Harmonize with the Seasons
Health and Happiness all Year Long
Have you noticed how people are constantly adjusting to the weather? I know this is a simple question, but it has profound implications.
In the winter, when it is cold, we put on our heavy coats, gloves, scarf, etc. In the summer it is just the opposite. These simple changes are what I refer to as “lifestyle adjustments” within the Meridian Massage Approach to health and healing. Making these changes is a relatively simple way that we care for our health. But there is more that we can do!
Harmonize with the Seasons
We live in relationship to Nature
Which is why we shift our clothing as the seasons change. Below is a quote from the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine, which was written at least 2,500 ago in China. It is one of the oldest medical texts in the world:
Huang Di (the Yellow Emperor) asks Qi Bo (the Great Physician):
‘I’ve heard that in the days of old everyone lived 100 years without showing the usual signs of aging. In our time, however, people age prematurely, living only 50 years. Is this due to the change in the environment, or is it because people lost the correct way of life?”
Qi Bo replies:
“In the past, people practice the Tao, the Way of Life. They understood the principal balance, of Yin and Yang, as represented by the transformation of the energies of the universe…”
“The transformation of the energies of the universe” refers in part to the changing seasons.
Yin and Yang are fundamental forces of Nature that are also alive in every living being. A key to health is maintaining balance and flow of Yin and Yang within our energy system. How we promote the balance of Yin and Yang within ourselves shifts with the seasons.
Promote the balance of Yin and Yang throughout the seasons:
Spring – wake up early with the sunrise and enjoy vigorous movement. For instance, go for a brisk walk in the morning, practice more active types of Yoga, get out to that spin class at the local gym!
Summer – let yourself stay up later, enjoy fresh salads and fruits, allow yourself activity and exercise that promote sweating. Make time for socializing and visiting with friends.
Fall – now is the time to begin bringing your energy and attention inward as the days are getting shorter and the cold winter is approaching. Enjoy eating cooked root vegetables, long-cooked meats, and slowing down on cold salads. Physical activity and exercise begin to slow down too, protect against sweating outside, give yourself more time for meditation and self-reflection.
Winter – allow yourself more sleep as the nights are now longer than the days. Be sure to guard against the cold, practice slower types of exercise and movement, yin type yoga, and minimize sweating. Shift your diet to warm, long-cooked foods, warm drinks, no iced water or iced drinks. Allow for stillness and time alone for deep quiet contemplation.
These are just a few ideas to stimulate your own ideas of how to harmonize with the changing seasons that you experience where you live. As we make these lifestyle adjustments each season we promote the balance of Yin and Yang within us – which in turn promotes our health and happiness all year long.