This is a post about calming the mind, which for most of us here in the West, means reducing the amount of stressors in our lives.
In Tibetan medicine, Lung means wind which has to do with nervous energy or excess anxiety (when it increases beyond a reasonable amount). So for those of us, which turns out to be most Westerners, who have excess Lung or Lung disorders, then this post is for you. By the way, Lung seems to correlate strongly with excess Vata energy from the Ayurveda system
So what do Tibetan doctors (or Ayurveda) recommend for a Lung disorder?
Tibetan doctors (amchis) recommend several things for this condition: eating less of the following or avoiding – sugar, grilled (or roasted) foods, spicy food, raw onions, no apple juice; and they recommend that if I am feeling at all anxious, then exertion is out of the question as this will only exacerbate the issue. Plus they recommend doing calm, relaxed activities which keep my stress levels down – this part is a no brainer – I bet this goes for everyone – if you want to be cool calm and collected, then do peaceful activities! Duh… But they also recommend that I do meditation or Dharma practice that relaxes me as well as prostrations (if I want to exercise, here is my choice apparently, especially if I am stressed).
Tibetan doctors also recommend that I eat heavier (oily) foods, cooked foods rather than raw and soups over dry foods. Warmer is better than cooler foods.
What I have also observed is that too much time in front of screens – TV’s, computers, etc – increases my Lung. And now that I am in school, spending too much time pushing myself through books and studying also can increase it. What I am trying to say is that I tend to get Lung-y by doing anything for too long – anything that is besides resting, doing sky-gazing meditations or just sitting. So when I procrastinate and get sucked into a sudoku puzzle book or start reading the tempting murder mysteries for hours on end… that is when the symptoms arise. The key is for me to recognize signs that I am at my limit – feeling rushed, anxious or very restless. So I really just try to relax my mind – I guess like the Dzogchen masters of late recommended – just allow the true nature of my being shine forth. Well I’m trying, but my tendency to excess and extremes is deeply ingrained. But with mindfulness and an earnest desire to walk the middle way, I am making small improvements.
I wonder if making little adjustments is what I need? Such as being aware of how tightly I am squeezing the steering wheel, or leaving a touch earlier so that I can walk at a leisurely pace. I do wonder if relaxing my mind has to do with relaxing my body – and any conscious little changes I can make for the better seem to help.
Updated – a brief addition: I recalled that there are several remedies which I have found work wonders on an anxious and worried mind. One has to do with Tibetan medicine – but they actually make tea which benefits people like me – Lung Tea (pronounced Loong that is) as well as Lung Incense. I have found positive results from both of those, and the incense is not too strong. Plus there is a magnesium powder which helps. First though, before taking magnesium I would strongly encourage everyone to check with a qualified health professional – at least talk to a nutritionist about it. For me, I know that my medical astrology chart shows that I can benefit from it (a plethora of Uranus transits), so I take a little with hot water when I need it, which turns out to be once or twice a month on average.