Spring is a time of new growth and regeneration. In traditional chinese medicine spring is related to the Wood element: everything warms up, grows, multiplies and expands. It becomes easier to get up early in the morning, or to start planting the garden, spring cleaning our houses and start exercising again. It’s natural to feel this rise of energy bubbling up through our bodies – even our sexual energy gets turned on!
Here’s 3 ways to kick-start your spring.
1. Spring clean!
The Wood element is related to the liver, gallbladder, eyes, nervous system and brain. The liver’s role in our body is to metabolise the chemicals we take into our bodies via food and drink, and then to eliminate them. When our liver is over-burdened with toxins (emotional or chemical) it’s common to get cranky, over-think and also to lose sleep! For women it
particularly affects our hormonal balance.
In springtime our liver and gall bladder have extra energy, making this the best time of the year to cleanse the liver. You could begin by using a liver cleansing diet. Alternatively you could start a liver cleanse by taking some bitter herbs (please get advice first from your natural health professional/herbalist/naturopath or health food shop). A good cleanse should be gentle and slow over a period of 6 weeks to 3 months. Avoid or limit alcohol at this time, as it stops the detoxification process. You may get the odd day when you feel really tired several weeks into the detox – this is because your body is using all its energy to get rid of waste. Don’t worry, rest up, it will pass: it’s a good sign.
2. Make plans!
The Wood element is also connected with our mind, thinking and nerves. This element helps us get organised to do our heart’s desires – and spring is a time to start planning! When we are in the flow and getting things done we feel generous, abundant, have clarity of thought. We can allow others points of view, it’s fun to research, gather information, plan, scheme and strategise.
However if we get too calculating, or our rigid plans don’t work out, we feel frustrated, angry, jealous, envious, aggressive and bad tempered. We no longer want to share or co-operate. Mentally we lose our power of focus and become confused, impulsive and obsessive. Our rationality disappears.
When you make plans, give them space for flexibility and change. Rest the mind often (this is good for the creative juices). Be
in allowance of other people’s ideas. Think outside the square through imagination, creativity: “what else is possible?”. This brings wisdom to your plans.
3. Balance the mind!
If you mind is “over-busy”, take time to rest it by changing activities: gardening, walking, make something, learn music or dancing. The mind gets it’s “rest” when you focus on a completely different and absorbing activity. It brings about a sense of balance.
Marin Gilles (1999): Healing from Within with Chi Nei Tsang. Published by North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, California
Marin Gilles (2006): Five Elements Six Conditions: A Taoist Approach to Emotional Healing, Psychology, and Internal
Alchemy. Published by North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, California
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Elayne Lane is an instructor of the Universal Healing Tao. She has been teaching and doing bodywork in excess of 14 years.