Gen shen di gu
If the roots are deep, the rooting is strong
I think there is no better said than this to introduce the quintessential rebirth season: the spring.
After a period of stalemate and slowdown given by the cold and darkness of winter, it is advisable to take root and consciously sink our roots in order to then grow and flourish strong and luxuriant.
Spring is one of the three transitional annual seasons, it is neither a period of maximum Yin, maximum contraction and cold, nor of maximum Yang, maximum expansion and heat.
No, I was not wrong to write three annual transitional seasons, huh!
In Traditional Chinese Medicine we also find the “Late Summer” before autumn. It is that time of year when we go from summer to autumn in a gentle way (from mid-August to about the autumn equinox).
But now let’s deepen together what spring represents in the Traditional Chinese Medicine and how we can support each other in this delicate moment.
Spring in Chinese Medicine
In Chinese culture, spring is represented by the element Wood and the pair of meridians of Liver e Vesicle biliary.
Wood is the element that, par excellence, is associated withman, not only for the two trigrams which are very similar to each other, but also for its “life story”.
Lao Tzu, the mythological figure founding Taoism, makes this intimate connection very clear by describing it as follows:
“When man is born he is weak and delicate, when he gets old he is woody and rigid, just like the tree which grows soft and flexible and when it dies it is hard and dry.
Tenderness and flexibility therefore express the freshness of life, while rigidity and hardness are the companions of death. What has stiffened will not win! “
Listening to his words, we can realize how important it is to work on ours, especially this season rooting capacity and of flexibility, not only understood from a physical point of view, but also from a mental one.
The ability to be flexible in order to change your point of view it is of fundamental importance to be able to consciously evolve.
The meridians of spring
In this delicate moment in which each of us has done our part and taken the common cause to heart, it is really difficult to feel subjected to severe restrictions again and the physical and emotional response that we can feel emerging is the anger.
Not surprisingly, in this season the meridians of Liver e Vesicle biliary, who put their “load” and inevitably make us work on this feeling connected to them: anger.
A excess or a deficit of this couple of Meridians, in fact, can lead the person to perceive this emotion more and feel almost overwhelmed by it, or, on the contrary, unable to process this feeling.
A possibility of support and processing can also be the dialogue therapy with a specialist in the sector (psychologist / psychotherapist).
But what if we go beyond the feeling of anger?
How can these two Meridians be part of us?
If we choose to look at them not from a purely emotional and anatomical point of view, but from that of TCM, it is interesting to read how the Liver is assigned the task of “General who chooses the strategy”, while to the Biliary Vesicle the role of “Impartial officer who makes decisions”.
Their function is therefore to give us one clear vision to be able to choose which path to take.
It gives us the possibility of being able to realize ourselves by looking at a future that is not totally imaginary, but realistic and “studied” on the basis of our capabilities today.
Freedom of movement and choice is not represented by a physical possibility, but psychological e mental.
How to recognize imbalances
Still referring to Traditional Chinese Medicine, there are clear signs that define one imbalance of the Wood element – in excess or in defect (which can be perceived through a diagnosis of the wrists by an acupuncturist-surgeon or an evaluation by a shiatsu operator).
The complexion of the face of a person with Wood imbalances is always tending to verde, especially around the eye area (greenish dark circles).
Not surprisingly, the color of this element is the verde.
The nails of hands and feet indicate the state of health of this element and, in particular, of the Liver.
Nails with spots, stripes The flaking they may indicate a deficit or excess of wood.
Have you ever heard the saying “I can no longer see with anger”? Here, this element also determines the state of health of the eyes.
Not surprisingly, especially in spring, it is easier for you to suffer from allergy and that the eyes are over-stimulated.
The Shen, or Spirit of the Liver, is Their, which is the ethereal soul or the “sparkle” that is perceived in the eye of the person in front of us.
The state of health or otherwise of ours tendons and any chronic physical and muscular fatigue can define a Wood imbalance.
The recurring dreams of those with Wood deficiency will see present trees, mushrooms, landscapes of mountain or even dreams of fields of battle and bloody clashes.
Even the feeling of not being able to get up from the ground and sink into the ground in a dream defines an involvement of this Element.
The biliary vesicle meridian has its apex between 11pm and 1am, while Liver from 1 to 3 at night.
Those who suffer from wood imbalances often cannot fall asleep until 3 am and are able to better plan the working day or personal commitments during this night time slot.
It is as if the dream activity of programming and rest were carried out in a conscious state.
How to support yourself with Traditional Chinese Medicine
By now we know well that in Chinese Medicine the cure is not so important, as the prevention.
How, then, can we support ourselves before the onset of the disease?
I’ll be biased, but I’m sure it is shiatsu can be a great support both in the case of treatment by an operator (as soon as you can return to the clinic), and as self-treatment under the remote supervision of a qualified operator.
L’acupuncture (practiced exclusively by a doctor-surgeon) dissolves any blockages and stimulates the free flow of energy or Qi thanks to the diagnosis given by reading the wrists and the use of needles (they don’t hurt, don’t worry ☺).
Also complementary techniques such as Gua Sha (technique of rubbing and heating the area using smooth stones of jade or rose quartz), the moxibustione (technique of heating the points of Acupuncture or Tsubo using mugwort cigars) and the cupping (further complementary technique carried out with cups which, creating a vacuum effect through heat or magnets, bring more blood to the skin area contained in the cup), can be additional methods to Shiatsu therapy and Acupuncture and be an excellent way to integrate .
As for the diet, the foods that help us this season are those fermented, wheat e fishing.
Herbal teas with the mauve they are indicated at this time of the year, in order to support Wood.
How to support yourself with Yoga
It is nice to experience for yourself the great benefit that a healthy diet and receiving supportive physical treatments can bring, but it is also of fundamental importance to carry out physical activity appropriate.
Among the arts that can make us “move” energy and body in the most conscious and simple way possible, we find it yoga.
With yoga, it is as if we were doing independently what the shiatsu practitioner or acupuncturist did by supporting us externally.
In this transition season, it would be appropriate to play outdoor activity (in this case balcony, garden or terrace) e a piedi offers, to rediscover the roots from which to start planning the future.
In case of lack of external space, it is sufficient to ventilate the rooms well and practice with the window open (without creating drafts that can destabilize the energy of Legno).
The asanas that most stimulate and extend our Wood meridians are Upavishta Konasana for Liver and Parivritta Janu Shirsasana for Biliary Vesicle.
In Upavishta Konasana, placing oneself with legs apart, active hammer feet and leaning with the torso forward placing the hands on the ground and NOT arching the back, you will perceive a strong resistance near the knees and in the lower thigh area, just where this meridian passes. The sensation will be almost that of perceiving that area as a “rope” or a “piece of wood”.
Parivritta Janu Shirsasana
In Parivritta Janu Shirsasana, by spreading the legs apart, bending one and stretching towards the extended leg without arching the back, but by leaning sideways and expanding the rib cage, we can focus our attention on the possibility of space which is created in the chest in lateral extension and the large opening of the side. Right there, biliary vesicle flows.
Bringing the breath to these areas will not only help us stimulate the Wood Meridians, but will give us the opportunity to listen to ourselves with more awareness and without judgment.
During the spring, you have to learn to dedicate yourself little ones moments of contemplation during the day: eat slowly and consciously, take care of your body through movement, breathe bringing attention to the quality and quantity of the inhaled air, treat yourself to a pampering with a relaxing bath or a good herbal tea (with mallow!☺)… Everything helps find your center to be able to start more proactive than before and choose your own path with awareness and joy.
It all starts with the first step.