Tuesday, March 27, 2007

the external environment within

In Chinese Medicine, we often talk about “harmonizing” our bodies with the external environment. It sounds very poetic, but to most it stops right there. But if you talk to anyone who suffers from osteoarthritis or migraines, they might give you a very different perspective on things. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), we see that what is going on in the environment often becomes reflected in the body; hence a sudden cold, damp snap will kick up arthritic joints, and sudden changes in barometric pressure often trigger migraines.
So, how can we try and address these imbalances? Obviously we have no control over the weather, but we can tune in to what makes us feel worse and try and take preventative measures so that we don’t react quite so dramatically to the environment. One way is to take herbs that work to counteract the imbalance, and another is to use acupuncture to strengthen the internal systems that are weaker and cannot quickly adapt to what ever is going on the outside. In extreme circumstances, we may even suggest someone moves to a climate that is better suited to them.
As the seasons change, most of us find that our sleep patterns are affected, and we want to eat different foods. Typically, as we move into spring, we will find ourselves sleeping less and craving nutrient-rich vegetables. Go with those changes, and if you find you are out of sorts, don’t forget to seek help.
~ Anna