It’s spring! It’s getting warmer! Wear a scarf! Wait, what?!

The warmer days of spring are upon us, with the flowers peeping out of the earth, the sun gracing us with its presence longer each day and more of those windy days. Many of us look forward to spring, as it is evidence that the cold stagnation of winter recedes, giving way to the warmer movements. The energy of spring as seen in the blooming trees and sprouting flowers is up and out! This force of energy is essential for the little seedlings tucked away, down in the dark earth, to burst open and up through the ground and towards the sunshine. That sprout has quite a journey to make and it needs all of the help it can get.

In Chinese medicine, we call this upward energy, and this time of year more “yang” than “yin.” The yin and yang are opposites that complement, support and need each other. The yin represents the calm, cool, watery, sedate and downward kind of movement. The yang is seen in the aggressive, hot, fiery, lively and upward kind of movement. Thus in order for the little sprout to make the journey up through the earth, it will need all of that yang energy. We need the upward energy of the spring to balance out the downward energy of the winter. Now while this rush of energy is good and necessary, it can also be uncomfortable and even harmful to us and our bodies if we are not ready for it. An example of this energy having a negative effect is when we are outside on those windy days, where we feel very blown around. The wind can feel invasive, when it whips us in the face, making us turn away or seek cover from its aggressive force.

Chinese medicine looks at wind as an invasive element that can disturb you and your qi. It can get into the body, and go through the protective layers of qi if they are weak, and cause discomfort. Some of the wind invasion symptoms are sneezing, headaches, itching, dizziness, aches moving around the body and twitches (eye twitches most commonly in spring). One of the most vulnerable places on the body for wind to invade the body is the neck/head area, especially the back of the neck. Wearing a scarf, a neck covering jacket or hoodie during the spring is one of the best ways to protect you from this invasive element. There is a joke amongst acupuncturists, “How can you spot an acupuncturist in June? They will be the one wearing a scarf!” Jokingly true, but it’s a suggestion I follow closely. I also get acupuncture to strengthen my qi, review my diet to see where I can be healthier and check my sleep habits. All of these factors weigh in on my state of health and how my body will be in fighting off any invasive elements.

So, as we continue on through this lovely spring, embracing the warmth, I wish you more movement to shake off the dregs of winter, warm sunshine to melt the cold, with lots of fashionable scarves and hoodies to protect you and keep you healthy!

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