Stay Healthy This Spring
A question that I frequently hear in my practice lately is how to stay healthy as we transition from the cold, stagnant winter season to the vibrant, chilly spring. Chinese Medicine's got you covered. Here’s how I’m helping myself shake off the winter (literally) and reunite with the fresh energy of spring.
Scarves! Protect yourself against the wind (which carries “pathogens” like cold and flu virus or COVID) by bundling up. In Chinese Medicine just like Western Medicine, pathogens enter through the orifices, mouth, nose, eyes, but in Chinese Medicine there’s an additionally vulnerable place that you want to keep covered-your neck. Ever start feeling sick and notice that you have a stiff neck and upper back? This spring keep the nape of your neck covered with a scarf or sweater to help avoid illness.
Water. I say this almost every season as a means to stay well but, seriously, please drink water. Spring is the season associated with flexibility and with the tendons and ligaments which I’m guessing have tightened for those of us who’ve been mostly indoors. Stay hydrated to flush out the winter doldrums and to bring new flexibility and possibility into your body and spirit.
Shaking. This is a weird one but stick with me. Have you been feeling that pent-up cabin fever bordering on rage as we approach the true start of spring? Shake it out. Either Taylor Swift style (sorry, couldn’t help myself) by gently bopping around to your favorite song or try this qigong shaking exercise to help move the winter stagnation out of your system so that you can feel free-flowing internally.
Stretching. Yes, most of us are feeling extra tight from the cold. And when we harden, it’s hard to connect with our own suppleness and adaptability as we transition into a brand new cycle of the seasons. So please stretch! As a reminder, I’m still teaching at 7am on Tuesdays for Studio 34 (a shorter 45-minute class for $6-12 you choose) and 7:30am on Wednesdays on Zoom. Wednesday mornings are donation-based. Email me if you need the Zoom link.
Seeding. This is a great time of year to start a garden, get a new plant, or just generally connect with nature. This is also a perfect time of year to plant some seeds on a spirit-level. With spring being a brand new cycle of the year in Chinese Medicine (and the start of the lunar calendar), go ahead and set yourself up for a positive habit. Seed your intention (maybe it’s being kinder and you start by writing a thank you note to someone you love) by bringing your intention (for the next month, next season, or even the next year) into action.
I’m seeding my intention to be stronger, and more centered, by designating April as “Abs month” in my yoga classes. I’ve been sort-of lazy in teaching abs work so I’m picking that intention up again. It doesn’t exactly sound fun but I know it will be meaningful and it will definitely help me burn off the congestion of wintertime.
Many of the patients I work with have been reporting fatigue and feeling draggy or heavy, which is totally normal at this time of year. We’re moving from the depths of our being into a more social, active, flowy time of the year. Try one of the exercises above and let me know how you feel. Drop me a line.
Need support in seeding? In setting positive habits that will help you grow? A Telemedicine “Self-care Strategy Session” can help you identify obstacles and find some space to maneuver. Email me to schedule.