In TCM, Spring is the time of the Liver and Gallbladder and their associated element Wood. Take care to
avoid excessive exposure to the wind, cold, greasy foods and avoid indulging in excess anger
or depression. Instead, nurture movement and breath-based exercises, adequate rest and the
positive virtues of benevolence.
As we emerge from the cold, dark winter months, Spring is a time of new energy and growth. In
Chinese medicine the internal organs and channels associated are Liver and Gall Bladder. The
element ascribed to these organs is Wood.
Think of a tree in Spring. It is a time of growth and movement, new shoots and branches are
reaching out. The tree may house a myriad of birds and other creatures within its branches. The
wind starts with a whispering and soon comes bearing down, causing the leaves to shudder and the
branches to shake. Fortunately the tree is able to withstand the heavy winds as it is rooted deep into
the Yin soil, Mother Earth.
Similarly, Spring is a chance for us to grow, to allow more movement into our lives. A time
to look at starting new movement practices or deepening those that are current so that we can move
through stagnation and feelings of depression, irritability and anger.
Like the tree, too much wind affects us adversely. If we get excited about the sun’s warmth and are
not careful with our clothing in this time of transition from Winter to Spring, we may become dis-
eased by external wind. This can be characterized by changing pain patterns, especially in the joints
and tendons, tightness and rigidity, or quivering and shaking. When the winds come battering
against us, we may ask, where are our roots?
The positive virtue associated with the Liver organ is Benevolence.
Can we allow for others to rest a while in our branches?
How are our actions affecting other living beings?
If we nurture these positive qualities, we may become healthier and happier and continue to grow in
the shade of the ancient oaks for years to come.
Dr. Traditional Chinese Medicine