April showers bring May flowers. Unfortunately there weren’t that many showers so how the rest of spring and summer will pan out is anyone’s guess.
Chinese medicine depends on age old traditions: That winter will be cold and summer will be hot; that we eat accordingly and sleep and rest and work and play according to a natural rhythm.
Modern life has a tendency to throw those things out the window. Electricity and smartphones mean we can trick ourselves into thinking it’s not way past midnight and time to be asleep. Seasonal eating has become less necessary and more a trend: watermelon in March anyone?
Thankfully, Chinese medicine is fluid and flexible enough to deal with the onslaught of modernity. The key to its success, preventative measures, is more important than ever. Just like checking the weather to know what to wear that day, we need to listen to our bodies and watch for signs.
Can you keep burning the candle at both ends for another week or should you slow down for the moment? You usually exercise six a week but should you go with that intensity this week? Digestion has been an issue for five days now, is it easing up or still the same? Most of us notice if the car has a new scratch, do you notice when your body has been impacted upon, especially when the “scratch” may be subtle and internal?
Last month was the London Marathon, one of my favourite events of the year. I’m not a natural runner so I admire even more the tens of thousands of elite and amateur runners who dedicate themselves to it, especially the insane ones who decide to add a stifling costume to the mix.
These runners don’t enter the event without training and in the same way, we should look at life as one long preparation. It’s nice to indulge but the end goal is a happy and healthy life and body. And to achieve that we need to look at the little things that matter: sleep, appetite, energy, and mood. Laugh a little, cry a little, but always come back to centre.
Image: Flickr/ liz west
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