Embrace the Seasonal Transition

Crisp cold air reinforces that it’s time to put up the heavy curtains, finish gathering summer clothes into storage and freshen up the winter attire.  This transition time of autumn gives us a chance to adjust and accept that snow and arctic chill factors will be with us for some time.  Let’s embrace this transition!  Let’s prepare for the inevitable and welcome the long dark nights that invite introspection and reevaluation.  Let’s pull out the soup recipes and bring as much warmth inside as possible.  Let’s remember our stories and tall tales to share with loved ones.  Let’s get ready for what’s coming since denial does little to keep it away!

I encourage you to be careful during this transitional season.  It’s tempting to continue to wear shorts, tank tops, no socks or other attire more suitable for the heat of summer.  This habit can catch us off guard as a sudden blast of wind exposes us to cold and damp, and suddenly we’re feeling cold or flu symptoms.  It sounds so silly, but dress in layers that can be replaced or removed depending on the moment…don’t let “Old Man Winter” catch you off guard.  Oops, just had a “Mom moment.”

Guarding our health can be as simple as wardrobe choice,

taking in extra Vitamin C loaded fruits or supplements, drinking some anti-oxidant rich green tea daily (in addition to your much needed water) and considering a humidifier now that the heat is on regularly.  You can also think about adding movement meditation work into your routine to help joint fluidity, strengthen immunity and relax your mind.

Two choices for movement meditation available in Rapid City
include Tai Chi and Qigong.

“Tai chi is a “soft” Chinese martial art that is primarily practiced for its health benefits including a means for dealing with tension and stress. Among the martial arts, there are two basic types: the hard martial arts and the soft martial arts (also called internal arts). Examples of the hard martial arts are karate and kung fu. Examples of the soft martial arts are ba gua and tai chi.
Tai chi emphasizes complete relaxation, and is essentially a form of meditation, or what has been called “meditation in motion.” Tai chi is characterized by soft, slow, flowing movements that emphasize force, rather than brute strength. Though it is soft, slow, and flowing, the movements are executed precisely.

Chi is an ancient Chinese notion designating a form of energy. The term literally means something like “breath.” According to the philosophy of tai chi, this energy or chi flows throughout the body, but can become blocked. According to Chinese medicine, tai chi masters, and tai chi philosophy, one becomes ill when the flow of the chi through the body becomes blocked. The Chinese recognize several means for freeing up the flow of chi; two of the more commonly known forms are acupuncture and tai chi.

In addition to its physical benefits, tai chi is said, by the Chinese, to have certain psychological effects as well. Tai Chi, as a form of meditation, is intended to help one understand oneself and to enable one to deal with others more effectively. This latter function is rooted in learning to control oneself, which can come about through two principal and fundamental notions: yin and yang. Though these two principles are seen as opposites, the one necessarily merges into the other, creating the natural balance of self and world, hence the classic symbol of tai chi. The tai chi form is meant to enable one to bring the principles of yin and yang back into their fundamental, natural harmony. The ultimate effect of this harmony is one’s physical and spiritual well-being.”
From the website: http://frank.mtsu.edu/~jpurcell/Taichi

“Qigong (also spelled Ch’i Kung) is a powerful system of healing and energy medicine from China. It is the art and science of using breathing techniques, gentle movement, and meditation to cleanse, strengthen, and circulate the life energy (qi). Qigong practice leads to better health and vitality and a tranquil state of mind. In the past, qigong was also called nei gong (inner work) and dao yin (guiding energy).

The documented history of qigong goes back approximately 2,500 years. However Chinese archaeologists and historians have found references to qigong-like techniques at least five thousand years old.
Because qigong includes both dynamic and gentle techniques that can be practiced from standing, seated, or supine postures, it is suitable for young and old. Practices can be tailored to individual needs making it an ideal aid to recovery from illness or injury. Qigong is a form of complementary medicine. It works well with other forms of therapy and should never be used as a substitute for necessary treatment by a physician.”
From the website: http://www.qigonghealing.com