Over the past few winter months you may have noticed a decrease in the amount of exercise you have been doing, and an increase in the amount of sleep you have been receiving. Bears aren’t the only creatures that experience forms of hibernation in the winter season!
Let’s take a look at the cues nature has been giving us throughout winter for our health:
-Nights becoming longer to promote rest
-Colder weather outside, encouraging us to bundle up and eat warm foods
-The stillness of the snow and ice, helping us to slow down our thoughts and actions.
-When it comes to foods, we are eating more heavy and rich meals (stews, pot roasts) and adding in many seasonal spices like cinnamon, and ginger (which are very warming to the body).
Winter is the most Yin of all the seasons. In Chinese Medicine Yin is essential for generation of blood and body fluids, and also represents elements nature such as the moon, coolness, and stillness. Winter is our time to regenerate the Yin we have utilized throughout the other seasons where there is more activity and action (Yang).
So what does Chinese Medicine say about Spring? What can I do to prepare?
Spring is referred to as a Yang within Yin season and is correlated to the Liver organ and meridian. Since this season is more Yang in character, it inherently requires more movement and energy. Additionally, since the Liver is prone to stagnation it can easily manifest into symptoms such as anger, irritability, and increased menstrual cramping if the additional movement is not provided to our bodies during this Spring season.
Let’s take a look at the cues nature has been giving us throughout Spring for our health:
-Days becoming longer to promote more activity and exercise in the outdoors.
-Flowers and trees beginning to bud - representing the Wood energy of the season and signifying more activity (Green is the color representing the Liver and Wood energies)
-In terms of food, we often thing of Spring detoxing which can benefit the Liver if done properly, but can deplete the Spleen if done improperly
-We begin eating more fresh produce and add a little more ‘crunch’ to our diet to sooth our Liver Qi (be sure to balance the cool produce with some warm tea!)
-Wind is a quality of the Liver element, and begins to stir more vigorously in the Spring. This can stagnate our Liver and create irritability - keep your neck covered up!
With acupuncture and herbal medicine we can help create harmony between your body, and the affects of each season. Health is all about balance! You may notice that certain symptoms show up for you during a change in season, such s seasonal allergies, dry skin, and painful menstruation. There are many simple tips and tricks that can be implemented to help alleviate those discomforts.
By utilizing acupuncture and herbal medicine a few months or even weeks prior to a turn of the seasons, our bodies will become stronger and be better able to overcome our seasonal symptoms.
Spring toward a healthier mind, body and spirit with the help fo Chinese medicine!
Be on the look out for our healthful and harmonious Spring recipes!