This spring has blown some extreme temperatures our way and when the weather is shifty the wind is the carrier of change. Wind by definition is movement, and more specifically the movement of air from high pressure to low pressure. Much like myself air prefers low pressure systems and moves with varying degrees of velocity depending on the intensity of high pressure systems in comparison to the low. This spring the wind has blown a gale and in its wake I feel my eyes itch, my skin dry and my back stiffen. Oh, the ides of May… no wait, that’s not right, but there is certainly something in the air.
The difficulty with rapidly changing temperature is that it often leaves our bodies susceptible to injury and illness. Just like air, when our bodies are cold the molecules are tighter and our muscles are stiffer and when we warm too quickly we sprain ankles and over-stretch our necks and backs, and find aches and pains where we didn’t know we had them, because we didn’t a moment before.
A cold wind will strike the back of our neck and top of our shoulders and leave us stiff and promote a runny nose while warm winds sting our face and throat and make our eyes itch. These conditions are often unpleasant but I have a fun surprise solution: retail.
Well, not necessarily. Luckily, most of us already own the solution… a scarf. Scarves are such fun and they allow us to layer, to be prepared and to be Taoists.
Taoist medicine recognizes that seasonal changes correspond to opportunities for pathogens to enter our body and create “disharmony” or sickness. Each season has a specific “wind” that can disrupt the natural balance for an individual. Being aware of these winds and their unique characteristics is the first step in preventing illness according to Hua-Ching Ni, in his book, Tao, the Subtle Universal Law. Ni references Nei Ching when he identifies the four aspects to preserving good health, which include:
“...nurturing the mind, engaging in proper physical exercise, maintaining an adequate, balanced diet and adapting to the environmental conditions.”
The classic book on healing and health identifies the objective of these practices as maintaining harmony with the “natural law of the universe”. Ni advises his reader to pay attention to climate, and dress and act in moderation. The Winds Blow So Wear A Scarf.