Spring is Here!

Purple IrisEvery year here in New England Spring is slow to start. This year has been the same. Until this week we’ve had cold nights and warmer days. In fact, every morning last week there was a frost blanketing my front yard. This week everything is in full regalia ~ the magnolias, the forsythia and new leaves are filling the trees. When I walk through the woods, I can see what’s popping through the fallen leaves of last fall. In my woods, trillium is everywhere! It is now at this point in the spring that I rejoice in the new growth, the birds nesting, the spring peepers and making plans for the upcoming summer. For all of us, Spring is a good time to consider making adjustments to diet and exercise. This time of year a mild detoxification diet of steamed vegetables, brown rice or even a juice fast for several days is a nice way to launch into the warmer weather as well as to lose a few unwanted pounds put on over the winter. Then plan on lighter meals with plenty of dark leafy greens, fruits and salads. If you are like most people, it is easy to dive into outdoor projects like gardening, yard work and repair projects. Be sure to stretch before and after working in your garden to safeguard against overstrained muscles and painful joints from overdoing it after a winter of relative inactivity. Spring is also a great time to schedule an appointment with your acupuncturist, homeopath or naturopath for a seasonal tune-up. Take the time to fully prepare your body for the summer and increased activity!

More on Stress

I’ve been busy doing my taxes this last week and have had a direct experience of stress on my body. Of course, starting so close to the tax deadline doesn’t make it any easier! I find myself needing to get up from my desk and the piles of receipts to take walks, breathe deeply, do some Qi Gong or yoga and pay some attention to my dogs who sit patiently by my feet listening to my grumbling and sighing during each step of the tax process. Today, I went to have a massage as I am quite aware of where I hold tension ~ mostly in my neck and shoulders. How about you? Massage was just what I needed. I felt great! After the massage, knowing that I have a busy week ahead with continued work on taxes when I am not at work, I went ahead and booked myself two more massages this week and another one next week. With all the reading I’ve done on the effects of stress, this is a good time to be sure I relax and let go of my physical and mental stress. I highly recommend you go and do the same. Schedule yourself a pampering treatment of your choice ~ a massage, a facial, an acupuncture treatment or some getaway after your taxes are finished. This is a good time of year to schedule some time for yourself. We are transitioning from winter to spring. Spring is the season of the Liver in Oriental Medicine. The Liver is about growth, our nervous system and the efficiency of our bodies to cleanse and de-toxify. Taking a break, whether for an hour massage or a weekend away, is a good way to support an easy transition and enjoy the Spring!  

Prolonged Stress: The Disease Connection

I’ve been extremely busy these last two weeks and feeling the effects of stress. I’ve also been reading about the effects of long-term stress on imbalance and disease. Stress is the foundation for everything from allergies to weight gain or weight loss as well as the top diseases like diabetes, cancer and a string of auto-immune disorders. It’s not something I haven’t known about, however, the reminder is useful as I can get caught in over-extending and feeling stressed. We live in a time of prolonged stress with threats of terroism, the realities of war, a government that keeps us guessing and concerned as well as the day to day stress of an ever increasing cost of living that exceeds many peoples ability to keep up. So the question is really ~ What can we do to lessen the effects of prolonged stress on our bodies? Personally, I am renewing my commitment to myself to slow down and make the time for de-stressing activities. I am once again redesigning my days to be sure the time is available to be consistent with meditation, exercise and be in nature. Consider what you can do to make the time to relax and let go of the stress all around you!

The Breath of Life

Have you ever noticed that many people spend a lot of time holding their breath or barely breathing? When we hold our breath we hold in our emotions and our stress. Over time, this holding causes imbalances in our body which leads to distress & disease. Wouldn’t it be easier to take time each day throughout the day to breathe deeply and release our stress? Tonite the wind blows under the bright moon. The earth is breathing. I’m watching branches fall from the trees as if the dead branches are the stress of the earth letting go with each breath of wind. Learn from nature. Take a deep breath, then another and another. Then enjoy feeling good, healthy and in balance as the holding let’s go!

Chilled

The rain hangs heavy in the air here in New England. A typical March day chilled to the bone. Mist fills spaces between treetops and hills. While in Arizona snow fell today Ending a long absence of moisture. Carol called to tell me of the owl sitting in the snow on a cactus. I could hear the smile in her voice Everyone is happy in Arizona today. Moisture soaks the air Awaiting desert blooms of Spring. In New England we rest on the edge between winter and spring. Moisture everywhere Chilled to the bone.

Spring is in The Air

The sun is shining, a gentle breeze stirs and the blue sky is awesome this morning! The birds sing of the coming Spring. Yes! It is in the air. A good day to do something fun and foolish ~ something that will make you laugh!

QiGong for Health

I have been practising QiGong for over 10 years now. I’ve practised a variety of forms over the years and I think I have found one that really works for me! I have had several of the most wonderful nights sleeps as well as feeling over-all much better physically, mentally and spiritually. I am fond of both QiGong and Yoga (which I’ve done for over 30 years consistantly) ~ they are practises that help me stay healthy and on center within myself. Allowing me to do my work as an acupuncturist, massage therapist and herbalist. I highly recommend that anyone who wants to be and stay healthy, incorporate one or both into their daily routine. QiGong is great as it takes very little space and consciously works on all the organ channels of the body. Yoga needs more space and takes me into meditation very easily. For those of you working with people in a healing capacity ~ do one or both for your own health and burnout prevention. And then teach it to your clients/patients so they participate in their own health and sense of well-being!

First Sunrise

Watched the sunrise this morning! The sun crept over the horizon and splashed its light across the treetops and quickly spread down the trees filling the morning with golden light. I breathed ever so deeply to take it all in! This morning felt especially spectacular as I imagined it to be the first after a long dark winter with morning walks taken in those moments between the darkness and the morning light. Did you know that when the sun touches the horizon a breeze always stirs and the birds sing out in celebration? It’s a delightful feeling to be witness to the first light!