Spring has officially sprung, as most people who deal with allergies are already well aware. As we transition into this burgeoning time of year, it is a good time to emulate nature. This is the season of new beginnings, birth, transformation, and growth. Below are some tips on how to make the most of this spring season and what lessons mother nature is trying to teach us.
Growth Emerges from Darkness
Winter can be a difficult season, the days are short, trees and plants are barren, and overall the energy is one of hibernation. Spring reminds us there is potential hiding in the darkness, just waiting for the right moment to bloom. This lesson applies to our lives as well. There can be difficult seasons, times where we feel buried but there is always hope and we should never give up. “They tried to bury us, but they didn’t know we were seeds.”
You Can Always Start Over
Spring also shows us the beauty of fresh starts, and of letting go of what no longer serves us. No matter how harsh the winter season might have been, spring starts anew and that requires a certain amount of letting go of the parts that are dead. It is a season that surrounds us with growth and reminds us that we too are capable of growth.
So often we cling to what we know in life, whether it be people, habits, or vices. Even if we might be aware that these things are not supporting us, we feel drawn to them because they are familiar. Change can be scary and difficult but on the other side of that fear is some much possibility and potential. “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
It is Time to Plant the Seed
Being that now is a time of growth, it is an excellent opportunity to plant seeds that can be sowed in the summer and fall months. The earth is fertile, and the time is now. Think about what you would like the summer and fall months to look like. What do you want to be doing? Where do you want to be? Begin to develop the habits now that will get you to where you want to be in the future.
At CHARM, our physical therapy department can help you create a comprehensive exercise routine that best fits your needs. We can also work with you to make sure this program is one that will work for your body for years to come. https://charmaustin.com/restore-function-and-return-to-living/
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks and starting on the first one.”
Chinese Medicine Pearls
In the world of Chinese medicine, there are actually 5 seasons. Summer is divided into early and later summer. Each season correlates to an element, and a body organ. Spring is associated with the wood element and the liver. The tradition of Chinese medicine maintains that there are certain practices that should be done and foods that should be eaten during specific seasons in order to balance the body and prepare it for the next season. Let’s review these guidelines for the spring.
Warm Lemon Water for the Liver
The job of the liver is to remove toxins from the body. There are many trendy cleanses that tout detoxifying benefits when in reality the liver and other internal processes do a fine job of detoxifying on their own. What we can do is facilitate the function of these organs so they can continue to do their job well.
One way to assist the liver in its job is to drink warm water with lemon first thing in the morning. The water should not be hot but slightly warm, which is similar to the internal temperature of your digestive tract. The squeeze, or two, of lemon helps the liver produce more enzymes, which are essential to its function. Enzymes are responsible for chemical reactions in the body; the more enzymes that are present, the more efficient the liver can be.
Lemon can also help maintain proper pH balance in the digestive system. The acidity from the lemon will aid in the production and maintenance of gastric acids, which are responsible for breaking down our food. Lastly, lemons are high in vitamin C, which is an incredibly important vitamin when it comes to our immune system. Consuming foods that are high in vitamin C improves the strength of our immune system, making us better able to fight off infections.
As spring is the season of blooming, there are a plethora of fruits and vegetables that grow and flourish in the springtime. Below is a list of fruits and vegetables that are in season during this time of year:
- Citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, etc.)
- Leafy greens (swiss chard, spinach, kale, lettuce, etc.)
A great way to ensure that you are eating seasonal produce is to shop at local farmer’s markets or to purchase boxes from a community supported agriculture (CSA) group. Since their fruits and vegetables come directly from the farm you are guaranteed the freshest, seasonal produce.
In summary, spring is a magical time of year. The world is thawing out from the cold winter and everything is blooming and growing. Try to emulate this transformation in your life: invite in new opportunities, commit to new habits, let go of the past, and cleanse your body from the inside out by eating fresh, local, seasonal produce. “May the flowers remind us why the rain was necessary.”