Spring can be a tricky time of the year to navigate. Mentally and emotionally we are ready to jump into spring activities, but often our bodies need more time to ease into spring. In this struggle lies perceived separations between the mind and the body. I suggest that with a little bit of understanding and investigation that we can ease the struggle and enjoy the gifts that spring has to offer.
Besides a few 30-degree days and a snow flurry or two, I think I might have missed winter all together. Either way, the energy of winter was undeniably present. Almost every client reported feeling cold and tired; wanting to sleep more; and joints and muscles feeling tighter and stiff. On the other hand, being more introspective, gaining more clarity about aspects of life, and knowing more about themselves were also by-products of the winter season for many people. Herein lies the opportunity for the rub between mind and body to take place.
Our minds have a clearer sense of who we are as healers and leaders in the world. We are ready to put our newfound thoughts, ideas and knowledge into play. “YES! WHY NOT?,” you say. I spent all winter learning about the new exercise program that I want to start. I have all the equipment, I paid my gym membership and I have the new outfits to go with it. AND I am ready to take charge of my nutrition by growing all of my own food. I have the yard staked out and I bought all of my seeds. The only thing left is to dig up the entire back yard. Great! Except for one thing — our bodies might not be ready.
Remember the descriptors from above: tired, wanting to sleep more, and joints and muscles feeling tighter and stiff. It could be that our bodies need a little more time to prepare for the jump into spring than our mind has designed. If our mind says let’s run three miles today or let’s haul 10 bags of top soil from the car to the backyard in the next 5 minutes and our bodies aren’t ready, sprains, strains, tears, breaks, and hernias are often the result.
Here are a few quick tips for coordinating your mind and your body for spring:
- See an energetic practitioner. Acupuncture, herbal medicine, massage, and other energetic modalities can help our bodies to loosen up and be less prone to injuries. Also, if you have an injury, we can help you heal faster and get you back on track.
- If your muscles, joints or tendons feel tight at all, ease your way into any new exercise plan.
- Warm up your muscles before doing any serious stretching, with knee lifts, trunk rotations etc.
- Choose to perform less of the workout than you think you can handle. If you misjudge and overdo it, strains and sprains show up. Plus, if you get too sore after the first few workouts, you’re less likely to go back and work out again.
- Do half the workout and see how you feel the next day. If everything is good, stick with that for a few more sessions. Then try the full session.
- Gardening can be hard work involving lots of stooping and bending over.
- If you are feeling weak in some area of your body, allow younger folks to help you. Learning about gardening is good for them, and they generally have stronger bodies.
With a little forethought and planning, it is easy to enjoy the excitement of spring without lots of injuries. If you have any additional questions about easing into spring or questions about acupuncture and purification/cleansing, please call our office at 410-296-4028.