As spring arrives, nature is reborn once again. The dull and sallow colors of dormant plant life are replaced with bursts of vibrant green as one by one nature awakens to the energy of the new season. That being said, it's important to note that each season possesses a distinct energetic quality, which has a corresponding energetic effect on all plants and animals.
So when engaging in an energetic practice such as Qigong, it's a good idea to tailor some of your regular practice to the specific attributes of the season. This is where a Qigong Program for Spring comes in handy.
How Does the Spring Season effect our Body?
For our body to work effectively and efficiently, our Qi needs to move smoothly throughout our body. It is the job of the liver to get that done. As the original codified text on Traditional Chinese Medicine, The Huang Di Nei Jing states,
"A healthy liver moves Qi smoothly through the body like the roots and branches of a tree. "
However, in the spring, unstable air masses lead to rapid changes in barometric pressure in the atmosphere. As weather systems push into the area so does WIND! It is the erratic movement of the energy of the wind that causes a disruptive effect on the flow of our own energy.
Our skin produces a protective barrier of Wei Qi that surrounds our body from one inch to about ten feet in all directions. I discussed the different layers of Qi in the article on "What is Qi" so for now, I will simply say that wind has the effect of penetrating that barrier and altering our energetic flow.
To understand why wind has this effect, we have to go back in time a season or two. You see, in the fall and winter the air is quite dry, and dryness in the external environment has a drying effect on the internal environment of the body by way of the lungs.
The lungs need to have a moist internal environment to work properly. So when the outside air is excessively dry the lungs slowly weaken. By the time spring rolls around the lungs are at their weakest. Now I'm sure you are asking yourself right now "What does the health of the lungs have to do with the protective barrier of our skin?'
I'm glad you asked! One of the many jobs our lungs do is to move water vapor throughout the body. The lungs provide a descending and dispersing function in the body. Firstly, they descend water downward to the other organs of the body helping them to function optimally. Secondly, the lungs disperse water to the skin to regulate the opening and closing of the pores.
It is the effectiveness of this regulatory function that produces a strong and coherent field of energy that provides us with our very own invisible force shield of protective energy. With our lungs in a weakened state at the end of winter, it is easier for the wind to displace our diminished protective barrier and begin to negatively influence the internal workings of our body.
That being the case, when practicing a Qigong for spring program, it is important to include exercises that reinforce the density of the Wei Qi field so to protect the body from winds' disruptive effect on our energetic flow.
How Does the Spring Season effect our Senses?
The energy of our Liver connects to our eyes. It is said that the health of the liver is reflected in the brilliance of the eye. Dryness, itchiness, or redness in the eyes are all telltale signs that the liver is in some sort of disharmony.
Remember I mentioned that the Liver moves Qi and that Qi moves up and out in all directions smoothly like the branches of a tree. Well, wind in the external environment often has the effect of creating a windy-like environment in the internal body as well.
As internal Qi begins to move too quickly or erratically it has a drying and warming effect on the internal landscape. By the time that influence reaches its way up to the head you are left with uncomfortably dry, itchy, and of course red eyes.
When practicing a Qigong program for spring it is important to include exercise that strengthens the qi of the eyes, thereby reinforcing the functioning of liver Qi.
How Does the Spring Season effect our Emotions?
A tree doesn't get upset or angry when something blocks its path of growth. Whether it's a building, a fence, or another tree, it simply accepts the obstacle and calmly grows around it. It doesn't try to control everything around it. It doesn't get frustrated with how the other trees are growing. Its eternal focus is to quietly and calmly connect to the ground that feeds its roots, the sun that provides its warming energy, and the rain which provides the water that moistens its leaves.
The element corresponding to spring is "wood" and connecting to its energy has an amazingly powerful effect on us. Its why walking in the forest is so healing. The roots of the tree ground it to the earth giving it a sense of stability, and support. Its dense trunk gives it structure, strength, and stillness. Its limbs effortlessly and flexibly ebb and flow in the breeze. We can learn a lot from a tree on how to live.
The tree is grateful and ever thankful for all the world provides for it and because of that eternal gratitude, it is always at peace. Therefore, when practicing a Qigong program for spring it is important to include exercise that includes a mental intention filled with gratitude to counteract our feelings of anger, irritability, and stress.
It's as easy as simply saying "Thank you" over and over again in your mind while you perform your program. Not thank you for any one thing. But simply Thank you ... for everything, Give it a try.
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