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Muschii si Marte Ah, spring!

The Suns radiance energizes the air and ground, coaxing crocuses and daffodils to burst brightly. Lithe baby animals frolic and skitter everywhere. Glorious spring, when our hearts turn light, shedding winters heavy cloak, rushing into new activity and brushing away the past. But what happens when these glad moments produce an aftermath of aches and strains? Oh, the throbbing spasms. Ouch, the charley horse! Is this our reward for waiting out winter? To feel cramped and decrepit after a few glorious hours of physical abandon?

Your Personal Powerhouse

Everyone has muscle, not just the kind in Congress. Its the wonderful system of developed bundles of striated tissue that cloaks our bones and sensuously fills out our skin. Muscles give us some of our first impressions as we size up others. Thick, contracted muscles suggest power, readiness for action and capability. Thin, sallow muscles make us think of feebleness, inability and even laziness. Although first impressions can be faulty (muscles of tall people actually contract to greater power than those on shorter people), we all know well-toned muscles let us respond and participate in any activity, allowing us to make abrupt changes while keeping us steady. The vigor we feel as muscles contract and expand is no accident. This is the impulse of life itself, to act physically on our environment in personal ways. Muscles are found throughout the body, with lengthy bands covering the thighs, calves and arms working as levers for complicated tasks. Heavy muscles, compacted for endurance to keep the body upright, round the buttocks, enabling stance, and steady the neck and shoulders, holding up the heavy head. Across the torso, back and abdomen are crossed overlaps of muscle, varying in length, securing and protecting precious vital organs as the body twists or bends. Aiding muscles are flexible tendons that attach bones to muscles, and inflexible ligaments that stretch across joints to keep bones aligned during movement. This marvelous body would be far less beautiful if we were only a structure of bones protruding sharply through a bag of skin. Abuse muscles, and we experience strain and exhaustion through overuse, cramping from low mineral content in tissues and spasms from repetitive action.

Astrology and Your Muscular Health

From ancient days to modern times, Aries and its associated planet Mars have unchallenged dominion over the muscular system. Everything about muscles relates directly to the attributes of Mars. To Mars are given energy and will, particularly willpower. Impulsiveness is mixed in there, too, although it is often perceived negatively. Always ready, Mars is expert at leaving finished tasks to move abruptly to the next assignment. The martian

perspective does not usually include an appreciation for repetition. Vigor, speed, strength and readiness round out the talents bestowed from the red planet. Besides muscular strength to act and endurance to carry through, we can thank Mars for showing us, in plain sight, the occult or hidden principle of mind over matter. Mars is motivation (willpower), motive force (the signal or impulse to act) and motion (the ability to act and move through space or environment). The decision and signal to act and consequent movement are so instantaneous and taken for granted, we fail to remember that our thinking is the impetus behind our actions.

Maintaining Your Vital Power

Healthy muscles, no matter the limit of your physical strength, benefit principally from managed protein in your diet and kind movements. While protein is the major nutrient of muscle tissue, calcium is the second greatest. However, to digest protein, the body uses calcium reserves, which means that gorging on protein will rob muscles of calcium. Calcium-depleted muscles will cramp. Protein is present in every food, although low in fruits and vegetables. As for beans, dairy, eggs, fish and meat, keep your daily intake to less than 35 grams. To monitor your daily protein supply, read the nutrition disclosures on the foods you purchase. Muscles love to move, but abhor repetition, which can cause prolonged cramping, like a charley horse. To condition muscles, stretch like a cat. Twist or bend to a natural limit, holding the new position for a few seconds. Then bring yourself back into normal position with slow grace. Through these movements, you teach your muscles to flex fluidly through expansion and contraction, avoiding rash action that can lead to spasms. Hearty exercise or sports, whatever your preference, benefit your circulation and respiration. Overexertion, though, leads to exhaustion. When you expect tests of strength or endurance, remember to eat two or three oranges throughout the day to nourish muscle tissue against strain and later cramping. Aching muscles from exhaustion relieve with restful sleep. The herb valerian root is a muscle relaxant and induces deep sleep when taken about 30 minutes before bedtime. Take valerian root in capsules or as a tea. Put your spring to good use. Join in and muscle your way to great health!