Being in Harmony with the Seasons (Spring edition)

Last week I had the pleasure of interviewing Kaitlen Brennan of The Perch Acupuncture about the connection between seasons and Chinese Medicine. I was particularly interested in learning what it means to be in harmony with the seasons.

“All things are changing in our bodies with every season”.

In the video below Kaitlen explains, “In Traditional Chinese Medicine things are interconnected and interdependent of one another. Each thing in nature is also part of us as well as we live within that component of nature.”

Chinese medicine focuses on balancing elemental energies. While each season has different characteristics, one season builds into the next season. This is why it’s extremely important to stay in balance with each season. If you are not in balance, stagnation happens. During stagnation, chi and blood are not flowing freely within your body and this can manifest in the body in a variety of ways.

Some symptoms you may experience during this time that are linked to the liver/gallbladder are pain, digestive issues, menstrual issues, depression, anxiety, insomnia, lack of energy, sluggishness, anger or irritability

Spring Characteristics:

Element: Wood

Organ: Liver/gallbladder

Emotion: Anger

4 tips to live in harmony with the season of Spring:

1) Balance yin and yang. Spring is a time of taking action, but we need to balance the energy. Grow and take time to transition into spring. We are coming out of a Yin time, so we want to go at a slow and steady pace. If you are starting to go outside and be active, don’t overdue it. Your ligaments and tendons can become overworked and tight easily. You will want to support these shifts in activity level by incorporating more Yin movements such as stretching, yoga and massage that nourish the body.

2) Take action. Spring is about new beginnings, new changes. It’s time to take the yin energy of inward focus and reflection from Winter and put those ideas into action. Career changes, moves, trying new things — all of these are great ways to cultivate this spring energy into real life changes. Just remember to take slow breaths and time for you.

3) Nourish your body with greens and sour. During Spring we want to start incorporating raw veggies into the diet, but with caution. Start with lightly grilling or sauteing your veggies at first until your digestion gets used to raw veggies. Focus on eating green vegetables like sprouts, dandelion greens, chard, spinach, and kale to support your liver. Green juices are also liver happy foods! Start your day with 1/2 lemon in a glass of warm water to help get the liver moving and start the digestion process.

4) Be present with nature. Spring is also a time to be in nature after a long Winter indoors. Focus on being present with what is happening in nature. Pay close attention to the changes occurring around you everyday. Just be.

Enjoy and leave your comments below!