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December 27, 2021

An Acupuncturist’s Take on New Year’s Resolutions

Top of iceberg peaks out of reflective waters with a clear blue sky behind it

While we’re always encouraging our patients to grow & self-actualize, your Acupuncturist can’t really get behind the sentiment of New Year’s Resolutions. Here in the Northern Hemisphere where we’re still in the depths of winter, the only Resolutions we could get behind this time of year are ones related to sleep, rest, taking it easy, cultivating stillness, & faith. Let’s call them New Year’s Restolutions.

Notes on Seasonal Living

  • It’s still winter: Winter is a time for rest. Our ancestors would have been tending their hearths, living off of the resources gathered in the last year, and not expending more energy than necessary.
  • Yin is dominant: Winter solstice is the most Yin day of the year. After that, Yang energy grows slowly day by day until we reach summer solstice. Yang is just starting to grow. It’s not enough energy to sustain the burden of a year’s worth of new goals and projects.
  • Spring is Coming: That will be the time to spring into action & to actualize the dreams and learnings of the last year. To gather the strength and willpower to enact our visions and dreams in this complex world, first we must rest & reflect.

Take It from the I Ching

The I Ching is the earliest text associated with East Asian Medicine– it’s first iteration was likely written over 3,000 years ago. It is and was used as a Divination tool by comparing a person’s circumstances to the greater cosmic & natural world. The text offers innumerable insights into the natural world & order of things. Hexagram 24, translated as “The Return”, describes the energy of the Winter Solstice, or the return of the light.

“Movement is just at its beginning; therefore it must be strengthened by rest so that it will not be dissipated by being used prematurely. This principle… of allowing energy that is renewing itself to be reinforced by rest, applies to all similar situations. The return of health after illness, the return of understanding after an estrangement: everything must be treated tenderly and with care at the beginning, so that the return may lead to a flowering.”
– I Ching Hexagram 24, The Turning Point
Translated by Richard Wilhelm

About the Author

White woman with wide brim straw hat on holds a white and brown dog and smiles in front of snowy mount and frozen lake scene on a sunny dayAlly Magill is Licensed Acupuncturist & AIMC graduate with a background in birthwork as a labor and postpartum doula, outdoor education, and the management of thriving community acupuncture clinics. To learn more about living with the seasons & the wisdom of East Asian Medicine, you can join her Introduction to East Asian Medicine course starting soon. Visit her website to book Acupuncture appointments, Herbal Medicine consults, & Postpartum care.

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