Gratitude & Cultivation - An Open Letter
Autumn is the season of letting go and slowing pace in preparation for the stillness and restoration of Winter. This makes it the perfect time to reflect on what we hold valuable in our lives and what we can choose to leave behind, in favour of cultivating something deeper.
This season also marks a change in the life of my acupuncture practice. The Oxford Natural Health Centre - home to my practice - closed its doors last month and has now been reopened as The Iffley Clinic. With the change of owners comes a new team, a new group of practitioners and a fresh direction for all.
Having 7 days off whilst the clinic was refurbished gave me ample time to reflect on the best aspects of my work to bring to the new clinic and what to leave behind with the old.
The themes I kept returning to were gratitude and cultivation.
My gratitude is for you. Without you - as a patient - I would not be able to be ‘an acupuncturist’ and without your trust and faith in my ability I would not have the chance to practice Chinese Medicine. For that opportunity I continue to be very grateful to you. So thank you.
For me, cultivation is the art and tradition of ‘nourishing life’. This has long been the focus and practice of the best doctors of Chinese Medicine, known is Chinese as yang sheng. The yang sheng practice reminds us that good health extends beyond the physical. To stay healthy we must work towards enriching relationships, a fulfilling professional life, cultivating knowledge of self and an even state of mind.
The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic of Medicine - the most famous book on Chinese Medicine - puts this best:
“The sages did not treat those who were already ill but treated those who were not yet ill. They did not try to put in order what was already in disorder but tried to prevent disorder arising in the first place. Treating disease after it has arisen is like starting to dig a well when one is already thirsty, or only starting to cast weapons once the battle has begun. Would these also not be too late?”
Medicine should be the last thing we need. We need instead to be our own sage and to learn to look after ourselves.
Nourishing Life every Friday
In the spirit of Nourishing Life or Yang Sheng, I’ll be sending an email out every Friday to share with you some tips to help you to nourish life and cultivate health. My hope is that it will serve as a way to support your long term health and to ‘prevent disorder arising’.
The series starts with Nourishing Life #1: ‘Drink Hot Water: The fasteste way to improve your digestion and energy levels’.
My aim is to be able to run a series of workshops or seminars on the topics covered in the Nourishing Life series to make these practices and ideas available to you. Please feel free to share any of the ideas, tips or topics included with anyone you feel may benefit.