While many of us have moved beyond the paralyzing fear we felt at the start of the pandemic in 2020, a new feeling has emerged. The New York Times called it languishing: the unsettling feeling of stagnation and emptiness, a void between depression and flourishing. Coping for me came in the form of buying and watching my new houseplants grow. At my best, I’m an erratic plant-parent where the only consistency is inconsistency - overwatering, underwatering, too much sun, too little sun - but I was impressed at their resilience. Seeing a new leaf unfurling on my pothos or a new shoot breaking through the soil of my snake plant brought joy in a time when life felt like it was at a standstill.
As it pertains to Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, you can think of the human body as the garden and your Registered Acupuncturist as the gardener. The garden is this beautiful, dynamic and self-regulating system - there is a time for sprouting, ripening, harvesting, and composting - and through this cycle of transformation, it continuously sustains itself. Optimal growth occurs when there is a proper balance between sunlight (yang) and water (yin). When the garden flourishes, it is able to withstand periods of drought, insect infestation, an unseasonably cold day, and other kinds of adversity.
As the gardener, I don’t make the garden grow, but I can help prepare the soil, plant the seeds, provide water, and remove weeds. I observe and judge what the garden needs, and then nurture its interaction with the environment accordingly - promoting growth in some areas and restricting it in others. We can look at the human body in the same way.
Acupuncturists observe your demeanor, complexion, and tongue, we listen to the sound of your voice, breathing, and coughing, and we palpate your abdomen, back, and measure your pulse and we use these findings to diagnose what is going on in the body. When yin and yang fall out of balance, our bodies become less efficient at self-regulating and illness can set in.
Once we determine the relative distribution of yin and yang in the body and how this is causing illness, we can work to correct the imbalance and bring the body back into harmony. Just as we outlined a flourishing garden above, a flourishing and healthy body helps us respond to adversity and bounce back. We can use Traditional Chinese Medicine and all its amazing tools (acupuncture, cupping, gua sha, diet and lifestyle recommendations) to give our bodies resilience and the best possible advantage when it comes to staving off illness.
Eastern medicine requires us to adopt a new language and embrace the wisdom of nature. If we can let go just a little and trust the process, we may find some healing along the way.
Registered Acupuncture is available with Megan on Mondays 10-2 and Saturdays 9-2 to book online book here.