Surviving Spring: Simple Tips for Resilient Health

The glorious energy of a fresh new shoot. Spring is in the air! (Image: wickenden/flickr)
The glorious energy of a fresh new shoot. Spring is in the air! (Image: wickenden/flickr)

So, you’ve toughed out winter! Spring is often when the most severe and changeable weather can hit—the spring snow, the icy wind. And then you and everyone else comes down with the flu. Do you notice this always seems to happen when the seasons change?

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), medical practitioners noted that the body changes along with the seasons. We can also take a page from these historical lessons and maximize our resilience to illness, working with the changing climate—instead of going against it.

Spring paints a picture of green in the form of fresh, new growth. Re-emergence and rebirth are the symbols, after the cold hibernation period of winter. It’s time to wake up, but gently.

If you’ve spent a lot of time being sedentary indoors and eating too much, it’s now time to take nature’s hint and get moving outdoors, and shake off the winter blues with sunshine.

Being active in spring helps wake your body’s circulatory system, so it can better adapt to the changing climate.

It may still be cold where you live, but make the effort to get active (Image:akunamatata/flickr)

It may still be cold where you live, but make the effort to get active. (Image: akunamatata/flickr)

A lighter, fresher diet is optimal in spring as your body no longer needs to store fat, causing your appetite to slow. This is a great time in the year to lose weight!

Fresh new shoots—like bamboo, sprouts, and cabbage, and green vegetables—contain energy that moves upward. These above ground vegetables will energize and cleanse your sluggish liver.

The liver is gently waking up in spring, and like a new shoot, it must be treated with care. This means keeping warm and staying out of freezing wind, as the yang (hot/ masculine energy) in the body is not yet strong enough to handle the cold. Further, the body is extra vulnerable to invading viruses during this tender time.

Don't shock your body! rugging up is still important in spring as it is in winter (image:Will Foster/flickr).

Don’t shock your body! Rugging up is still as important in spring as it is in winter. (image: Will Foster/flickr).

Foods that help to reduce wind, calm the liver, and move energy upward are highly beneficial in spring. These include: sea vegetables, whole grains—such as oats, rye, and quinoa—dandelion, celery, coconut milk, and honey.

Herbs that heal in spring are: mint, ginger, horseradish, basil, chamomile, and peppercorns.

A cup of fresh mint tea will do you wonders in spring (image:Tavallai/flickr)

A cup of fresh mint tea will do you wonders in spring. (Image: Tavallai/flickr)

Try either mint tea or dandelion tea with a teaspoon of honey. They are good choices for a perfect spring beverage.

 

 

 

 

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