“This is the seventh article of eight about women. This article focuses more on the woman after giving birth, emotions and their focus on communication. The emotionally blind man also gets a place in this article. The angle of the article is a combination between Chinese medicine, Chinese psychology and Western science. Remember the article is provocative to stimulate growth. The references will be published on the seminars “Women and TCM”.
Welcome to read The user manual for Women part 7. Enjoy.”
生母 Shēngmǔ – Birth mother and Motherhood
When a woman becomes pregnant we find many interesting things happen. Pregnancy creates hormonal changes that will start to reprogram her “teenage brain” to become a “mother brain”. Childbirth is normally considered to be the trigger or the activator for motherly behavior or “a mom brain”. The first contact with the newborn child will reinforce the motherly behavior to become fully activated. All of the changes that occur are found in the congenital essence or in the genetic code if you prefer. This is why a woman really exists or the gender in general in this case.
Let us go back in time to the moment of the fertilization of the egg. Two weeks after the egg has been penetrated by a sperm (moment of fertilization) it connects to the mothers blood supply. In Chinese medicine this phase is not considered to be up to the mother. The birth age is 9 months, making this the first two weeks in the “babys” life. When properly connected to the blood supply of the mother, we find the woman having extra hormones excreted into her bloodstream from both her fetus and placenta; changing her teenager brain into a mother brain. A pregnancy test searches for the Human Chorinic Gonadotropin (hCG). The fetus, the placenta and some cancer tumors produce hCG, and the presence of hCG is used as an indicator for pregnancy and some forms of tumors. It is interesting to know that low levels of hCG often indicates that the fetus has problems, and that a spontaneous abortion might occur. High levels of hCG might cause nausea and preeclampsia. The amount of this hormone increases from about 5 mIU/ML at week 3 up to 117.000 mIU/ML at week 40. hCG can also be used to cause ovulation and to prepare sperm in men. Recently we also find hCG used in weight loss programs. hCG causes the loss of appetite.
One of the main hormones circulating during pregnancy is progesterone. The levels start to increase dramatically; up to 100 times. Two very interesting effects of progesterone during pregnancy is the sedating effect on the mind and the increased ability to stretch tissue. Progesterone protects the pregnant against the everyday stress of the pregnancy through its sedating effect, yininizing the body; create Damp. Pregnancy stress might be Wai (external) factors as the fetus and placenta produces huge amounts of the stress hormone cortisol; creating an elevated activity in Hun. The elevated activity in Hun might cause a mirroring in Po and an extra pressure on Shen. Elevated levels of progesterone will defeat elevated cortisol levels. Progesterone will reduce the elevated activity in Hun through promoting a free flow of liver qi. Pregnancy cortisol levels might be compared with the levels during a hard exercise. Progesterone in the pregnant body will shrink the brain in the last three months of pregnancy. The brain will regain its size during the six months after delivery. An interesting aspect here is nobody knows why! We might speculate on tradeoffs or that the brain is re-configuring itself to get maternal circuits; a brain 2.0 upgrade. As we have mentioned the progesterone levels increases up 100 times during the first four months or so. Since progesterone works a little like valium the pregnant will therefore get more tired than normal and develop a Qi xu state; fatigue.
The next interesting point in pregnancy is the actual delivery or the birth. When the child is sufficiently developed he sends a signal to the mother that it is time to get out. How this happens is still a partial mystery. Progesterone levels drop quickly, but oxytocin increases dramatically. Oxytocin helps the woman getting contractions to maturate the cervix, prepare the birth channel and finally to give birth to the baby. The hormones might be compared with the aspect of Tiangui. Another central function to the oxytocin is the activation of the neural receptors and – their new connections creating a woman with a brain 3.0 upgrade. If you have a caesarian section you are likely to miss the upgrade to 3.0 and miss the extra sensitivity in the sensorial nervous system well blended with maternal aggression and spatial abilities; you are left with a brain 2.5 upgrade. All this “brain upgrades” is to protect the infant from external dangers and prepare the mother to rear a child. When a woman has contact with a child we find her to get an increase in her blood oxytocin levels. Oxytocin will create a strong motherly behavior through its stimulation of Yin qi. Basic motherly behavior is normally seen as behavior that is protective toward the child and attentive toward the needs of the child. Nature maintains elevated levels of oxytocin in the mother to protect the child through her constant contact with the child and through breast feeding. Mothers are better hunters and remember paths/ directions better than non-mothers. Congenital essence is a central aspect in this development and the activated aspects are easily traceable and very visible.
Brain scans show us that a mother and her affection for her child to be close to identical as for the love between the parents, indicating that this is a deep chemical connection. Love is related to Heart zang and Shen. Her Yang state in Heart zang makes her psychic qi Yang charged. As a result she will have more activity and movement in her life. Nurturing an infant might create the same reactions in the female body as an orgasm! This indicates that orgasm and the orgasm sensation is a part of a motivation system or – mechanism. Orgasm provides our body with motivation for continuing an activity that is deeply founded in our congenital essence by our ancestors. Mothers gave breast because it felt good. Their children survived, and children of mothers that did not breast feed died more frequent. Evolution through surviving offspring created a type of selection of for the mothers that breast feed. Perhaps it were a coincident that some women far behind in our history discovered that they felt well when they breastfed their child, the child survived and secured this hormonal effect for future mothers. Slowly, slowly all started to breastfeed.
Another interesting connection is the increased secretion of dopamine (pleasure and reward chemical) when oxytocin and estrogen is high. This is exactly the same that happens after an orgasm or a very intimate conversation. Some men might state that this is the reason why women like speaking and do not need sex. Breast feeding will also make oxytocin, dopamine, and prolactin flow into the system, and thereby gives a sensation of pleasure and relaxation in the mother; increased psychic qi and a free flow of liver qi. The back side of breast feeding is a sensation of over-relaxation. The breastfeeding mother might get a problem with keeping her mental focus and become absentminded or Damp as we call this condition in Chinese medicine. A comfort for absentminded or “Foggy” breast feeding mothers is that when she stop breast feeding her child she will go back to her normal sharpness again. The Damp will go away at once the woman stop breastfeeding.
Always remember that the mothers nurturing methods will be passed on to her child. This passing on is called epigenetic or nongenomic and acquired essence in Chinese medicine. Epigenetic mean that this is in addition to the genes, our congenital essence. We might say that how you take care of your daughter will be the way she take care for your grandchild in the future. Providing a child with bad care will create a more stressed, fearful and less attentive adult when the child grows up. Lowering the psychic qi and activating a Fang wei (defense mechanism), normally the four F´s; Fear, Flight, Feed and Fuck. Some also like to add Tend and Befriend to this list. It is not problem for the child to have another person that is not family to provide the care, but then we need to remember that they will become the role model for the child. We also need to remember that the care from blood related is more protective than from externals. Stepfathers and stepmothers will care much less about the security of the child than others. Our congenital essence will not permit us to care altruistically for others offspring; our genetics acts unconsciously. Humans are very practical when arranging their mothering investment in their own children, and often we find others given responsibility over their children. “The others” might be kinder garden, school, grandparents and parents of other children in the same age. Remember a caregiver or substitute caregiver is a nurturing person, and not necessarily the actual parent. The most important aspect for the child are actually a predictability in the nurturing, its regularity, but never forget the safety measures. Not that the non-blood related cares or not – the attention is not that sharp. A child depends on food and that somebody provide them with a sensation of love. The care need to be given all the time, and not just sometimes or irregularly. If a child experience irregularity in Nutrition or Love then the levels of cortisol (“stress hormone”) will rise and the levels of oxytocin (“comfort hormone”) will be reduced in the bloodstream. When the external environment creates irregularities for the mother (out of her control) we find her to develop fearfulness, anxiety and to become timid. As I commented before, what we are speaking about is an increased activity in Hun that activates Fang wei. Beside Hun we also find that the actual storage of the congenital essence, our kidney essence, in kidney zang to provide additional Fang wei as anxiety and fear.
When the mother (the caretaker) experiences difficulties, then her child tend to become depressed. When a child stay close to the mother and manifest a reduced interest in the external world we might have a mother in problems. A Yin mother creates Yin problems in the child. As a result the child starts living in Yin and as Yin. These children almost never play with other children or explore anything. Where the mother is, the child is. What the mother is, the child become. The child mirror the mother; Fang wei. We know from research that during the first years of life a child is mentally programmed by its surroundings. Due to the Fang wei (defense mechanism) the child become a Fan she (reflextion) of the mother through its Fan ying (mirroring) of the mother. If a child is a victim of unpredictability we find the chances for that child to continue living their life extremely closely connected to their mothers very high. Today we understand that predictability is more important than most other factors in childrearing. Of course, the presence of resources like money, food and emotional support should not be forgotten neither.
A mother is mentally programmed to monitor her child from her congenital essence. When her child leaves home, many mothers feel uncomfortable since they cannot monitor their child (now adult) anymore, making the mother experience panic-like emotions. Panic is in Chinese psychology related to the triangle Liver-Heart-Kidney. Normally we address panic as an extreme variation of Fear and Anxiety, a Yang state in kidney zang; often a Kidney yin xu. Panic might be related to the Kidney-Spleen relations as panic can be related to worries and obsessive thoughts, a Yang state in spleen zang; often a Spleen yin xu. If panic occurs in the prolongation of traumas, abuse or something that changed the self-esteem, we might consider Lung zang to be the origin of panic; a Yang state in lung zang. If the panic is related to a type of aggression we might include Liver zang; often a Liver qi stagnation due to an increased activity in Hun. Bottom end, we find panic to be related to Shen; the mental aspect of Heart zang. Shen fails in controlling the emotions. Then the emotions run wild and the result is panic. No matter the relation is anger, excessive worry, fear, grief or anxiety; Shen failed! When Shen fails we find the psychic qi circulate strangely, accumulates and gives panic; an extreme flight response. Just to have underlined it, many organs might provoke panic, but Shen and a weak psychic qi are always present. The reason to the failure in Shen might be multiple. Some mothers develop a pathological obsession for their own child that might last for years. Never forget that women’s emotional reality is distinct and cannot be understood completely by a man.
情感 Qínggǎn Emotions
Women are the champion speaking about emotions. Let us look a little closer into this chapter of female behavior. First women mimic others; they are masters of Fan ying and Fan she. If another person does something you might suspect a woman to mimic that something. They use a confirmative strategy when responding to others and when they interact.
Women wish to balance Yin/ Yang in all their interactions. Fronting an important person women most likely copy the major expressions of person, Fan ying (mirroring). This might be observed in how the woman uses her eyes and accommodate her facial muscles. Mirroring of respiration and posture accommodation is observed more frequent than other aspects in women, Fan she (reflection). Women absorb information from the other person, sending this information to the brain to scan for similar experiences, and then they respond accordingly. It is postulated that men have less mirror neurons than women, and that makes women better in Fan ying. Interestingly enough women often know what a man feels before the man knows it himself; demonstrating her superior abilities in identifying and copying emotions – mirroring. She will observe and find tiny little details in the man and check for the corresponding emotion. Then she listens to what he says and sees what he actually does. Finally she will analyze his congruence, and look for incongruence. Creating her as both an Emotional-detector AND a Human lie-detector. If a man say one thing and his body say something else, the woman is likely to spot this incongruence; to all men out there… She will find out! Non-verbal signals are clues from the mind that normally should correspond with the verbalization. Women might have problems with telling what exactly is incongruent since this is more a gut feeling of something wrong. In short, a woman might spot a lie, but she has problems in explaining why it is a lie. Perhaps my favorite TV-series “Lie to me” had something truth inside its episodes.
The congruence factor might be seen as one of the most important factors in the life of women. She defines a friend as a person whom she experience emotional congruence with; sameness. Women will try to establish congruence with others present, close friends will be given priority. Psychotherapy is founded on emotional congruence as a key element in conversation; feel the same as the patient then you pull him out. Women have this ability naturally by birth; some more than others. The essence is simply that women got more of – and more active mirror neurons. Due to that they observe situations and connect better than men. Women copy movements, expressions and postures of others, and compare everything with the spoken words. They also search for personal feeling and triangulate, meaning compare the positions (the copied), the verbalized (the words spoken) and their own personal feeling (the emotion felt). With that as the basis they develop an idea about emotions, trueness and what is really happening. Chinese psychology calls this 预见 Yùjiàn or the female intuition. The origin to Yujian is the congenital essence, but the ability depends on different mental aspects. A woman will connect the five mental aspects to monitor others and look for congruence to create her Jujian. Women will feel what others feel; they live permanently connected to others brains and experience what that distinct other brains experience. Women for example never ask: “Why are you crying?” This is a male question; Women know!
Men are normally emotionally short sighted, and require longer time to analyze emotions. Men will never improve this short sightedness, and optics to cure this does not exist. This is a great source for frustration for women, and close to impossible to understand for them. They think the man are playing with them, stupid or thinking about something else, and that activates the female brain. Women put emotions on the agenda and men try to hide them (take them away). Women speak about what they feel, and men want to be left alone with their feelings, PRIVATE feelings. Women are Yin and men are Yang. Women are very emotional and conversation minded – Yang. Men are less emotional and like less conversation – Yin. In other words, women are Yin in their body and Yang in mind. Men are Yang in body and Yin in mind.
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