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Community Acupuncture in Summer Time

Community Acupuncture – How, What, Why Now? #5

Author: Gunjan Chopra

Ah, June. Finally! One of my favourite signs that summer is around the corner is when I start running into folks I haven’t seen in months and it feels like everyone’s emerging from their winter hibernation. By this time of year the pull of sunshine and warmth is drawing many us out. But first – much like waking from a slumber, there is some disorientation as we shake ourselves off, figure out where we are, who we are, and where we’re heading. I associate that energy of disorientation with Wind, the element of the Liver/Wood season we are leaving as we enter the Heat associated with Heart/Fire. Things get stirred up; we may begin someplace and end up another.

If you’ve been affected by the windy rainy days we’ve been having and the spikes in temperature, pressure, and world happenings, you’re certainly not alone. In the Community Acupuncture (CA) room, I’ve been seeing folks come in with some of the classic signs of this time – migraines, headaches, neck and shoulder tension, muscle spasms, colds and flus, stress and overwhelm, pain that comes and goes, digestion that’s up and down.

Acupuncture at this transitional time can be anchoring and harmonizing. It can support us in replenishing our yin, clearing Wind from our systems, fortifying our protective energy, and balancing out our internal Heat with the growing Heat of the outside world.

In a typical Toronto summer many of us try to pack in as much as we can because we know this season is so fleeting. (I know I’m already making plans for August…) Certainly the long days, the heat and yang energy make a lot more seem possible. But for many of us this is also a time when we may over-extend ourselves if our yin stores aren’t sufficient to support the yang. We may end up with insomnia, feel agitated, angry, bitter, impulsive, have skin outbreaks, digestive upset, or more, depending on how the Heat interacts with our constitution.

Noticing these signs can be an invitation to cultivate stillness and to find anchors for our days. For those of us observing Ramzan, this month provides ample opportunity for just that. And for all of us, the season with its whirlwind energy can also be a reminder that we are in this (whatever ‘this’ is for us) for the long haul. And we need all of us with us. As a good friend recently reminded me of Toni Cade Bambara’s words, “Not all speed is movement.”

May you have a gloriously slow and sun-soaked month ahead. See you in the CA room.

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