For most of my life up until that point, the relationship with my body was one of seeing how far I could push it. I was an avid long distance runner, used to speed workouts on the track at 6:00 am and long runs at a pace that I couldn’t really keep up. I was used to staying up really late to write papers and hang out with friends. The physical limits of my body were something to be pushed through – not something to learn from and listen to, from which to hear a story of my being. Acupuncture changed that for me.
The above mentioned article recounts a recent scientific study in which mice that were given high amounts of beneficial probiotics appeared less stressed – and actually produced less stress hormones – when put into abruptly stressful situations, such as being dropped into a pool of water. Moreover, when the connection between the gut and the brain was severed, these mice no longer showed decreased signs of stress. The author concludes that “There's nothing metaphorical about "gut feelings," for what happens in the gut really does influence what we feel.”
Here at Stepping Stone, we treat a lot of women during pregnancy to help alleviate uncomfortable symptoms and make the 9 months as pleasant – and healthy – as possible. Probably the most common reason that pregnant women seek out acupuncture treatment is for nausea and vomiting – the famous “morning sickness.”
Summer is the season of the Heart, of Fire, and of Joy in the Traditional Chinese Medicine system of correspondences. It is a time to celebrate vitality, to nurture that which is most important to us, to connect with those people and things that are dear to us, and to do things that make us happy and joyful.
Something about the lotus flower resonates with us, with humanity, throughout time and space. It inspires us to be our better selves, to seek peace and sunlight amidst the darkness, mud, and turmoil. It conjures up feelings of peace, tranquility, and serenity. It reminds us that there is good and beauty in the world, in us.
Springtime is a time for rebirth, rejuvenation, growth, and cleansing. In the cycle of the seasons, spring represents youthfulness. We emerge from the dark, gloomy, short days of winter, ready to feel lighter and more free – and our meal choices should reflect this innate human response to the season.
Like all aspects of this medicine, TCM teaches us to strive for balance in our emotional lives. While some of our emotional tendencies may be constitutional and woven into the fabric of our being, it is helpful to know that by taking care of our bodies, we are also taking care of our emotional selves, and vice versa.