Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Spring is in the Air

Spring Time

Spring is the time of year when energy starts to build and grow. Animals that have been hibernating are roused from their sleep. Green shoots sprout up from the ground, blossoms begin to appear. Our bodies are no different with brighter, longer days the desire and need to get our Qi moving begins. During winter Qi enters deeper levels of the body and it is natural to sleep longer, decrease activity and spend less time outdoors. Currently we are in a transition time from winter into spring therefore it is a good time to increase activity especially outside. Although some days maybe quite mild it is still important to stay well covered to prevent the body from getting chilled. Changing activity level, diet and emotions can make the transition easier on the body and mind, thereby avoiding illness.

Spring Emotion

Liver is the organ system associated with spring which has an important function of regulating the flow of Qi in the body, as well as the emotions. If the flow of Qi is impeded headaches, dizziness, fatigue, pain or constriction in the chest and side body may develop along with depression and irritability. The ability to maintain mental stability while experiencing all emotions is a key component to liver health. Getting involved in social activities, journaling, meditating, fostering good communication with friends and family are some possibilities

Spring Diet
  • light foods which have a dispersing expanding energy, such as pungent herbs - basil, fennel, marjoram, rosemary, caraway, dill, mint, jasmine
  • steep mulberry, chrysanthemum and peppermint together to take as a tea in the spring
  • fresh greens, chinese chives, sprouts
  • young beets, carrot and other sweet starchy vegetables
  • limit heavy foods which clog the liver
  • limit salty foods which have a downward energy
  • cook food for a shorter time at a higher heat, light steaming or quick saute are also appropriate
  • transition from winter into spring is also a good time for a cleanse to activate the digestive energy of the body and remove any stagnant energy

Spring Activity

  • increase aerobic activity by running, brisk walking outside, hiking or playing ball
  • get more fresh air by spending more time in nature, parks
  • spend time with family and friends
  • stretching/yoga to open up the chest and side body
1. raise arms overhead and bend to the side -> feel a stretch from hip to armpit
2. clasp hands at low back pull shoulder blades together and down while lifting hands away from the back -> feel a stretch across the front of the chest