Spring: A Time For Inspiration and Creativity

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Spring: A Time For Inspiration and Creativity

Spring Is Here!

It’s still a few weeks until the Spring Equinox and we won’t see cherry blossoms like the ones above for a while, but in the Chinese Lunar calendar, spring started almost a month ago, on Feb 3rd.  The trend of early spring is starting to shift away from the cold Yin energy of winter and towards warmer, summer Yang. We can see this shift most clearly in the slightly longer days we’re having.  And just as these warmer days with cold nights start the maple sap running, there is more activity happening ‘under the surface’ at this time.

You might be wondering, “What does this have to do with health”?  Traditional Chinese Medicine’s (TCM) early doctors looked at the body as a microcosm of the natural environment.  Living in sync with the cycles of nature was seen as essential to good health. Chinese Medicine’s systematic approach to health is based on understanding the cycles of change in nature and in our bodies with the idea that the mind/body system has the ability to heal itself if balance is restored.

 

My daughter's spring painting

Spring Qi brings with it a kind of hopefulness.  As it is a time for tilling soil and planting seeds, and also a time for gentleness, renewal, initiation, and preparation.  Early spring is a time to daydream, to start percolating on new projects, cultivating them slowly like tender new shoots.

Early spring is a great time to start something new or find a new interest. New projects are rewarding, but be careful to not move too fast at this time of year so you allow roots to form. In other words, try to avoid being “very busy” or “productive” and settle into the creative visionary energy of this time of year – planning out your next steps without rushing ahead full steam just yet.

Wind is the spirit of spring. Wind is a relief from the cold stillness of winter, bringing with it the inspiration that initiates change.  Spring wind has an unsteady yang energy though – thoughtful explorations, like a gentle breeze, can be inspiring, but impulsiveness, like a strong wind, can be destructive.  Wind that is too strong can also be destructive to our health, bringing up illnesses like allergies and sinus infections.  Resist the impulse to go without a jacket on a warm spring day, as weather can change quickly.

Physically, this is a great time for stretching out your limbs and ‘loosening up’, so get out for walks and make time for yoga or tai chi.  A great way to loosen up your body with food is to add more cooked greens into your diet.  Warm soups with radishes and early spring greens, like arugula or watercress are great for your health this time of year.  Add greens into a frittata, or refresh leftover soups or beans by adding a big handful of kale, and garnish with parsley.  Leafy herbs like basil, parsley, thyme, oregano, rosemary are greens too, so make a batch of pesto/salsa verde/chimichurri to add as a garnish on your meals.
If you are interested in learning more about living with the seasons, I’ll be posting all year through my Instagram account (@acupunctureinportlandme) and on Facebook (Six Branches Family Acupuncture).

 

*Inspiration for this post was found in The Way Of The Three Treasures by Liu Ming, available through dayuancircle.com

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