How to welcome in Spring!
It’s time to shake off the lethargy of Winter, and reactivate your interest in the outer world. Spring is just a hop-skip-and-a-jump away, and that’s exactly what you should be doing to get the blood moving again!
While Fall and Winter are times to wind down, internalize, and conserve energy (both mentally and physically), Spring is the time to get moving, get outside, and clear away the stagnations of the colder seasons. Spring is the season of external growth during which everything that you have nurtured in the months of internal growth, during the Fall and Winter, begins to emerge.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Spring is the beginning of the yang cycle. It is a period of regeneration, movement, and new growth ruled by the active, masculine, yang energy. TCM also designates a particular element and an organ to each of the seasons, and Spring is represented by the element wood. Wood is then the ruling element of the liver, which is responsible for the smooth flow of Qi, or energy throughout the body.
During this time of year, TCM tells us to concentrate on stretching, like yoga or Tai Chi to help get the Qi moving again. Other things that can be helpful in reinvigorating the Qi are to eat lots of green vegetables (always a good idea!), and to include in your diet things that are sour. Sour foods are thought to stimulate liver Qi, so eating more pickles, including lemon in your water, or using olive oil and vinegar to top your salad are all tasty, healthy things you can do to stimulate your Qi. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, try kimchee!