Walking the middle path
Eva Inglizian - Contributor
As an acupuncturist, I view health through the lens of traditional Chinese medicine and know the importance of exercise as part of my holistic lifestyle. I've enjoyed hiking my whole life and now, with my little ones in preschool, I have a few extra hours to get back on the trails.
Hiking is the ideal workout for anyone, regardless of age or fitness level. Gear your hikes to your own constitutional health and desires. Let's look at how hiking can help detoxify your liver, strengthen your heart, and rejuvenate your adrenals on some of my favorite local trails.
Hiking gets your liver qi or energy moving. In traditional Chinese medicine, the liver is responsible for the smooth flow of our energy and our emotions too. When your liver is happy and healthy you are calm and have a clear mind. During the hot summer months I can get a bit irritable due to liver qi stagnation, with the many demands of being a mother and small business owner. It takes just a few minutes to completely escape and go over the Cuesta Grade to cool down on Reservoir Canyon Trail. The abundant shady foliage and sweet sound of water trickling over river rocks is meditative and soothing and quickly settles my stagnant liver energy. Emotions are released as the liver energy softens. Take note of what may come up for you, whether it's outburst of joyful laughter, or shedding a tear or two. The rhythmic movement of my body as I navigate over the natural contours of the earth gently massage my internal organs, especially my liver, squeezing out toxic residues. I notice my hiking glow.
To get my blood pumping I trek up Bishop's Peak. A challenging one- hour hike to the top leaves me sweating and breathing hard. I'm cleaning my arteries of any stagnant build up and firming my gluts and quads. As I take in the 360 degree view I embrace the adrenaline elixir that intoxicates my mind and body.
Out of my back door and down Pozo Road is the beautiful Rinconada Trail. Being so close to home it makes for a convenient hike if I'm pinched for time. The Rinconada Trail is dotted with ancient oaks, red manzanitas, mountain sage, and at this time of year I can still catch clusters of colorful wildflowers that paint the landscape. I inhale fresh morning air as the misty ocean fog gracefully spills over the mountains from the coast.
A pressure point on the soles of my feet is stimulated by my continuous footsteps over the gravely path. The pressure point activates my Kidney energy which is comparable to my adrenals. Kidney energy becomes depleted with age, stress and overwork. I become grounded to mother earth and my Kidney energy is nourished. I visual my hike as a natural anti-aging tonic.
Enjoy your hiking adventures and let me know what trail you'll be on next.
For more information on traditional Chinese medicine and to book an appointment with Eva Inglizian L.Ac. call 805-400-9095.