Sunday, March 20th, 2011

Spring and the Wood element

Just in time for the Spring Equinox I’d like to briefly bring you the Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Shiatsu view on the Spring element which is Wood.

In TCM the ovewhelming force of Yin and Yang is forever at work.

Yin and Yang are intertwined in a play of harmony and disharmony and whatever their state of balance, that’s what gives us so much joy and grief in life.

The quality of the wood energy is experienced as rebirth and growth, it wants to go upwards and forwards. It is blossom, creativity and expression. This is true for nature and true for human beings as part of the natural world. Spring does always comes after winter. This is a fact we are used to but it’s also a miracle, just like conception and birth.

The succession of the seasons has always fascinated me. That wonderful precission and harmonious interplay of the cosmos that it’s also manifested in the microcosmos of our beings.

This season calls for spring cleaning our cupboards at home and our bodies and minds. Spring cleaning allows us to go upward, just like plants do in the spring. Out with the old and in with the new, detoxing our homes, bodies and minds of the useless and toxic.

The star organ of the Spring is the Liver and its friend, sidekick or Official, the Gallbladder.

The liver is like an Army general,very busy and very bossy. Its functions are a long and complex list:

Metabolism of carbohydrates, fat and proteins,defence against microbes, metabolism of alcohol, inactivation of hormones, synthesis of vit A, production of heat, secretion of bile and storage of some vitamins and minerals. The liver takes a lot in its stride.

The Liver is a Yin organ , the Gallblader is Yan.

In TCM the Liver is in charge of smoothing the flow of energy. This is manifested both physically and psychologically, as the Liver has also a spiritual side called the Hun, or ethereal soul.

The physical and emotional aspect to anything are always correlated. They are not isolated, they both belong to us. We are our bodies,our minds and souls. Whatever is going on in the body will affect our emotions and souls. Whatever happens to us spiritually will affect the other two.

If the wood or liver energy is balanced, we are able to have vision, to make plans, to create, to have a strategy, organize and have the courage to make decissions and take action. We have gall. Also our digestive system works well.

If the wood energy it’s not balanced then we become frustrated,resentful, depressed, intolerant and the digestive system doesn’t work as well. The physical and the emotional become affected. The frustration and the bloating come together.

So detoxing our liver and working on its meridian will give us more clarity, we unstuck the clutter  and become more creative and are able to take decissions. Conversely if we are able to make decissions that come from a clearer and more creative mind, that will benefit our liver.

Wether reading the Hara, the feet, the face or the palms, all of the body and each of its parts and cells contains the clues, the maps of our state of physical and mental health.

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