Winds of Agitation
Springtime inspires the urge to move forward and grow after the cocoon of winter. Yet new growth is dependent upon the rejuvenation of our deeper sources that were built in the winter.
Spring is associated with the liver in Chinese Medicine and with the emotion anger. The liver energy, when balanced, smooths our emotional energy. Whereas the autumn is the time of letting go. If a person was not able to let go of outmoded beliefs or emotions in the fall it can show up in the spring as congestion. This congestion may be expressed as emotional outbursts, increased agitation, or the feeling of emotional stagnation.
The growth that occurs in the spring effects summer and late summer in the same way that a plant grows and produces fruits, flowers and seed.
The energy of spring is expansive and outward moving. It is the best time to start exercising and sweating more and begin eating lighter meals. In wintertime we would tend to bake our food to more deeply warm our bodies. In the spring steaming and stir-frying is more appropriate. It is also very beneficial to eat more leafy greens like that of kale, dandelion, collards and mint. Incorporating sour flavours into the diet will also help to balance the liver energy. Try to be conscious to include good oils into your meals (flax oil, olive oil, sesame oil). It is best to add these oils to already cooked food to preserve the quality. Eat in season and locally grown, as much as possible. Drink lots of fluids (lemon can be added to water). Remember that it is important to be emotionally calm when eating, as well as to breathe deeply and thoroughly chew our food. Do your best to avoid toxicity in your foods and environment. Some things to avoid are: chemicals, drugs and alcohol; as well as refined sugars, processed foods, caffeine, large portions of meat, greasy and rich foods. Avoid stress! All of these are toxicities can impact and congest the liver.
When the liver energy is in balance we are able to make decisions and follow through with our creative visions. This is a great time of year to begin new projects. When the liver energy is deficient we may lack the ability to make decisions or follow through with them. On the contrary, when this energy is excessive we may become "work-aholics," so determined to accomplish our goals that we neglect our needs or our personal relationships.
Physically, this is a time to assess the health of our nails, tendons and eyes. Nails should be strong and smooth with good colour; not brittle or grooved. Tendons should be supple, flexible and strong. The eyes should be clear and bright, without yellow or red in the whites. Emotionally we can assess our health by witnessing if we are able to express our emotions in a healthy way, especially anger.
When spring arises, if you begin to feel out of balance, it may be a good time to seek a body treatment that will facilitate the opening and relaxing of the body. Out of balance symptoms can be: foggy thinking or forgetfulness; tendon tightness; blurry, red, or dry eyes; lethargy; dry skin, skin itch, or rash. In addition, a person can have rib-side pain (especially after eating while emotional), abdomen distention, diarrhoea, or constipation. Emotionally the imbalance can often come as outbursts of anger or increased frustration.
Through harmonising with the springs energy we begin to feel energised, light and open. With tendons supple and strong we can move easily through our day. With eyes clear and bright we can appreciate the beauty of all things. Remember that the poor choices of the conscious mind can be seen in the imbalances we suffer. So with curiosity, watch and listen to your body's messages. They are there for a reason. Your unconscious body is designed to look after you, the more you connect, listen and decipher, the better you will feel.