The Spring Equinox marks the journey from the darkness into the light as it ushers us from the stagnancy of winter into a season of growth movement and rebirth. According to Chinese medicine we emerge from the water element of Winter into the wood energy of Spring. If we successfully adjust to the new season we can access our creative potential and tap into an expansive energy.
Spring is the time to work on manifesting the potential of what we have imagined and nourished over the winter months. This requires us to have the energy to bring our ideas to fruition as vitality is required for motivation and creativity. Without stamina and the ability to release stagnation, although we may have great plans and vision, we may feel unable to manifest those plans into reality.
The more conscious and aware we are, the more we can feel the movement of this season and the subtle energetic shifts in our own physical and emotional bodies. The energy of wood governs both the liver and the gallbladder. One of the main roles of the liver, according to Chinese medicine, is to keep everything flowing in order to avoid stagnation. It is also the planner so an inability to make plans indicates stuck liver energy. When liver energy is stagnated we can feel depressed, low in energy, frustrated, prone to inappropriate anger, and we can be plagued with PMS, mood swings and fibroids. Liver stagnation may make us feel we cannot move on with our lives, despite the will and the desire to do so. When gall bladder energy is depleted we may become indecisive. The gall bladder works in tandem with the liver’s vision to help us make valued judgements.
Working both on myself and with clients has taught me the importance of maintaining a healthy liver. Anytime we experience movement in the cells, be it because of a healing regime, or due to the energetic shift of the seasons, the liver has to work hard to eliminate the toxins that are attempting to be eliminated. Some people have very strong livers and are able to detox no problem but there are others who find it difficult to detoxify what is being removed from the cells. These people need liver support on a detox regime or during energetic shifts like the equinoxes.
Steps to support our liver
Avoid heavy greasy foods and include adequate protein to encourage bile flow. Vegetarians may need to take taurine, an amino acid that encourages bile flow. Green juices also encourage bile flow but these can be quite detoxing so be mindful of this. Drinking a combination of mint tea that is cooling to the liver and lemon juice that stimulates liver detox is a great combination. Hydration levels in the colon affect liver health so make sure to drink at regular intervals throughout the day. Linseed tea is wonderfully hydrating and encourages peristalsis so that toxicity is eliminated on a daily basis. I use coffee enemas but only as part of a healing programme. This is because the body needs to be re-mineralised and well hydrated before they are attempted as otherwise the electrolyte loss can leave a person feeling depleted and tired.
How our bodies respond to the Spring Equinox
On a physical level people can get sick this time of the year with colds, stomach upsets, aches and pains, coughs and general fatigue. This is the body’s attempts to get rid of any toxicity that has built up over the winter months when our cells were more dormant and less active. The Equixox provides us with the energy to detoxify as movement is generated within the cells to pave the way to a healthy Spring.
Although we are given this opportunity to clear out and heal, many people interpret their symptoms as encumbrances and seek to suppress them with medications. This arrests the process of detoxification and stops cells from clearing out. Symptoms are just messengers, telling us that we need to detox in order to eliminate toxicity. In the same way as we are inclined to spring clean our homes we also need to spring clean our bodies.
What happens when we suppress symptoms
When we suppress symptoms, we are in fact setting the stage for a deeper disease picture. If we stop the cells from releasing toxicity, the toxins stay imbedded in the tissues and energy decreases. What was attempting to be released on the physical level may go deeper into the mental level, leaving us feeling anxious, stressed and depressed.
Whenever I come down with a cold or a flu state, the first thing I do is to only eat foods that encourage elimination of toxicity. I change my diet from eating build up foods such as proteins and carbohydrates to eating breakdown foods such as fruits and vegetables. This way of eating introduces a high level of alkaline foods that help to naturally reduce the inflammation that comes with a cold/flu. It also facilitates the removal of toxicity from the cells. This process can last from a week to 10 days. It may not feel comfortable as I don’t take painkillers ( they reduce glutathione levels, our master antioxidant) but I know that I am giving my body the best possible chance of healing. I also know that afterwards I feel terrific and that my energy will be hugely increased.
Dietary changes for the Spring
We move from the heavier fatty foods of the winter that have nourished us and kept us warm to choosing a diet that matches the energy of Spring. Shift from eating a preponderance of root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips and turnips to the more leafier green vegetables such as kale, chard, spinach and also the cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower that help with phase two of liver detoxification. Move away from heavy dairy foods such as ice cream and hard cheese. Try to cut down on sweet and spicy foods that tend to overstimulate the liver, leaving it with less energy for the Summer season. It is important to focus on hydration as cells need to be hydrated to encourage movement.
Spring clean both your environment and your emotions
Sometimes when I feel stuck in one area of my life I begin to work on another area just to re- establish flow. I have always been surprised how this works but somehow it does. When we create movement in one area of our lives it can release stagnancy in another. With the arrival of Spring I notice the cupboards that need clearing, the clothes that are calling to go to the charity shop, the paint work that needs to be retouched. Once I get started I actually get a high out of sorting out what I no longer need. It is a way of letting go of the old so that on an energetic level I am making way for the new.
I feel that on an emotional level I let go of ideas that no longer give me a sense of joy, even though they were once so much part and parcel of my identity. I also let go of anger and judgements because at the end of the day they are only in my mind and are there to mirror to me the parts of myself that need to be worked upon. The more I release and let go the more I open myself up to newer ideas that serve my new path. It can be a good idea at this time to write out what no longer serves you and what you want to happen for the coming season. Intention is very powerful. Let hope give you the dreams you were born to have.
I work with people using individualised weekly health programmes where changes are slowly introduced and adjustments made according to how symptoms present. If you are interested in working with me then please get in touch and fill out my clarity application form.