Spring – Chun – Wood Element
Ah Spring! How we all look forward to its’ warmth and sunshine especially after a long, dark and cold New York winter.
Our internal ignition is now being sparked, as we lumber out of our Wintry slumbers and seek renewal, expansion and growth. A certain lightness of being is now manifesting within us and is being driven by the Earth’s rhythmic change, – the Vernal Equinox which takes place on March 20th.
The Wind helps to shift us into the season of Spring. Wind is the climate of Spring in Chinese Medicine, the Element is Wood and its Direction is East. East is the awakening, the beginning of life it is where the sun rises at the start of every day. The color of the Wood Element is Green – its spirit is Hun
The Endearing cycle is called the Shen Cycle In Five Element Theory (Wu Xing).
The Five Elements describe the dynamic functional relationship between all aspects of nature along with their energetic relationship between the twelve internal Organs and other physiological processes. They are; Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water.
This philosophy was developed by a people who lived according to and with the Earth’s cycles. The Endearing cycle depicts a Parent-Child relationship, moves in a clockwise direction with the Parental role of nourishing the Child and is aligned with the Seasons and their corresponding Elements and Organ Systems. Spring is the child of Winter, Winter with its Yin organ of the Kidneys-Endocrine, it’s Element is Water. Spring’s the Wood Element is fed by Water (Winter). Wood (Spring-) with the Liver-Gallbladder as it’s associated organ system fuels the fruition of what has begun in Spring into Summer.
Summer is the Fire Element and corresponds to the Heart and Small Intestine when the plants are at their optimum growth.
Yin and Yang are the law of the universe, they oppose each other but are both necessary to be in balance to one another. Yin is the female aspect; Earth, Moon, nurturing, substance, building (growth) and rest. Yang is the male aspect; Heaven, Sun, immaterial, generation, energy, creation and activity.
The Liver and Gallbladder are the energetic and internal organs primarily engaged in this seasonal phenomenon of Spring. The Liver (Yin Organ) and the Gall Bladder (Yang Organ) are named Wife and Husband respectively, they are a very hard working and dynamic couple. The Gallbladder’s mission is courage, supplying the impetus to move forward, to daringly express and walk the path of the unknown which is needed to assist his wife the Liver, so that she may be able to creatively express herself without any blockage of Qi. Qi is the Vital Force of our life and the universe. Just as in every marriage either you work with each other or you work against one another.
The Liver is responsible for the Smooth flow of Qi.
Specific emotional patterns are attributed to each organ system / element in Chinese Medicine. The Wood element negatively expressed emotion is Anger. Positive emotion and spirit is creative expression and human kindness (Hun).
The Liver is called the “General”, it disperses the “troops” known as Qi and Blood where needed If the General has been thwarted and is now frustrated, Qi has now been obstructed. Obstruction of Qi is the main cause of disharmony in the Body, Mind and Spirit. This is why stress (from any source) impacts our health negatively.
As previously mentioned, the climate of Spring is Wind, if no blockage of Qi exists there should not be any blockage of Wind. However, when a person has experienced great emotional distress and / or has repressed those emotions what may occur is Rising Liver Yang which may manifest in the body as headaches, migraines, ear ringing, shifting back and forth of metabolic functioning for example changeability of their digestive and elimination patterns An outward physical sign of Excess Liver Yang is the person who is yelling and shouting with a beet red face and giving you hand signals that are not duly noted in the official New York State Driver’s Manual.
The Chinese biorhythm clock maps out the time of the day that the body’s organ functional activity is at its optimum. This is the specific time of day for each organ system to do its work. The time slot for the Gallbladder and Liver runs from 11 pm- 1 am and from 1 am -3 am , respectively. This time frame is when the detoxification function of this organ system is engaged. Therefore, it is best not to eat late at night and to get to sleep prior to this time frame in order to allow the body to do what it does best at this time of the day.
This is the time to lighten up your diet. Be aware of what plants peek their heads up at this time. These are the plants that will feed your Spring time energetic body. Dandelion and mustard greens., these green-yellow roots, plants and flowers have an affinity for the Liver. They are bitter and cooling. These will help to rid the body of the effect of eating the heavier foods of Winter. The Liver is known to get hot, it should be it does a lot of work and is affected by EVERYTHING you ingest or are exposed to; food, alcohol, stress, toxic environments (whether chemical or emotional).
Avoid spicy, fatty, greasy fried foods as these congest the Liver. Eat good sources of protein along with lots of greens. Drink a glass of room temperature water with fresh lemon juice. The Liver likes Sour. Take deep and long inhalations and exhalations as this has a relaxing effect on your Liver.
Just as the tender shoots push themselves mightily through the surface of the Earth, so must we engage with this same energy. Take abundant advantage of this point in time, it is your seasonal New Moon. Create your own plan for growth and adventure with the smooth flow of Qi helping to make your dreams a reality.
With Many Blessings of Qi!