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Spring into Summer with Acupuncture

Author: Jill Ellen Smith 2 June 2011 No Comment

With summer finally right around the corner, so many of us want to spring right into the fun and the ease that comes with the longer days and warmer evenings. After the lingering cold and rainy spring, the arrival of summer weather feels like a well deserved respite. But wait….take a moment to read about the laws of nature and the lifestyle patterns that we need to pay attention to.

Our bodies tend to contract with the winter and cold, rainy spring. Muscles are stiff and joints ache. Sinuses drip and become inflamed, eyes itch, and runny noses demand a lot of Kleenex. Now is a good time to set some intentions about entering into summer and all its expansive energy.

Our bodies can’t transition into summer as easily as they could when we were children. Think of how stiff you probably feel some winter mornings. That hot shower and stretch get us going with more ease. In the same manner, we need some support in order to enter summer gracefully. 

With coaching from your acupuncturist, you can be guided to uniquely  “stretch” your lifestyle patterns so you can enter summer and maximize your pleasure in these warm and playful months. Do you want to really enjoy summer? Well read on….

According to Robert Chu, Ph.D, L.Ac., there are nine causes of disease. Some we have a lot of control over and some we don’t. The nine causes are:

1)Emotional factors

2)Sleep

3)Trauma

4)Stress

5)Lack of Exercise

6)Fashion

7)Poor diet and nutrition

8)Environmental factors (i.e. weather/pollution/toxins/electromagnetic fields/preservatives)

9)Genetic factors

These nine factors play a big part in experiencing summer to the max. I will elaborate on a few of these.

Acupuncture treatment can help in preparing and supporting the body during this transition time.My previous articles have often addressed how acupuncture can help quiet the mind and ease emotions. By listening to the patient’s report of symptoms, and evaluating the patient fully, an acupuncturist will be able to determine how to treat you to help restore a smooth flow of emotions.

Acupuncture helps to restore normal sleep patterns. You can also help your sleep pattern by establishing a bedtime ritual, such as a soothing bath or shower; turning off your TV or computer at least one hour before bedtime; or reading relaxing literature or listening to soothing music in bed. During the summer, it’s okay to stay up a bit later and get up earlier. Nature has programmed us that way.

Acupuncture helps with our body’s reaction to stress by balancing those meridians that are calling for support. Getting the Qi flowing through acupuncture allows the body to balance itself.

Diet is critical all year, and in the spring and summer we can allow our bodies to stock up on antioxidants by eating loads of green vegetables and colorful fruit. Hydrating ourselves adequately is also critical. Remember, if you are thirsty your body is letting you know that you are somewhat dehydrated.

An example of a fashion problem would be lingering in a wet bathing suit. Especially for women, this can contribute to dampness in the lower jaio (area of our bodies below the navel). Many gynecological problems can result from this problem.

Summer is a great season to begin an exercise program if you haven’t yet. Remember that stretching is critical to your body’s ability to perform at its peak. Summer can be a high injury season (broken bones, sprained ankles, over exposure to sun and heat, etc), and acupuncture is extremely  effective in helping to promote healing for multiple problems that arise through sports and exercise.

Although many environmental factors are often out of our control, exposure to various toxic factors, such as heat and humidity to name a few, are often very responsive to acupuncture treatment.

There are a variety of clearing treatments that an acupuncturist can offer that are extremely effective in helping your body to restore itself to balance.

Remember, your acupuncturist is also your life coach. Together you and your acupuncturist can see you through the particulars of every season so you can flourish no matter what the weather.

Additional posts by Jill Ellen Smith