Spring is the time of blooming and planning. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, Spring is the time of growth and creativity and is governed by the liver and gall bladder meridian, which is governed by the wood element. This means that during this season, these meridians / energy pathways are more dominant. This is their time to be energized. If we are healthy and balanced, we should innately follow the flow of the seasons.
If these meridians / energy pathways are congested, or the energy pathways that fuel the liver and gall bladder meridians (kidney / bladder meridians – carried over from winter)are congested, Spring might be a ‘difficult’ time for that person (Hay fever, temper problems, headaches, nausea to name a few).
Spring is the perfect time to detox and allow for new energy to ‘sprout’ or manifest. The wood element is represented and affected by the quality of food we eat (as well as other ‘substances’ we take in such as medication, supplements and alcohol). If we do not eat well or take in the correct nourishment, the liver will be under strain to try and detoxify our bodies.
Before we realise that our liver is under strain we may experience symptoms along the meridian such as:
- Brain fog, memory problems
- Temple, cluster or tension headaches
- Mood swings
- Digestive complaints
- Thyroid and oesophageal disorders
- Pain in the thighs
- Lateral knee pain
- Varicose veins along the pathway (medial and / or lateral leg)
- Ingrown toe nails
- Gout in big toe
It is vitally important that these pathways are balanced. Diseases can manifest if they are too heavily congested. Physical dis-ease affects us psychologically and the mind also affects the body. So we need to detox both mind and body.
Specific diseases that can manifest on the liver / gall bladder meridian are: eye disorders (glaucoma, cataracts, watery eyes, etc); cerebrovascular disease (stroke); arthritis in the hip; ADD, memory loss, depression, pituitary gland disorders (and other disorders of the frontal lobe); dysphagia (difficulty swallowing); halitosis (bad breath); thyroid disorders; sexual dysfunctions; gall bladder or liver disorders.
The liver and gall bladder are responsible for detoxification and repairing the body on a cellular level and cleaning of the blood. This should happen when we are asleep between 11pm and 3am. If you find yourself awake at this hour, there is probably an imbalance. If you are ‘forced’ to be awake at this hour (for work or social functions) you are hindering your body’s ability to repair and regenerate. Therefore you should take precautions to support the liver, such as a healthy diet and liver / gall bladder supporting supplements.
What causes the imbalance?
- Poor quality food – food that is toxic and lacks vitamins, minerals and enzymes
- Excessive alcohol / drug / medication intake
- Excessive anger – especially built up anger that is suppressed
- Rigid ways of thinking
- Symptoms that are suppressed
- Poor sleeping habits
- Not coping with stress
Element imbalance is usually accompanied by meridian imbalance, especially if that element / meridian pathway is dominant. Signs of imbalance are:
- Excessive feelings of anger
- Weakness in the muscles and tendons
- Poor quality of nails
- Watery or dry eyes
- Craving or dislike of sour foods
- Seasonal spring allergies (September to December)
- Insomnia between 11pm – 1am or 1am to 3am
How to correct the imbalance:
- Eat leafy greens or start your morning with a shot of wheatgrass – they are bitter and stimulate bile production
- Drink warm water with lemon juice
- Eat vegetables such as beetroot, broccoli, kale, fennel, ginger and celery
- Have sprouts and microgreens with your meals
- Spend time in nature
- Open your mind and let go of stubbornness. Allow yourself to see all sides of the situation
- Light exercise for muscle tone (such as yoga and pilates)
- Energy balancing therapies such as reflexology & acupuncture
If you balance your energies in spring, you will be able to be active in summer instead of too lethargic. We really should start building our ‘energy’ for spring in the winter months by eating foods high in vitamins and minerals and relaxing enough.
I wish you a wonderful Spring of growth, vision and opportunities
For more a better understanding of the elements and the meridians, read this article