Spring 2023 Newsletter
In the tradition of the Traditional 5 Element System Spring energetically emerges around the Spring Equinox, March 21st. Yet Meteorological Spring is marked by March, April, and May (Northern Hemisphere). So I’m being proactive. Spring is ruled by the element of Wood. The element of Water from the previous season (Winter) feeds the Wood and helps it grow.
The organ systems of the Liver and Gallbladder are related to the Wood element. Other tissues related to Wood are nails, tendons, ligaments, and eyesight. Spring is about bursting upward and unfolding. Typical signs of weakness or stagnancy of circulation result in inappropriate anger, frustration, even depression, and resignation with an inability to focus and find direction.
In the meantime, here are some essential tips for getting your body in sync with the world around you.
Metal element controls Wood and is associated with the Lungs. Therefore it is essential to increase the supply of oxygen in the blood, boost Lung function and ‘pacify’ that ‘angry’ Liver.
The tissues that correspond to Wood are tendons and ligaments. Stretching it increases flexibility and decreases potential sprains by bringing blood, oxygen, and nutrients to tissues and promoting the circulation of energy, lymph, and blood.
3. Eat green things.
The color green is the color of spring and now is the time to really increase your green vegetable intake. The best choice right now is leafy greens, sprouts, spring onions, mustard greens, and herbs such as turmeric, basil, marjoram, cumin, fennel, dill, ginger, mint, chamomile, and lemon balm which are all helpful in preventing Liver energy from becoming stagnant.
4. Slow to Anger.
Anger is the emotion associated with the Liver and Spring. Becoming excessively angry, and/or perpetually irritable adversely affects the Liver element. Practice a little restraint when a situation or person gets under your skin. Feeling angry or complaining constantly are self-indulgent and destructive responses. Anger begets anger. Your body’s biochemistry responds to anger by down-regulating serotonin and other feel-good neurochemicals. You put yourself in a vulnerable and depressive state by allowing your anger to dominate your emotional landscape. The liver is the main energy (Qi) pump in the body that, once stagnant creates a systemic response.
The healthy Wood qualities are the following:
• able to plan effectively
• make clear decisions
• sense of being firmly rooted, but flexible
• is well-organized and efficient
• high level of confidence and assertiveness
• energy level is consistent and high
if any of the above seem challenging feel free to email me.
Does everyone have it in the Spring? Not really. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, an allergic reaction is an immune response to an external pathogen due to weakness of the systemic ‘defense’ called Wei Qi (Chee). This type of defense is controlled by the Lung (Metal Element) which with the absence of proper oxygenation and nourishment by the Earth (mother) element becomes weak and unable to perform its ‘defending’ duties.
During the Wood/Spring time the element rebels and ‘attacks’ the Metal that is being drained by Water/Winter.
Acupuncture is a very effective tool in boosting immune function therefore diminishing allergic response.
Sample Spring Refrigerator Shopping List
Use these tastes of foods to address each of the five elements and aid the Liver/Wood moving through the circle..
- Sour: The most beneficial way to bring sour flavor into your diet is to eat lots of young greens tossed in lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and olive oil.
- Bitter: alfalfa and other sprouts, amaranth, asparagus, basil, chickweed, chicory, dandelion, dandelion root, lettuces, nettle, oregano, parsley, quinoa, scallion, thyme. watercress, young kale, or any other green, leafy plant you find.
- Sweet: asparagus, basil, beets, chamomile tea, chrysanthemum tea, cow and goat milk, dandelion, dried or fresh fruit in season, eggs, fennel seed, ghee, grains, honey, jasmine tea, lime flower, mungbean sprouts, nettles, olive oil, parsnip, pea sprouts, potato, soya milk, spinach, winter squash.
- Pungent: anise seed, arugula, basil, black & white pepper, cardamom, chickweed, cilantro, cinnamon, dandelion, fennel seed, garlic, especially wild spring garlic, ginger, jasmine, lemon balm, minor’s lettuce, mint, onion, parsley, peppermint, radishes, scallions, spring onion, ramps. star anise, watercress.
- Salty: alfalfa sprouts, bee pollen, dandelion leaf, dandelion root, fish, kelp, mineral salt, miso, nettle, nori, seaweed, tamari.
Thank you for reading and I hope to see some of you soon. Have a Happy, Healthy, stress and allergy-free Spring.