Season – spring
Colour – green
Sound – shout
Emotion – anger
Odour – rancid
Taste – sour
Yin organ – Liver
Yang organ – Gall Bladder
Spirit – The Hun or Ethereal Soul
Rules – the tendons & the ligaments and manifests in the nails
Sensory organ – the eyes
Themes – renewal, birth, rebirth, growth, creativity, hopes & aspirations
As we come into the season of spring, we need to get our bodies moving again while the Wood energy is at its peak. After the stillness of winter, life starts to proliferate again: lambs are born, buds burst forth, and the landscape turns green.
As the weather gets warmer, we are more inclined to spending time outdoors and being out in the world.
However, Spring also brings the wind and with it pollen. It is the classic time for allergies such as hayfever. In ancient China, the wind was said to bring the “evils”, later to be understood as climatic factors: wind-cold or head colds (winter), wind-heat or flu (summer) and wind-damp or allergies (spring).
Wind can also be understood as a sudden change in climate or season – or even going into a heated building from the cold weather outside. Wind symptoms tend to arise suddenly and manifest in the upper part of the body ie the lungs. The best way to protect yourself against the wind is to wear a scarf around your neck. The wind points tend to be here, for example GB20 “Wind Pond”, which is nestled into both mastoid processes at the back of the neck.
The liver rules the tendons and ligaments. It is important to get some exercise during this time, flexing our muscles and tendons after the relative stagnation of the colder months.
Spring is the linking season between yin (winter) and yang (summer).
Its direction is upwards and outwards, like plants growing new shoots. It is a good time to clean out our closets and make way for the new, both physically and emotionally. Spring has been the traditional time to fast as we clear out the last of the winter larder before we enjoy the new shoots of spring. Lent before the festival of Easter on the Christian calendar is one such example.
In Chinese medicine, the Liver is said to open into the eyes. A healthy Liver will manifest in good eye health. Conversely, we may harm our Livers through our vision. Computer screens may not just be harmful to our eyes but may also injure our Liver blood and Yin. Getting outside for a lunchtime walk and getting away from our screens is a good idea.
Vision not only refers to the physical eyes but also to our inner vision. The Liver houses the Hun or Ethereal Soul containing the blueprint (DNA) for our life on Earth. Spring is a good time to renew our hopes, dreams and aspirations, perhaps a good time to move house or embark on a new adventure. Meditation is the key to connecting with our inner vision and seeing our way forward in life.
The Gall Bladder has a special function in Chinese medicine and is in charge of decision making.
The Gall Bladder energy is high at night which is why it is always good to “sleep on it” before making an important decision. It is very important to get a good night’s sleep so that the Liver and Gall Bladder may regenerate.
The free flow or movement of the Liver Qi is a very important concept in Chinese medicine. Not only does it refer to physical movement but to the release of pent up emotion such as anger and frustration. In the ancient Empirical model, the Liver was the War Lord or General who made the plans. There would be nothing more frustrating for a military commander whose army was not on the move. Interestingly, warfare was forbidden in springtime in Ancient China, in order to protect new life.
The psychological aspect of the healthy Liver energy enables us to plan and set goals with flexibility. It helps us set our direction or course in life without
being rigid or fixed and to assert our wishes without anger or frustration. The Spirit of Wood is very much alive in our new, green country of New Zealand: full of sportsmen, and adventurers, hard workers and entrepreneurs.
Tips for Spring:
We are most susceptible to “wind invasion” at the change of season ie spring and autumn. Wear a windbreaker and a scarf on windy days to protect your neck.
Take a break from technology and go for a walk in your lunch hour.
Have a spring clean: out with the old and in with the new.
Embark on a new creative venture or hobby.
Get plenty of exercise and get the body moving.
Have acupuncture, or try qi gong or yoga to replenish your vital energy.
Eat plenty of leafy green vegetables
Take milk thistle to replenish the Liver.
Spring is a good time for juicing (especially green vegetables) or fasting.
Try green tea, chamomile, elderflower, ginger, peppermint and anise to limit the effects of hay fever.