Cary has been playing with Hot Wheels at his friend’s house. He picks out a metal car and shoots it out a battery operated launcher. He’s always hoping for air, adjusting and re-adjusting the length and angle of the red plastic tracks connected to the launcher. While he plays, I ponder the connection between this Mattel toy and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Why not? Both made in China…
Here is what you have to know: You are the Hot Wheels car. The Launcher is how much energy/qi you have on any given day. Air is good health. Between you and Air is a ramp made up of any number of Red Plastic Segments (RPS) that clip together. The RPS’s may seem like they add to the fun, but they actually hamper your ability to get Air. They lengthen the time between Launch and Air. Their bumps create friction and slow you down. It’s no surprise that they’re colored inflammation red. (Or orange.)
In life, RPS’s can be things like: foods that are difficult for you to digest; trouble sleeping; the side effects of medications; family or money stresses; environmental toxins like heavy metals, plastics, carcinogens; allergens; drugs, alcohol, partying. RPS’s can also be more subtle things like old injuries or emotional or physical trauma that your body is still splinting or protecting. Keep adding RPS’s and eventually you won’t be able to get to Air no matter how powerful your Launcher or well-designed your car.
Unfortunately, you don’t always have a choice about adding RPS’s, but you might have more control about what RPS’s you can take away. Since we make choices about the foods we eat every day, diet is an obvious arena for self-care. Getting bodywork to release somatized trauma and heal old injuries can also be within reach. Because it puts us into our body’s parasympathetic mode, which is healing, meditation can effectively take away ‘RPS segments.’ These—diet, bodywork, meditation—should be first-line medicines. Especially if you’re a mother of boys!
Stella Osorojos Eisenstein, L.Ac.
Stella Osorojos Eisenstein, L.Ac., is a writer and acupuncturist who collects healing stories.