You probably have already been feeling spring’s arrival. As the crocuses and daffodils are coming out, our bodies are awakening from the winter slumber. In winter, we tend to be less active, huddled inside from the cold or weighted down by layers of clothing. In spring, we fill the streets, clean out our homes, and usually become more physically active.
In Chinese Medicine, spring is associated with new growth, like the flexible green twigs that spout from trees. For better health, we can emphasize this quality in our own bodies, to be flexible and free-flowing. This is a challenge amongst the demands of modern life, which impact us both physically and emotionally.
Pain and injury affects our tendons and ligaments and muscles and joints, and we may have other health problems which challenge the ability to enjoy spring. And then there may be the pressures of work, relationships, politics, and urban life in general which affect us emotionally and physically. It’s not uncommon to become more easily aggravated during the spring. We also can do plenty now to improve our well-being.
Here are a few ways that you can optimize your health this spring:
- Take an easy walk, at a moment when there is no haste to reach a destination, and breathe in the air as it nurtures the entire body.
- If you are just beginning to exercise, take it on gradually as you allow your body to adapt.
- If you are having trouble getting motivated for exercise, avoid getting stuck wondering what is the best activity for you: Just do something that you enjoy that incorporates moving your body.
- Wherever you go, open your eyes and really look around, up and down, far and near. In Chinese Medicine, the spring favors the eyes, and they too need some exercise.
- Avoid unnecessary conflict. Conflict is part of life and sometimes unavoidable, but too much anger can impact the smooth flow of spring energy and affect our health.
- Go to a farmer’s market and see what is in season. Many young green plants, like pea shoots, leeks and green onions are beneficial in the spring. By integrating these things into what we eat, it brings our bodies more into harmony with the spring season.
This is also a good time to come in for acupuncture, to address any pain or health issues, to relieve stress, or to get a tune-up to better prevent illness. I believe that the best medicine is how we treat ourselves. Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can facilitate this, by opening blocks and encouraging homeostasis, allowing your body to better heal itself. Helping you feel better so that you can better achieve your goals.
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