What images or thoughts come to your mind when you hear the word “vitality?”. In this blog, I want to explain what I mean by vitality and why I named my wellness studio in Mendon , Vermont the “Vermont Vitality Studio.” I will also explain my own understanding from ancient Chinese medicine about how three specific types of energy function in our bodies and what we can do to tap into our own vast resources.
I believe that we all possess an internal spark of light that resides in our hearts and that connects each of us to one another and to all living things, animals, plants, insect and even microorganisms, on this beautiful planet.
I have been a wellness practitioner since 2001; I am a massage therapist, a health coach and I hold a Master level in Bioenergetic-Shen Touch. I recently opened my own studio in Mendon, Vermont on the corner of Town Line Road and Route 4 and named it the Vermont Vitality Studio because for me the term “vitality” is a concept that we in the west are familiar with when it comes to describing the energy that interconnects all things. Other names for the vital energy I am referring to are: chi, lifeforce, prana, or vibration.
The Free dictionary online, defines Vitality as:
1. The capacity to live, grow, or develop:
b. The characteristic, principle, or force that distinguishes living things from nonliving things.
2. Physical or intellectual vigor; energy or liveliness.
3. The capacity to endure
In ancient Chinese Energetics, it is believed that human beings borrow the essences of the five elements of the earth to form our physical bodies. And it is also believed that all of these energies derive from a singular source that interconnects all things. From the one source, the energy becomes two: the Yin, female and the Yang, masculine. From here three distinct energies are formed: Jing, Chi and Shen. Our Jing energy is fixed and represents the exact genetics that we inherit from both of our parents. It is stored in our kidneys and our choices either fortify our Jing or deplete it. Our Chi is derived from that which we consume from our environment like the food we eat, the air we breathe etc. This energy is mutable and we can effects it’s expression and quantity. And finally, let’s discuss our Shen, or the light of consciousness that animates our very being. At the exact time of our conception, a spark of light from the heavens enters into the cells that are forming our physical body. And after about three months of gestation, that energy finds its home in our heart is translated as our “Spirit”, or joyful expression which is said to give purpose and meaning to our life. It is the light that emanates from one’s eyes and it is the joy we feel when we are in love or moved by a beautiful piece of art, or a triumph of the spirit. It is the reason I always cry when I see someone give their absolute all to something they are passionate about.
Please take a moment to experience your internal energies.
- Connect to your Jing by feeling into how your family medical history is expressed. Do you have sufficient resiliency or do you need to up your game so as to not further deplete this vital essence?
- Connect with your chi by feeling your own level of physical energy or “alive-ness” in this very moment. Did the last meal you ate give you energy or takeaway your focus?
- And now your Shen. Begin by thinking about something you have an affinity for but can’t explain why, or something that moves your heart, or an experience of compassion or grace that inspires you. This is the expression of the Shen that is the light of your heart.
How was that? Are you satisfied with your level of experience in each of your vital energy systems?
Read on to learn how you many engage deeper into each of the three energies of your body:
Learn how to maintain a deep level of relaxation in your body. When we have a relaxed body our Jing energy can flow and is strengthened. When our energy flows we are in a regenerative state and the body is able to use its intelligence to repair and recover. When we are relaxed our immune system and digestion are working at the optimal level and we feel a sense of stability and ease. When we are relaxed we are open and accepting and we can feel a unity with others, animals and the planet in general.
However when we are rigid and tense, we see the world as a hostile place and we feel our “differences” compared to others. We tend towards criticism and judgements and our bodies are in a constant state of fight or flight. Our nervous system is on high alert and we tend to feel run down most of the time.
Therefore, the first goal is to work on becoming more like the earth, welcoming each and every experience, being open and cultivating a tranquil mind and a calm body. This can be achieved in a variety of ways: prayer, meditation, moderate exercise, valuing and maintain 7-8 hours of sleep per night, receiving regular massage therapy.
To assure that you are keeping your chi strong and supported, it is essential to develop healthy habits when it comes to nourishing your body and mind. It is essential to the expression of your Chi that you feel well and healthy and that your body has the proper building blocks to run at a high level. When you organize your life and your choices around what brings you nourishment and you stop doing the things that deplete your resources you are feeding your vital Chi and you will therefore feel more alive and alert. I believe that our energy levels, our food cravings, our brain fog, our bloated and gassy bellies and faulty digestion are all indications that our bodies need more attention and care. It is important to come to understand what works for our systems and what does not.
In order for our Shen to be shining we must assure that our emotional lives are given proper attention. If you often find yourself in a chronically agitated, sad or fearful state this is an indication that your Shen is being shaded over and not able to express itself fully. It is usually at this time that we can come to terms with the reality that we want to create a more harmonious experience for ourselves we can begin a journey of emotional awareness. Once on that path we come to realize that slowly, slowly we can begin to affect change in the healthy expression of our emotions and learn to allow our Shen to find it’s expression in our lives. If this of interest to you please READ MORE about Bioenergetic-Shen Treatments and journey of self-cultivation.
“Cultivate your interior
smile and you will arrive
at the joy of life.”
—Dr. Pino Ferroni