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Monday, December 13, 2010

Acupuncture and Immortality
Rachel Sara Strass, MAc, LAc, Dipl Ac (NCCAOM)

Almost everyone wants to live a long life, if not to live indefinitely. Many people believe that aches and pains, fatigue and loss of libido go hand-in-hand with aging. According to Chinese Medicine, these concerns are evidence of imbalance, not age. Just like anything else, how we age depends on how hard we run, how well we rest, how long we let problems go before taking care of them, and what we take in for fuel. The darkest season of the year, between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, is a time for doing maintenance and taking a break. This is one of the best ways to age more gracefully. 

Until very recently, it was crucial to keep the fire going all night in the winter.  If the whole year were like a day, winter is like the nighttime of that day.   Therefore, it makes sense to bank our own fire in much the same way. To bank a fire, the flow of air is restricted and the fire covered with ash until no flames are visible. This means sleeping more, eating less, doing less, and letting things run themselves with minimal effort. In this way, we use the winter as a period of rest and rejuvination. As a result, when the light and heat return to this part of the planet, we are fueled up and ready to go, just like a well-banked fire in the morning. All it takes is some fresh air and kicking off the dust (a little spring cleaning).

This time of year is critical to the aging (or anti-aging) process. With an annual season of rest, we get the chance to heal from the stress of the year. It may take a little redesigning for some habits and activities, but the benefits are endless.

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