Spring is officially here! A good time to clear out the old and bring in the new, starting from the cupboards in your kitchen. In TCM, spring is the season related to the element of wood, and governs growth and renewal.
So here is how to Spring towards the future!
The Spring List
- Lemons, greens, leafy vegies, lighter broths/ food (limited salad)
- Yoga or stretching (for this tight tendon season) and physical activity
- Socialising – the urge increases
- Cleansing the body, home and the mind
- Letting go of the past and “old stuff” both emotionally and physically
Spring is a time for beginning new projects and planning for the future. It is time to let go of the dormant and stable, but perhaps slightly stuck energy of winter and allow the dynamic energy of spring move you… forward! Spring is the most motivated of the seasons! Just check out all the exclamation marks!!!
Yoga and meditation
As I mentioned above, you might notice sorer or tighter muscles and tendons in spring. The Liver in Chinese medicine rules the tendons and nervous system, so it is very easy to feel a bit sores stiff, and tight, both physically and emotionally.
The energy of spring is very motivating, however sometimes too much and it can therefore propel you into state of hyperactivity or frustration. It is important to do yoga or meditation, or just relax. This way you can avoid feeling too ungrounded, anxious, frustrated or hyperactive. It can also help you avoid feeling exhausted.
Diet is really important in spring. In spring we often have a natural inclination to clean up everything. We read and hear about detox everywhere and naturally want to eat lighter, feel lighter, loose weight and MOVE! This is all great and exactly what you should be feeling like doing in spring. However, watch out to not go too light or too cold with your dietary choices. Good oils are important to keep muscles, tendon and joints lubricated. So love your avo’s, nut and seed oils: walnut oil, sesame seed oil/ tahini, flaxseed oil, fish oils/ oily fish.
Raw is always cool, but sometimes too cool! Watch out. In spring raw foods are still not really appropriate as your main meal as raw foods are not really warm enough (sorry raw food enthusiasts).
Raw food acts to cool the body and moisten it. While raws are great in summer, in spring they are not really appropriate as the body is just starting to heat up again after it’s long cool down over winter. The bodily fire that is being generated in spring stimulates both an increased metabolism and our ability to detox. Eating cooling and raw foods in spring can go against this heat up and natural detox the body undergoes in spring as it cools the digestive system and the body. A side salad is fine and if you have a hot constitutional type and great digestion, salad in spring may be fine for you. However, if you feel the cold or have any digestive issues like IBS symptoms, bloating, loose stools or diarrhoea, low appetite, sugar cravings or abdominal discomfort try to hold off on the raw foods, smoothie and salad munching until it is singlet weather. By this time, your new, warmed up and detoxified body will be ready, roaring and firing on all cylinders!
Foods that ARE recommended?
- GREEN foods are number1! Broccoli, spinach, kale, brussel sprouts and spring onions.
- Soups with broth – (Vietnamese Pho is my favourite)
- Steamed and stir fried foods are the best in spring
- Cooked ingredient salads are fantastic
- Smoothies are not ideal spring food BUT If you cant listen to me on this one add cardamom and ginger into smoothies/ juices, to give your digestive fire a life rope.
- Green and peppermint tea is great, as it is cleansing with out being too cooling.
- Include more grain, seafood and fish in your diet
- Hold back on osso bucco. …heavy, greasy and rich wintery foods are for WINTER and they will block your bodies dynamism in Spring…. so let them go!
- Including cooked foods that are lighter will help you feel more dynamic. A warm cooked salad or health bowl is perfect!
Lifestyle wise, you may be considering filling your diary up with more social events, exercise dates perhaps, long walks, hobbies and maybe considering new personal projects … Go spring!
Make sure you still have some down time. Allow yourself to have time to:
- Clean your house, body and cupboards
- Do your tax
- Tie up loose ends
- And other tasks that allow you to clear out old energy
Emotionally in spring, frustration and anger can come up easily. Be proactive, and be kind to yourself. Consider actions like:
- Improving diet
- Increasing exercise and physical activity
- Getting advice from health professionals to help identify and change old problems and patterns
Acupuncture can be great if you are still feeling a bit stuck or low from winter. Acupuncture can help unblock any blockages that have accumulated over Winter and get the mind, body and spirit moving. Spring is the best time to work on old pain, aches and issues. It is a perfect time to see your Naturopath too and get some help cleaning up your diet, bettering your health or starting a detox.
At Darling Street Health would love to help you put a spring in your step! And I look forward to working with you. Enjoy the growth and transformation of spring!
Amy Forth – Acupuncturist