Seasonal Medicine

A few Saturday evenings ago, I was driving on a quiet neighborhood road and a small, waddling, Texas animal (armadillo/possum?) was slowly crossing the street ahead of me.  So I slowed down.  WAY down.  It’s Saturday night!  I’m doing nothing truly important.  Just hanging out. 

The truck behind me was not happy about it.  They flashed their lights and honked, and sped around me as soon as they could. 

Don’t worry, the animal made it to the side of the road OK. 

Thousands of years ago, as Chinese medicine was evolving, skilled practitioners noticed the fluctuations of nature, the cyclical changes of plants, animals, weather, and people.

Winter is a time of rest and slowing down.  The seeds are in the ground; animals are hibernating; and even the water can freeze and stop.

But here in the “modernized” world, we’re in a freakin’ hurry.  Get all the presents!  Go to all the parties!  Travel!  Get out of my way! 

Let’s not save all our resting for just the 25th and January 1st.  Let’s slow it down. 

Test yourself:  see how slow you can breathe.  See how slow you can walk down the hallway when you stand up from your computer or phone.  See how slow you can drive (!) without endangering yourself or others.

 

One thing I remember from years of martial arts training:  in a drill where you and a partner square off and one person punches while the other person blocks, if you try to block in a hurry, your arm tightens up. 

Tight muscles are less responsive.  You lose the connection between your eyes and your hands.  You’re flailing around with no purpose.

Paradoxically, being relaxed and not being in a hurry, makes you more responsive and alert. 

Most importantly – you won’t miss any punches! 

The people trying to hurry, on the other hand, miss quite a few.

Hurrying causes stress.  Stress causes tension.  Tension causes mistakes and accidents.

If you want to move things along, and make it to the next season (spring, where things speed up and move more, slow down.

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