It’s been a while since I last posted, because I’ve been busy – re-establishing my acupuncture & Zero Balancing practice in Northampton, working long days in Daventry, supporting our son as he ploughs through his GCSEs and putting in hours and hours in the garden. Now, I know this is an unpopular thing to say, but I don’t love the hot weather – I love the fact that others love it, and after the inappropriate chill and damp of just ten days ago, I’m happy for my vegetable plants – but as any gardeners knows, it’s not easy keeping little plants alive when it’s hot and there’s a hosepipe ban. So what with walking up and down with watering cans and worrying about burning in the sun, I’m quite looking forward to the predicted cooling in a few days time.
And that, in a nutshell, is what summer is about in Chinese Medicine. Ideally – this being Britain – being outside feeling the heat, focusing on steady growth (rather than the rush of new beginnings in the spring and the harvest in the late summer), having deep enough roots to be able to withstand heat and thunderstorms, putting in the groundwork so that there’s something lasting to show for it later on. And hopefully feeling joyful and excited when the sun shines (or in my case, when the sun shines and I’m appreciating it from a shady spot!). And not being too devastated if the weather goes bad.
I’ve been out today taking photos of my garden, and pondering on how I could write about them here and have what I’m saying make sense in an acupuncturist’s blog. It’s amazing what we can get from simply observing nature. Take these broad bean plants, for instance. Planted in March, they’re really racing skywards, and have so many flowers that the air is full of the buzzing of bumble bees when you approach them. Before many more days have passed, the first pods will just be setting, and then we’ll be on the gallop towards my first harvestable crop of the season. So on first inspection, what you can see is pretty amazing – lively, bright, energetic, cheerful. And all that’s true. But look a bit more closely – for the bean plants to grow tall and straight, they need support, and that support comes in the form of a frame of canes and string which contains them – corrals them even – so they don’t collapse under their own increasing weight. Well, it doesn’t take a genius to be able to make that be an analogy for the human condition – total freedom sounds theoretically appealing to some But as soon as you factor in relationships with loved ones, friends and colleagues; as well as the life frameworks supplied by employment, leisure, obligations to ourselves and others, the need to fit holidays into the space allowed by school terms, or the boss’s annual leave spreadsheet – well, it’s pretty obvious that we can feel supported and given a direction to grow within those constraints, or we can feel restricted and fail to thrive.
One of the frequent comments that patients and clients make to me is that treatment has allowed them to navigate more smoothly through the difficulties of life. and those difficulties often revolve around the things that constrain our freedom. Whether it’s someone having Zero Balancing to help them cope with divorce or bereavement, or having acupuncture because the pain from their endometriosis is restricting their ability to function well in life – finding ways to be more comfortable in an imperfect world is a big thing I aim to be able to offer.
And while we’re on that subject, take a look at this longer view of my bean patch. Are those weeds by the path you can see? Is it possible the shed in the background is more than a little scruffy? Indeed so, and that’s life, isn’t it?
Call me on 07970 295177 – to find out how acupuncture and Zero Balancing can help you thrive, whatever the weather!