2006-03-31 / Columnists

Health & Harmony

Spring Forward
By Dr. Nancy Gahles

DR. nancy gahlesDR. nancy gahles As daylight savings time approaches we are reminded to "spring forward". The visualization of "springing" in any manner just doesn't have the same feel to it that it used to.

This year, in this spring season, I'm going to view it in a different way. I can see the buds appearing on trees and the flowers waiting to spring out of their dormant stage. What appears to simply burst forth has actually been in process all winter. The blossom is the end result of time spent in quiet, inward development. The flower is the harbinger of things to come. As the days lengthen, the hours of sunlight radiate the earth and give rise to the lush crops of vegetables, verdant fields of green grasses and vibrant gardens of flowers.

When we are able to harmonize with our seasons we can appreciate the cyclic nature of our beings. By observing the way in which nature moves forward, we realize that it is anything but "springing" forward. The order is well defined and predictable. Every year, without fail, spring follows winter. It is a good, safe feeling to be able to trust in this fact.

So, we can all take a deep breath, secure in the knowledge that this weekend, there will begin to be more hours of daylight for us to bask in.

Enter this spring cycle slowly. Creaky joints that haven't been used over the winter will do best by easing into outdoor activities starting with stretching and walking. Once you get on your bicycle, pace yourself, increasing time and speed incrementally to avoid injury.

Gardening is the highlight of spring. Preparing the soil and choosing which plants will adorn your home and which vegetables will grace your table connects us deeply to the earth and gives us soul satisfaction. Remember that kneeling for long periods of time as well as bending, stooping and lifting can be triggers for unused back muscles or underlying spinal issues. It is a good idea to get into alignment with a chiropractic check up before you begin planting. Ask your Doctor of Chiropractic for stretches and exercises that will fit your particular needs and the lifestyle you plan to live in the coming


As the light changes so does our metabolism. Liver cleansing at this time of year is a tradition the world over. Dandelions are the most favored green food to use for spring cleaning of the body and it is no mistake that they are one of the first greens to appear on the scene. Another clue to the wisdom inherent in nature. Dandelions can be boiled and eaten with lemon or eaten raw in a salad with olive oil and fresh garlic. They can also be used in juices with beets. This potent detoxifier prepares the metabolism for the fresh fruits and vegetables of the season to come. All of the chlorophyll rich greens that appear in spring are meant for this same purpose. So, look around at nature. That which is growing is exactly what you should be eating.

Put a little spring in your step by planning new activities, ones that challenge or stimulate you. Do something you were always afraid to do. Do something you thought you never could do. Do that thing that you always wanted to do. Live in this moment for it will not come again. Look at the flowers. They bud, come into full, glorious bloom and then fade away. Until next year. They don't wait, reluctant to seize the moment for fear of failure to bloom correctly. They don't decide that they won't open their petals for fear that they will be thought of as ugly or unworthy. They simply bloom. They come to fruition. In the right time and in the place where they are planted.

Bloom where you are planted! Turn your face to the light of the sun and shine! This is the time.

There will never be another like it.

Bask in it.

Be aware of the sensitivities that each season presents to you. Are you sensitive to the pollens of the trees or the flowers? Begin this season with supplements that decrease the mast cell responses that cause inflammation like runny nose, watery eyes and head congestion. My favorite for this is Quercetin Complex by Solgar. When a simple supplement fails to remove the symptoms, I look further into the specifics of the person. A seasonal homeopathic remedy called Euphrasia Officianalis is one where the person has dry, burning eyes that tear worse at night with tears that are acrid. There is the feeling of sand or grit in the eyes and one must blink to clear them. There is the feeling of congestion in the head, dullness of thinking and a weepy, melancholy state. Make a mental note of how you felt last year at this time and prepare to prevent any untoward symptoms this year. Forewarned is forearmed!

Health & Harmony Wellness Education will host a workshop on seasonal allergies in the beginning of May. Please e-mail me if you would like to attend. askDrNancy@aol.com.

May The Blessings Be!

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