Spring has sprung!
Spring is a time of renewal, regeneration and new beginnings.
Seeds sprout, flowers bloom, and the sun gets warmer and stays out longer. Where we conserved our energy during Winter, it is now time to emerge, take a big stretch and get the ball rolling with new plans, and preparation for the high energy of Summer.
According to the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Spring relates to the green element of Wood which rules the Liver, and it’s Yang counterpart the Gall Bladder. As Spring is a time of cleansing and rejuvenation of health, the Liver and Gall Bladder play a big part in that, especially with the bodily processes of detoxification and filtration.
From a Chinese Medical perspective the Liver has the very important role of ensuring our Qi (or life-force/energy) flows freely and smoothly. If it doesn’t we are prone to a host of health problems including muscular pain, headaches/migraines, anger, depression, poor digestion…and the list goes on! The best way to get your Qi flowing is to move your body! And with the weather warming up and the days getting longer, Spring is a great time to get outside and get moving. The Liver also controls the tendons of the body, so stretching is a wonderful inclusion to your day – perhaps some yoga stretches or Tai Chi.
Even though the weather is warmer our bodies are still adjusting and it can be unpredictable and sometimes windy, so keeping covered up is still important to protect ourselves from external pathogenic factors. Gently nurturing our energy and body after the long cold winter is imperative as we gradually expose it to more warmth and light.
As mentioned above Green is the colour of the Wood element and therefore the colour of Spring. Including lots of fresh leafy greens into your diet will be very beneficial for your health especially at this time of year – spinach, lettuces, cabbage, kale, chinese & mustard greens, sprouts, parsley and other green herbs and cereal grasses such as wheatgrass or barley grass will all benefit the Liver and aid the free flow of Qi.
The taste of the Wood element is Sour – so things such as lemon and lime (juice), vinegar (with olive oil for salad dressing), dill pickles etc will benefit the health of the Liver Qi.
We can start being lighter with our cooking methods, so light stir frying, steaming and sauteeing are appropriate, so that as our energy builds and warms we are able to breakdown and digest less cooked foods.
Spring is a beautiful time to get out in nature and enjoy being amongst the trees and flowers. Absorbing nature’s expanding and uplifting energies will have a wonderful effect on our own.
Enjoy Springtime everyone!