Within Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Spring is the season to support the Liver and Gallbladder.
You might think that we are a little early for talk about Spring in early February, however although it may feel very wintery still, and there may be snow on the ground or snow still yet to come, new life is already rising up from the ground with the sight of new shoots and buds, and the arrival of crocus and snowdrops.
The colour associated with the Liver is Green, and the element is Wood. If we consider what Wood is, we can see that it is both being and becoming; it is consistent yet it is always growing steadily, gently, persistently. As the tree moves into Spring we visualise it flowing and spreading its branches ready for new growth and the warmer seasons ahead.
So with Spring we feel a new surge of energy rising up, we can feel a creative impulse. We can feel on the edge of new beginnings. Yet we are only in February! So be aware that this can create a sense of irritability and impatience.
The Liver is responsible for maintaining the smooth flow of Qi and blood. This isn’t just in a physical form, but also emotionally, helping our emotions to flow smoothly. Mood swings, bad moods and anger can come from unbalanced Liver Qi. Insomnia can also be another indicator of imbalanced Liver Qi, as it’s most active time is between 1am and 3am, a period where we should be experiencing deep sleep. Other symptoms might include:
- Tendon problems
- High Blood Pressure
- Eye issues
There are many things you can do to support your Liver energy at this time. But if you choose to do any of these things, do them gently! Remember the steady way the tree grows. We want to support ourselves in a kind and nurturing way, so make small changes over a period of time, and choose changes that resonate with you and where you are in your life at this moment:
- Move. If you don’t already exercise then start doing something gentle now.
- Tidy up your diet. Cut down on fried and fatty foods and replace them with healthy fats and oils, reduce sugar and processed foods, manage portion sizes and snacking, enjoy fresh foods, eat slowly.
- Hydrate with plenty of water and perhaps a squeeze of lemon or some apple cider vinegar, which nourish the Liver.
- Recreate order out of chaos: declutter emotionally/mentally as well as physically. Let go of old resentments and practice forgiveness. Make a start on your inner self.
- Sew your seeds! Try something new, and be a little daring.
- Book in for some acupuncture.
- Buy yourself a new scarf!
We have talked about Liver season and it’s element of Wood and it’s colour Green, but one final aspect to point out is it’s climate: Wind. So although we feel that Spring is just around the corner, make sure you continue to wrap up warm particularly around the neck, shoulders and ears. This is known as your “Wind Gate” area and will be vulnerable to Wind invasion as we go through periods of temperamental weather, adjusting from Winter through to the warmer part of the year.
Have a great Spring!