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Springtime in Quarantine | Hardin Acupuncture

Springtime in Quarantine

crocus in snowy field

“Things gradually show themselves to us in the dark when we are willing to spend time there.” Thea Elijah

A patient of mine shared how much she missed coming in for her seasonal tune-up (and I miss that too!) As some of you know, there are certain points that are especially potent at the equinox and solstice times of the year. The good news is that the energetics of these acupuncture points already live in each and every one of you. The needle is just reminding you of that, and there are other ways to awaken it. Spring energy is about new growth, movement, creativity, change, flexibility, hope! It can be a hard transition from the depths of winter to the suddenness of spring, and it’s even more so this year because much of our daily life is still in winter energy – turning inward, more time alone, being in the unknown, sometimes fear of survival. That’s OK. I think we can trust that the world is asking us to remain still for a bit longer. And we can still experience spring with walks in nature, planting seeds, journaling, imagining how we want the world to look after all of this…

It’s a strange time, isn’t it? We hear – just allow this pause, stop being productive, feel your feelings, breathe, realize that the old way we were doing things wasn’t working. And also – organize your home! Learn a new language! Check on everyone! Figure out how to work from home! Do these trillion and one activities with your kids! Ok, Ok. Ok. I’m trying to find the balance between those two realities as well. I’m opening up 2 or 3 tele-sessions a few days a week so I can be available for people who need me (this is nourishing to me too.) Then as much as possible, tending my own need for pause. Sleeping more. Walking a lot. Allowing myself to cry. I did start to reorganize a room and then gave up half-way and now things are everywhere. We don’t have to know how to navigate this perfectly! Or even close to perfect.

Here are a few acupuncture points that are especially helpful with this intermingling of winter and spring energies and that you can self-treat at home:

The first is called Bubbling Spring, and it’s on the kidney meridian at the ball of the foot. You can apply gentle pressure there with your thumb, or you could activate it by gently bouncing up and down on your heels (if you imagine roots going deep into the earth while you do it, even better). Treating this point can help you feel more grounded and enlivened, less fearful. (Search Kidney 1 in Google images for location help if needed.)

Another point is called Gate of Hope. It’s the last point on the Liver meridian, located on the rib cage (Google images – Liver 14, although many acupuncturists find this point a bit lower, near the bottom of the rib cage. Either spot is fine!) You can gather your finger tips together and gently massage this point in a circular motion. The name of this point speaks for itself. It allows us to feel hope even in times of darkness and to orient our lives towards that spark of light. As a bonus, it also helps keep our diaphragm open, allowing our lungs to function at full capacity.

And lastly, there’s a point called Foot Above Tears. It’s on the gallbladder meridian on the top of the foot, in the “V” where the 4th and 5th toe bones meet. (Google images – gallbladder 41) You can gently massage this point in a circular motion for about a minute, on both sides. The energy of this point is about the freshness that can come after letting go. The new possibilities that reveal themselves after being still for a time. This may bring up grief, which is totally appropriate. We can often move in new ways after we’ve mourned. In Chinese medicine grief is associated with the lungs, and we all know this virus is especially hard on the lungs. If you’re up for more reading, I found this reflection on grief and covid and the lungs to be quite profound:

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Hardin Acupuncture
1804 Chislett St
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
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Thu 12-7
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Phone: 412.927.4768