The season of Spring is that of the Wood Element. It’s a time when Nature puts on a rapid growth spurt, shooting upwards, vigorous and unstoppable. The seeds that have been in hibernation all winter suddenly burst forth with the warmer weather and longer days. If our Wood Element is in balance, we can emulate Nature and we feel the rising sap within ourselves, giving us fuel to start new projects, to strike out in new directions, to implement our visions. A balanced Wood allows us to be clear and direct in our thoughts and actions. We can be assertive in our interactions with others. We move easily in the world as we express our unique selves. Wood supports our will to become who we truly are. The gifts of Wood include having appropriate boundaries, seeing clearly and acting decisively, being firm but flexible, having a goal but also having a plan B. Wood gifts us with wise judgement, the ability to plan and strategise, to have vision and to put that vision into action.
When our Wood is out of balance, we become easily irritated, frustrated and angry; or we might collapse in the face of obstacles. We have trouble seeing the way forward, have a hard time making decisions and taking action. Our organs of liver and gall bladder can suffer and our eyes or sight can give trouble. The tendons and ligaments of the body can be stiff or weak, and our flexibility suffers both in our body and our attitudes. We can become disoriented and hopeless, even depressed. Our functioning in the world gets stuck.
In treating the Wood Element, the practitioner holds points along the meridians of Gall Bladder and Liver which are those associated with Wood. These meridians help us to have vision, to make plans and to act with wise judgement to carry out those plans.
We can support our Wood by getting to bed by 11 pm, the time at which the Wood meridians like to be horizontal. Since the tendons and ligaments are the province of Wood, it is supportive to stretch or do yoga before launching into activity. Body twists are very helpful in opening the qi in the Gall Bladder channel. This is especially true in Spring when the energy of the season invites us to be active. Spring is a good time to cleanse the liver with herbs such as coriander, dandelion and milk thistle. Foods that support the Wood are those with a sour taste, like lemons and vinegars; and those that are green in colour, especially dark leafy greens. Avoid alcohol, drugs and excess fats.
The emotion of Wood is anger. We can look at how we relate to anger and assertiveness. Can we express ourselves freely and take our space, or do we suppress our upward rising energies? Can we speak our minds or do we internalise our frustrations? Are we nice in order to keep the peace while becoming internally resentful? Understanding how we are with the range of emotions from irritability all the way through to rage, can show us how we constrict the natural expression of our Wood.