Your Winter is Melting
Spring is a time of expansion. Just like the sprouts reaching forth from the hibernating depths of the soil, it is time to be reaching up and out. It is a time to be budding with excitement and flowering with joy for the anticipation of summer sun and fun. If spring has arrived and your inner light is feeling downtrodden and overburdened, then a closer look outdoors may help.
In Spring, it is hard to miss the bright colors bursting forth from the dark earth tones of winter. For some, however, it is easier to look outdoors and see the heavy rains and mud treaded earth. Just like a seed beneath the ground, if we are struggling to feel the nourishment of the rains and the expansion upward toward the growing warmth of the sun, then we must look inward to see that which is bogging us down. Is the soil above our heads dense and suffocating? Are we drowning in our own internal mud as winter melts away?
Winter was the time to go deep and look inward. As spring bursts forth, we too spring outward and bring with us whatever we found in our depths over the long winter months. If we lived accordingly in the previous year, then we burst forth with new vigor and strength. If not then we do not burst forth anew, but struggle to come out of our cold New England hibernation and alternatively struggle to transition into spring.
If you are not experiencing the energy and vigor of spring and instead are experiencing sluggishness and inertia (often as gas, constipation, achiness, heaviness, stress, allergies, congestion and/or fatigue) then your body is most likely overburdened and needs some extra attention.
Fortunately, in Chinese Medicine, Spring is the season of the wood element where the Liver and Gallbladder systems are predominant. If we help them along with a few simple lifestyle choices, then we will be living in accordance with nature and begin to enjoy this harmony if continued in the coming year.
First, rise with the sun! Do not take exception, awake before the sunrise and you will be guaranteed to carry the lightness of the sun with you through your day. Arising up to 1.5 hours before 6am is a practice for longevity.
Secondly, lighten up. For many this may mean losing weight, but in general, this means to start eating lighter. We don't need as much food for protection and storage as we did in the winter months. Instead, we think more bitter, pungent and spicy foods while also easing up on dairy, meat and rich, heavier foods. It is also wise to only eat when hungry and 'fast' on ginger tea when necessary. Think light, think green.
Next, Poop More! Yes, it has been said, going number two in the spring is very important. All organs of elimination need to be working optimally to ensure proper detoxification and this includes the colon. If you are feeling backed up and sluggish, or experiencing gas and bloating, then consider psyillium husk to bulk up the stool or triphala to cleanse and rejuvenate the colon.
Lastly, one may also consider stretches that mimic the upward and outward movement of nature or twists and bends that enliven the liver and gallbladder. Either way, take all your winter resolutions and put them into play this spring. It is the time to get moving and stay invigorated. Regain your momentum for the coming year by not letting your winter 'meltings' turn into mud.
Dr. Deb Salazar is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine and Licensed Acupuncturist who specializes in women's health, fertility and difficult/stubborn/chronic/recalcitrant disease. If you are interested in how acupuncture, herbs and Chinese Medicine can help you this Spring, please call (508) 428-1288 to schedule an appointment or click the button below.