There’s no denying it now. Summer is here. It was pretty touch and go for a while there in May and June, but we’re fully in it now. Sweaty evenings, afternoon thunderstorms, and that crisp warmth in the early morning (though its getting close to the damp warmth of late summer).
As our friend Huang Di says, “In the three months of summer there is an abundance of sunshine and rain. The heavenly energy descends, and the earthly energy rises. When these energies merge there is intercourse between heaven and earth. As a result plants mature and animals, flowers, and fruit appear abundantly.”
This certainly sounds like the good life to me, but even if you are one of those people who loves the summer, there is still a Dao—a way to live in harmony with the seasonal change—and a way to fall out of sync.
Modern Western science is only beginning to understand ancient Eastern science. As the former improves its grasp on complex systems, and the latter becomes more accessible to us through better translations of the source material and intelligent application in modern settings, the two find more and more common ground.
Spring is all about transition. It is the shift from cold to hot, internal to external, closed to open. If the shift is smooth, your body can easily adjust. If the shift is erratic or extreme, your internal environment will struggle to stay in balance with the external environment. This makes it vulnerable to illness: colds, flus, asthma, sinus and allergy troubles, body aches, headaches, sprains, mobility problems, emotional disturbance, and more.
Staying healthy in spring means responding to the dramatic fluctuations of the weather on a day-to-day basis, while gradually transitioning from the winter hibernation to the extroversion of summer.
Stretching is widely accepted as a good thing to do, but the question is whether there is a right way to do it. Do you reach and hold it? Do you bounce? Do you hire a trainer to do it for you?
An article this week in the Toronto Star by Jonathan Forani clarifies the science of stretching. And the verdict is: it depends.
After half an hour out in the cold, we decided to bring the kids up to the cabin. It was late, and the rental car had slid deep into the snowbank of a steep hill. It would be a while before we got out. A friend carried my four-year-old son up the hill and said to him, “Look at the sky.”
News! I am starting at Tokyo Shiatsu and Acupuncture Clinic on March 7. I will be there every Tuesday and Friday. Drop by or call to book, 416-488-8414.
Winter is hard in the temperate zone. I’ll speak for myself, but I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who feels this way. I get soft in the luxury of summer sun, going out the door wearing whatever I feel like, taking a lazy bike ride to work, strolling through a park on my way to somewhere that doesn’t seem to matter so much now that I am enveloped by the movement and sounds of life doing its thing. But in time, that ease gives way as life passes to death.
I have been working on a piece about winter wellness and navigating the physical, mental and emotional challenges of the coldest, darkest time of year. But life has other plans, and winter, in Toronto at least, hasn't made a fuss so far. So I thought it'd take a quick tea break.
Cradled in climate-controlled buildings, it can be easy to forget about weather. One of the few things I truly love about winter is that it reminds me that we are profoundly connected to the weather. It does what it does and if frostbite takes your nose, so be it.
Winter is a hard time of year. The sun leaves us early and comes back late. The air is dry, the ground is wet, and the wind bites at every inch of exposed skin.
Many people feel a big gulf between our day-to-day life and what we call “Nature” or “wilderness”, especially those of us who live in sprawling cities. Humans evolved of millions of years in close relationship with the unforgiving environment, and its influence on us is still very real.
Respecting the changes of the seasons is the most important thing you can do to promote health and prevent illness.
Welcome to the new site and the new blog! My aspiration for these pages is to connect my personal and professional lives through storytelling.