Springtime gives us all the opportunity to see, and experience growth and change. Every where we look are the beginnings of new life, the renewal of nature’s bounty. Spring fever is associated with a new found energy, a vibrancy of movement, a desire to
get up and out. Spring cleaning calls to mind the desire to rid ones self of the old, to make room for the new, the unexpected and the creation of something else.
Oriental Medicine depends on the 5 element system to diagnose and treat, using acupuncture, herbal medicines, diet, exercise, and meditation.. Each element has an associated season, balancing element, flavor, time, color, taste, direction, and organ.
The element related to Springtime is Wood. Its organs are the Liver and the Gallbladder.
Its color is green, and its growth factor is regeneration. The liver house’s our ethereal soul which is said to influence our sense of direction in life, our emotions, and our capacity to plan our life’s pursuits. Another important function of the liver is to nourish and bathe the tendons, ligaments, joints and muscles with moisture allowing for suppleness and flexibility.
The gallbladder energetically is responsible for our decision-making. Its function is to store and secrete bile which is produced by the liver. The liver’s job is to control the movement and flow of Qi (our life force) and blood within our bodies.
Acupuncture supports the Liver’s process as the needles enhance the free flowing action of QI and blood while vitalizing, and relaxing the body, mind and spirit. Just as new wooden branches bend into light spring winds, we too can use this time as an opportunity to awaken from winter, stretching, and lengthening our tendons and muscles. Spending time in nature, taking long walks, running along the ocean’s edge, or
biking along trails, are other opportunities to move and revitalize our Qi.
Springtime is a wonderful time to start a meditative, deep breathing, and positive thinking practice. This time of growth and regeneration supports flexible thinking, promoting inner growth, and spiritual movement. Positive thoughts, speech, and deeds are akin to planting springtime seeds and flowers. Watch your thoughts, and listen to how you speak, remembering that your surroundings serve as windows of awareness into the world in which you live.
In Western medicine, the liver works to detoxify the body. Spring is a perfect time to cleanse the body. Now is the time to add foods to your diet that enhance the body’s ability for strength and vitality. The Liver/Gallbladder taste is sour, Lemons, Limes, Grapefruits, contain vitamins C and antioxidants which detoxify and aid the liver in cleansing the body of free radicals. Planting Seeds helps to increase, and stimulate digestive enzymes. Proper hydration supports the digestive function, and detoxification process. Pickled, and fermented foods are also very helpful to aid in digestion and enhance the immune system by strengthening the intestinal flora.
The Liver color is a vibrant green when it is at it’s healthiest. A bounty of green leafy vegetables such as, Swiss chard, collard greens, beet greens, kale, spinach, bok choy, asparagus, baby lettuce, artichokes, fava beans, green garlic, and green onions will addvariety to your diet, support the immune system, include vitamins, antioxidants and fiber, while serving as a diuretic to help rid the body of toxins.
Adding energizing vital foods to our diets allows us to support our bodies wellness process. Organic green juicing is another way to enhance your nutritive process. Educate yourself about super foods and explore recipes that include them in your diet throughout the week.
The Liver/ Gallbladder’s optimal time is 11pm-3am. This time frame is the energetic “on” switch for stimulating the processes we have been discussing. It is best to be in bed by 10pm.,a bit early for some, easier for others. If you cannot sleep, relax into the sanctuary of your bedroom. Practice deep, slow, rhythmic, breathing. Include transformative music into your bed time ritual.
By giving your body time to rest, regenerate and refresh, your mind and unconscious thoughts can begin anew to fertilize conscious desires. The cycle of life continues as the darkness of night blooms into the new light of tomorrow.