On the slowness of Spring in the Upper Valley

Britton Mann, DAOM, L.Ac.

       Spring takes its time to arrive in the Upper Valley, but murmurings have been around for a while. Small moths have appeared and first crocus greens have pushed up.
      Following suit, soon, is the surge. There is an enormity of biomass getting ready to push its way up and out of the soil to take advantage of the ephemeral growing season. At first it will look young and tender – undifferentiated thin green shoots. But collectively, it is a massive force of growth.
      Chinese medicine associates certain physiologic processes with seasons. The anatomic liver has awesome anabolic and regenerative forces: it cooks up bile, packages fats, makes proteins, and is able to regenerate after trauma. Unsurprisingly, springtime is Liver time. The capitalized “L” refers in Chinese medicine to not just the anatomic liver, but also to the physiologic processes governed by the organ.
        The Liver governs emotions, and in its governance of emotions, does not like to be constrained. Constraining the Liver is akin to throwing weed guard over all the green biomass wanting to push up and out of the earth. A constrained Liver is an irritable Liver. An irritable Liver makes for a bad neighbor – it harasses the Stomach and causes indigestion, it pokes at the Heart and adds to anxiety and insomnia.
      Here we come to the Upper Valley springtime conundrum. At a time when much of the country is enjoying blossoming trees, warm breezes, and spring salads, we still have snow on the ground. We want to throw off the scarves, enjoy a slow walk outside with friends, roll down the windows in the car. Instead: cabin fever. This is the New England analogy for the Chinese medical diagnosis of Liver Constraint.
     There are many possible remedies for Liver Constraint – herbal medicines, acupuncture, qigong and taiji, yoga, meditation, eating sprouted seeds, mindfulness training, talk therapy. There is patience. Spring is coming and the biomass is unstoppable. Channel the springtime Liver energy appropriately and the irritability becomes growth potential.

Offerings:

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Tools
Tuesdays, 5:45 - 8 pm, May 9 – June 27
Daylong Program: Saturday, June 17th
Instructors: Landon Hall  and Miriah Wall 
Please register via elhall888@gmail.com, miriah.opendoorwrj@gmail.com

Mindfulness-based Cognitive Tools (MBCTools) is a practice and study group that strengthens mindfulness-based cognitive tools for living.  It is based on Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program at UMass Medical Center.  The program is designed specifically for people living with chronic emotional distress, and has been scientifically proven to help people suffering from anxiety and depression.  This group is not recommended for anyone in the midst of a period of acute depression or anxiety, and for those suffering from chronic (not acute) emotional distress, it is recommended that they be under the care of a licensed counselor or therapist while taking the class. 

Nutritious Soups
Instructor: Holly Westling, RN, MS, CNS
April 27, 6:30 - 8:00pm
Price: $50

Bone broth has been used medicinally for centuries in many cultures.  While its name may not sound appetizing, it is loaded with minerals and nutrients that support digestive, bone and joint health, and tastes delicious.  Join our nutritionist this evening and learn how to make your own nutrient rich broth and nutritious soups.

Bootcamp For Yogis and Dancers
Hanna Satterlee
Friday, April 14th 3:30-5pm

Using a mix of yoga, pilates, ballet barre and body weight resistance training, intermediate to advanced dancers can enjoy conditioning specifically for their art form. We will train for length and strength in our muscles, integrating proper alignment and dynamic use of breath for health, longevity and endurance. Together we will cultivate a supportive and uplifting atmosphere while becoming strong and resilient.

Guest artist, Hanna Satterlee

FOR MORE INFO OR TO REGISTER: https://www.opendoorworkshop.com/registrations

I am going to try to pay attention to the spring. I am going to look around at all the flowers, and look up at the hectic trees. I am going to close my eyes and listen.
 Anne Lamott