The new normal we are living in today includes being vigilant during this Covid phase. This includes being mindful of staying grounded throughout the changing seasons. Mother nature above all is providing us with a reliable flow of change that has existed for each person since childhood. Yes, climate change is having a disruptive effect on our planet and now combined with Covid as well as the impending possibly dangerous hurricane season on the horizon, it is of utmost importance to trust in one’s bodily rhythm in conjunction with the warmth that can nourish each person’s heart and soul this summer.
According to Chinese medicine, summer is a period of luxurious growth. To be in harmony with this season it is highly recommended to awaken early in the morning, take a step outside and reach to the sun for yang nourishment. This fills the body with vibrant and outgoing energy and readies one for both the gentle and more active aspects of their day.
The warming and activating energy of summer also beckons that each person make time to run, jump, and play. This serves to nourish the heart and spirit and allow for the flourishing of inner joy and the ability to share in a more copacetic manner with loved ones in our midst. Upon doing so, it is absolutely essentially to laugh as much as possible and make the most of each moment. All in all, this will provide the spark of energy needed to engage in meaningful activities and further personal growth. And this allows for the spreading of positive energy and its reverberation from one person to the next like a chain reaction.
This initial Covid summer experience must also include safeguards for onset of anxiety or depression, which will vary from one person to the next. It will be based on one’s unique circumstances and the degree to which this pandemic has “pulled the rug” out from beneath their feet. Chinese Medicine teaches us that such symptoms are related to disorders of the spirit which is commonly known as “the shen.” It is viewed as part of a unified holistic continuum that includes the physical, emotional, psychological and energetic aspect of one’s being. Each of these aspects is entwined and dependent on the other for the manifestation of balanced wholeness.
When shen substance becomes agitated by excessive summer heat, one may experience trouble connecting with others and/or a feeling of being unworthy. This also shows up as extreme fatigue and a sense that things and people are lacking authenticity and true meaning. The underlying cause of such symptoms is oftentimes coming from qi or vital energy not flowing in a free and flowing manner. This is precisely when energy gets stuck and turns into an emotionally based syndrome known as “constrained liver qi” that often stems from repressed anger.
These forms of energetic imbalance become increasingly aggravated as a result of the pressure that Covid has on one’s body, mind and spirit. As such, it is essential to double-down and rely on techniques that promote increase grounding and calming of energies. This includes engaging in meditation and mindfulness protocols, in addition to yoga, tai chi, qigong and other energetic based exercise regimes. These are beneficial because they tend to reconnect the physical and energetic aspects of being – leading toward greater inner peace and ability to focus and handle the massive amount of stress coming as a result of the overwhelming external circumstances. Doing so improves the ability to think clearly through strengthening the heart-mind and allows one to make decisions from a more balanced stance.
This is just a sampling of the many gems of wisdom to be garnered from the ancient system of Chinese medicine. Take time and care with each day as we progress through this highly difficult time. And find peace in connecting to the nature within and around you as you walk through the warm days of summer with a sweet inner smile.
Shoshanna Katzman, L.Ac., M.S. is an acupuncturist, Chinese herbalist and director of Red Bank Acupuncture & Wellness Center in Shrewsbury, NJ for over thirty years. She is author of Qigong for Staying Young: A Simple 20-Minute Workout to Cultivate Your Vital Energy (visit www.qigong4.us) and co-author of Feeling Light: The Holistic Solution to Permanent Weight Loss and Wellness. Shoshanna has taught tai chi and qigong for over 45 years and is a 6th generation lineage holder of the Guang Ping Yang Style Tai Chi Form. She is preparing to release a Tai Chi Tutorial soon and is presently offering qigong and tai chi classes via Zoom.
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