ACH Blog

Acupuncture and the Seasons

Isobel Cosgrove - Thursday, November 07, 2013

One of the most important beliefs underlying the practice of Chinese medicine is that maintaining good health relies on us all being aware of, and becoming in tune with, the natural rhythms of the seasons.

I find myself, when working with clients, being constantly reminded of the importance of the changing energy and vitality in each different season during the year.

Traditionally, in Asia, people come for treatment at the change of the season. It is necessary to adapt our lifestyle and work/life balance to each successive seasonal energetic shift. In summer "we rise early with the sun to accompany the blossoms and fruit which lead us to the harvest of late summer". Harvest is the time to take in the generosity of the earth, the fruits of the reproductive year, the nourishment from the warmth of the sun and the fertility of the soil. If we are full of summer's wealth, then we can accept the approach of autumn, with its winds, mists and the shortening of days.

In autumn it is best to go to sleep earlier and "maintain a peaceful mind in order to mitigate the decaying effects of autumn; to restrain one's will outwardly in order to preserve the energy of the lungs (Simple Questions, Su Wen, Chapter Two). It is even more vital in winter to "conserve one's energy, protect the kidneys and adapt one's lifestyle to the season." (Giovanni Maciocia, Three Treasures News).

It is Important not to overwork and to take more rest than in other seasons. If winter is not restful and we are tired at the end of it, then it is hard to join in with the surge of energy which accompanies the beginning of spring. "The spring possesses the will to slow. In spring one should give rather than take away and praise rather than punish. This is the way of nourishing life in accordance with spring. To act to the contrary will injure the liver..."

After millennia of research and practice, Chinese Medicine shows a deep understanding of the link between natural rhythms and healthy living.

Isobel Cosgrove    

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