Just the word in itself fills me with excitement, anticipation, a sense of hope, and lightness.
It’s definitely on it’s way, and as much as I do try to embrace the different seasons and the gifts they each have to offer, it really can’t come soon enough.
Most people I know, including myself, have been struck down with an unusually long and stubborn form of the lurgy at some point this winter, and with so much darkness both outside and on the news, I think we are all craving a bit of light.
On the plus side, when we are faced with adversity, whether it’s an illness, a disappointment or a loss, we are forced to look at our lives and see how we can make some adjustments to live better.
For me, I decided that Thursdays were going to be my day for me. I work late into the evening, so I now take until 2pm each Thursday to do something that nourishes me.
This Thursday I went to see a Holistic Health Practitioner, Wendy Giles, who gave me a full consultation and then a Shiatsu session.
It was just what I needed on so many levels. Not only did I leave floating out on a cloud, with a feeling of renewed energy, hope and lightness, but I also learned a great deal, things that I was going to be able to apply in my everyday life and at work.
If you’ve been reading my column for a while, you will know that I believe that nature is the greatest healer. The closer to nature we are, with our food, our exercise, and our lifestyle patterns, the healthier we are.
So this Shiatsu session, based on the principles of Five Elements of Traditional Chinese Medicine, was right up my street.
They relate to a certain extent , but not exactly, to the five elements of nature described in Ayurveda, which I studied in India.
The idea is that all of nature, including us, is made up of five different elements, and these elements relate to the seasons. Except in TCM, there is an extra season, that delicious time at the end of the summer before winter begins. This is the element of Earth.
As well as each season relating to an element, as human beings we are all a combination of these five elements, and depending on our constitution, biological make-up and lifestyle, we will have a different blend of each.
Wood, Fire, Earth, Water and Metal – The Five Elements.
A thorough consultation on past and present health issues, as well as preferences – will reveal what may be weak or excessive in each area.
As with all laws of nature, the key is balance. Not too much, not too little, but a good proportion of each.
Interestingly, what came out in mine was a weakness in the element of Metal, which relates to the lungs, which have certainly been my problem over the last few months. I’m now working on opening up that area of my body, as well as eating the right foods for that element, and I’m thoroughly enjoying it, especially as I am consciously aware of why I’m doing it.
The thing with Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda is that it all makes sense, on an elemental level, if you excuse the pun.
This isn’t all “pick a card and I’ll tell you that you have a wolf on your shoulder”, or “let’s mix up some magic potions together and dance round naked in the forest”. (Although if that’s your thing, and it works for you, then I’m all for it!).
It’s roots are in the science of nature, and the laws have been around for centuries. It’s not quick-fix, magic-pill, stick a plaster on it kind of medicine. It’s the natural order of everything that exists in the world around us, which in a way is a form of magic, if you think about it.
When we realise that we are governed by these very same laws, we respect and live by these laws, then everything comes in a state of balance.
Which brings me to Spring….
Spring relates the Element of Wood, and it’s going to be the subject of my upcoming One Day Retreat at Powderham, when I have invited Wendy to join me. I’m going to be writing about it next week, and showing you how you can apply it to your everyday life with some simple seasonal changes.
Next week it’ll be March, and we will be one step closer to the new season, and I for one will be welcoming it with open arms.