New Years Resolution Part 1 – Thinking and the Intellect (Yi)

New Year Resolution Part 1

As new year fast approaches, many of us will ponder the good ‘ol New Years Resolution…here is a TCM take on how our body approaches decisions, will power and change.

Chinese Medicine views our body in an entirely unique way, and our thinking, emotions and mental functions are not exempt from this system. A feature of Chinese medicine is the strong link between the physical body – our organs (Zang-Fu), Energy (Qi), Blood (Xue) etc, and mental functions like decision making and will power.

Likewise, emotions and mental functions in a non-benefitial state can affect the associated bodies organs, resulting in disease.

A simple example here is thinking – in Chinese medicine, thinking is the Intellect (Yi) and the negative “emotion” associated with thinking is Pensiveness. In health, thinking is needed to problem solve, to work through issues, and should be accompanied by other activities such as decision making and exercising judgement.

Thinking in a disease state is pensiveness, or worry – where thoughts are going around without control or restraint. Worry can take a person to a place of thinking that transcends facts and actual reality into a place that dwells on “what-if’s” and unlikely scenarios. Thinking and pensiveness belong to the Spleen organ. The Spleen’s function is to digest thoughts as well as digest food.

Pensiveness and worry can damage the Spleen energy resulting in poor appetite or no appetite (or sometimes a large, out of control appetite) bloating, abdominal distention or dull-achy pain and diarrohea.

If some or all of these symptoms are things you experience, then Chinese Medicine practitioners can address these things which will help strengthen your Spleen energy, affecting both your physical body and emotional state.
A poor diet (see my other posts about what TCM thinks is a good diet) can also damage the Spleen energy and cause emotions like worry to be exacerbated. Weak Spleen Energy certainly makes it very hard for the body to have good, clear thinking.
Thinking is the start of making a good new years resolution. You need to know what you want, why you want it before you get to the will power and plan to make it happen.
Ways to enhance good thinking in Chinese Medicine is to
  • pay attention to what you eat. Eating less / eating lighter before periods of thinking and study will help have a clearer mind. Generally eating regular meals, not overeating and steering away from sugar and dampening foods (fatty, greasy) will help the Spleen function best in digesting thoughts and foods. WATCH THE VIDEO ABOUT HEALTHY DIET HERE.
  • use mindfulnes practices to focus and clear your mind before you start planning

Read part Two 


Marie Hopkinson is a Chinese Medicine Practitioner, Practicing from her clinic in North Perth, WA- METRO HEALTH AND MEDICINE. Marie can be consulted for appointments, while in-person is preferred, Email /phone consultations can be arranged. Marie has been practicing since 2000, completing initial 3-year course in Chinese Medicine at the Perth Academy of Natural Therapies in WA. Marie has been to China for additional training in the Hangzhou Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital (Hangzhou Shi Zhong Yi Yuan) twice as well as completing a Master of International Health at Curtin University in 2006. Marie is passionate about the effective practice and understanding of Chinese Medicine and enjoys the opportunity to educate patients about the benefits of self-help aspects such as diet therapy, as well as teaching Chinese Medicine at the Endeavour College of Natural Health.

For more info about booking an appointment with Marie CLICK HERE.

For more info about conditions treated with Acupuncture, and Chinese Herbal Medicine CLICK HERE.

As with any health problem, we recommend seeking appropriate medical attention, professional diagnosis and immediate emergency help if you have undiagnosed pain or symptoms particularly if the symptoms are escalating (getting worse and worse). If you see a practitioner at Metro health and Medicine they may also refer you to a western medicine doctor (GP or hospital) as appropriate. This blog is not intended to replace a medical treatment or consultation.