Put some spring in your life
I love this time of year. After the hibernation in the winter, the yang warmth of spring stimulates the plants to grow, the new buds spring forth, and new life emerges.
This is a time of year where I naturally get up early for a walk, exercise is more clearly on my agenda and my plans and visions are more prominent. This is experiencing the Wood Element. The Wood Element qi pushes the seedling upwards, it is the qi that gives us vision of our potential, initiates growth and change and gives us the determination to achieve that development.
Every year at this time I do my spring-cleaning, detox, exercise and look at my health. I have more energy, resolution, and will power. If there is something your life that you want to tackle, now is the time!! If you would like some inspiration check out our spring checklist!!
This is the season to look after the liver and gall bladder. In spring we naturally eat less, possibly fast, to cleanse the body of the fats and heavy foods of winter. Our diet should be the lightest of the year, containing foods that emphasise the emerging yang, the ascending and expansive qualities of spring – young plants, fresh greens, sprouts, and immature wheat or other cereal grasses. Salty food such as miso and sodium rich meats are too strong for this time of year, causing energy to sink, so best to limit.
The classics recommend sweet and pungent flavoured foods. These provide the expansive and rising quality of spring, creating a personal spring within. An example of a sweet and pungent herb mix is mint and honey tea. Pungent cooking herbs are desirable such as; basil, fennel, marjoram, rosemary, caraway, dill, bay leaf. Add these to young beets or carrots pulled out of your spring garden, or complex carbohydrates, which are naturally sweet such as grains, legumes, and seeds. The sweetness is enhanced with sprouting.
Food preparation is much simpler in the spring. Focus on more raw and sprouted foods. In Ayurveda these foods are called vatic meaning “wind-like”. They encourage quickness, rapid movement, and outward activity in general and are cleansing and cooling. Raw food consumption should increase with heat in the body and in warmer climates, or with more physical activity. It is good for most people to eat some raw food in their diet daily. But do not use too much raw if you have bowel inflammation and signs of weakness. If you have a weak Earth Element (Spleen/Stomach) too much raw food can be hard on your system and weaken your digestion and trigger excessive cleansing reactions.
In our temperate climate we need to cook a majority of our food to maintain climatic and digestive balance. In the spring food is best cooked for a shorter time but at higher temperatures, in this way the food is not thoroughly cooked and crunchy in the middle. If oil is used in spring a quick high-temperature sauté method is appropriate, if cooking with water, light steaming or minimal simmering is ideal.
The Wood Element relates to the Liver
The Liver is the probably the most congested organ in the Western world. Too much fat, chemicals, intoxicants and denatured food all disrupt hundreds of intricate biochemical processes of the liver. The Chinese physiology indicates a healthy liver has smooth and soothing flow of energy through the whole person in both body and mind. When it is harmonious there is never stress or tension. People with vital livers are calm, they have great judgment and can naturally be effective leaders and decision makers.
Symptoms of Liver imbalance
Emotional issues and difficulty related to anger - impatience, frustration, resentment, violence, belligerence, rudeness, edginess, arrogance, stubbornness, aggression and impulsive or explosive personalities.
Eye problems - myopia, floaters, dry eyes, difficult night vision or vision that gets worse as day goes on.
Ligament/Tendon problems - repetitive strains, ligaments that are either too ridged or too flaccid causing instability or pain of joints
Nails – can be ridged, chipped, weak or brittle
Sour flavour - a strong like or dislike of sour can indicate a Liver imbalance. Lemons, green apples, gooseberries and vinegar taste sour.
Menstrual disharmony – PMS, irregular cycle, clots all indicate the smooth flow of the Liver’s energy has been disrupted.
If you feel like your Liver energy is imbalanced Spring is the perfect time of year to come in and see us for a treatment. Do a detox, clear out the heaviness of winter, get your qi moving. Make an appointment today!!