Spring Renewal – Bursting Forth in Spring

With the arrival of sun and warmth, flowers and trees are bursting into bloom, leaves are starting to unfold, and migratory birds are returning to the neighborhood. All around us, we can see the energy of Spring: rapid growth, movement, and change.

One of my assignments in acupuncture school was to sit outside for 15 minutes every day for a week. During that time, I honed my observational skills, while watching the changes in the season on a more subtle level. Watching how our health is a) affected by the change in seasons, and b) what the change in season is like inside each of us has always fascinated me.

As the leaves on the maples and the other trees start to unfold this week, the world is looking brighter, cleaner, and softer. The rain and warmth from the sun helps to wash the

Continue reading

Winds of Spring

The yoyo days of spring are here. A couple weeks ago, it was below freezing in the morning, nearly 80 degrees by afternoon, and back in the 30s the very next day. This week, we have temperatures in the 80s for a couple days dropping back into the 40s for the rest of the week. These changes in weather bring along powerful, cleansing winds that pick up the remaining dregs and collected debris of winter and blow it away. The drastic temperature fluctuations influence the rising sap of the trees. Sap for syrup flows most strongly when, on a cold night, the sap sinks back down into the roots, preparing to flow more strongly the next day as the temperatures rise again. The more fluctuation in temperature, the more sap flows and the more sweetness can be gathered.

How does the sap flow in you during this season? Is it flowing well, bringing energy, vision, and creative growth? Or are you feeling stagnant and stuck? Frustration,

Continue reading

Dreaming for Groundhog’s Day

The beginning of February is the turning of the corner between Winter & Spring. We are exactly midway between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox this week. From here on out, it may still feel like we are in the grips of deep winter, but the return of light starts to speed up, as we gain a couple extra minutes of sunlight each day. Check out this chart for time of sunrise and sunset and change in day length for your region.

So what does this have to do with our health? Our bodies respond to the sunlight and promise of warming days just as the plants do outside. As our own sap starts to run and circulate, we become aware of the sludge that has accumulated through the winter months.

Continue reading

Have You Been Hibernating?

It was a cold day – below zero first thing in the morning and in the single digits later in the day. The sun was stubbornly hiding behind a dense layer of low hanging, steely-grey clouds. I painfully pulled myself out of bed and made it out of the house to each of my commitments that day, but not without a struggle and a grumble all day long.

“What am I doing out and about?!” my body screamed at me – “This is the time for hibernation! Go back to bed already!” I laughed it off and continued on with my day with a light hearted grumpiness.

But that part of me had a point.

Continue reading

The Oath of the Acupuncturist

As a graduate of the Academy for Five Element Acupuncture,

I promise to follow the way of the great physician.
I will serve to live in harmony with nature and
teach my patients to do the same.

I will stay calm and completely committed while treating.
I will not give way to personal wishes and desires,
but above all else hold and nurture a deep feeling of compassion.

I will be devoted to the task of seeing people
not only as they present themselves in illness,
but as they would be in perfect health and balance.

The goal of my treatments will be helping people live
in full discovery of their true nature,
unique in body, mind, and spirit.

I will cultivate the virtues of the Five Elements:
benevolence, propriety, integrity, appreciation, and wisdom.

I will strive to maintain a clear mind and be willing
to hold myself to the highest standards.

I will not be boastful about my skills and
not driven by greed for material things.

Above all, I will keep an open heart.
As I move on the right path,
I will look forward to great happiness as my reward.

(adapted from The Great Physician by Sun Simiao 581-682)