In Qi Gong theory, Spring is associated with the Wood element. That is to say it is the season of renewal, growth, and new beginnings. In other words, after the long cold Winter season which allows us to conserve energy and rest, the transition into Spring brings change after the quiet still time of Winter, Spring brings hope as it moves forward with optimism and anticipation. Similarly, with the new growth of energy in the natural world, we feel more energised and start to increase our activity. This means that it is a season to expand ideas and learn something new.
Learning from nature
Spring is the ideal time for cleansing and rejuvenation; a time for growth in every way.However, in our bodies, as in nature, challenges in our environment can cause imbalance. For example, when a tree or plant gets too much water, the roots will rot and it may never grow. Likewise, if it’s growth is too restricted it will not flourish. In too small a container, it will become hungry for soil and under nourished. If a plant grows and is never cut back, it can overreach, or branch out in too many directions.
This metaphor is helpful in understanding how we can learn from the natural world. Like a tree, we naturally seek healthy growth and development. However we need the right conditions to flourish. Clinging to circumstances and being fearful of change, can result in feeling stuck or limiting our possibilities for growth. Planning too many projects and branching out too quickly without the rest and quiet of winter, may cause us to burn out before our plans can come to fruition. On the other hand, with balanced Wood energy we experience growth and nurture our vision.. When our Wood energy is healthy and harmonious, we may feel more content and aligned, with a deeper sense of wholeness.
Qi Gong Meridians
Qi Gong mirrors the flow of nature, keeping us connected to our source. Therefore, as in nature, our bodies reflect the Wood energy in the acupuncture meridians of the Liver and Gall Bladder. In Chinese Medicine theory each meridian has a job in the body. For instance, the organ systems associated with Spring – Wood Element are the Liver (Yin organ) and the Gallbladder (Yang organ) and their associated Meridian pathways. The Liver and Gallbladder are closely related. Both Meridians need to be flexible under the pressures of stressors. Their association to the Wood element and the soft tissues reflects this. They are responsible for maintaining a flexible structure, for balance both physically, and emotionally, which allows us the freedom to flourish.
The Liver meridian is known as “The General” or “The Official in Charge of Planning”. For instance, it influences thoughts and ideas, plans, and strategizes. The Liver is easily affected by anger, frustration, and resentment. Its worst enemies are stress, refined foods, and caffeine.
The Gallbladder is known as “The Generals Advisor” or “The Upright Official who Excels in Judgment”. This means that it implements the Livers plans and oversees the execution of them. The Gallbladder can easily be affected by an imbalance in the Liver energy.
The Spring – Wood element governs the soft tissues of Tendons, Ligaments, Joints and Muscles. Considered the first element, Wood is known as “Young Yang” and is flexible, yielding, strong and durable. This reflects its relationship to our soft tissues.
Wood energy is a direct, assertive energy which moves us forward. It therefore encourages us to to have new ideas and move forward; to be assertive and change who we are; to have plans and vision, to make decisions and have hope for the future. In other words, this is the energy that brings forth new growth, that pushes new grass through the earth, new branches from old wood, produces new leaves. It does this so nature can take in the nourishment it needs to flourish.
Our wellbeing programme includes a short daily session of Qi Gong.