Pulse of Oriental Medicine: Alternative Medicine That Works for Regular Folks
Alternative Medicine That Works for Regular Folks

Updated May 15, 2003








Living in Harmony
with the Seasons - Spring

by Brian Carter, MSci, LAc

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.

Springtime Tips

  • 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 "cold" colds)
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About The PULSE
All information herein provided is for educational use only and not meant to substitute for the advice of appropriate local experts and authorities.

Copyright 1999-2074, Pulse Media International, Brian Carter, MSci, LAc, Editor