The Dao Does… Living with the Season ~ Spring
Welcome Spring! An important time of renewal, regeneration and new growth as the trees begin to show leaves again and the flowers are beginning to bloom. Like trees, the Spring focus is on strength, reaching for the sun, but also being flexible to sway and adjust to avoid burnout and breakage. When Traditional Chinese Medicine originated thousands of years ago, there was no way to hide the darkness of Winter with electricity or pull down the curtains as the sun began to shine through. Thus, people had to live with the seasons, and that is why TCM centers itself around the connection with nature.
The beginning of Spring in China is also the celebration of the New Year occurring on the dates between 21st of January – 20th of February depending on the movement of the moon. The celebration is known as the Spring Festival as it celebrates the rising of the Yang Qi, as we move out of the most Yin time of the year Winter. I like to describe Spring as one foot towards Summer, but with one foot still in Winter, thus it’s best not to completely drop all those Winter practices.
Springtime in Traditional Chinese Medicine is associated with the Wood element, the Liver & Gallbladder organs, the eyes, and the emotion of anger. Explains why some people suffer hay fever or allergies most prominently during the seasonal change. The symptoms associated with emotions and senses can give your Acupuncturist clues as to where the needles should be placed in order to free the flow of any stagnant Qi and Blood.
With Spring, brings the wind, which can also bring on more agitation and anger due to stirring up the Liver Qi in the body. Spring is a good time to detox, ‘spring clean’, eat well, and clear out – buy new clothes and throw away or donate/sell old & unnecessary things.
Breathing & Movement ~
+ Spring is a great time to try a new form of exercise being the season of growth. Forest Bathing is a good choice to ground the body and become more present in nature (see our Instagram post for more information).
+ Chinese Medicine divides Spring into 3 months – the first month of September is good for stretching and strengthening post the stillness of Winter, Yoga, Pilates, or Tai Chi.
+ Increase water intake
+ More sour foods and green leafy vegetables, try adding extra virgin olive oil and apple cider vinegar into dressings
+ Lemon in warm water is the perfect way to start your morning
+ Continue to eat your warm naturally sweet foods such as sweet potato and pumpkin, but you can slowly incorporate more salads or raw veggies.
+ Stick to a regular routine optimising 8hrs for full rest & recovery, however, trying to rise with the sun is a great way to optimise Springtime.
Lifestyle & Clothing Choices ~
+ Continue to dress according to the seasons. Don’t get caught out in the wind – a lightweight scarf is a good option.
+ The mornings are still crisp, so ensure the feet are covered and warm to avoid any external evils entering into the Yin channels.
By Molly Burton