Life cultivation in spring

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Examples of TCM Life Cultivation in Accordance with Seasonal Conditions

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The beginning of spring, the first one of the 24 solar terms, is regarded as the beginning of spring by the Chinese folks. Spring refers to the period from the beginning of spring to the previous day of beginning of summer which includes the other solar term of Rain Water, the Waking of Insects, Pure Brightness and Grain Rain chronologically. It is the time to germinate and grow during the three months of spring. It shifts from cold to warmth; ice and snow melt; Yang Qi ascends; various living things come to life and develop, with a new face. Everything under the heaven and on the earth overflows with vigor and everywhere seems a picture of prosperity. At this time, the Yang Qi of the human body also conforms to nature to disperse upwards and outwards. Therefore, health preservation and rehabilitation should conform to the characteristics of “germination and growth” in spring.

Regulating the daily life

The theory of TCM life cultivation and rehabilitation has been believing that people should go to bed late at night and rise early in the morning to be fully bathed in the spring sunlight, let the hair hang down, loosen the clothes and belt, limber up the body and take a hike in the courtyard to make the mind natural and at ease just like the germination and growth in spring. Yang Qi ascends in spring. But at this time, wind prevails and the climate changes greatly. Especially during the early spring, yang Qi appears before long while cold still does not disappear completely. Thus, the climate changes even more dramatically. Cold wave often attacks people and the climate changes abruptly from warmth to cold. In addition, the Yang Qi of human body begins to reach the exterior and the skin striae become loose. Accordingly, the body resistance against pathogenic cold weakens relatively. At this time, the temperature changes dramatically and abnormally, people should avoid the attack of pathogenic wind in time. Especially old people, children and people with weak physique should modify their clothes instantly to keep the body warm. These people should not wear less clothes and use less quilts too early or cut down on clothes abruptly. The ancients' so called “muffling the body in spring and freezing the body in autumn” is indeed the wise remark of experienced people. Wearing a proper amount of clothing keeps the body warm to resist wind and cold, makes the human body conform to the climatic changes gradually in spring. This can promote the ascending of Yang Qi of the human body and nourishment of Yang.

Regulating emotions

In spring, everything on the earth comes to life and is full of vitality. When spring is approaching, the human metabolism becomes more and more vigorous as well. The spring corresponds to the liver. As a result, the functional activities of the liver are most vigorous in spring. The liver controls the regulation of Qi and blood and prefers free movement. But it is averse to depression and related to anger. If the liver Qi is free to regulate Qi and blood, then people can adapt themselves to the climatic changes in winter. Consequently, they are healthy and free from diseases. On the contrary, if the liver Qi fails to be free, the liver will fail to regulate Qi and blood. In this case, people cannot adapt themselves to the climatic variations, giving rise to the corresponding pathological changes such as dizzness, headache, excitement, fatigue, lassitude, thoracic and hypochondriac distending pain and anorexia. Some patients with the mental disease and hepatic disease are subject to the onset in spring. Therefore, particular attention should be paid to the conformity to the hepatic regulation of Qi and blood during the mental regulation in spring. People should be mentally easeful, broad minded and optimistic so that the Yang Qi inside the body can be dispersed and the harmony between the body and the outside environmental changes maintained. It is not advisable for people to sleep and sit alone, remain depressed and withdrawn. Furthermore, they should avoid becoming impetuous and angry because fury easily impairs the liver and may induce hypertension, hepatic diseases, apoplexy, etc. as well. If people, together with their families can go for a walk in the country, appreciate flowers and scenery, go on trips to different scenic spots, sing and dance cheerfully to express their emotions and become harmonized with nature during the days of the sunlit and enchanting scene with gentle breeze, this will be even more beneficial to the hepatic regulation of Qi and blood and the ascending of the spring Yang Qi.

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