By David Derdiger, L.Ac.
Image by Annie Spratt
After the long, cold and dry winter, the yang of the sun overtakes the yin of darkness, the soil begins to thaw, and from it emerges the first wildflowers of spring. This is a joyous sign, one of warmer and brighter days ahead, though it also heralds the blooming of other flora and gives rise to the myriad types of pollen that act as allergens for so many.
As the northern hemisphere gets its time in the sun, that which has dwelled beneath the surface, benevolent or not, gains new life and springs forth. This is the time that not only violets rise from the earth, but that which has laid dormant within us comes to the fore. Many chronic illnesses and forms of pain, repressed memories and emotional issues can bubble or flare up during this time alongside the green new growth. As these challenges from within begin to occupy our bodies and minds, let us not see them as harbingers of doom, but as opportunities to listen to our depths and (re)discover our needs.
If challenging emotions or mental struggles tend to arise during this time and therapy has been a part of your routine in the past, take a proactive approach and revisit some of the tools you learned from previous sessions; maybe even book a prophylactic visit with your therapist to stay ahead of the wave. If you have a chronic illness or pain condition that worsens around this time, recall your triggers and resources and either be ready to avoid those triggers or have a plan in place for what to do if symptoms begin to worsen.
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine claims that the smooth flow of qi is paramount to staving off illness and pain. As the great emergence of spring unfolds, anywhere in our bodies and minds that harbors stagnation becomes a potential sticking point and a possible origin of future disease or disharmony. Engaging in regular and appropriate (to your body’s condition) movement and exercise is vital to realizing the body-mind unity and keeping open the channels used by acupuncturists for diagnosis and treatment. All the nutrients, waste, and information that moves through the body passes through these channels; they must be kept open, with their contents moving to maintain health and prevent disease.
Embrace the change that spring offers us. Ground yourself in the quiet contemplation earned through winter, and strengthen your roots in your community so that you can branch out and take on new challenges, both from within and without.
David Derdiger, L.Ac.
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