How Walking May Improve Difficult Conversations


As new parents in a global pandemic Jillian and I have found that it is not possible to avoid disagreements—in fact even as non-parents outside of any pandemic it is not possible to avoid disagreements. Such naivete might be equated to the hope that we can somehow avoid disappointment in life. Disagreement, disappointment, getting dissed, basically all of the undesirables of existence, seem inevitable, and as Zen philosophy teaches, it is only how we react to it that is in our control.


Just as each organ in Chinese Medicine is associated with a season, a time of day, a body part, a five element, and emotion, there is also an associated MOVEMENT. While this may sound like an outlandish reach from a biomedical perspective, in fact it translates quite easily with very little thought.


The “spleen qi” translates as the microbiome, and the movement of the spleen (or lack thereof) is to be seated. Sitting while we eat and for the initial stage after is known to optimize digestion. Conversely, excessive sitting is known to “deplete the spleen,” or in biomedical terms, an overly sedentary lifestyle weakens the microbiome and leads to weight gain and inflammation.


The “kidney qi” might translate as adrenal and hormonal strength, and the movement of the kidneys is to stand. Strong kidney qi and/or hormonal health equals strong bones, and we know that a lack of standing in life can lead to osteoporosis, osteopenia, and all kinds of bone depletion. Conversely, excessive standing is known to “deplete the kidneys,” or in biomedical terms exhaust the adrenals and low back, both of which are also exhausted by working nights, which is why we should all have great sympathy for waiters and waitresses and tip well!


The “liver” is most associated with healthy circulation and our stress responses, and its movement is walking. “Walk it off” is more than a cliché, but in fact bears great scientific logic, as it becomes easier to manage anger, irritability, or any form of hyper-excitability while the body is in motion. Ever been in a nerve-racking situation like a job interview or first date and felt like you just needed to move? That is the qi of your liver channel.


If you have to have a difficult conversation with someone it is easier to do so skillfully while out for a walk. If you have to remain inside on the phone simply pace around your apartment during the talk. It will help to circulate the liver qi so that your delivery and reactions can be calmer. The good news is, if you happen to have a baby they have to go out for walks every damn day anyway, so it’s a nice two bird with one stone.


To find out more about how Chinese Medicine might smooth out your liver qi and improve healthy communication, CLICK HERE for your FREE CONSULTATION!

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