Wearing lighter jackets and fewer layers, feeling the sun on our skin, smelling the earth as it thaws. What is not to like about spring?
If you pay attention, you may also notice changes within your body due to the changing season.
The Chinese system of medicine often looks at the body through the lens of the environment. Spring is associated with the color green, the element wood, and the property growth. Notice the nature of wood: It has a tendency to grow upwards and is both strong and flexible. It must be able to withstand the wind and the rain.
Your body’s energy also must be able to flow freely, moving quickly and energetically, responding to its environment. If your energy, or qi, is stuck, you can feel the tension and push. Qi stagnation is a common side effect of our stressful lives.
Signs that your qi may be stuck include:
- Feeling moody, anxious, or irritable
- Increased headaches
- Increased shoulder and mid-back tension
- Frequently sighing
- Digestive complaints, stomachaches, or bloating
- Fatigue accompanied by restlessness
- Increased PMS symptoms
As the qi in your body responds to the energy in our environment, are you noticing some signs of being stuck?
Ways to move your qi:
- Eat more green colored foods: Yep, eat your veggies!
- Move your body: This is a great time to begin or increase your exercise. Try something new and get outdoors as much as possible.
- Wake earlier: The earth is waking up earlier these days — we can tap into some of that energy by following the sun.
- Acupuncture & Shiatsu: Of course I need to mention this! Acupuncture, herbal medicine, and shiatsu can be very helpful during this time of the year.
Becoming strong and flexible in your own body will help you withstand the winds and rain that are inevitable in life.
The harvest of a whole year depends on what you sow in the spring. (Chinese proverb)
What a great time of year to plant new seeds of health!
[written by Lori]