There’s something incredibly reassuring about the first signs of spring, it feels hopeful and exciting. In many cultures, spring is celebrated as the beginning of the life cycle and it brings with it a sense of renewal. We’re able to rise early with the sun; spring flowers and warm sunshine tease our senses.
It’s a good time to reflect, make adjustments to your routine and set intentions for the season ahead. Take some time to connect to your environment and to the natural rhythms and cycles that influence us.
As the seasons change and the days grow longer and lighter, we naturally have more energy and we can welcome a period of growth, development and transformation.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine there are five seasons: Spring, Summer, Late Summer, Autumn and Winter. Each season supports, nourishes and prepares the body for the next season, creating a constant cycle of wellbeing. In line with this, we’ll be offering five seasonal retreats per year and sharing simple self-care techniques to help you integrate wellbeing into your everyday life.
You can read more about Traditional Chinese Medicine here.
Today, Gemma David, our seasonal living expert, returns to the blog to share her insight and some practical advice as we head into the new season.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, spring heralds the unfolding movement of Yang energy and is symbolised by the wood element. It is a time of upward, expansive energy and growth. At the same time, there is the strength, firmness and flexibility of wood.
In order to benefit from the natural vibrancy of the season, it’s important we align ourselves with its energy. This is a time for cleansing and letting go of any stagnant energy that’s accumulated over the long winter months. It’s time to birth new projects, for making new connections; it’s a time for vibrant new beginnings.
Your Body in Spring
The liver and its partner, the gallbladder, are the organs in charge during spring. The liver rids the body of toxins and is responsible for the smooth flow of blood and Qi (life energy or life force). In this sense, it is also responsible for managing the smooth flow of our emotions. It stores blood, nourishing and supporting our self-esteem, managing the menstrual cycle and providing a stable foundation for the heart and mind. The gallbladder works alongside the liver, supporting us with decision making and aiding our digestive function.
The emotion associated with the liver is anger, so if you’re feeling any anger, old or new, it could be a sign your liver is out of balance. Headaches, pain, high blood pressure, red eyes, dry eyes or visible floaters are also signs of a liver imbalance. Equally, digestive issues, menstrual or immune problems, high blood pressure and dry skin can indicate issues with the liver or gallbladder.
Here are some simple ways to look after yourself and align your body with the natural rhythm of spring:
Move your body. Whatever form of exercise you choose, know that by doing so, you are moving energy in your body and warding off stagnation.
The colour green is associated with the wood element, wear green clothes and/or fill your house with plants. This will help soothe the liver or tonify it if you are feeling deficient.
Connect with the wood element on a practical, basic level by visiting botanical gardens or woodland where there is an abundance of evergreen trees and shrubs.
Chose upright poses in yoga. Concentrate on standing poses to feel the connection with the earth.
Eat blood nourishing, sour food and lots of fresh young leafy greens. Lizzie will be sharing some delicious seasonal spring recipes soon.
Using the tips of your fingers gently tap the liver meridian which runs up from the ankle, up the inside of your calves. Do this for one minute on each leg, preferably at the beginning of each day.
Throughout the year, there is both change and harmony as we move from one season to the next. Every stage is interconnected. How you nourish and care for your body in one season will impact how it feels in the next.
As we move into and through spring, we recommend revisiting our post on seasonal living in winter. If you find yourself feeling lacklustre, you may need to replenish the dominant winter element, water, in order to acquire the strength and momentum required for spring. In turn, strong spring wood will feed summer’s fire.
Love Lizzie x