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April 2022 Flying Needle News

Updated: Nov 13, 2023

Pink azaleas bloom.

Birdsong welcomes the dawn. Spring

Time is clear and bright.

Hello Friends of Flying Needle!

Happy Clear and Bright!

- fourth spring solar node -

Hope this finds you well during these interesting times!

Seasonal Musings

As I write this on the morning of April 5th, it is a beautiful, sunny, pollen drenched start to Clear and Bright here in Chapel Hill.

This is the time of the season in which, even if you don't have seasonal allergies, a neti pot (or other nasal irrigation option) is a great self-care practice. There is such a bounty of particulate matter in the air, it does us all good to clear and clean the sinuses at least once per day.

If you find yourself experiencing any of the following without apparent cause:

  • Fatigue

  • Fuzzy headedness

  • Digestion changed in an uncomfortable way

  • Sorer and stiffer than usual

  • Down, blue, weepy, grumpy, irritable

You may want to consider using a neti pot 2 – 3 times/day, as these are all amongst the less well-known reactions to pollen.


One of the dynamics that pollen reminds me of, and teaches me about each year, is the fundamental relationality of life.

Matthew Segall, in a talk on Alfred North Whitehead's Organismic or Process philosophy, noted that ecology, rather than physics, is the foundational form of scientific inquiry.

Ecology is often defined as, the branch of science that studies relationships of organisms to each other and their environments.

Segall is riffing on the idea that what we think of as "things", one of the primary domains of physics, are relational processes rather than static material objects. When we orient to relationship, that which is between and connects, rather than objects, it opens up a space for us to see and feel into the inherent dynamism of our world, and this continually changing universe in which it moves.

Even what we think of as inert matter is a continuous dance of becoming. Stones appear static to the naked eye, and us short lived creatures, yet with enough magnification, and/or a long enough temporal view, we begin to see their movements and changes. With living systems the dance is at a pace we can, at least in part, observe. This is one of the reasons I often say, “There are no things in Chinese medicine.”

If there are no things, what are there? Processual dynamic relationships all the way down.

Ok. But, what does all this have to do with pollen?

Oxford Languages defines pollen as:
A fine powdery substance, typically yellow, consisting of microscopic grains discharged from the male part of a flower or from a male cone. Each grain contains a male gamete that can fertilize the female ovule, to which pollen is transported by the wind, insects, or other animals.

Springtime pollen saturation is the reproductive relational process enacted on a level of breadth that encompasses all of us. A robust and direct teacher! The practice of medicine is first and foremost relational. Through presence and listening we come into relationship with what is arising and expressing at a given moment. We seek to hear what the innate wisdom of the complex web of contexts and relationships we call the self is asking for, and to provide it to the best of our capacity and skill. Our orientation within this practice is that this request is being made so that the ecology of self may receive needed support to foster the emergence of coherence. We call that emergent coherence health. The role of the physician is to support this emergence. If there is anything I can do to support you, please don't hesitate to reach out.

It is my sincere hope that you have found something of use in these words. If you know folks who you feel would enjoy this newsletter, please forward it their way! Thank you!

Wishing you and all your relations wellbeing and good medicine!

With gratitude,


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