Hyperion Nutrition’s Spring Guide:
Classical Chinese Medicine Guidelines, modern suggestions, and herbal pairings for optimal health this Spring :).
Wow, spring is here again. It’s hard to believe that the long, cold winter season is coming to a close and we are now opening up to a new season. From the deep, dank contraction (major yin) of winter, we are now wiggling our fingers and toes, returning slowly to the nascent warmth and minor yang of growth and expansion. Let us tread lightly, staying in tune with our bodies, to make this seasonal transition smooth, harmonious, and transformative.
Equinox: the tilt of the Earth’s axis is inclined neither towards the sun nor away. Also, translating from Latin, meaning “equal night,” implied the night and day are of equal length.
Naturally, it may be implied that these seasons are balanced enough to be the “easiest” times of year for us. In actuality, the times of the equinox (spring and autumn) seem to the highest in erratic energy, as well as the most popular times for sickness and allergies. It is because these of the major atmospheric shift, and for spring especially, it is most beneficial to tap into the true essence of staying balanced (equal). Stand among the tides, allowing the incoming waves to dissipate against the strength of your body and heart creating an opening for joy of the oncoming expansion.
It isn’t just the weather that is undergoing these major shifts. Let’s outline what Spring speaks to Chinese Medicine:
I just want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the beauty and sheer intensity of nature and how simply and profoundly it caters to constantly be both nurturing and teaching. Chinese Medicine is a one way to depict these aspects, but if you spend enough time in your body and outside in the seasons, you can learn more than any ancient text or guidebook could say.
Before we get to flowering buds and sunshine, let’s be real. There is a “dark side” of spring that can only be lightened through acknowledgement. The liver is a powerful organ. It is like a sleeping beast that isn’t quite a morning person, so when spring rolls around, and the blinds are opened upon its dark corridors, it doesn’t always respond gracefully.
Old patterns, energetic blockages, and qi stagnation are surfacing now. This is ESSENTIAL! Embrace this time, and allow the reveal to revolutionize your being. Then you can revel in your journey.
On a more physical level, this time of year may express menstrual irregularity, tight or sore muscles, irregular sleep, digestive difficulties, untraceable stress, and headaches. These are all expressions of stagnation SOMEWHERE. Welcome them, for they are lights unto paths we can take to break old patterns and remove calcification. Trust and relaxation in the unknown can bring you strength on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual platforms that you have never experienced before.
What Can YOU Do?
The change of seasons will happen whether you’re ready, like it, accept it or not- that we cannot change or control. However, there are endless opportunities for us to work with these changes and use them to our benefit.
The liver is the epicenter of qi. We couldn’t make the liver a happier entity than by movement. Take off your winter pajamas, and start moving in some fresh air. Movement and circulation of fresh air will help any stagnation that surfaces to keep moving outward. Consider this the most essential and integral component of your spring-cleaning. Take a hike. Roll out your yoga mat. Do some martial arts in the park. Dance on the street, and get stared at! Also, get a good daily stretch in. The liver controls your tendons; so don’t let your blood continue to be winterized when the time is ripe!
Emotions are going to come up. As stated before, anger is the emotion of the season, and certain things are going to come out of hiding. Invite them. Embrace them as you would a frightened or injured child. You wouldn’t condemn the child- you would hold them and allow them to feel what they need to feel in order to get to a better place. The liver is your open wound right now, fresh for the year. Get your emotions out of the table and let them run their course. Any source of creative expression will benefit you now- dancing, writing, screaming, cooking, meditation, cartwheeling, riding elevators just because- these will all nurture the liver and wood element. Suppression will only allow for a rude awakening come summer when it will be forced out. Allow this gradual process of release for a truly organic expansion.
Aw yeah, the good stuff. In the spirit of green and sour flavor, here are some dietary suggestions for this season:
– Leafy greens!!!: Dandelion*****, blue green algae, kale, mustard greens, nettles., arugula, and other in-season baby greens
– Fermented Foods: sauerkraut, kimchee, miso, pickles, etc.
– Kombucha, coconut kefir, puer tea.
– LEMONS!: on your greens, in your water, straight up, do it.
– Fresh juice: a great way to detox and reintegrate some fresh vegetables back into your life (leafy greens, coconut water, lemon)
– Vinegar- Get some raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (Braggs rules!), and add a dash where you can. Other vinegars will also be great flavoring agents.
These are just a few suggestions, but listen to your body! I’ve noticed this week my body is craving citrus and I cannot drink enough kombucha! Sour and bitter flavors are great, as well as loading up on greens, and most importantly, give your body is asking for (within good reason).
This is REISHI SEASON! What a treat. In the part of the country where Hyperion resides, reishi is going to start springing up over the course of the next month. The earth provides.
Spring welcomes the abundance of reishi mushroom, the liver herb. Reishi is a powerful anti-oxidant that serves to take weight from the heavy burden of responsibilities of the liver. Reishi increases your resistance to infections, viruses, bacteria, fungus and all other external toxins, which is perfect for the spring season of allergy and sickness. Reishi also works in prevention of liver cirrhosis, which is caused by the destructive action alcohol takes on the body. The powerful and adaptogenic pathway reishi takes toward immune modulation is exactly the support your body could use during this time of year.
Also, another powerful plant that is springing up is dandelion. As mentioned before, eating dandelion greens, making dandelion tea, or taking a dandelion supplement is great right now. Nature is communicating with us, so keep your eyes and ears open.
Other herbs and supplements include milk thistle, a good vitamin C (food derived or camu camu), burdock root, and any other adaptogens, anti-oxidants, as well as charcoal or clay to help the toxins exit your body.
There are other practices that can aid in this transformative season.
– Get some body work: acupuncture, massage, spa day- whatever nurtures you. NOW is the very best time. Treat yourself.
– Skin Brushing: This will keep your lymphatic system moving and keep your skin glowing through this detoxifying time.
– Go to the woods: Hike! Breathe! Appreciate! Spend time here.
– Donate some clothes and get rid of excess: Make space in your life, physically and emotionally, for new growth to happen.
We are all very excited for this season. Don’t forget to give your final respects to the winter and have inward closure and peace. Spring is here. Be receptive and retain your equanimity. True joy and vibrant health awaits!
For more information on reishi, visit: http://hyperionherbs.com/shop/category/reishi-mushroom-2/
For more information on blue green algae, visit: http://hyperionherbs.com/shop/brainon-blue-green-algae-extract/