Look to the trees for inspiration – big, tall and strong. Without flexibility, they would break under the pressures of the wind. How can we embody the wisdom of the trees? Can we see light thru their density?
This Saturday I will continue teaching Acupoints in the Seasonal Health Series. We designed this series to help folks live in better harmony with the seasons by discussing their gifts. Because Chinese Medicine is nature based, as above so below guides its philosophies. I’m referring to seasons in a broad sense, like the spring time and the season for standing up against oppression and speaking up against injustice. Spring resonates with the Wood element of the five phases; an element that has to do with movement, action, discernment, justice, choices, courage.
Let’s begin with the macrocosm of the season. As our environment has moved into Spring, inside we have also shifted. Do you notice any internal shifts with the season change? Take a look outside, for insight. With Spring, the earth has woken up from its deep winter rest; bulbs are popping, birds are singing. There is more movement. How does this feel in you? Ready to get going, exercising, moving on a plan you set? Or are you stuck and frustrated at being stuck?
If you’re motivated to move. Let the movement start slow so as not to hurt yourself. To ensure flexibility, stretch your muscles first before going for that run or walk. Move on plans with focused intention, with a clear vision of where you wish to go.
If you are not motivated to move, that is ok too. Be flexible with yourself. Start gently. We had an intense winter navigating life during a pandemic. Maybe start internally by lightening up your food, moving away from stews and more into lightly sautéed or steamed greens; add more greens to your diet; add chlorophyll to your water to get more oxygen to your blood. You can even start with your mind and your third eye. Meditate on what you want, see it, believe it. The wood energy brings vision. What do you envision for yourself? What do you envision for your community? The planet?
Applying pressure at GB1 – The Bone Of Fresh Innocent Eyes or Pupil Foramen (Tongzilao) can help physically with issues of the eyes and vision, headaches, heat and wind. On another level, here is where we can support looking inward and outward at plans, with fresh and innocent eyes. It is where the Gallbladder primary channel begins. The Gallbladder Official “empowers the creative growth of our inner plans into the world “, Jarrett.
The energy of the wood is about discernment, which way to go, which choice to make, having the courage to make one and how to creatively get there. Like a seed ready to sprout toward the sun. If concrete shows up as a perceived obstacle, it will creatively find small cracks to burst thru. Think about that energy inside of you. If you have goals yet perceived obstacles are in your way, do you get frustrated, angry and/or tense? If you do initially, are you able to pull back to take a different view? When you pull back can you discover ways to creatively maneuver around the obstacles to reach your goal? And what happens if you keep pushing the same way?
If we don’t look at an obstacle from a different angels, we are sure to agitated, possibly angry and frustrated. These emotions, as most know, do not feel good. They cause tension, stress and foster disease. When we stay in these emotions, we often cannot see a clear way. Step back, take deep breaths, get grounded and come back with fresh eyes.
Liver 3 – Supreme Surge Forward, Supreme Rushing, Happy Return (Taichong) is a commonly used point. It eases constraint thus helps with tense stuck energy throughout the body; addresses headaches, menstrual cramps, muscle cramps, shoulder tension, overall stress, etc. It is nourishing and grounding at the same time.
Located in the flesh below the meeting of the 1st two metatarsals. Often tender, gently apply pressure for 20-30 seconds, repeat a few times, both feet.
Wood is about justice, what’s right and whats wrong, freedom of expression, freedom to bloom. Today the issues of racism, continued injustice against black people and systematic oppression are on the minds of many. For me, emotions of anger and disappointment in human behavior come up. I often feel frustrated as I try envisioning ways to turn this anger into positive, effective action. I want justice, equality and accountability. Yet it feels so far away. Can I see the way thru the forest? Can I hold a vision like Dr. King to see a world where we are all seen and treated as equal?
Anger is the emotion associated with the wood element and benevolence/kindness its virtue. I’ll just ponder that.
This is only a small piece of the gifts Wood has to offer. I hope you join me for this Saturday April 17th, for the Wood series. You will learn more theory; how to use Acupoints that help release tension, stress, headaches & move stuckness; and how to do Gua Sha.
- Manual of Acupuncture, Peter Deadman
- The Clinical Practice of Chinese Medicine, Lonny Jarrett
- Characters of Wisdom, Debra Katz
- Photo cred: https://www.thomasnet.com/insights/the-forest-for-the-trees-understanding-sustainable-forestry/