During Chinese medicine’s energetic Spring (February 5 to April 17), we focus on the Wood element and the liver and gall bladder organs and meridians. We may not realize it but if we work with the rebirthing energy of Spring it can actually assist us to make solid exercise goals, plans and follow through and to lose the excess weight we gained during Winter's hibernation period.
At this time we begin to spend a little more time outdoors. If we haven’t enjoyed the Winter cold, sleet and snow, our excitement grows as we think about lightening up on our clothing and even our diets. We practically feel compelled to go outside again, to clear the yard, start the garden, even give the house a good cleaning. The messllage we are feeling is: “Get moving!” We’re intuitively responding to the energies of the season!
When we are in balance with Wood, we tend to be resilient. We are able to make decisions and adapt well to situations and challenges. When we are out of balance with Wood, we will tend to emotional responses of frustration, anger, and depression. For women, since Wood, particularly the liver, governs the menstrual flow and ovulation, out of Wood balance women will tend to irregularity of the menstrual cycle.
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Both men and women who are out of balance with Wood, may notices more frequent occurrence of headaches and migraines, anxiety attacks, and gastrointestinal and cardiovascular issues. If that imbalance is left untended for a longer period of time, chronic fatigue and back and joint problems may result.
One way to help bring us back into balance with Wood is to turn to the fundamentals of diet and exercise. Food also is an integral part of maintaining the free flow of Wood chi and we’ll elaborate more on best eating practices for Spring in a soon upcoming blog post. (Please also refer to our February 12, 2018 blog post entitled, “It’s Energetic Spring! Here Are 33 Delicious Ways to Creatively Get More Green Into Your Diet.)
Take advantage of the energy of Spring and adopt a well established workout plan. If you’re looking for some ideas, try simple daily stretching, qigong, tai chi, yoga, cycling, walking, light cardio or calisthenics. Find the form of exercise you resonate with. And always remember to include exercise for the mind and spirit: meditation. It will amazingly bring more productivity to your days and believe it or not, time you never seemed to have before.
To emphasize, Wood element energy is a vital component of our ability to make plans and decisions. Use Wood’s energy to stick to a set exercise plan. Having a hit-and-miss schedule of sketchy workouts won’t bring us the results we want, not to mention we’ll become frustrated and give up.
Follow these simple tips to beautifully harmonize with the Spring season:
- Rest and go inward as much as possible. Your time to get up and go in Summer is just around the corner.
- If you'd like to lose weight, take advantage of Spring's natural easing of appetite and work with your body's desire to move energy with increased activity.
- Do a simple daily cleanse during the Spring for liver and gall bladder.
- Include bitter foods in your diet. (These are fruits, vegetables, and herbs having a sharp, pungent taste or smell but not sweet.)
- Nourish your liver daily or as often as possible with hot/warm water and lemon.
- Take daily walks in the morning sunlight.
- Apply Wood Phyt'ether to the liver and gall bladder zones on the face: between the eyebrows for liver and on the temple areas for gall bladder; also apply Yogi Body Gel to the outside of the legs to stimulate circulation on the gall bladder meridian.
- Apply the Wood element Day Cream to reduce skin’s oiliness and to purify, clear and lighten the skin. Extract of wheat (gluten-free), and essential oils of lemon and rosemary activate the natural defenses of the skin to combat the effects of poor diet and/or lack of cellular oxygenation. Wood Day Cream contains unique ingredients that are antiseptic, toning and stimulating and it’s also excellent for protection from high and low pressures and windy and changeable weather associated with Spring.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published April 4, 2016 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.