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In order to continue our mission of popularizing and demystifying Qigong, here is our latest addition in the form of a Qigong blog. And since Qigong is one of the modalities of Chinese medicine some articles will be about Chinese medicine generally. We hope you enjoy it. And feel free to comment :)
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ARE YOUR CLOTHES KILLING YOU?

They say that “clothes really maketh the man”, sure they can. But according to Chinese medicine this statement is incomplete. Clothes can either really make a man sick or they can help keep him/her healthy. So many people go through life dying to look a certain way for the sake of fashion, even if it kills them. How many times have I heard women say, “the things we do for fashion”. They wear from “so called” really attractive shoes that are too high, tight and very uncomfortable to really tight bras and corsets for example. The only problem is, they don’t even know they are putting themselves to great risk of ill health.

Apart from what common sense tells us, which is to wear sensible clothes such as when the weather is cold, we protect ourselves from it by staying dry and warm with extra clothing. But, what we don’t realise is that clothes that are restricting can be very detrimental to our health. Because our life energy (qi or chi) flows through many meridians or channels throughout the body, if one or more meridians become blocked it can cause problems to our overall wellbeing.

However, when qi is in balance it flows uninterrupted and maintains a healthy life process, hence protecting the body from disease. Here are a couple of examples of what can happen if the flow of certain meridians have been blocked from incorrect clothing.

The Liver Meridian

The flow of energy that is referred to as the “liver meridian” in Chinese medicine starts at the big toe, passes through the inside of the leg, stomach up to the ribs and then ends at the liver. Now just because this meridian is called the “liver meridian” it does not necessarily mean that if its energy flow is restricted it will only affect the liver. It can also cause sight problems, tendon problems, high blood pressure, epilepsy and stroke to name a few.

The Kidney Meridian

If problem is with the kidney meridian that resulted from tight clothing, other health problems may occur. This meridian begins at the soles of the feet, passes through the inner legs, up through the middle part of the stomach, the front portion of the chest and then branches out to the kidneys with the branch going to the tongue. So if this meridian is in any way blocked, apart from causing kidney problems it may also cause a sore or stiff back, especially the lower back, hearing difficulties, bone and bone marrow problems, hair loss and premature greying.

Usually the above-mentioned problems manifest themselves when the 
tight fitting garment has been worn for a long time, such as months or years. But sometimes they would occur even after a couple of days. A typical example is with some married couples who have worn the same wedding rings for twenty or more years even though, in some cases, the size of their finger had doubled in size. They could not remove it because it had cut into the skin of the finger. As the majority of people wear their rings on the ring finger which covers the “Triple heater” meridian, as a result, many people end up with problems such as migraine, hearing problems, gall bladder and shoulder problems to name a few. When many of us get sick and we or our doctors don’t realise that it’s our clothes that are killing us, we immediately run from place to place getting tested and examined and we end up having our symptoms attended to without any concern for the underlying cause. So next time you feel some sort of ailment coming on, strip down naked and take a long hard look in the mirror for any traces of tight clothing - and be aware that if you see it, yet not necessarily feel it, that can be most damaging because it happens unknowingly when you wear those clothes regularly over a long period of time.
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