be able to tie seemingly unrelated symptoms together.
So for example, you know that every emotion, every sense organ, every color, every like that all of these things are related to internal organs. And so it's the kind of thing where we might be able to make connections that, really, if someone was just looking at their bodies through a Western lens, that none of these things would necessarily make sense in a way that they do to a Chinese medicine practitioner. And then there's all these different ways that we use to restore balance to the body. And you know, acupuncture is probably the sexiest branch, but Chinese medicine at its core is really applied philosophy, because you can make a choice every day to live in a more human way or a more young way.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 6:59
Because what was the calming One was that the Yang was young. Yeah, anymore that Yeah.
Brodie Welch 7:05
Yeah. Most people do. You know, and actually, this is this is one of my favorite things to talk about is just that if we need a balance of both, right, we know that we know that we can't have good energy, unless we have good rest. Right. But yet, our culture fantasizes the busy the active, the moving that the productive, it
Dr. Stephanie Gray 7:23
can do everything.
Brodie Welch 7:24
Yes, yeah, absolutely like this. And that's all young energy. And if we're sort of celebrating this idea of young all the time, it's like saying that it should be daytime all the time, or that it should be summer all the time, that should be hot all the time, right, that we can't actually, nothing. nature works that way, right? Like, we go through cycles of day and night. And they're balanced. It's not day for three days in a row and then night. So it's the idea that if it's out there, it's in here that we that we should be looking to nature to model, what is healthy and an individual
Dr. Stephanie Gray 7:55
is so interesting. This may sound tangential, but I have a 20 month old son and I read books to him obviously at night. And a lot of his books have bears and then more or nature in general like I live in Iowa, I don't have the nature that you haven't necessarily living in Oregon or the Pacific Northwest. But I think of some of his books about like bears hibernating. And that sounds so silly. But literally in nature, we find animals that sleep not have their life, but they literally have to have to do that. That's how they were created. And I think we have so much less rest incorporated planned. Literally, I mean, I have to schedule my rest time into my life, we have so much less than we see a nature and so just Your words are making me kind of reflect back on that and how important it is. Animals rest a lot more than we do. We need to do the same thing.
Brodie Welch 8:45
Absolutely everything in nature rests, right. You know, like that winter, we go through a season of dormancy where like, nothing's growing. Nothing is nothing's really active or moving. It's a quiet space. And so like being able to go into that season of being reflective being introspective, spending more time with ourselves spending more time alone spending more time with without external distractions. That is what winter is about. It's hibernating season and yeah, waterways. And that if we don't do that, like then it's one of the things like there has to be a flow, right, a yin and a yang flow. We can't be overextended all the time. Or we're gonna burn out, right and so, so it really is like Chinese medicine, I think is a really great model for avoiding burnout and preserving our energy throughout our entire health span.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 9:33
Well, let's talk more about that. But I actually want to go back to just Chinese medicine in general and how it contributes to the conversation on longevity. you've alluded to that a little bit. But do you want to speak any further to longevity? Sure.
Brodie Welch 9:45
So like if we're refracting light through a prism, we can see all the colors. And so if we're talking about energy, or if we're talking about like what it takes to make health what it takes to do things. In Chinese medicine, the word is cheap, right, which gets trained Related as energy or life force, and really we can think about, like, the stuff of who we are, is like very dense, chewy, like matter and energy are the same thing we know for mind Stein's equation, and like the functions of who we are the processes that are going on and the space between the atoms and molecules, right, but we're mostly empty space, we are mostly empty space, very, basically an energetic field with some matter involved.
So this whole energetic field that extends beyond our bodies, all of the thoughts, we're thinking, all of the processes happening, all of the stuff of who we are that that which is tangible, that's all made of cheap, but it gets difficult to talk about it, when it's all one word. So we subdivided into different things. And so if we were to think about in Chinese medicine, there's the consciousness, there's the energy of daily life. And there's the special kind of energy that is like our reserves that we're kind of endowed with when we come into the world. And it's like the sands in our hourglass. And once it's done, our time is up. And so ideally, how do we preserve our energy and our health like that basically, the stuff that I'm referring to is called Jing, that we start to dip into the Jing, when we are doing too much when we're not able to replenish our bodies, and to recover from the stresses of life.
That's when we start dipping into this, well, this reserve energy, and that's what ages us. That's one thing that potentially ages us is simply outpacing what we're able to put back how we nourish ourselves in our daily lives. How where does energy come from? It comes from the air we breathe, the food that we eat, and the positive digestion of our life experience. So if you're not eating a particularly nutritious diet, if you're not breathing yourself well, right with exercise with movement, then it's likely you're not going to be producing a good amount of tea and blood. And so your body's going to have to dip into its reserves. It's one of those things we're paying attention to. And there's a whole branch in Chinese medicine, that's, that's all about nourishing life.
Right? That it's not just like health isn't just the absence of disease, right? It's nourishing our vitality. And also, it's living in accordance with who we really are, you know, there's this consciousness dimension of things. And so making sure that that we are in alignment, right, that we are living in energy integrity and not dipping into that principle in our bank account, just living off the interest is where we're supposed to be. And we're doing our purpose, right, if we're living in accordance with this gift that we came in with, that would be much more in line with the Chinese medicine view of health.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 12:33
Well said, so you've talked a bit about this kind of Yang addiction we've alluded to, to that with our in the past few minutes. So what does this do to our health? And how do we break that cycle? How do we break that Yang addiction? How do we know if we're Yang addicted? I'm pretty sure I have been throughout my life. Yeah,
Brodie Welch 12:52
so let me ask you this, like, do you feel guilty? If you were to maybe sit down in the middle of the day and like, do something as decadent as like, I don't know. Read a book. Well, during
Dr. Stephanie Gray 13:01
the work day, you bet. Yeah. Right. Like, I got paid.
Brodie Welch 13:07
Exactly. So So this idea of you might be young addicted, if you feel guilty for taking a break, when you're tired, if you feel like your worth is tied up and how much you produce every day, and not the aspect of your being that just radiates from you intrinsically. If you value what you're doing more than your actual presence, which so much in our society is about what you can do, what you can accomplish the external, the what it looks like, on the surface, rather than what it feels like internally. If we are trying to speed things up. If you're living your life in a way that feels exhausting, and overwhelming, and feels like too fast, and like you can't slow down. That is a young addicted mindset.
Because we all know, right? We all know that you can't see your best work. If you haven't gotten good sleep. We all know how important it is to exercise and eat right and manage stress. But a lot of times kind of like where the rubber meets the road if you've got a deadline, versus Yeah, but my shoulders hurt and I really wanted to stand up and massage them or stretch them anytime we're buying. And so the notion that what we can produce what we can accomplish is more important than how we feel and how like what it's like to be embodied, then we are valuing young over yen in a way that is unsustainable, right? Because our bodies are the vehicles that allow us to do the things and we need to take care of them as such.
So the idea that like we all know in exaggeration that it doesn't work to get two hours of sleep a night that you're something's eventually going to break but a lot of times we miss it if it's just like oh yeah, well, I don't really need to work out today. I don't really needs to, you know, like it's fine for me to just like shove down a bagel while I'm you know, standing over the sink instead of like sitting down and making myself something that feels more nourishing, right? that these are these are choices that allow have us make all the time in service of the doing rather than the being. And also, frankly, using our bodies to prop up our heads. That would be an example of yin and yang, right? If thoughts are more young relative to Yin, which is the more substantial part of who we are like, then certainly identifying with the mind.
And what it can do as a at the expense of the body is another form of young addiction. So it's really it's a mindset that keeps us in. And it's a mindset that that permeates Western culture, right. And that this is, it's all around. So even if you think to yourself, like, oh, but those are my values, it's still very difficult to opt out. And to actually really live that way. I know that, like, I coach people on this all the time, and I still have trouble with really justifying the things that I know I need to do to take care of myself, because it doesn't feel safe, right? It does, it feels like oh, someone's gonna judge me for being lazy, or somebody is gonna judge me for being selfish. And that's a thought form that can be really hard to disentangle from.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 16:01
So what practices do you recommend to get us out of this addiction? Because we can't just tomorrow wake up and be addictions are their addictions? Right? They're hard to break. So how, what practices do you recommend to start breaking that addiction?
Brodie Welch 16:14
Well, I think a lot of it is from a mindset perspective, this is this is where it's helpful to to work with someone who is familiar with the survival strategies, what we do to get through the world where we feel like we're safe. And a lot of times these strategies can be people pleasing, or perfectionism or overwork, you know, or hiding really, you know, like, there can be all sorts of survival strategies that once we see that, that's what the ego needs in order to get through the world. When we can see that all it is right, all the all of the stress in our life is coming from is it's like it's not a threat to our actual survival, it's a threat to who we think we are and who we think we need to be.
So Young addiction, a lot of times it comes out of a if I do it all, if I overwork or if I over serve, then other people will be happy with me and I'll be okay. Alright, so recognizing that that's not actually true. And being able to see it and root it out. So that we're not living from that space, takes mindfulness, it takes awareness, and it takes usually takes a way of really embodying that kind of self respect, so that it's not just like, Oh, yeah, I know I should. But it's living from that place of like, yo, yeah, I honor myself enough to to not ignore what my body's telling me.
And so for me, it's like, I encourage my clients to work on essential habits of self respect, right, then those essential habits are not rocket science, they're really basic, but they're things like making sure you are making time for your joy, making sure you're making time for rest, making sure you are nourishing yourself, making sure you're taking time to rest your mind and observe where you're coming from making sure that you are living from a place of balanced ease and balanced action. So there's so there's a lot of things where like automating the basics of self care, self care is not about getting a pedicure, it's not a one and done, it's about the things that we do day in and day out, to honor our being and to show up, it's to treat ourselves with the same kindness that we would want someone that we love to treat themselves with.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 18:18
That's so so true. That's so good. So my next question was going to be the connection between self care practices and self respect, but you kind of already nailed that one. But we, we don't always think of that as self respect that like, I love what you said about this is not you know, getting a pedicure isn't for massage or whatever, then just a one and done thing, like, every day, we need to honor our bodies every single day. And I don't think a lot of people think of that as self respect, per se, they're not honoring their bodies, and they're not putting their bodies first, when we say you got to take care of yourself, so you can take care of your patients. But as providers like myself, we don't really, do we really do that?
Brodie Welch 18:56
Well, it's like, because you can get away with not doing it for for a very long time. Sure, then suddenly, you have the lab test to prove that things are wildly awry. And it's one of those things where that in Chinese medicine, the other thing too is that we can see things coming before they actually manifest, we can take someone's pulse, and sensitive balance before it shows up, we can look at the signs and symptoms that are going to affect a particular organ system and see, if we don't address this, it's gonna get worse, you know. So being able to like the most potent force in life that we have to work with, is what we do with our time.
Right? What we do each and every day, makes so much more of a difference than what any practitioner of any stripe is going to be able to do for you. In an office. It's the kind of thing where that what we are doing, how we take care of ourselves. If some guy were to be standing behind you while you were working. Let's say you're trying to finish some short notes. You're trying to write an email, you're trying to do something. It's 11 o'clock at night you're exhausted, your neck hurts, your body is screaming at you to get up to rub your neck and go to And drink some water and, and you're sitting there pushing yourself to do more right pushing yourself to override the body's wisdom. If it were an external person if it were somebody saying like, Are you kidding me? You're not allowed to rest until you finish that Stephanie stay there.
You know, stay sitting there stay uncomfortable. deal with the pain, push past it deal with your exhaustion. Who do you think you are? You probably stand up for yourself, right? You probably tell that person off probably like, Are you kidding me? Because that's the self respecting thing to do right is to stand up for yourself. And so yet if the bullies in our own head, pushing ourselves to out, you know, to go beyond what the body's willing to do, what your soul what your heart is willing to do. You know, staying in a situation that isn't really feeding you. You know, like that's another way of embodying self respect means taking that seriously and making a plan to change your circumstances.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 20:58
You may likely have heard me talk about one of my favorite products in several episodes called adrenal calm. It contains a unique blend of botanicals and nutrients that support the stress response, particularly promoting cortisol balance. Specifically adrenal calm includes a blend of adaptogenic botanicals and nutrients formulated to counteract the effects of daily stress and support healthy energy levels, and also contains phosphate tidal searing and l theanine, both of which reduce that half life of cortisol or in other words, call them adrenaline. I love using this in the afternoon. If I've had a stressful workday or before public speaking, I can also be taken on a daily basis as many of us have more daily stress now than ever before.
If you're interested in learning more about adaptogenic herbs, read chapter six of my book your longevity blueprint, and check out our product guide info sheet at your longevity blueprint comm forward slash product, Ord slash adrenal hyphen calm to get 10% off adrenal calm or l theanine use code calm at your longevity blueprint calm. Now, let's get back to the show. So you're interested in not only helping people manage stress, but evolve their consciousness with the principles of Chinese medicine? So what is being chronically stressed? Or why I should say, why does being chronically stressed hold us back from our personal evolution? And how can Chinese medicine help?
Brodie Welch 22:14
First of all stress, like if we think about what that does to the body, right, we all have an experience of stress. And I'm sure you've talked plenty about the HPA axis on your show. And you know, like most people know what it's like to go into a fight flight freeze, and that kind of thing. But if we are in a constant state of stress, we are in a contracted state, right, we are in a state where we don't believe that the world is safe. And then we are running from since the brain likes efficiency, the brain is going to default to old patterns of thinking and not to mention the fact that stress is just exhausting, right. So it pulls us into our patterns of safety.
And it makes us not able to be in our full humanity in our full capacity to be open, to be present, to be aware, because really, your your focus narrows to just what you believe you need to do to survive. So in a contracted stressed state, we are missing the opportunity to play with all the other tools in our toolbox to, you know, to be able to like, for example, if you run through the world, as an overachiever, as someone who is whose solution is to do more to push to be young addicted. And you're stressed, that's your go to is to just keep doing that, then not only are you going to get exhausted, or you're going to develop some sort of health problem related to you know, like, for example, that liver energy, what energy is upward rising, so energy rising to the head is going to be like migraines, or in a catastrophic situation a stroke, right, but the energy of upward and outward, this kind of energy, chronic headaches, chronic neck and shoulder pain, chronic jaw pain, could be irregular menstrual cycle, irregular digestion and elimination because all the energy is moving upward instead of circulating and unfolding in a relaxed way.
So being constantly stressed, it's like we're gonna have these symptoms, first of all that break us down. But attitudinally we're also going to stay stuck with the same really clinging to the same survival strategies as opposed to like, Alright, like, actually, it's honoring my full humanity. to not just be an exaggeration of this wood element, you know, like there's other elements that could be more like an earth elements or water elements or a metal element, or a fire element.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 24:23
element, HCA. Those would be the ones I guess, list all those elements real quick, just for the listeners who, sir.
Brodie Welch 24:28
Yeah, so I mentioned earlier, every organ system, every emotion, every sense organ, there's a taste, there's a smell all of these things that go along with a different one of these five elements. So again, that refracting the light through the prism, we go from seeing white light to seeing all the colors right that all of this is just different kinds of energy. So we can think about water element, kidney and bladder. What element is liver and gallbladder fire element is going to be hard and small intestine along with the heart protector and something called the triple warmer that element is going to be spleen and stomach the middle element is going to be lungs and large intestine. And each of these have qualities as well as tendencies in both the physiology as well as in the psyche.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 25:12
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. So, specifically, since I see a lot of perimenopausal and menopausal women in midlife, how can Chinese medicine support women going through midlife going through menopause?
Brodie Welch 25:25
Oh my gosh, so many ways. So many ways. So I actually just did a whole episode on this recently on my show, typically when we think about hormones reorganizing themselves This is the realm of kidney Yin and kidney Yang. So when there's not enough yen right, like the yen is the cooling, the moistening, the soothing, that what starts to happen is we get hot flashes, we get night sweats, we get insomnia, right? We get anxious because there's not enough coolants right, we need water to calm the fire of the heart. We need the we need there to be enough yen for us to stay asleep all night long. Instead of bouncing up into activity. There needs to be enough coolant in the system, the yen, the anxious the the juicy, the oily that the moistening that that which allows us to be flexible, that's the end.
So that's typically that's what I see with a lot of my perimenopausal and menopausal patients is a lot of vn deficiency. Young deficiency would be more like the fatigue, the weight gain, potentially brain fog, you know, like that kind of not enough of that energy. And that's to kidney and and kidney young support each other. And of course, menopausal symptoms are all made worse by stress, right? Anytime we're stressed out anytime we're going into fight or flight we're depleting that well of the kidney energy that kidney and kidney young, because it's an expensive thing to be stressed out all the time. It's hormonal II very expensive. So the cortisol, the tha all the things that the cascade of hormones that happen to take us out of emergency mode and back into parasympathetic. So first of all, just getting acupuncture down shifts us into parasympathetic.
But more importantly, I think Chinese Chinese herbal medicine is phenomenal for menopausal symptoms, and more women should know that. Things like hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, anxiety, depression, weight, gain all of these things. It's not like there's one formula for every woman with that situation because there's everyone presents differently with like what comes up around perimenopause and menopause. But even the symptoms like irregular periods, or heavy bleeding or painful periods, there's a lot that we can do from a gynecological perspective, with Chinese medicine, again, herbal medicine and acupuncture are amazing for this kind of thing, as well as fertility. And so really, it's like, even if you're not working with with actually acupuncture or working with someone who does Chinese medicine, it usually can be super helpful with herbal medicine.
And a lot of times, it's just a few months of taking Chinese herbs that are mixed together in formulas, so that it's not just like one thing, it's not just like, oh, black cohosh, or you know, chasteberry, or, you know, something like that. There are these synergistic combinations that are designed to treat the underlying pattern that an individual with kidney deficiency or kidney deficiency, or liver Qi, stagnation or whatever, whatever the pattern is, to be able to bring that person back into balance. And again, working with someone who can help you change your lifestyle, so that it is a balance of yin and yang. And to recognize really how to make everything that you're doing in your life, be a medicinal choice, instead of steering you in the wrong direction. If health is like a continuum, right, and that we can, we can always be moving in the direction of health or in the direction of imbalance.
And so being able to see what those imbalances are, it may be like, you know, if you have kidney inefficiency, if we think about food as being less strong herbs, there's going to be foods that are too heating foods that are too dispersing of that energy, whereas foods that are going to be medicine to help nourish the yen, for example,
Dr. Stephanie Gray 28:50
I gotta go back to acupuncture here. So for listeners who are not familiar with acupuncture, so for perimenopause or menopause, then are there certain kidney points that the acupuncture needles are used on then like, well, how does that just to explain to the listener how
Brodie Welch 29:04
it's tricky to know, like, again, like the mechanisms of action for acupuncture have not all been identified scientifically. Like we know, we know that the act of putting a needle in a point, there's hundreds of points all over the body. And those points are organized in that they're named for the channel of the internal organ that it runs through. So there is a kidney channel, a liver channel, a heart channel, a lung channel, etc. and points on those channels that have particular jobs to support energy in this way it is support the end to support the young to move the cheat and move the blood to to cool, so he does, and really kind of like posting keys on a keyboard, or striking a chord on a guitar or on a harp, the combination is more potent than the individual thing.
So if I just press A on my keyboard, I'm get one results. If I'm pressing Ctrl A or Ctrl Alt Delete or something I'm gonna get a very different result with with that particular combination. So yeah, with acupuncture, what's going on is that a person, a practitioner is going to select points that are designed to do a particular job to change that balance of what's going on internally. And so there absolutely are going to be points that are known to nourish the yen, or move the CI or decrease the yarn or etc. And it's all going to be very personalized. And the action of the point is, through neurotransmitters is how a lot of this works is, for example, getting acupuncture kicks off all sorts of endorphins. And we know that there are things happening locally in terms of that can be pain relieving or that can, but basically, it's like an acupuncture needle is essentially a signal to the body about what it's going to take to recreate balance. So things like hot flashes, you know, there's plenty of studies that acupuncture it can be really helpful from those situations.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 30:47
That was a great explanation. I know it's very complicated, but just to listeners. Yeah, they're getting they're gonna get a lot out of this episode. You're explaining a lot very well speak very well about what your next page. Thank you. I want to go back to another question. We've mentioned ci several times through this episode, part of your bio, a word that I couldn't quite pronounced, but something that my many of my patients participate is called, is called ci Gong. Can you explain to the audience what that is?
Brodie Welch 31:12
Yeah, she gone It literally means energy exercise or energy skill, and really the components of Qigong so because really, like, it's quite the western notion to think that exercise is just like pumping iron or, you know, weightlifting or doing a sports, right, that exercise on a Chinese medicine perspective is the combination of breath with movements and intention, some very simple Qigong could be inhaling and bringing your arms up, exhaling and bringing your arms down while you're imagining energy rooting you like using your hands to direct energy in the body. Right? So that's, that's actually a really, if we were to do this standing up to justice action, right?
This is bringing us down to our center of gravity to our C of t which is below the navel, right? So where are we are coming from and martial arts were to have power is the lower dantian. Right, the space below the navel, where heaven and earth are said to meet in the body, right. And so and it's like biomedically, or center of gravity, it is like being grounded and centered takes us right here into our little belly. If we're stressed out and we're breathing way up here and our chest, and you know, not being able to root and sink, our confidence is going to suffer, our ability to feel connected to ourselves is going to be problematic.
So just a simple Chico move is just breathing in the low belly or moving energy, you know, but with your arms, taking it down a notch literally. So if you're stressed out, one of the simplest things you can do is inhale as you bring your arms up, exhale as you bring your arms down and just imagine all the energy in your body coming back to this place below the navel. So in other words, she Gong can be done standing, it can be done seated, it can be done walking, it can be done, just moving energy with the mind.
But essentially, the components are the union of breath and movement and intention, kind of like Taoist Yoga is so that just really we can think of like energy exercise, it's a practice. But it can also be there's also something called medical Qigong where someone or a practitioner is channeling their energy into someone else, akin to something like Reiki or, you know, energy healing methods. And really, you know, we can think of acupuncture that the practitioner is using their energy and their intention through the needle to affect change in a person's body, I think she gone is one of the most powerful self healing things people can ever learn, because it's so accessible. Whereas yoga can be really daunting to people.
As we think about aging, ways of staying supple and flexible, and reducing falls and increasing bone density, helping with quality of life. There's so many studies on Qigong as being just super effective and helping people maintain their health throughout their lives. And so I think it's going to have its rise and rival yoga, his popularity, especially with baby boomers, aging is and as our population gets older, I like looking for ways that that we can be moving and breathing in a way that's like a moving meditation or a gentle exercise.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 34:11
Thank you for explaining that. Sure, yeah. I have a few more questions for you. So what is your top longevity tip?
Brodie Welch 34:18
I think really, it comes down to being in touch with yourself moment to moment, because really right action in the moment. That's where we find wisdom, right, knowing what to do in a given situation, you've got to be present. And you've got to be listening internally in order to know what the right thing is. So we therefore need to build a practice of self awareness. We need to build a practice of checking in with ourselves on a regular basis. And so I think my top longevity tip is, if you don't already stop at least a couple times a day and just check in with yourself and ask yourself, what do I need right now, that could be a really potent practice going forward because you've got wisdom within you and taking time out so that your inner teacher can speak to you is something that we need to make some conscious space for otherwise that voice goes on heard.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 35:04
So good. That's a great longevity. So tell us what your free gift is for our listeners.
Brodie Welch 35:10
Well, you know, I walked people through this super simple t Gong and people can grab that from my website. I have a free breathing break available. And also that's super simple. chigan available at Brody wealth
Dr. Stephanie Gray 35:23
calm, that's BRODWL ch comm bH right? Yes, correct as I can. Sure. Well, thank you so much, Bernie for coming on the show and introducing our audience to what Chinese medicine is and how it can help us and helping us. Those of us who are I can't say it appropriately is at young, young addicted. Yeah, okay. He's helping us realize that we likely are. But explaining what we can do. Just simple things like checking in with ourselves, like you were just mentioning, can help bring us back into balance. So thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with our audience. And we'll post links to your website in the show notes. So thanks for coming on the show today.
Brodie Welch 36:02
Thank you so much for having me. It's always a pleasure to talk with you and to get to share about this medicine that I am in love with.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 36:13
I encourage you to see self care as self respect and to set time to check in with yourself at least twice daily. Like Brody said, incorporate daily essential habits of success. Honor your body by using your time scheduling that self care daily. Be sure to check out my book your longevity blueprint. And if you aren't much of a reader, you're in luck. You can now take my course online where I walk you through each chapter in the book. Plus for a limited time the course is 50% off, check this offer out at your longevity blueprint comm and click the course tab. One of the biggest things you can do to support the show and help us reach more listeners is to subscribe to the show.
Leave us a rating and review on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen. I do read all the reviews and would truly love to hear your suggestions for show topics guests and for how you're applying what you learn on the show to create your own longevity blueprint. The podcast is produced by the team at counterweight creative As always, thank you so much for listening and remember, wellness is waiting.
The information provided in this podcast is educational. No information provided should be considered to be or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your personal medical authority.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.