According to the philosophy of Chinese medicine we are all part of the makeup of the natural universe, intricately connected to the flux of the season. Whilst winter was a time to conserve energy and rest, spring is a time of sudden growth and regeneration.
Spring corresponds to the Wood element, which in turn is related to the Liver and Gallbladder energies. It is the changeover point from Yin in to Yang. The beginning of a new cycle of life. One day the trees are bare, the next they are fluorescent with new growth.
We naturally start to put our winter dreams into action, drawing from the season’s invigorating energy helps us to find the inspiration we need to achieve our goals. Exercise is easier and pregnancy rates seem to soar – at our clinic anyway!
Spring is a windy season in anyone’s book, in Chinese Medicine the spring winds can stir up old ailments and injuries, carry pathogens and disrupt our bodies exterior defenses. It directly impacts the Liver energy and can disrupt its function of instigating movement and regulating body functions.
If the Liver energy becomes stagnated stress, anger and depression will rise. If the Liver energy is healthy and flowing smoothly these emotions are calm and the spring winds are cleansing and uplifting, however if the Liver is constrained Spring can bring much suffering.
Keeping with the belief that by harmonizing oneself with the seasons we stay healthier through the prevention of disease there are many things we can do to help our bodies ride through this tumultuous time.
Eat lots of leafy greens! Eating young plants – fresh greens and sprouts can assist the Liver’s function of regulating Qi flow. Think bitter foods for natural detoxification including romaine lettuce, asparagus, amaranth, rye, quinoa, kale, parsley, and collard greens. Try these lovely salads:
Mung Bean Noodle Salad
Kale Spinach Detox Salad
We all know fluids are an important part of the elimination and cleansing process. Drinking small amounts water regularly, will help us keep well hydrated. Starting the day with a squeeze of lemon juice or a splash of apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water will stimulate your liver and bile production helping flush out toxins. This is especially good practice for those who can not stomach, or don’t have time for breakfast first thing in the morning.
Be active Now is the time to exercise outdoors, the fresh air helps invigorate Liver Qi flow. In the warmer weather take the opportunity to walk when possible, meet up with friends outside, or sign up to a couch-to-5k challenge (it’s great for us non-runners!) Whatever form of exercise you choose relax and enjoy the expansive energy of Spring.