Liver Has Sprung


Ah, spring.

It's a chilly gray day as I write this, but there's no doubt the sun is returning (here in the northern hemisphere, anyway), and the recent bout of warmth has called forth patches of green grass sprouting among the brown.

Poetic enough, but like with any impending change, there can come with it a sense of restlessness, agitation, even irritation that ya just can't seem to shake (dammit), at least not until the shift is complete.

In Chinese Medicine, Spring = Wood energy = Liver.

Liver (capital "L") governs chi flow. And when chi is flowing smoothly all is well. But when it's not, look out.

Wood energy is, well, strong. And persistent. And hindered or not, it will find a way to flow. Think of a green shoot and the tremendous energy needed to break out of its casing and reach for the sunlight. Better yet, think of weeds. Cover them up, pull them out.. leave even the tiniest part of the root, and they come back twice as many.

This is the energy that stirs within us weeks before spring has officially sprung. Or when we are expecting a shift, especially in the way of beginnings: a burst of creativity, a new relationship or job, birth, menopause. When the vessel is clear and balanced and the flow is smooth, there is excitement and ease of transition.

When there is 'stuckness', we feel agitated, impatient, frustrated, angry, and at the extremes, raging or even depressed.

So, what to do to facilitate the flow?

Once again, think of Wood energy. Flexibility is the key. Healthy, well-nourished branches bend and sway even in the highest winds. But brittle dry wood easily breaks. Our ligaments are the physical expression of wood energy... stretching and drinking enough water will keep our physical bodies supple and supportive.

And eating more lightly, incorporating more fresh greens and foods with a natural sour taste will rejuvenate the actual liver organ, keeping us from feeling stuck and bogged down. Spring is an ideal time for doing a liver cleanse, to clear out the heaviness of winter excess. Getting to sleep before 11 pm, the prime time for the liver to kick into action, will allow it to do its job of clearing our bodies of toxins and excess optimally.

When you feel the flow in your body, you'll feel it also in your mind. Flexibility in thought and emotion will keep you from feeling overwhelmed or frustrated when the energy of spring surges.