Its April 5 and yesterday was just 5oC. I saw some snowflakes whisked around by the bitter wind. What has happened to the Spring? As well as being annoying, it actually seems to be playing havoc with our seasonal body clocks. I’m noticing that many of my clients have been struggling emotionally and physically with this cold spring
Spring is a usually a time for change. In nature seeds sprout, buds open, and the sun warms the earth. There is a sense of renewal and new life all around. In Chinese medicine, Spring is associated with ‘Wood’ energy, the energy of the Liver. After the hibernation of winter Wood energy brings an energetic time of growth and movement, a time for creativity and ideas, new plans.
But this spring is different. Although the days are getting longer, the weather is remaining resolutely chilly and the Met Office is telling us it is likely to remain cold way into April. Nature is struggling: Flowers, trees and insects are staying dormant meaning animals and birds are struggling to find food.
And we are also struggling. Our Wood energy, which needs to be moving and growing and striving forwards, is being constrained. This can lead to feelings of frustration or depression, a feeling of being trapped. Physically we can experience headaches and neck tension, inflexibility in our joints
There are ways we can help regulate our constrained Wood energy. If you are feeling a little pent up, try these spring Chinese medicine recommendations, to keep your wood balanced and your liver healthy.
Exercise and Stretch – Get outside and move! This will allow all that constrained energy to move properly through your body, helping you feel better physically and emotionally.
Eat Leafy Greens – such as kale, sprouting broccoli and lettuce to improve the liver’s functions and therefore allow your energy to move more freely. Avoid overeating and avoid rich and greasy foods that can cause your liver to become sluggish, which can lead to stagnant Wood energy
Give your liver a break – Reducing alcohol, excess sugars and refined foods will help you and your liver feel better.
Be open to change – The weather in Spring can be unpredictable. Healthy Wood energy is flexible to change like a tree that bends in the wind. Resisting change constrains the flow of natural wood energy and increases frustration and tension.
Start something new – When the world around you is growing, it’s a sign you should be too. This is a great time for birthing a new project, deepening your knowledge of something or diving into something totally different. You will be able to experience the world with fresh eyes and fuel your passions, which may have been lying dormant for the winter.
Give yourself acupressure – The appropriately named acupuncture point Great Surge on the Liver channel is a great point to smooth that turbulent Wood energy. Great Surge can be found about an inch back from where your first and second toes join, in a soft area on the top of your foot. It will probably feel tender when you press it. Use your thumbs to press and massage this point firmly for a couple of minutes on each side
Eleanor Breen Acupuncture, Bristol