It may sound strange, but setting healthy boundaries can actually improve your digestion and fertility, according to Chinese medicine.
Many of the women I treat who struggle to conceive also have several food sensitivities and/or digestion issues. These women also tend to be what we call Earth-type people in Chinese medicine. However, all of us have Earth energy, no matter what our type.
According to Chinese medicine, each of us is made up of the five elements: Earth, Fire, Metal, Water, and Wood. Each element corresponds to a different organ system in the body.
The Earth element rules the digestion. Symbolically, the Earth element represents how we “digest” the world around us, in all aspects.
When there is an imbalance in Earth energy, one of the ways this imbalance can manifest is by not being able to discern between “self” and “other” when foreign bodies enter into a woman’s system such as food or the DNA of her partner when trying to conceive.
Both of these instances are examples of “digesting” the world around her.
On a cellular level, and on a mental/emotional/spiritual level, the person with this Earth imbalance does not have clear boundaries about who she is, and so her body treats everything as an invader.
If you’re familiar with the western medicine world, this probably sounds similar to the functioning of autoimmune diseases, where the immune system “overacts” and treats everything like a pathogen, even itself.
From a Chinese medicine point of view, the immune system is not overacting, it has simply lost its ability to differentiate between self and other.
So, how does one improve the body’s ability to differentiate between self and other in order to interact harmoniously with foreign particles of food or a fertilized egg containing someone else’s DNA?
By setting healthy boundaries.
You are your cells. Everything that happens on the macro level, also happens on a micro level, and vice versa.
In other words, if you are constantly putting other’s needs ahead of your own, if you are unclear about or have a hard time standing up for your beliefs, or if you can’t say no, then your cells are equally wishy-washy about where you end and where something or someone else begins.
If this sounds like you, try asking yourself these questions below and journaling about the answers that come to you. The first step of changing any pattern or habit is self-awareness.
As you begin to set healthy boundaries, your cells will, too.
Healthy Boundary Self-Inquiry Questions:
What beliefs define me?
What gives me a grounded sense of self?
Do I worry more than I act?
Do I care for others at my own expense?
Can I say no to others?
What actions do I perform based on the expectations of others?
What makes me most anxious, and what do I do when I feel anxious?
Special thanks to my mentor, Randine Lewis L.Ac., who passionately teaches and practices these life-changing Chinese medicine principles.
Registration opens on January 18th for all three of my Whole Woman online programs.
If you’ve been trying to conceive, if you want to have a healthy pregnancy, or balance your hormones and release weight, join the waiting list for Fertile Woman, Pregnant Woman, or Wonder Woman and get instant access to free sneak peeks of each program.
Photo: Lisa Rundall Photography
Outfit styling: Hirs & Co
Daoist Five Element diagram from fiveringswellness.blogspot.com