Monday, March 08, 2010

It's the herbs, man

I am feeling so much better in the last couple of weeks. This semester (trimester actually, as there's 3 of them in the year, but as an infertile, I hate that damn word) has been so damn HARD. I have been battling crushing exhaustion for 8 full weeks, which is even worse than when I first started at school. I was getting miserable, crying in my yoga classes out of the suckiness of it all, and generally living in a disgusting pig sty because I didn't have the energy to clean. And now I'm finally crawling out of the pit. The house is slowly becoming respectable again, and I have energy left over to do more than simply exist.

Of course, a lot of it is just getting accustomed to the new schedule, which is a lot tougher this year and involves a lot more standing while working in the clinic, which is hard when you're used to sitting on your butt all day. Some of the improvement is diet-related - eating more fruit, not letting myself get quite so dehydrated while working in the school clinic (yay for coconut water), and stepping up the protein intake. [Sadly, I have not cut back on the chocolate intake, but you can't do everything at once.] But some of it I think is herb-related. I have got back on a regimen of tonifying herbs, and also herbs to help my immune system. And that's got me really excited about herbal medicines again, because I definitely feel like they are working and giving me a boost. Prior to deciding on studying acupuncture, I had briefly considered studying herbs, but there didn't seem to be any formal recognized training programs for "western" herbs. So I figured I'd study the Chinese herbs, and then try to supplement my knowledge after graduation. But then school intervened, I got a bit disheartened about the sheer amount of memorization that studying herbs would require, and I got a bit annoyed about the teaching methods. The herb classes are, to be honest, boring and uninspiring.

But now I have some more energy going through me, I like to dip into the herbal textbooks at random and read about the herbs. And it amazes me that people found out so much. Not just that they tried to eat every plant known to man (because if you're starving, you would). But that they tried all the different parts of the plants - some of them have different actions in the body depending on whether you are taking the root, the leaves, the fruit, the bark, etc. And then tried cooking them different ways, and realized some have different actions depending on how they are prepared. Man, those people must have been in tune with their bodies. I mean, nowadays would we even recognize the action that a herb is having on us? There's no way that we'd be able to sift out the different responses from all the daily "noise" of living. And the other thing I find amazing is that we still haven't figured out all the compounds that are present in some of these plants.

Then I go off into little reveries about how stunning it is that here we are, on this planet, and soemone provided us with all these different plants that can help cure our ailments. That there are all these substances out there that can help us if we only would try them. Makes you start thinking about the existence of God all over again.

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