We need to listen

There is a pandemic of frightening proportions in the news lately. Every-time I hear a story about it I cringe. What makes this particular, deadly pandemic all the sadder is that unlike cancer, or a motor vehicle accident this tragedy is avoidable! The tragedy I speak of is suicide, or as the French refer to it, self murder. Then, adding to the terrible pain of this is the fact that many of these victims are persons who serve as first responders! Or, have in the past served this country in the armed forces, putting their lives on the line to defend us! That these heroic men and women fall into such utter despair is a travesty.

As many of you are aware, before undertaking this career path as an Acupuncture Physician I worked for years as an RN, certified as a Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse. Obviously, working with persons who suffered with depression, and contemplated suicide went with the territory. One of the aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine that helped sway me from my role as an RN was the way in which this venerable medicine never differentiated the Psyche from the Soma. It has always recognized the inter-relatedness of our emotional, or spiritual selves and our physical beings.

For example, one facet of depression is often terrible fatigue. I often refer to it as the great thief. It can rob your energy, your passion, and certainly your joy! In Chinese Medicine there’s a point on the Stomach meridian that ‘supports the upright Qi’ Gives strength and stamina to the body. Allows a person to stand firm, even in the face of adversity, or as I’ve been known to say, ‘when life throws shit in the game’.

Persons contemplating suicide often say they are overwhelmed, can’t think clearly, cannot see a way out. Again, in Chinese medicine every organ system opens to a sensory orifice, the Liver opens to the eyes. When the Qi, or vital energy of this meridian is stuck, or not flowing it becomes stagnant. A simple treatment focused on coursing the Liver Qi allows it once again to flow, allowing fresh Qi and Blood to nourish and restore one’s vision. And, serendipitously, the Liver’s partner (think Yin and Yang) is the Gallbladder … the gift of the Gallbladder is Courage! We all know it takes courage to face adversity!

Pain is real, I know it is. I am not minimizing the terrible angst a man or woman are experiencing when they contemplate taking their life. What I am saying is I want to help. If you are a first responder, or have served in the military, and are in this terrible black hole please reach out. Be guided by this thread of optimism rather than this ominous fear. I see the second chance you so richly deserve, even if you don’t