Energy Conservation Tips from Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine
In this interim post-holiday period, on the cusp of spring, some of us might be feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, frozen and afraid, or simply scattered and dispersed. Winter in Chinese Medicine is governed by two organ systems: the Kidney and the Bladder. These systems are related to the nervous system, the adrenaline glands, our fight-flight-freeze response, and our energy stores.
If you’re feeling depleted, dispersed, or afraid, this is an important time of year to recover your connection to yourself, to your energy (which you may have more of than you think, or which you might learn you need to rebuild) and to your personal power. This time of year invites us to anchor in and to rediscover our center of gravity: the low belly and the core of the pelvis, which house the root chakra in yoga or the ming men in acupuncture wisdom.
Cultivating presence is one of the best ways to recover your energy and your connection to your own inner strength (you are strong, I promise). One way to cultivate presence is to interrupt yourself when you feel your mind drifting or spinning out, or during those times when you feel the need to overwork, to be productive, or to distract yourself.
At times like those, STOP. Breathe. And just be. If only for a few moments or a few minutes.
You can even do this while working. Stop the spinning hamster wheel and take two breaths. Or you could even get up and walk to the bathroom. Stop. Reconnect to the moment and breathe.
Sometimes it's the moment we are in that scares us most. We imagine that we are powerless. That life is taking us on a ride. We imagine that other people are the most important factors in our happiness or lack thereof.
Remembering to stop reminds you that this is your life. That you are in charge. This realization for me is sometimes vastly uncomfortable and even scary.
Learning to be with and breathe with the uncomfortable spaces will help you regain your capacity to act from a place of wisdom rather than fear.
As we approach the ascent towards springtime, with its up and out energy, I invite you to first ground down. Stop and connect with your own experience. If it's unbearable, seek out a therapist or other professional who can help you learn to remember to stay more often in the now.
I recently took a online workshop with the acupuncturist Thea Elijah, who pointed out that a pause is future-oriented, still full of projection and imagining of the future, while a stop occurs in this very moment right now.
Sometimes we think that we are present but we’re actually projecting. We imagine that what we are feeling will last forever, that circumstances will always be as they are. But they won’t. Even if we want them to, they can’t.
Learning to hard stop and be with ourselves as we are in this instant is one of the greatest gifts we can give.
I invite you to stop and to savor what’s around you. Even if the only connection that seems valuable is a celebration of you remembering to stop. Celebrate that you are able to remember to reconnect. Make this moment sacred for yourself.