The official start of Spring in the USA is March 20. In the UK the BBC says that most people now recognize March 1 as the first day of Spring, despite there possibly being snow on the ground! There seems to be some confusion of its actual arrival in China too! There is a mathematical formula for working it out (sorry, it was in Chinese so I couldn’t do it!), but the main concensus seems to be that Spring begins on the first day of the first group of five consecutive days with an average daily temperature above 10 Celsius (50 Fahrenheit).
Whether we agree with that or not, nature seems to know the answer. The days grow longer, birds begin to nest, trees come into blossom, and our bodies feel somehow different; alive, awake, with a sense of new hopes and opportunities in the air. In Oriental medicine this is now the season of the liver. As the dormant, meditative cold and damp winter takes its leave, Spring rushes in with angry winds demanding cleansing and rebirth. The nourishing meals providing heat for the kidneys can be gradually replaced by a lighter diet of fresh fruits and lightly steamed vegetables. Stir fries are ideal, either vegetarian or with a little meat or fish. In the Five Element theory the liver is represented by wood. It is in charge of muscles and tendons in the body and its opening is through the eyes. It is a time for planning, for rising earlier, being optimistic and active, for taking walks in nature, enjoying the scenery and limbering up the body. TCM says “the blood stays in the liver when a person lies in bed, but circulates when a person moves”. A few simple stretches on waking up in the morning will help stimulate liver function and bring added vigor to the day. So shake off the worries of winter, wriggle the fingers and toes, and feel alive!!!
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