Finally, there is a softness to the winds. The ground under our feet is crawling with insects working hard for the growing season. Slowly, after a long winter, our plant relatives are pushing up towards the light. The Yang energy is rising and the Earth is vibrating with new life. It is springtime!
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), spring creates Wind in Heaven and Wood on Earth. Wood element is created by Water (Winter) and gives birth to Fire (Summer). It is controlled by Metal (Fall) and it controls Earth (Late Summer/Seasonal Transitions).
As an extension and representation of Nature, the Wood energy in the human body is present in the Liver and Gallbladder systems. Liver ensures the smooth flow and proper direction of Qi, which makes it responsible for the planning of the overall bodily functions. At a psychospiritual level, Liver relates to how we experience emotions and influences our capacity to make plans and have a direction in life. Liver’s Yang pair- the Gallbladder, stores and secretes bile, and is responsible for our capacity to make decisions, and our drive to act on individual initiatives.
The Wood element holds tremendous power to gather and organize energy. In Nature, it is this energy that cracks seeds open to reach for the light, and allows trees to grow tall in strength. Wood energy allows for strength and flexibility in the body and the psyche.
In disharmony, the Wood energy can create a variety of physical symptoms including: headaches, menstrual irregularities, digestive issues, tight and painful tissues, and insomnia. In our psyche, Wood in excess may present as rigidity in mind and impulses, irritability, and unreasonable anger; while wood in deficiency may create a lack of direction, passive impulses and thoughts, reservations on taking up space, indecision, and lack of courage.
The question then becomes, how do we harmonize our Qi and personal experiences with the season outside? How do we awaken our spirit and our body after this long winter (and long year) to move forward? How do we create a spring within so we can grow in abundance? Here is some TCM inspiration*: