Living in Harmony:
Spring -Part 1
Seasonal Lifestyle tools and adaptions for Mind/Body Wellness
Vol. 1 https://www.resourcevitality.com August 17, 2020
We do apologize! Due to an overwhelming spring, we made the decision to postpone the newsletter. Here it is now, to be followed shortly by the Summer edition.
Spring is generally regarded as a happy
season, especially for those that live in
areas where winter is cold and dark.
Spring brings with it longer days, more sunshine, the rebirth of plants and more activity. But for many, the months of spring can also bring irritability, anxiety, sinus issues, allergy flare-ups and even colds.
Classical Chinese Medicine has been
around for nearly 3,000 years, which gives
the medical system, as a whole, a lot of
credibility. CCM classifies things in many
different ways. There are five seasonal
associations in CCM – winter, spring,
summer, late summer and fall. Each season
has its own unique set of properties and
Spring is associated with the wood element. The wood element governs the liver and the gallbladder and their energetic pathways in CCM. The five seasons and their corresponding elements
interact with one another daily, creating
balance and harmony or complete chaos
within the body.
The season of spring is a time of expansive
movement and growth. Spring is a time of creativity and planning. Since the liver and gallbladder are associated with the tendons and are responsible for the smooth flow of
energy and blood throughout the body, our
daily activities should reflect this.
Being more active and spending more time outside can be great ways to strengthen the liver and Gallbladder energies during the months of
We should imitate the budding trees and flowers and allow ourselves to grow and reach for bigger and better goals during the spring. When a person is completely balanced, transitioning from one season to another is not such a big deal. However, knowing what elemental type you are can also be very beneficial in determining how you will react to each passing season.
For instance, a person who has a wood element constitution, may experience anger during the spring. This is because the wood element is already closely associated with the emotion of anger and spring brings added stimuli that can trigger fits of rage.
One way to keep the body balanced is through CCM. The body is designed to maintain proper balance, but we tend to not pay attention to the warning signs until we experience pain or illness.
Ways for a Healthy Brain
This is a perfect time to explore ways to keep your noggin working and healthy.
Below are easy, simple ways to keep your brain in good shape. A healthy diet is a healthy mind.
There are many reasons to keep a healthy lifestyle and feed your body with foods that make you feel and perform your best.
Diets that are low in saturated fats and cholesterol and higher in omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to promote brain health and protect brain cells.
Taking a fish oil supplement with DHA or eating fish such as salmon can help improve brain development at any age. DHA, a type of omega-3, may also help prevent certain neurological disorders.
Vitamin E and lutein can also help brain health.
Incorporate leafy greens such as spinach and kale into your lunch or dinners and utilize green drink smoothies.
Spring is a happy time.
Bunnies hop about. Flowers emerge in long forgotten corners of your garden. The birds return and sing so loudly they wake you in the morning.
Spring is not a time to be angry. But according to Classical Chinese Medicine, being angry is exactly what you can expect if you don’t balance your wood element.
In CCM, spring is represented by the element wood. Wood represents birth and newness, the time for fresh ideas and new starts. Unsurprisingly, its color is green like the fresh growth of spring. Wood governs your spine, joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons. A wood imbalance can lead to spinal problems, poor flexibility or arthritis. Wood also governs your eyes.
But most important for your mood, wood governs your liver. Your liver is responsible for the smooth flow of Qi (energy) and smooth flowing Qi means health and vitality. The emotion associated with your liver is anger. If your liver is imbalanced your Qi will be disrupted and you’ll be angry. Healthy (and happy) spring practices mean balancing your wood element and caring for your liver.
Healthy Spring Practices:
Try these spring recommendations, to keep your wood balanced and your liver healthy.
• Cleanse. Cleaning your colon releases accumulated toxins, undigested food, parasites and fungi. With a clean colon your digestion is more efficient and your body is healthier.
• Detox your liver. Reduce or eliminate alcohol or drugs that are toxic to your liver. Consider a detox that specifically targets your liver.
• Stretch. Start or recommit to a healthy stretching routine.
Try yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, or other exercises that move, loosen and flex your joints.
• Exercise your eyes. Massage your face, especially around your eyes. Roll your eyes and move them in figure 8s. Practice focusing on distant objects and then focusing on close objects in quick succession. Put time limits on your computer sessions. These exercises strengthen your eyes and can improve your eyesight.
Allergy Relief at Home
Be sure to begin these
routines early, before
your symptoms start.
It’s easier to keep your immune system balanced than to recover once it’s overwhelmed.
Avoid dairy. According to CCM, dairy is an irritant to the immune system. Even if you don’t notice sensitivity to dairy, reducing or eliminating it may relieve your symptoms.
Avoid allergens. Avoiding allergens may mean declining foods you are allergic to, not petting animals or purchasing allergy-free pillows or bedding.
To reduce pollens, shower after being outside. Pollens can be trapped in your hair causing you to breathe them in while sleeping.
Avoid multiple allergens at once.
One theory, called the “Total Load Theory,” states that while exposure to one allergen may not be enough to trigger your symptoms, exposure to several
allergens at the same time may. It’s as if your “allergy bucket” has to be overflowing before your symptoms start.
For example if you’re allergic to cats and grass pollen, stay away from cats while the grasses are blooming. During other times of the year, you can play with kitty.
Use a neti pot. The neti pot is a great way to rinse your sinus cavities, clear mucous and reduce swelling so you can breathe easier. Follow the directions with the pot. Be sure to use distilled water instead of tap to avoid introducing bacteria into your sinuses. And very carefully clean your neti pot after each use!
Healthy Spring Practices (continued)
Follow these tips for a healthy spring diet that supports your liver.
• Eat light. Overeating taxes your liver.
• Eat greens. Sprouts, wheatgrass, spinach, kale and dandelions are particularly good foods in the spring.
• Eat sour! Sour is the flavor associated with spring. Drink a glass of lemon water 1st thing in the morning.
• Drink milk thistle tea. Milk thistle detoxes your liver.
• Season your food. Pungent spices like basil, fennel, marjoram, rosemary, caraway, dill and bay leaf are excellent for spring cooking—and
they taste good.
By keeping your wood balanced and your liver healthy you will be happy.
You’ll feel vital, flexible and clear.
Different Kinds of Allergies and Asthma
Spring Tips to Keep You Healthy, Happy and Flexible:
There are many culprits that can cause allergies or asthma, or both together. For people with both asthma and allergies, they know plenty well that the two go hand-in-hand. To treat these chronic ailments, it is important to know what is causing your symptoms.
Food allergies affect 4 percent of adults and although are most common in children, allergies to foods can develop at any age.
Food allergies happen when the immune system overreacts to a food or a specific component of the food, reacting with a protective response in the form of an allergic reaction.
Food allergies can be mild to life threatening. It is important to identify what you’re allergic to to avoid severe reactions such as anaphylaxis, which is a full-body reaction that can stop breathing and drop blood pressure and heart rate.
The most common food allergens include eggs, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat and soy.
Symptoms can include stomach cramps, vomiting, hives, shortness of breath, weak pulse, dizziness and anaphylaxis.
Seasonal allergies only happen during specific
seasons of the year during a change in plants
blooming, pollen and other factors. Most seasonal allergies happen in spring, summer and beginning of fall. They can be due to mold spores or grass, tree and weed pollens. Common symptoms include runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing, stuffy nose and fatigue.
Types of Asthma
Exercised Induced Asthma
Exercised asthma is induced from physical
activity, specifically activity that raises the heart rate. Symptoms include wheezing, coughing and
difficulty breathing during physical activity.
About 8 out of 10 people with asthma also have allergies. Those with allergic asthma experience flair ups from allergic reactions. Most common triggers of asthma symptoms include pollen, dust, mold and animal fur.