Winter – Why is it that no one ever says “wow, the winter has gone by so fast.” Or “I wish I could have a few more weeks of the cold air and snow.” Acupuncture assists the body to be calm and restful. In Chinese thought winter provides stillness which manifests itself in people as calmness reflection and introspection. In nature during winter there is very little if any activity amongst the animals and vegetation. Since the days are shorter nature is telling us that we would benefit by shortening our own activity. By rising a little later and retiring a bit earlier we would be in sync with nature’s own rhythms.

In our western culture most people seem to rise early and go to bed late. I wonder if it is because we can do almost anything at almost any hour, for instance: shop, eat, work, play, exercise, and socialize. However, what happens is that we do too much and then we get hit with an illness.

This scenario happens frequently because we do not get enough sleep, exercise and the food we eat does not give us the nourishment our bodies need to be healthy. Acupuncture can address the issues of fatigue and illness that often plague us during the winter. We still need long periods of rest. Our body, mind, and spirit need this time to be quiet, still, and contemplative. This is how great ideas emerge. You say, “Well, this is fine if you live a monk’s existence, but I have a 9-5 job with a one hour commute to and from work.

How can I achieve this goal of quiet contemplation and rest, and live my life?” First of all restfulness requires that you become aware of its necessity and the value you place upon its result. By that, I mean if you find taking your dog for a walk in the evening restful then do it with that intention. Create parameters around being restful. Being restful is mostly about the mind being less busy.

What symptoms correlate to the winter season?

  1. Low back pain
  2. Pain elsewhere on the back
  3. Pain in the lower limbs
  4. Sinus problems
  5. Cold/flu like symptoms

Acupuncture uses are also preventative. By coming in for treatment prior to the busy holiday season you may not experience many of the winter season symptoms. By noticing the need for rest you will enhance the possibility for reflection and contemplation which allows the mind to quiet the constant chatter of our daily living.

Once you try having some quiet reflective moments write some ideas down. These ideas will help in formulating future goals for the spring. Try “being.” There is no pressure no specific guidelines to do anything. It can be quite liberating. It comes in many forms: meditation, casual walking, or activity that allows the quietness of the mind to sprout forth possibilities.

Beth Creeger Article Written for Your Health Magazine 11/05/05