The three months of Spring are referred to in Japanese as 発陳(hacchin), a word meaning ‘to sprout and flourish’. During these months the days are getting longer, the temperature is warming up and things that were dormant and hidden during the winter months resurface and become active.
This is how it is in Nature, and also how it is in the human body. At this time of year our body temperature increases slightly and our Yang Qi is activated and comes to the surface. Yang Qi naturally wants to circulate, and we must be sure to not constrain this energy if we want to stay healthy through the spring and summer months. Waking up with the sunrise, moderate exercise, eating lightly (including some sour and fermented foods in our diet), avoiding stress and going to bed early are the basic principles for staying healthy at this time of year.
The dominant organ of the body during the spring season is the Liver. The Liver is easily disturbed by stress as well as excessive eating and drinking. The Qi of the Liver wants to be active and to circulate smoothly and freely. When its movement is constrained, feelings of irritability and depression can appear, and one might also experience various physical symptoms such as hot flashes, insomnia, skin problems, neuralgia and lethargy.
Some health conditions such as allergies and various chronic illnesses which may have been dormant during the winter months can resurface in springtime. It is therefore an excellent time of year to address these health concerns. Strengthening immune, respiratory and digestive functioning during springtime can lead to an improvement in overall health that can last well into the summer and autumn months.