January 27th marked the start of the Year of the Horse in the Chinese calendar, and the Blue Ridge Center for Chinese Medicine in Pilot, Virginia is honoring the gifts of the horse this year by forging a deeper connection to the land and helping us reclaim our natural strength and vitality.
Tucked into the forest near the Floyd/Montgomery county line, the Blue Ridge Center for Chinese Medicine, or BRCCM, is a non-profit center that offers comprehensive and complementary health care to the surrounding community. The main building is awash with natural lighting and gentle, calming energy. Four clinical care rooms with hardwood floors and high ceilings look out onto pastures and woods behind the center.
As horses peacefully nibble the grass, their hooves link their hearts to the land. This year BRCCM is deepening that vital connection by expanding their Chinese medicinal herb production program. Developing economic opportunities for regional farmers is the goal of the program as well as supplying reliably sourced high-quality herbs for Chinese medicines for regional and national distribution. On March 15th and 16th, just in time for spring planting, leading Chinese medicine herbalist and grower Jean Giblette will host workshops for local farmers and others interested in learning about the medical benefits and growing needs of these herbs.
Horses run hard, but they know when to rest. If only we could follow their lead! In our manic world, we often overextend our capacity and lose our sense of place on earth, draining our strength and vitality. BRCCM helps replenish our natural balance by offering classes in grounding andstrengthening mind/body practices such as internal martial arts for health including taiji, qigong, plus yoga and playshops.
People of all ages travel from near and far to explore alternative approaches to issues such as chronic conditions, addiction, injuries, and aging. BRCCM’s highly trained practitioners work with each individual to support an effective personal path to healing, offering a wide range of therapeutic options such as acupuncture, herbs, and bodywork including Tuina and Thai massage. This year the center is also offering classes and practitioner continuing education courses in fermenting foods, holistic animal companion care, Chinese food therapy, and pre- and post-natal wellness.
Just as horses band together, so the staff and supporters of The Blue Ridge Center for Chinese Medicine work as one to strengthen their community. The non-profit center relies on financial donations to sustain its services, as well as volunteers who help with tasks ranging from stacking firewood to repairing computers. The center offers low-cost acupuncture clinics and donation-funded subsidized care so that quality health care is available for everyone. In this Year of the Horse, let’s remember that each step toward individual wholeness helps create a more resilient, more supportive community for all.
For more information about holistic health services, classes and workshops, the medicinal herb growing program, and other upcoming opportunities, check out the BRCCM website (www.brccm.org) or Facebook page (Blue Ridge Center for Chinese Medicine).