3 Tips To Stay Healthy During Spring, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

There is an excitement that fills the city when life returns in spring. After the cold and quiet of winter, it is wonderful to enjoy the rebirth of life. The buds on the trees, the warming of the weather, the lengthening of the days and the shortening of the nights.

Spring in TCM is associated with the element wood.  The liver and gallbladder are the organs in TCM associated with spring, and green is its associated colour. Spring is also associated with anger and shouting in TCM. Below you will find 3 simple tips to stay healthy during spring, so you can enjoy the most out of the season.

Stay Properly Covered

It is understandable that we want to trade our winter coats and boots with slippers and shorts as soon as the weather warms. Nonetheless, spring is the time associated with the TCM pathogen Wind. The gusts that sometimes blow through the city are quite chilly this time of the year. From a TCM point of view, if our body is too exposed to wind, it weakens our immunity and makes us more vulnerable to viruses that lead to the common cold or flu. One of my favourite sayings that I have learnt since moving to Calgary is- “if you don’t like the weather, wait awhile”. As easily as the weather warms here, it can also cool, so always walking with sufficient clothing,  or at least a scarf to cover sensitive areas of the body, such as the neck, can help you maintain good health.

Grow a plant

Ancient Chinese Feng Shui believes that a good living environment includes clear and plentiful water, fresh air, sufficient sunlight, good vegetation and a beautiful landscape. Plants do more than add beauty to our living environments. According to NASA research, there are plants – for example, the peace lily and the snake plant – that help to purify the air in our homes and improve oxygen quality. The US National Library of Medicine states that poor indoor air quality is linked to health problems such as asthma. Germination is the movement associated with spring in TCM. Germination includes, the production of allergens such as pollen. Improving the air supply in your home by having a variety of different air purifying plants may help improve in particular, your respiratory health.

Boost your immunity

Immunity in TCM is divided into two categories. Vital-qi (our more internal qi) and Wei qi or defensive qi. Wei qi circulates near the surface of our body during the day. When wei qi is strong diseases caused by bacteria and viruses can not invade our bodies. Wei qi is distributed by our lungs, the lungs depend on ‘essence’ or materials from digestion and the kidneys to make Wei qi. By eating healthy we can improve the quality of the essence going to the lungs, and the lungs, in turn, can distribute stronger Wei qi to the surface of the body. Grapes, cauliflower, carrots, onions, oats, garlic, rosemary and thyme are foods in TCM that boost Wei qi. Explore adding more of these foods into your diet to improve your immunity in spring.

 

 

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