I almost feel as if I was to stand still and focus, I would actually be able to see the daffodils in the garden growing! Each time I step outside they seem to be taller and the buds fuller than they were last time I looked. This really epitomises the Wood Element in Chinese medicine, which is associated with the season of spring. Wood energy is all about growth and expansion. Wood is associated with anger and creativity; it achieves goals and is out in the world creating. It’s the very opposite of winter (the Water Element) which is a time for recharging our batteries.
I have met so many clients and students over the past week or so with lower back and hip ache, stiff shoulders, general aches and pains, and several cases of sciatic pain that has suddenly flared up. All of these are symptoms that can be associated with a Wood Element imbalance. The transition from Water to Wood can be one of the most difficult of the year in every area – mind, body and spirit, because we are making the transition from being very internal to being very external – and rather abruptly. It can shock the immune system. In Five Element Theory the Water Element (winter) is very internal, deep, and emotional. Its emotion is fear or anxiety (out of balance) and wisdom (in balance). We retreat in winter; spring or the Wood Element is the exact opposite. It is external: wood grows and expands.
What can we do to support ourselves through this transition?
Focus on supporting your immune system with diet and activities. As the weather warms up, increase your intake of raw, more alkaline and vegetable-based foods. Alkaline foods include things like citrus fruits, vinegar and leeks.
As nature wakes up we experience an onslaught of allergies – dust and pollen can lower the immune system, so the old tradition of spring-cleaning can clear the dust that has settled over the winter. Cleaning your environment allows new energy to enter – which is symbiotic with nature’s process. An internal spring-clean, can also be achieved by restarting your self-care routine to match nature.
Liver 3 acupressure point (Taichong) is a powerful point for spring. Working it can help to rebalance the Liver energy. Liver 3 is located in the webbing between your big toe and second toe. Massage this point on each foot daily.