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Acupuncture + Depression: Spring edition | Hardin Acupuncture

Acupuncture + Depression: Spring edition

depression stuck energy furled fern

Here it is May 2nd, and I was still wearing a hat on my walk to work yesterday. The pink dogwoods, yellow daffodils, and cheery birds are all saying spring is here, but winter doesn’t seem to want to fully let go.

That dynamic of being almost ready shows up in us too. And it can be painful. We can feel like a furled fern. Or a tightly-wound bud.

This is one of the manifestations of depression within Chinese medicine.

It’s called liver qi stagnation: when part of us wants to grow and expand, but that desire is blocked for some reason.

There’s a time lapse scene in the Imax movie Mysteries of the Unseen World that almost made me cry. It’s of morning glory vines catapulting themselves higher and higher. It’s so beautiful, because we have that same desire for upward growth within us. That holy longing.

And sometimes we feel out of step with it and that’s OK. We can trust that our vitality lies within us like a sleeping tiger. An endless wellspring. Even when we’re going through dark times, we should never give up.

Because healing comes from activating the best part of ourselves, and while we’re alive, that’s always possible.

A richer, fuller, more vibrant life is always possible, even in the midst of feeling unwell or depressed or lost. We just can’t always predict when it will happen.

As one of my teachers said, “it is not a straight and narrow path, but it is the only one.

Bringing ease to where you are on your path is deeply healing.

We’re all trying to create a meaningful life. We have a vision that exists as a feeling, a drive, maybe even at times a desperation. Stepping even one small step (and sometimes that small step is very very small) towards it means being in line with the Universe, which is all about creation. Endless, ceaseless creation.

Tending to our human selves with gentleness, self-care and attention is what makes us ready.

Some steps:

Vow to take care of your body. I did this during a period of depression when I didn’t feel like doing anything. I wrote it down as a promise to myself that even if I didn’t feel like it, I would take care of the basics – good food, exercise, meditation. This is like tending the soil before we know if the plant will bloom or not.

Movement. Taking walks, yoga, qi gong, dancing, tennis. We want to feel expansive and nothing’s better to get us on that path than moving our bodies. Stretch periodically throughout the day (even if you get strange looks from your co-workers!)

Write down your thoughts. Taking some time with a journal in the morning and/or evening can really help keep things flowing. Just write for a few minutes without a particular purpose and notice if you feel freer.

Bask in the blessing. A friend of mine shared this phrase with me. She meant that if you see something beautiful, take the time to really experience it. Being in the presence of beautiful things can wake up those beautiful parts in ourselves. A few things that gave me pause over the past week – a bright red cardinal, the sun shining through a tiny crack in the clouds, an old dog keeping gentle watch over his front yard. Be curious as you go through your day, open to receiving these small blessings. And then breathe them in.

Acupuncture treatment. A series of treatments can be amazingly helpful in connecting you with that endless wellspring. It helps the new you emerge from the winter, from the darkness.


Other posts in the Acupuncture and Depression series:
Building a Fire in Your Life
The Empty Heart

Image source: Peter Stevens

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Hardin Acupuncture
1804 Chislett St
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
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Phone: 412.927.4768