Thursday, 06 October 2022

Staying balanced in the spring: The gift of the wood element

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. — Spring is finally here!

Everywhere we see growth, rebirth, vitality and renewal. Like the leaves bursting out of the trees, Spring energy encourages us to move “upwards and outwards” and grow!

What's the best way to move forward? We can look to the wood element to guide us in our vision for this spring.

The wood element has two organs: the liver and the gallbladder.

The liver is called the official of strategic planning, the grand architect for our vision of the future; this official sees the directions we must take to live our lives in harmony with nature.

The gallbladder is the official of decision making, granting us the ability to make decisions and have wise judgment. It is associated with qualities of benevolence, generosity and idealism for the highest good. It is the leader within us that can take charge and determine a plan of action.

Making a decision is not always a matter of choosing between equal alternatives. Through these officials we have perspective. We can see new possibilities along with the wisdom of the past, to see clearly and plan the most benevolent course to take.

Without wood's vision, a plan, decision and direction, no movement is possible — and there is often frustration.

The wood element governs our sense of vision, the emotion of anger, and the sound of shouting. When our vision is stifled, we may feel anger: we've made our plan, decided to act, and suddenly our plans are thwarted. We may feel anger and frustration and want to shout.

We may feel irritable, depressed, and lose focus or hope for the future. Sometimes when we are out of balance, we identify with only one position and become attached to it. We may lose our wise judgment.

When our wood energy is healthy, we can take a step back, be flexible, adapt, change direction, stay hopeful, readjust our plans and begin again. We are positive leaders, and give directions for the highest good. We can forgive ourselves and each other and not become too rigid or unyielding.

Like a tree that bends in the wind, a balanced wood energy is well rooted and can adapt to change and find a new path to express itself in a strong and healthy way.

Healthy wood energy acknowledges the inherent self-esteem in ourselves and each other. It honors the spirit of each person’s inherent need to be who they are.

The wood element grants us the space and the vision for each person to grow and become their unique self — to be the “tree” you are meant to be. We can see this wisdom in the harmony of all things within Nature, that includes the coexistence of every living unique being.

When wood is unbalanced, you may experience symptoms such as:

• Feeling irritable or angry.
• Headache, migraine or high blood pressure.
• Rib pain: The liver meridian runs along the rib area. A liver energy stagnation will be reflected in a distending discomfort around the ribs.
• Itchy, dry eyes: The liver rules the eyes. A deficiency in liver blood may lead to eye issues like floaters or myopia. If there is excess liver heat this can cause red, bloodshot or painful eyes.
• Spasms: The liver nourishes the tendons and ligaments and the smooth flow of energy to allow free movement. When the liver energy isn't moving, we can experience cramps, spasms, or numbness.
• Brittle nails: The quality of the liver energy is seen in the nails. If there is a deficiency, you may have dry brittle nails, with ridges or spots on the nails.

Here are some ways to move your wood energy and stay balanced in the spring.

• Get moving: Moving helps to keep your energy flowing properly. It can be as simple as taking a few deep breaths, going for a walk, or stretching the muscles, tendons and ligaments. All of these will help to support your wood element in the springtime.
• Get creative: Take time to really think and feel about what you want to be, and what direction you want your life to go.
• Write down your vision, intention and dreams for your future. Take time to make a plan so you can make the right decisions to realize your goals.
• Maybe you need someone’s help to achieve your goals. Maybe you are the leader that wants to offer help for someone else to realize their dreams.
• Try essential oils: Lavender, peppermint, camomile, lemon, and bergamot essential oils help to move the energy in the liver and gallbladder channels. Sandalwood oil is especially nourishing and grounding.
• Focusing of food: Drinking herbal teas like lemon, peppermint or camomile can help to support the liver and gallbladder channels.
• The wood element likes sour food (like kimchi and yogurt), light meals with lots of greens (the color of the wood element). Bitter greens like dandelion, nettles, and arugula can be helpful to cleanse the liver and gallbladder and promote better digestion.
• Avoid too many rich, heavy, greasy foods, or too much alcohol as that may congest the liver and gallbladder. This can also lead to inflammation and other diseases.
• Spring is also a good time to try a liver or gallbladder cleanse, or adapt to a healthier diet.
• Sleep is essential: Sleep is the time for replenishing the liver and gallbladder to recover from the stresses of the day. The spirit aspect of the liver is called the “hun.” The hun grants us the capacity for dreams, imagination, inner vision for creativity and clear direction for our goals. It maintains peaceful sleep so we can have clear dreams that are beneficial to our soul. Certain types of insomnia are signs of a liver imbalance.

These are all ways to support your wood energy and stay balanced and healthy in the spring.

This spring, support your wood element to nourish your vision and to continue to grow. Make plans and decisions that align with who you are.

Stay flexible, creative and hopeful so you can achieve your goals!

Wendy Weiss has been practicing acupuncture and Chinese medicine for 30 years. She can be reached for more information on her website or call her at 707-277-0891.

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