Spring is in the air! Daylight feels longer with slightly warmer temperature during the day, flowers are blossoming, and plants that had laid dormant under the soil are sprouting upwards . We are slowly rising from deep hibernation that has rejuvenated and renewed our energy which we begin to gently release it outwardly. The heavy Yin energy (cold, slow and deep) begins to slowly shift and transform into a light Yang energy (warm, growth and light).
In Chinese medicine, spring is the governed by the Liver, belongs to the Wood element, and the flavour that supports the Liver is Sour. Its colour is Green, the climatic element is Wind, and sense organ is the eyes. The energetic organ of the Liver is in charged of the smooth flow of Qi (energy), stores Blood for nourishing Organs, and controls the tendons and sinews in the body.
In an ideal situation, we would have rested and built our energy through winter months to transition into spring. However, life, emotions, illness and work often challenge our intentions, making us feel that there is not much reserve to spring into the coming season. As much as there is growth and expansion in spring, there can also be volatility and sudden movements in the transformation, especially when we are depleted and deficient in Qi. For example, when the Liver is not nourished and anchored, external Wind can stir emotions such as anger, irritability and annoyance outwardly (Liver Qi Stagnation). Internal Wind generated due emotional outburst sending Heat to rise up to the head causing headaches, migraines or sudden outbreak of acne. In addition, we may feel a sense of overall tightness, sluggishness and stagnant energy in the body due to sinews and tendons that are either not nourished by Liver Blood or caused by Liver Qi Stagnation. Here are a few handy tips to help the Liver and body to move forward into spring:
Squeeze of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar with warm water in the morning before breakfast to get that Liver Qi moving and to kick start the day
Move, move, move! After long months of winter hibernation and lack of outdoor activities, spring is the best time to go out for walks or to get back into yoga, Pilates or gym. When we move, we stimulate Qi to flow to the body and sending endorphins to the brain therefore, making us feel less lethargic, moody and snappy
Switch from heavy winter diet such as curries and lamb stews to lighter meals such as sauteed or quick stir fry fresh green vegetables
Use dry brushing to stimulate Qi and Blood flow under the skin. Starting from the leg, using long gentle strokes, move the brush upwards towards the Heart. This helps to exfoliate the skin, support lymphatic drainage and reduces the appearance of cellulite
For those that have a roller jade or facial gua sha tool handy, you can use it to help stimulate Qi flow to the face, and lymphatic drainage. This is especially useful for hay fever sufferers or problems with the sinuses