No matter what your stage of life you are at, health has a big influence on how you feel and how you go about your day. Over the years, maintaining health has become ‘microscopic’ and fear driven, restricting diets focusing on intolerances and taking the enjoyment away from true nourishment. Solutions to wellbeing can be as simple as making informed lifestyle changes, but perhaps the biggest oversight in advocating health is aligning diet, exercise and activities to the seasons! Learning to move with Natures energy rather than restricting the flow or moving against it.
Spring officially begins in the UK around 21/22nd March, on the day of the Spring Equinox. The solstices and equinox represent key periods of transformation in Nature, usually mirrored in our lifestyle as heightened periods of stress and chaotic activity. Just take a moment to observe the change in animal behaviour, the weather and people’s emotional states a few weeks leading up to the Winter & Summer solstice or Autumn and Spring equinox to understand what I mean.
SPRING – The 5 element cycle
After a period of wintery stillness, transformation begin to take shape with the arrival of Spring. According to The Five Element cycle, Spring is associated with the Wood element and action symbolising new beginnings – birth, growth and development. Just take a look around at nature and notice how everything is moving upwards and outwards, from the windy climate to flowers and vegetation pushing through the earth to the movement of trees and birds in the sky.
How does Spring manifest itself in the body?
Are you wrapped up warm? In nature, the windy climate penetrates the skin, most readily at the head, neck, and upper back; it can also cause tremors or symptoms that migrate around the body like a wind moving from place to place. If the body is weak the immune defences are low through stress or overwork, colds and germs are easily caught.
The Wood element expresses itself through the organs of the Liver (which is considered a Yin organ associated with action driven activities) and the Gallbladder (a Yin organ associated with planning and decision making). Together, these organs govern energetic qualities associated with Wood and Springtime in human life, like planning, growth, creativity, movement and action, helping us to take things in our stride. We can tell how this energy affects us by our level of agitation (wood excess or stagnation) or ability to move with ease (balanced).
On an emotional level, Wood energy manifests as courage to take bring a vision to life through appropriate grounding (roots) and action. We grow irritable and angry when we can’t put our ideas into action, when we don’t feel powerful, or when we’re confronted with changes we don’t want to make. The emotion that corresponds to Wood is anger.
What symptoms or patterns of disease can you expect to see in Spring? What does an imbalanced wood element look like?
A simple guide to help recognise excess or deficient wood energy patterns in Spring. Please note this is a general assumption based on TCM. Your bespoke constitution will react differently according to the energy of the year, season & month – to learn more request a mini constitutional reading
If there is stagnation in the body/mind, wood element energy builds up and we experience excess. If we have ignored Winter’s call to rest, we will have signs of deficiency. This also relates to how active or inactive we have been, and how we have addressed our nourishment through winter. Learn more about eating healthy with the seasons
Nature provides the prescriptions for healing – Seasonal wellbeing is about consciously engaging with Nature, and being aware of the intricate relationship that exists between the Earths capacity to heal humanity through the seasons.
Here’s a little insight how the 2020 Holistic Health Seasonal Wellbeing approach I advocate can serve you through seasonal transitions.
- ENVIRONMENT: SPRING CLEAN
De clutter, re organise, and Spring clean. Spring is a time for ACTION, similar to the fight or flight scenario – This energy surge invites us to get up and get going, or run away! When we have abundant energy we need to spend it – clearing the environment is an effective way to help us detox and de clutter from the inside out, thereby creating space for new growth.
It’s common knowledge that our environment influences our health & happiness. Notice which rooms collect clutter, are these patterns reflected throughout or just in a few places? which area of the house are you naturally drawn to and why? How does energy travel through your house? Do all rooms feel vitality, or are some in need of a bit more help? Take a look at the use of colours and textures – do you favour one over another? What creature comforts have you accumulated over the Winter time? How do these express your inner need of comfort and nourishment?
There is a deeper psychology to environmental cleansing, moving beyond rearranging furniture or a simple clean up. This year, explore the science of Feng Shui and benefits of implementing an ‘energetic’ cleanse into your living or work environment. It’s much more than just rearranging furniture. Read more …. https://www.fengshuiyogini.com/
BODY- MIND- EMOTIONS: SPRING DETOX
Are you craving sour food, pickles? Salt & vinegar? Fish and chips? A curry with alcohol? These are common wood element patterns. Every season has it’s unique flavour. The flavour for spring is SOUR. Learn more about the use of the 5 elements and flavours in healing our emotions Read the 2020 Seasonal lifestyle detox guide
MOVEMENT & EXERCISE:. TWIST & SHAKE
SPRING is the time to get TWISTING! In Nature, growth is a spiral movement upwards. In the body, the meridians related to the wood element and spring season cross the all the junctions – hips, shoulders, neck causing pain and inflammation. Certain Movement assists the spring energy transition from the feet upwards through the body. Twisting action that shakes and moves the hips, such as Yoga poses, Tai chi, Qigong, spiral stabilisation, dancing (belly dancing) and spinning assists the natural spiral flow through the body and ‘smoothes’ the flow of energy, thereby reducing the effects of excess energy rising quickly to the head.
When energy rises too quickly it is important to stamp the feet to disperse or ground the energy. This is often seen in children having tantrums often stamp their feet, this is a natural instinctive way to descend the wood energy calming the chi.
GROUNDING – keep your feet rooted as energy rises
Grounding is not achieved by walking barefoot on the earth. Walking barefoot depends on the climate and your constitutional needs. Quiet meditation or practice mindfulness to help ground the thoughts that flood into the headspace at this time of year. Body scan is a great way of reconnecting to self and grounding the energy. Root your emotions through breath work such as pranayama or ujjayii (Victorious breath). Lying down on your back and feeling the spine extend and sink into the ground in deeply grounding and far more effective as it enables one to surrender to the Earth, whilst maintaining focus on the breath.
The Makka Ho sequence are 5 movements particularly good to ground and balance the meridian energy in the body.