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Spring is the Season of Wood

Article by Julie Hatch

The fundamentals of Chinese medicine are based on nature, the seasons, and natural elements. We understand and treat illness based on the elements in nature. In Chinese medicine,spring corresponds with the Wood element. What happens in nature during the springtime? There is new life, new growth, plants pushing up out of the ground, the buds on trees are ready to burst open. It’s a season of activity, planning, moving forward.

Wood is associated with the Liver. In Chinese medicine the Liver has many functions that go far beyond the Western medicine understanding of the liver.

1) The Liver governs blood – it promotes the movement and smooth flow of blood.

2) The liver rules the muscles and tendons. Muscle cramping or tendon injuries relate to an out of balance Liver.

3) The liver channel flows through the eyes .

4) The emotion of liver is anger. 5) Excess liver yang energy rises to the head. Because of all these aspects of Liver,any imbalances in the Wood element are likely to cause common problems such as: Muscle tension, tightness, soreness Sciatica Headaches Visual disturbances or eye problems Irritability and outbursts of anger High blood pressure Menstrual irregularities, PMS


How to keep healthy during Spring

Move – the Liver NEEDS movement to prevent stagnation. So get outside and take long walks and enjoy the nature around you. Go for a bike ride, take a qigong class, dance, practice yoga – just keep moving!

Cleanse – Spring is the time to start a healthier diet and flush out the toxins so that the LIver can do its job more effectively. Begin by eliminating foods that stress the Liver such as fried or fatty foods. Cut out foods with chemical preservatives and food coloring so that the LIver doesn’t have to work overtime to filter these out.
And cleanse your environment – spring cleaning is to get rid of the old and make room for the new. Allow new things in to your life, plan for your future dreams.

Let it go – let go of old resentments and grudges.These types of negative feelings are taxing to the Liver, affecting its ability to keep you healthy.

Hydrate – drink plenty of water to flush the Liver and keep your body hydrated.. Adding some lemon adds flavor and is nourishing to the liver.