TCM and Spleen Season: A Holistic Approach to Back-to-School for Activists & revolutionaries
What defines an activist? Who is a revolutionary? the answer resides in you... if you are someone who is in any way focused on generating and/or contributing to social change, this is for you!
As summer winds down and the leaves start to change, many of us find ourselves transitioning from sun-soaked days to the bustling rhythm of back-to-school season. Whether you or a kid of yours are headed back to school this week, all of us are impacted by the big move that the return to school is and for activists and revolutionaries, this shift carries a unique set of challenges.
The demands of advocating for change are physically and emotionally taxing. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers a holistic approach to help activists and revolutionaries navigate the busy season, especially during what is known in TCM as "Spleen Season."
Understanding Spleen Season
In TCM, each season is associated with specific elements and organs, and autumn is the season of the Metal element and the Lung and Large Intestine organs. Additionally, it's considered the peak of "Spleen Season," during which the Earth element is dominant, and the Spleen and Stomach organs are emphasized. This season corresponds to the time when we transition from the expansive, outward energy of summer to the more inward, reflective energy of fall.
The Spleen plays a crucial role in digestion, energy production, and overall well-being according to TCM principles. When the Spleen is balanced, it contributes to clear thinking, a strong immune system, and a sense of stability and those of us centred on a healthy and balanced world for us all require an inner stability from which to generate change. However, imbalances in the Spleen can lead to fatigue, digestive issues, and a sense of overwhelm, all of which are particularly relevant for changemakers and students during the back-to-school season.
TCM Practices for Balance
Balanced Diet: To support the Spleen, focus on warm, nourishing foods like soups, stews, and steamed vegetables. Incorporate ginger, cinnamon, and other warming spices into your meals. Avoid excessive cold or raw foods, as they can weaken the Spleen's function. When the heat wave wanes, making the shift to cooked food offers you more Qi for the cooler months ahead.
Mindful Eating: Slow down and savour your meals. Eating in a calm and focused manner allows your body to properly digest food, benefiting both the Spleen and overall well-being.
Herbal Support: TCM herbal formulas and teas like ginger tea or ginseng can help strengthen the Spleen and boost energy levels. Consult with a TCM practitioner for personalized recommendations.
Acupuncture: Acupuncture sessions can help balance the body's energy and alleviate stress, which is crucial for activists and revolutionaries.
Self-Heal: Prioritize self-healing practices like meditation, deep breathing exercises, and getting enough rest. These practices can help maintain emotional and physical equilibrium during hectic times.
Applying TCM Principles to Activism and Revolution
Activists and revolutionaries often face immense stress, burnout, and emotional challenges in their pursuit of change. Incorporating TCM principles can provide valuable tools for maintaining balance and resilience:
Self-Reflection: Use the introspective energy of autumn to reflect on your goals, values, and self-care routines. What aspects of your activism need nurturing?
Community Support: Seek like-minded individuals and create a supportive community. Sharing your experiences and concerns can help ease the emotional burden.
Adaptability: Just as nature changes in the fall, be open to adapting your strategies and approaches as circumstances evolve.
Sustainable Activism: Understand that activism is a marathon, not a sprint. Prioritize your well-being to ensure you can continue advocating for change effectively.
In conclusion, TCM offers a valuable perspective on how to navigate Spleen Season and back-at-it organizing for activists and revolutionaries. By prioritizing self-healing, nutrition, and mindful practices, you can maintain balance and resilience while working towards a better world.
The journey towards change starts from within, and a healthy, balanced body and mind are powerful tools in the pursuit of social justice and revolution. I wish for all of you to connect with this seasons, tend to your Spleen and take good care of your incredible being.