One key to living holistically (in harmony with ourselves and
the world) is to adapt our lifestyle to the current season. Sometimes,
we're forced to live in harmony with nature - if you get snowed
in, you don't have much choice.
Most of the time, technology frees us to make our own decisions,
balanced or not. Air conditioning allows Floridians dress like
Eskimos. Artificial lighting makes it possible to stay up at late
into the night, or to work a 3rd shift. But can we live any way
we want, regardless of the natural cycles, without nay consequences?
Or are we built to live a certain way - are we supposed to be
asleep when it's dark out? Is there any harm to going in and out
of air-conditioning all day?
Chinese medicine uses natural metaphors. The ancient Chinese
developed their medical system by observing nature, the seasons,
and human behavior in sickness, and health. They found correlations
between nature and human beings. Chinese medicine teaches that
living out of harmony puts stress on our health. And, it offers
practical wisdom for how to adjust to each season.
Living in Harmony with the Spring Season
Spring started back in March, but it'll go on for another month,
so you've got time to learn this. Plus, you can look back at how
you've been living this Spring, and see how close what you've
been doing is - or isn't - to Chinese medicine's tips.
Spring is a time of rebirth and renewal. After the long sleep
of winter, young plants push upwards from the ground. The energy
of springtime is yang: upward, light, and expansive. This is a
good time to get outdoors. Shed the weight of winter. Try new
things, meet new people, and give birth to new parts of yourself.
Wood-phase personalities can be particularly off balance at this
time. See this article
for more about them.
Spring is related to the organs Liver and Gallbladder. Small
amounts of sour foods at this time will balance them. This is
a time to eat fewer and lighter foods, and cleanse the body, mind
and the house with a "spring cleaning." Foods should
also be raw and light. Think sushi and salads.
- Go to bed early, then get up early and go walking
- Wear loose clothing
- Be physically and emotionally open
- Develop emotional balance, and avoid frustration and anger
- Stretch your muscles and tendons, and exercise more frequently
The Consequences of Not Adapting:
- Injury the Liver-system (read more about the
Liver and wood)
- "Cold" disease during the summer (for more about