Fall 2019: Acupuncture in Northeast Pennsylvania: Inspiration and Expiration
“Gratitude is the most amazing emotion. There is so much grief in the world today. It is a part of the unchanging human dilemma to lose the people or things that they love. It is a natural human desire to attach to others and possessions. But we truly own nothing and take nothing with us when we go. By experiencing gratitude for what you had and what you have now, you get back into the present moment and are left with the beauty of the experiences, the trace memories of the richness of being alive. It is much better to appreciate what you’ve been given while you are still here. Gratitude resets the autonomic nervous system with the inspiration of the first breath and helps let go of so much of our suffering with the expiration of the outbreath. Gratitude brings down the light of the divine so that it can illuminate your soul and shine through your face. It helps you live in that moment between breaths when anything is possible and you can become who you are meant to be. This is the beauty of you.”
Bridges, Lillian “Face Reading in Chinese Medicine” 294-296
We are amidst the season of Fall and here in Northeast Pennsylvania nature sure is showing us how beautiful it is to let things go. Leaves are changing colors to a fall spectrum of yellow, orange, red, and brown. The air is crisp and cool and the days are shorter. The squirrels are collecting and storing their nuts. Cuddles, warm baths, hot teas, and soups warm the body. As the energy shifts inward and downward, introspection and reflection are fitting occurrences. What do you like to do this time of year? Are you doing it? I like to think about or journal about what I enjoy about Fall, whether it is apple picking, cooking soups, drinking teas, just make sure you are taking time to do what you enjoy.
In acupuncture, the season of Fall is related to the Metal element and the internal organs of the Lungs and Large Intestine. Common seasonal issues that can occur are allergies, sinus pressure, cough, skin issues, and digestive issues. This season is related to the emotion of grief and appreciation. As the quote above says, it is part of life to feel grief, and as the energy moves downward and inward people can be particularly vulnerable to the emotion of grief this time of the year. While it is natural to feel grief and other emotions, the body can become stuck in holding patterns of emotions. Emotions are like waves that roll by, if they become stagnant issues may arise. Gratitude and appreciation are the counter to grief. So while it is natural to feel grief it is also natural to feel gratitude and bring a balance to the emotions. An exercise one can do this time of year is a gratitude journal. Write down 5 things daily that you are grateful for. This will help to train the brain to see the good things instead of the negative things that are occurring in our lives. Another great practice is a no-complaint bracelet. Wear a bracelet on your wrist and every time you complain about something switch the bracelet to the other wrist. You will most likely be surprised at how many times you switch the bracelet. Complaints feed more complaints so if you can become aware of when you are complaining you will be able to stop or lessen the cycle.
I recently went to Kripalu, a yoga retreat center in Western Massachusetts, and a quote that kept coming up in the sessions was, “The highest spiritual practice is self-observation without judgement” by the founder Swarmi Kripalu. This is especially relevant during this time of year because judgement relates to the Metal element. Are you being hard on yourself or others right now? Can you take