The Traditional Chinese system of medicine (TCM) relies heavily on the changing of the seasons as a larger template for our human transitional and health experience.
Our lives are a constant series of transitions.
Just like a river, we flow with a unique set of challenges and moments of ease.
Here are some thoughtful aspects of navigating that river:
1. Flow of Life:
Much like a river, life flows forward, and we are carried along its course from birth to the eventual end. This continuous flow represents the passage of time and the inevitability of change.
Just as the seasons transition from one to another, we also experience various life transitions. These transitions can be major milestones like graduation, marriage, career changes, and retirement, or they can be more subtle shifts in our beliefs, values, and perspectives.
3. Twists and Turns:
The twists and turns in a river’s course can be seen as the unexpected events and challenges that we encounter in life. Sometimes, these twists can take us in directions we didn’t anticipate, and we must adapt to navigate them.
4. Slow and Fast Times:
Rivers have sections of slow, meandering flow and fast-paced waterfalls and rapids. Similarly, life has its moments of leisure and tranquility, as well as periods of intense activity and challenges. These variations add depth and richness to our life experiences.
5. Blockages and Dams:
Blockages and dams can represent obstacles or barriers we encounter in life. These can be physical, emotional, or psychological challenges that temporarily impede our progress.
Finding ways to overcome or work around and “with” these blockages is a significant part of personal growth and can be incredibly rewarding. Like the flow of water we can be “carried” little by little through a blockage, the hard part is our willingness to “be carried”.
6. The “Sea”:
The sea at the end of the river’s journey can symbolize different things for different individuals, such as fulfillment, enlightenment, or a sense of purpose. It’s the ultimate destination that we all move towards, even if the specifics of that destination may vary from person to person. There are many “seas” in an individual journey – which we can then begin again.
7. Resilience and Adaptation:
Just as a river finds its way around obstacles, we, too, have the capacity to adapt and find new paths when faced with challenges. It is the creating of new paths that lead us to new ways of “being” that can ultimately be really rewarding! Resilience and adaptability are essential qualities for navigating the river of life.
We cannot escape the inevitability of change.
We can see the importance of dipping into the journey, no matter how winding or turbulent it may become. It encourages us to flow with life, accepting its transitions and learning from the experiences along the way. It’s a reminder to find beauty and meaning in every twist and turn of the river, ultimately leading us to our own unique “sea” of fulfillment.
In the spirit of transitions, here is a personal bit:
Most of my practice life (24 years) I have had the honor of treating humans for many sorts of discomforts and disease. When I look at my experience with treatments, it occurs to me that most, if not all discussions with my patients have included all sorts of life transitions that have accompanied their complaints.
Conclusion: we are always in transition or change.
Those, who I have seen through the many years report that acupuncture and Chinese herbs have greatly assisted them through their transitions. From the common flu to preparing for a surgery, to chemo therapy and infertility their commitment to an acupuncture treatment plan has greatly eased their transitional journeys and they seem to come to the other end having greater clarity and knowledge of themselves on a deeper level – and then more ready for the next possible change.
Many Lives Chinese Medicine
Acupuncturist Redwood City
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