Welcome to Spring
September to November
“If you keep thinking what you are thinking,
and you keep doing what you are doing,
you will keep getting what you are getting.”
Spring is a time of unlimited possibilities. A time of expansion, growth and new beginnings. If you want to get started on a new project, this is the time when the environment is right behind us, supporting us in any new direction we might choose to take.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Spring relates to the Wood Element and the energy of the Liver (yin) & Gallbladder (yang). In yogic physiology we can look at the air element and anahata (heart) chakra at this time. The Wood Element is responsible for our coordination & overall flexibility; the rhythms of the body, such as our internal body clock and the female’s menstrual cycle; as well as the muscles, ligaments, tendons & joints. The Wood Element energy opens in the eyes and manifests in the nails, so the general condition of all these areas will give you an idea of the energetic health of your Liver & Gallbladder.
In perfect health, the Liver chi or qi (energy) is fed energy from the Kidney (and the Water Element) and uses this energy to be visionary, creative, dynamic, effective, patient & flexible. Taking responsibility for where we’re at and channelling our personal power into making effective plans are the two main areas in which liver energy can easily become easily stuck, leading to anger related emotions such as frustration, impatience & irritation to come to the fore.
The emerging, creative energy of Spring is extremely powerful, so now is the time to tap into it and allow our body to move with the flow, setting the intention for beginning new plans & projects. Feeling ineffective, stifled or controlled at this time won't go down at all well, remembering of course that we are often our own worst enemy - so taking a good look at our own stuff before pointing the finger at someone else is even more important at this time of year.
As we move out of the relative yin months of Winter and into the relative yang months of Spring & Summer, the energies of the body need also to be re-aligned in order to adjust to those changing in our environment. For those of us perfectly in-tune with our environment, this process of adjustment occurs naturally. For the rest of us, a little help goes a long, long way.
During the cold, still, yin months of Winter, the body has a natural tendency to slow down and hibernate in response to the lower temperatures and the longer periods of darkness in our environment. The warmer yang months of Spring is a time when we should see a natural inclination to eat less and do more, putting our newly discovered energy to work by increasing our levels of activity. Listening to the messages that the body is sending us - particularly painful or uncomfortable messages - is the most important way that we can stay connected to and exert control over the overall health & well being.
If we are able to appropriately conserve our energy during the colder months of Winter, nurturing the kidney energy in the process, then we are better able to support the liver energy and wood element as we move into the warmer months of Spring. If not, or if we simply have a constitutional wood element imbalance, we may experience problems with liver energy during the Spring, including symptoms of rising heat which also tends to move any dampness & phlegm (mucous) that has accumulated in the body during the colder months up into the head, causing hayfever, upper respiratory tract irritations (eg head colds, sinusitus & runny noses), headaches, migraines, tinnitus, dizziness & vertigo, cold sores or problems with the eyes & eyelids.
By working with the energies of the Wood Element and the Liver in the lead-up to and throughout Spring, we are able to prevent stuck energy from pooling within the body, discouraging illness & dis-ease, and preventing any constitutional imbalances slipping out of our control. Remembering that the number one influence that detrimentally effects our liver energy and overall health is stress, so effectively managing our stress levels by whatever means works for us is key to maintaining balance in the liver and wood element energy, especially during Spring.