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In Chinese Medicine, every season has an associated element, color, environmental condition, flavor and energy.  Spring is the season of the liver. Its color is GREEN, its flavor is sour, its element is wood, and its energy is windy. Spring is a time of movement and growth. Birds are nesting, flowers are starting to bloom, the scent of jasmine is everywhere in San Diego, the weather is alternately sunny and warm then cold and rainy. The weeds in my yard are growing with enthusiasm, and my CSA is sending an array of produce from strawberries to more lettuce than two humans can consume in a week. Spring is a time of abundance and renewed hope, a time to plant the seeds for nourishment for the rest of the year.

As the days get longer, our activity level increases. We lose the strong urge to hibernate, and the desire to wake up and exercise becomes more insistent.

Here are some things you can do to bring yourself into harmony with the energy of spring:

Empty your closets – when abundance is happening all around us, it is time to make room for what is to come. Take a look at what is accumulating in your home, and take inventory. Do you still need it? Does it still make you happy? If the answer is no, take the opportunity to clear the clutter and donate those items which are simply taking up space.

Wash your windows – nothing helps to bring clarity better than cleaning your windows. As the rainy season winds down, take an afternoon with a bottle of cleaner, and wash away the debris from the winter. Then open those windows and let the fresh air and sunshine into your home.

Plant a garden – whether you live in an apartment or have 10 acres of land at your disposal, spring is the time to sow some seeds. Even something as simple as a pot of herbs on your window ledge or balcony brings new life into your home, as well as a yummy edition to your meals for the rest of the year. If you have a few spare feet of land near your home, consider planting a garden. Pick your favorite veggies or herbs, dig up a small plot, add compost, and grab a few plants from your local farmer’s market. When the tomatoes ripen in August, you’ll be glad you did!

Clean up your attitude – has winter made you grouchy? Are there things not working in your life? Take a few moments or a day (whatever you need!) to take inventory and make some changes. An awesome book for helping you check in with your attitude is Lies and Self Deception by the Arbinger Institute.

Do a cleanse – after a winter of eating hearty foods and too little exercise, your body would welcome a week or two of rest. Consider trying an anti-inflammatory diet of simple steamed rice and vegetables without wheat, corn, animal products or soy. If you need guidance on how to do this, call me and we can discuss your particular needs and make a plan for giving your digestive tract a well deserved break.

Have an acupuncture treatment – the change of seasons is a perfect time for a qi tune-up. Even if you are not having symptoms, it is worth it to come in once per quarter for a pulse balancing, stress reducing treatment. You’ll bring your car in for an oil change every 3000 miles, so how about doing the same for your body?

I’m looking forward to helping you spring into summer in great health and great spirits!