Class Update: Movement, Meditation and Oriental Medicine
Movement, Meditation and Oriental Medicine meets once a month for a year. During our first session we used much our our time learning, practicing and enjoying the calming movements of Chi Kung.
The calming qualities of Chi Kung and meditation are particularly notable with the onset of Spring Energy with its predictable effect on the nerves, especially when your Liver is out of balance.
Considering this, its important to remind ourselves of the importance to doing some gentle exercise on a regular basis.
John Steinbeck, the writer, understood the importance of consistency in his success as a writer. If you apply the same thinking to practicing Chi Kung, you’ll find that the truth remains the same!
In writing, habit seems to be a much stronger force than either willpower or inspiration. Consequently there must be some little quality of fierceness until the habit pattern of a certain number of words is established. There is no possibility, in me at least, of saying, “I’ll do it if I feel like it.” One never feels like awaking day after day. In fact, given the smallest excuse, one will not work at all. I must get my words down every day whether they are any good or not. ~ John Steinbeck
So we’re by no means alone on this road to establishing a practice that we can rely on.
Do your best to pay attention to your body and it will let you know how much it appreciates your practice of Chi Kung each day. Your body has its own intelligence and knowing, and will let you know when what you’re doing is helping it or not.
So keep going on your road toward consistent daily practice, and as Steinbeck puts it, that little quality of fierceness will help you get the habit pattern in place that we all need to feel calm and balanced.
Controlling Your Liver Energy
Your health in Spring is determined by the health of your Liver and the energy it provides. When your Liver energy is balanced in Spring you feel uplifted, with a sense of inner ‘softness and kindness’; when the Liver is out-of-balance, a ‘revved-up and restless’ feeling — inside and out — is common.
Health is like money: save and invest properly and you’ll have what you need.
Liver energy begins to be felt around late-January/early-February. By April it’s in full bore. Then, as Summer energy gradually begins to approach around mid-May, the momentum of Liver energy begins to wane.
In mid-April, Liver energy is at its pinnacle, and if you’ve been plugged-in, full-time to this Spring energy socket you may be feeling a bit worn down by then.
A Rush of Energy
Spring energy is like an adrenaline rush, especially coming off of the low energy level of Winter. When that burst of energy comes, we’re off and running — and tend not to stop until pooping-out.
The seasonal energy starts to change about six weeks before the solstice or equinox. Oriental Medicine provides the tune-up your body needs to be ready.
If you’re experiencing fatigue at the end of Winter, and then overindulge in the exhilarating energy that is Spring, you may feel exhausted when Summer flows along. Be conscious.
Liver Supports the Heart
While it’s wonderful to get as much as you can out of Spring, it’s wise to remember that in Summer — the season of the Fire energy — the Heart is the organ that determines your health. Based on the Oriental Medicine Cycle of Generation, the Heart (Fire) gets its energy from the Liver (Wood).
IMPORTANT: If you’ve exhaust your Liver energy in Spring, your Heart won’t be ready to experience the ‘joy’ of Summer.
So when you find yourself all ‘revved-up’ in Spring energy—doing more than the knowing part of yourself wants to be doing—pay more attention to that knowing.
When you hit your wall, back off instead of powering through it.
You’ll be surprised: the important things still get done, while you feel better in your body.
So ... Spring-forward! ~ calmly : )
Eat Shiitake Mushrooms in Spring
It’s a good idea to add shiitake mushrooms to your diet at the onset of Spring because of their detoxifying qualities.
Like dandelion root tea, shiitake mushrooms are excellent for detoxifying the Liver.
The Liver is the organ in your digestive system primarily responsible for filtering out toxins that find their way into your body. Unfortunately, too many toxins are finding their way into our lives and affecting our health.
So the shiitake mushroom is truly a ‘healthy’ food based on its Liver detoxifying capability.
Dandelion root tea and Stinging Nettle Soup are excellent Spring tonics that support Liver health.
Based on the theory of Five Element eating, all mushrooms are BITTER, which is the taste of food that primarily supports the health of the Heart.
Additionally, shiitake mushrooms balance Liver energy throughout the year, making them particularly beneficial in Spring as the Liver energy becomes dominant in the energy cycle of the seasons.