We’ve finally made it through the long northern hemisphere winter and there’s no doubt that we are witnessing the Earth waking up. March is my favourite time of year. The energy that has been laying dormant is finally starting to rise and in a few weeks we will have the Spring Equinox. There’s a sense of renewal in the air; spring flowers and warm earth tease our senses and the blackbirds return to the gardens where they were born.
In Chinese Medicine, Spring is a time of upward, expansive energy. Of growth. Just like the seasons it’s important that we align our bodies with this energy in order to benefit from the natural vibrancy of the season. Ultimately, this is a time for cleansing and letting go of any stagnant energy that’s accumulated over the long Winter months. It’s a time for projects and for love; for the beginnings of all things new and wonderful.
The Liver and its partner, the Gallbladder, are the organs in charge of Spring. The element is Wood. The Liver rids the body of toxins and is responsible for the smooth flow of Qi and Blood and helps us let go of emotional baggage. The emotion associated with the Liver is anger, so if you are feeling any anger, old or new, it could be a sign your Liver is out of balance. Headaches, high blood pressure, red eyes, dry eyes or floaters are also signs of a Liver imbalance.
There are a few ways you can look after yourself during the Spring transition.
- Have some acupuncture. Needles (tiny!) placed on certain points in your body can help strengthen your Liver and support the natural process of change. Don’t be surprised if you feel emotional after a session that has focused on the Liver, this is natural.
- Practice letting go. I’m a strong believer in the process of feeling emotions in order to allow them to move through us. Sometimes this can be hard so do it gently. Meditate or seek the help of a therapist. Talk to trusted friends. All emotions are valid and sometimes you need to feel heard to be able to let go.
- Move your body. Whatever form of exercise you choose know that by doing so, you are moving energy in your body.
- Eat blood nourishing/sour food. Yoghurt, coriander seed, trout, pheasant, raspberry leaf, rosehip, pistachios, aduki beans, apricots, watercress, spinach, eggs, dates, kidney beans, figs, nettle, beef and chicken are all good liver and blood tonifiers.
- Gently tap the liver meridian which runs up the inside of your calves. Do this for one minute on each leg, preferably at the beginning of each day.
“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”…”It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…”
Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden