Spring is a of time growth, renewal, and increasing light, warmth, and energy. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) each season is associated with one of the classical five elements. Spring is connected to the Wood element. This element reflects the nature of trees and plants to grow upward and outward. In spring we see new growth as flowers bloom and new shoots pop up from the ground. Springtime, and the Wood element are further connected to organ systems, foods, exercises, and lifestyle recommendations.
Spring in TCM:
- Element – Wood
- Organs – Liver, Gall Bladder
- Foods – Sour foods such as vinegar and lemon, and green foods such as spinach and kale
- Exercises – Stretching the tendons and ligaments
- Lifestyle – Get outdoors and move around!
During the winter the Yang energy of light and warmth were less and the Yin aspect of dark and coolness predominates. This was a time to rest and conserve our energy. Now as spring blooms our energy increases with the light and warmth of the sun. Now is a time to get outside and move around. In Chinese Medicine the liver is connected to the tendons and ligaments, so it’s important to stretch our bodies during this time. Sour foods are considered to help the liver function smoothly and the color green is also associated with the Wood element, spring, and the liver.
Spring is also the time for seasonal allergies. Traditional Chinese Medicine has many ways to help the body more smoothly transition into spring. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine have been used since ancient times to effectively treat allergies and other ailments of the season. With proper care and lifestyle we can all take full advantage of this beautiful time of year!