Spring Has Sprung!
By Patty Jones, LAc, MSTOM, Dipl. AC, DCCM, PharmD., RPh
In Chinese medicine, spring is the season that is characterized by growth and upward movement. It is the time of year in which our Yang Qi rises up and begins to spread upwards and outwards. Trees form buds and leaves, flowers push up from the earth, birds build nests and lay eggs. Life begins anew!
Chinese medicine also assigns all aspects of nature and all body processes to one of five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Spring is assigned to the wood element. The wood element also includes the wind, the sour flavor, the color green and the Liver and Gallbladder.
As the days get longer and there is more movement in nature, this is the time of year for you to increase your movement as well. Go outside for a walk. Practice flow yoga, a more moving form of yoga. Substitute gentle stretching with additional movement. Instead of staying home and hibernating, get outside and enjoy the sunshine. As you start to feel warmer and your pores open, you may decide to remove all those winter layers as you go outside. Not so fast! Because there still are cool days and nights, you need to continue to protect your Qi and Yang. This is easily accomplished by wearing a light scarf or jacket to make sure your neck still is covered, especially if you began sweating while out for a walk.
Your diet also should change with the season. Instead of the heavy soups and stews of winter, change to lighter broths and soups. Incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables as they start to become available. Foods that appear in spring include asparagus, bean sprouts and green onions. Because spring is the season of the liver, consume teas and foods that soothe the liver, such as chrysanthemum, peppermint and goji berries.
Most importantly, continue your self-care. As the spring winds pick up, it can affect your body day-to-day. Meditation, Qi Gong and most importantly acupuncture will help your body navigate the windy days of spring as you move through the season and begin to approach the hot days of summer.
Patty Jones, LAc, MSTOM, Dipl. AC, DCCM, PharmD., RPh, is a Licensed Acupuncturist, Diplomate of Acupuncture, Diplomate of Canonical Chinese Medicine, Doctor of Pharmacy and a Registered Pharmacist. You can schedule an appointment with Patty by calling A Touch of Ginger at (630) 299-3464 or click here to schedule an appointment online.