Are you ready?
If you live in Minnesota, and you have endured this wintery season, most likely your answer is ‘absolutely yes!’ Even though we are still seeing snow outdoors and the temperatures may not be as warm as we would like, spring is definitely here. The sun is rising a bit earlier, robins are reappearing, and plants are coming back to life right below our feet.
If you pay attention you may notice changes within your body due to the changing season. I often find myself waking earlier or just feeling an increase in energy. This is the energy, or Qi, in your body responding to the energy in our environment. When the energy around us is moving quickly, which happens in springtime, our energy will want to move quickly as well. But, what if you are not noticing these subtle changes, or worse yet, what if you are noticing some negative changes?
The Chinese system of medicine often looks at the body through the lens of its environment. Spring is associated with the color green, wood and growth. If you think of wood, notice its nature. 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. If your own Qi is stuck, which is a common side effect from our stressful lives, and then you will feel the tension and push of this springtime energy in some not so pleasant ways.
Signs that your Qi may be stuck include
- Feeling anxious or irritable
- Increased headaches
- Frequently sighing
- Digestive complaints, stomach aches or bloating
- Fatigue accompanied by restlessness
How do we prepare for spring? How do we help release any stuck energy we may have? There are many things you can do to help prepare yourself for the best spring and summer yet.
- Eat more green colored foods (yep, eat your veggies!)
- Move your body more: This is a great time to begin or increase your exercise. Try something new and try to get outdoors as much as possible.
- Wake earlier: The earth is waking up earlier these days and we can tap into some of that energy by following the sun.
- Acupuncture: Of course I need to mention this! Acupuncture and herbal medicine can be very helpful during this time of the year.
All of these things can help the Qi of your body get moving. 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)
I pull out this phrase every spring to both use it as a personal reminder and to share it with others. The choices we make now can determine how we feel in the coming months.
What a great time of year to plant new seeds of health!