“There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” ~ Anais Nin
Her enchanting sentiment eloquently describes the energies that stir as spring beckons. This is Earth’s earliest of seasonal energies to awaken from slumber.
Much of Earth emerges from winter through warming temperatures. Climates that kept plant-life asleep underground since autumn begin to lift their cooling breath, which warmly invites new life to return. First stirrings of plants’ energy for renewal begins well beneath the surface, where the eye cannot observe, but where we trust that it occurs.
All of life mirrors itself, “as within, so with-out.” Throughout life’s journey, our minds and bodies reflect a similar process of awakening beneath the surface, long before our logical mindfulness notices the shift of energy and the subtle changes occurring.
Physical imbalances equally reflect a process that initiates on an energetic and related biochemical level, long before outward symptoms and functional changes capture our awareness. Cellular changes are affected by habitual lifestyles and environmental factors, as well as the energy of our various relationships, thoughts and emotions.
In working with herbal medicine to determine the cause of physical dysfunction, I must pay focused attention to the details of individual medical history, acute/chronic symptoms, and onset/progression of imbalances.
Equally, we explore the contribution of personal situations that generate obvious and subtle thoughts and emotional reactions. The patient and I explore far beneath the surface from where the symptoms can be observed. We must take great pause in reflecting upon the events, thoughts and emotions that existed beforehand and during the onset of imbalance, even if they may seem to be insignificant to the patient.
Subtle changes in bodily functions occur quietly over time, so as to go largely unnoticed. These changes may be dismissed as unrelated to one another, when they occur within varied organ systems and habits, including sleep, moods, libido, metabolic changes, blood pressure and random inflammations. Yet, they are often tethered uniquely to a composite of factors.
During these subtle changes is the most ideal point at which to intercept with natural measures. This early stage is when the body is challenged with navigation of nervous system changes, combined with related biochemical demands put upon the endocrine system, and the resulting requirement of hormonal adaptation to sustain Life.
What fascinates me about my work is that each case is an intricate mosaic of medical history, personal history/relationships, varied symptoms and dynamic energies/personalities. It is truly along the journey in working together that I understand increasingly more nuances that are quite profound in the manifestation of a person’s illness. Many details continue to be revealed over time, adding rich textures to understanding each person I am graced to connect with. Most of these details are often beneath the surface of the obvious.
In remediation of imbalances and providing what the body needs to balance itself, not all plants or foods are ideal for every individual, no matter how fantastic their medicinal properties may be. This is where it is wise to seek a knowledgeable, methodical approach.
“Natural” is safe when used with the following:
Reverence for the gentle strength of plants/foods to heal, clinical mindfulness of contraindications and herb-drug interactions.
Careful plant selection.
Understanding of the pharmacological sciences as they apply to the individual’s medical history.
You can awaken from winter slumber with mindfulness of self and begin your own healing by inward reflection. Stir the awareness of energies beneath the surface to uncover subtle influences upon your sense of well-being. Be mindful of subtle functional changes that don’t resonate with feeling your best. Recognize your emotions and reactions to situations and people in your daily lives. It begins with the energy within, to emerge with new life.
Tami Bronstein is a medical herbalist who finds magic, wonder and connection. Qualified with a BSc in Phytotherapy (Honours) at the University of Wales (UK). She is available throughout the USA and Internationally via phone/video consultation through her private practice, Sundance Wellness. Visit www.sundancewellness.com for more information.
Editor: Brianna Bemel