Maybe it’s just me, but despite being already over a MONTH into Spring, the season seems to need a little help gaining traction. My springy clothes are met with grey, cold, rain. That patio-loving, lawn-mowing, bike-riding Spring exuberance feels transient at best. It’s time to take action.
Of the 5 Elements that comprise everything in nature, Wood is the element associated with Spring. So I’ve decided that if we all nurture our own Wood energy, we’ll collectively coax Spring out for good!
Here’s what you need to know about your Wood Element:
The Wood Element is officiated by your Liver and Gallbladder Meridians. These meridians govern not only your liver & gallbladder organs, but also your tendons, ligaments, eyes, and nails. Common Wood imbalances include sprains, strains, sciatica, hip pain, headaches, TMJ, and eye irritations. Wood also ensures the smooth flow of qi (“chee”) in the body. If the Wood element is strained, the gentle rhythmic movement of qi may also be disrupted, lending to tremors, twitches, strokes, cramps, and difficulties with movement or balance.
The emotions of Wood are Irritability, Anger, & Rage. Our Liver Meridian helps us manage stress. A balanced Liver Meridian allows for strength and flexibility when under pressure. Think bamboo. But if out of balance, stress may overwhelm the Liver Meridian, leading to irritation and eventually rage.
Wood time is 11pm-3am. Every meridian has a 2 hour window in the 24 hour clock. The Gallbladder Meridian is most active from 11pm-1am, and the Liver Meridian is dominant between 1-3am. This often accounts for why you’ll wake up during the 1-3am window when combating excess stress. Sleep may also be disrupted from 1-3am by drinking alcohol before bedtime, as the Liver Meridian then has to work extra hard during its shift.
The color of Wood is Green.
The movement of Wood is up and out. Like a tree stretching upwards and branching out. And like trees, Wood needs space to grow.
Wood helps us envision the future, set goals, strategize, plan, make decisions, and take action. Spring is the season of visionaries and change-makers. Tap into this productive energy!
A Wood-dominant personality tends to: Have a vision for the future and the ability to create their desired life, environment, or job. They foresee problems and strategize ways to solve or prevent them. They are physically active. Wood people are planners and doers; they make decisions and take action. They are often natural leaders. Wood-dominant personalities are just. They assess problems with integrity, sticking to the facts and making decisions based on what’s right versus I’m right.
When out of balance: Wood feels stressed, rushed, angry, rigid, and cannot make decisions.
To support your Wood Element:
MOVE!!! Wood needs physical activity to stay balanced and maintain qi flow in the body. Exercise is one of THE BEST ways to support your Wood Element, relieve stress, and process anger. Go for a run, do 25 jumping jacks, test your speed walking skills, start a new exercise routine. Just MOVE!
Cleanse. Spring is the perfect time to do a cleanse. Our bodies are transitioning from the heavy, warming foods of winter to summer’s light, cooling fare. The Whole30 is a killer cleanse and dietary reboot. Plus it’s free. Check it out – it’ll change your life! If The Whole30 feels like too much right now, there are a bazillion other ways to cleanse. Pick 2 or 3 things that you know you overdo and cut them out for a week. Coffee? Sugar? Soda? Fast food? OR do a reverse cleanse and focus on eating more of specific things – like greens or unprocessed grains (brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal). If structure is more your style, I have a 10 Day Guided Cleanse that includes a collagen-based protein powder, a greens blend and a fiber supplement for $100. Give your Wood Element this opportunity to set a goal, make a plan, & achieve its healthy mission!
Create space for yourself: Give your inner tree room to spread its limbs. Tackle some spring cleaning and clear away the heaviness and clutter of winter. Maria Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up” is a pretty fabulous place to start.
Make a vision board: Engage your creative, goal-oriented self. Step away from the to-dos and shoulds, and reconnect with what you truly want to do, see, and create. Get inspired!
Lighten your diet. Whether you do a cleanse or not, start incorporating lighter food into your diet. Steamed foods are ideal for this transitional season. Add a few more raw veggies into your meals, such as seasonal sprouts, shoots, or fiddleheads.
Get back to nature. Immerse yourself in Spring. Get up with the sun. Touch the earth. Do some gardening. Notice the birds. Experience the smells, sounds, colors, and feel of the season. Physically connect with Spring.
Shout. Shouting is the “voice” of Wood. Think of a general barking orders. Shouting can be strong and effective without being hostile. Use your voice – let it come up & out. Release anger by screaming into a pillow, or by rolling up the windows and screaming in your car. (Or roll DOWN your windows!) Just let it out.
Get some Acupuncture. Let me support your Wood Element, especially if any Wood imbalances ring true for you! Acupuncture is a fabulous way to ease your body into the energetics of a new season.
literally and metaphorically