In the spring nature goes through a process of rebirth and regrowth after the stillness of winter. We also feel the same urge to renew and regenerate. Spring’s energy is outwards and expansive, urging us to go outside and move around. In Chinese medicine this is the season of the liver and gallbladder and the element wood. The liver is associated with the tendons, the eyes, the sour flavor, the color green and the emotion anger. It is in charge of regulating the flow of all body substances and dredging toxins.
Spring is the best season to detox; our diet should be the lightest of the year and contain foods that help cleanse the liver like: fresh greens, lettuces, sprouts, watercress, seaweeds, celery, cucumber, mushrooms, radishes, mung beans and rhubarb. Juicing is also a good idea this time a year, a simple juice of cucumber, celery, and parsley is helpful to cleanse the system. Dry brushing our entire body starting at the feet towards the heart activates the flow of lymph, aiding in detoxification and elimination of dead skin.
The emotion associated with the wood element is anger. The same energy that supports it also supports creativity allowing us to grow and evolve. Anger in excess can create confusion and interfere with our ability for planning and execution. If it’s repressed or not expressed properly it builds resentment and paralyzes us. Conflict impedes growth by not allowing us to be present in the moment. When it arises we should try to transform the hostility and timidity associated with the wood element into compassion. Through compassion we are able to forgive ourselves and others and let go of all judgement, accepting that our actions and the actions of others were the best possible under the circumstances. By releasing judgment we are not at the mercy of disappointments and false expectations, being able to focus our energy in creativity and growth.
Just as in nature our bodies go through a transition with the season change. Some symptoms that may arise are sneezing, watery/ itchy eyes, irritability, tight tendons, rashes, tiredness, headaches, and bloating with constipation or diarrhea. A Chinese medicine treatment can harmonize our system with the season so we can fully enjoy the brightness and energy of spring.
Pitchford, Paul, “Healing with Whole Foods,” North Atlanta Books (Pub), 2002Lonny Jarrett, LAc, Nourishng Destiny