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Spring Qi

The Chinese lunar calendar divides the year into 24 solar terms with the first Spring term beginning February 4.

These last few weeks the wind has been high. With Spring, there is an energetic surge that starts in late Winter. Leaf buds start to appear, the birds begin to sing, bulbed flowers bloom. In winter, outward signs of life are scarce. If we didn’t know better, we would think all the trees were dead in winter, but they come back every year bursting with life. What a promise!

From a Chinese Medicine perspective, this is a transition of the element of Water and the season of Winter to the element of Wood and season of Spring. Water and Winter are yin, cold still, and dark. Spring is more yang, warm, and lively. As seeds lay dormant underground in Winter, they move up and out through the soil towards the sun in Spring.

Spring is associated with the Wood element. The qi during this time has an up and out movement most noticed with the spring winds. Wood energy is rising, expanding, and fast. This allows the force of growth and brings great change to our environment. It brings new life and great change.

Wood energy is associated with the Liver and the Gallbladder channels. When the Wood element is unbalanced within you may feel irritable or angry. People with this imbalance may experience headaches, rib pain, dry or itchy eyes, some sleep issues, tight muscles or tendons, cramps, spasms, or nerve pain.

All the movement in Spring brings some problems with it as well. Allergies for example result from the movement of pollen. The sensory organ associated with Spring is the eyes, and itchy red eyes are a common complaint in the Spring.

Wood qi is not all bad. In health, emotions like anger are a helpful tool to make positive changes, manage flexibility, dream, make decisions, and more.

With this spring energy, there is a natural urge to remove anything stagnant in our lives. You may want to clean your home, rearrange the house, get outside more, take on that task you have been putting off. If Wood energy is unbalanced and not free-flowing, this could create expressions of anger, frustration, and have difficulty making decisions. Spring is a great time to work on emotional progress.

To take advantage of this energetic shift:

  • Move the qi and blood with some breathwork or light exercise such as qigong or yoga.

  • Eat seasonal foods such as asparagus, broccoli, leeks, carrots, dark leafy greens, cherries, citrus, green tea, and celery.

  • Get outside.

  • Tune into your emotions.

  • Harmonize with acupuncture.

  • Clean your house and rearrange furniture.

  • Keep your neck covered with a light scarf or high collar.

  • Try something new.

  • Work on creative projects.

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