Within the cosmology of Chinese medicine, human beings are regarded as microcosms of the natural universe. We are subject to the same cycles that occur in nature. Autumn follows on the tail of the harvest, signaling that it is time to prepare for winter. The sap of trees settles into the interior, sinking down toward the roots. With fall comes a sense of gathering in, stocking up, mingled with a sense of loss as the light begins to fade and the air chills. It is a time to eliminate what is unnecessary and become aware of what is essential.
How can we adjust our psychic and body rhythm to suit the season? What happens within us is mirrored by the natural world around us. During the frost of winter, plants submerge their lifeblood into their roots, animals thicken their hides, and ponds harden into ice. This is a time of apparent quiescence and stasis, yet beneath the surface is the hidden activity of gestation and germination that will bring forth renewal in spring.
The theories of Chinese medicine resemble those of Hans Selye, the biological scientist who first employed the term stress in his seminal book, The Stress of Life. Selye articulates the theory that most chronic illness is due to a deterioration of the organism’s capacity to adapt to stress, whether physical or psychological. He emphasizes the… Read more »
“Plump apple, smooth banana, melon, peach…Instead of words, discoveries flow out from the ripe flesh, astonished to be free…O knowledge, pleasure—inexhaustible.” Rainer Maria Rilke Developing to the fullest potential for splendor and fulfillment Psyche and body shift to suit the rhythms of the seasons. In Summer we shed the heavy boots needed for snow, allowing… Read more »
Within the Chinese traditional medicine view, the gut is the center–the organizational nexus–of bodily life and social relations. The Chinese greeting, “Ni hao ma?” translates literally as “Have you eaten yet today?”. The industrialization of food production, along with the mechanization and acceleration of cooking and eating, have profoundly altered a primal pattern of behavior,… Read more »
Autumn follows on the tail of the harvest, signaling that it is time to prepare for winter. It is a time to eliminate what is unnecessary and become aware of what is essential.
Chinese medicine maintains that preserving the strength and integrity of the body as a whole is the most important bulwark against the development of disease.