2002-05-11 / Columnists

Health and Harmony Springtime: Renewal And Rebirth

Health and Harmony
By Dr. Nancy Gahles
Springtime: Renewal And Rebirth

Springtime is the cycle of birth and renewal.  All things are sprouting and growing.  The wind blows away the dead leaves and twigs and makes room for new growth.  The rain gently washes away the old, dead matter and makes it rich fodder for the soil.  It is a time of cleansing.  We hear the term "spring cleaning" and so we clean out our closets and drawers and garages.  We get rid of everything that is old or broken or doesn't fit anymore.  We make way for the new, the light, the easier.  In nature, the springtime welcomes new growth, nurtures it to fruition during the summer with sunlight and warmth and yields an abundance for harvest in the autumn.  Winter is our time of storing that which we have harvested and living on it through the colder, darker days.

The energy systems of our bodies work in the same cyclical manner in accordance with nature.  In the spring, our bodies need more sunlight to replenish the Vitamin D, which helps to absorb and assimilate calcium for the building of strong bones and teeth. Exposure to sunlight is a good thing, however, as with all other rules, moderation is the key.  Direct sunlight without sunscreen should be limited to ten minutes in order to facilitate the Vitamin D absorption.  After, sunscreen with a protection factor of 15 should be applied.

In the springtime, our bodies go about the process of cleansing as well. In Chinese medicine, spring is the season of the Wood element.  This means that the liver and gall bladder rule.  The liver is your major blood cleansing organ.  Herbs that help this spring cleaning are those that are blooming right now.  Dandelions and milk thistle are two herbs that assist the liver and gall bladder with detoxification.  Many cultures prepare salads with the freshly picked herbs, however, unless you are a knowledgeable botanist you would be best served by purchasing the herbs from a reputable herbal pharmacy.

The best way to re-energize your body during the springtime is to eat the fruits and vegetables that are growing in this season.  That will obviously include sprouts and young leaves.  Add them to your salads or top your sandwiches and grilled foods with them.  The chlorophyll that they contain is rich in nutrients.

In our emotional bodies it is a good time to take a check of what needs to be cleaned out also.  What have we been harboring, storing that is useful to us?  What is old and never used?  Or, what are we hanging onto that has been causing us distress all winter?  It's a good
time for clearing out the "dead wood" and making room for new growth.  Plant new seeds.  Make a new and different garden.  One that will nurture you and feed you well.  One that you can sit in, rest in, play in and dance like nobody's watching.

Thoughts are seeds.  Thoughts become the fruit of tomorrow.  Thoughts are the food you will nurture yourself with, or, torture yourself with.  Take time to plan your garden carefully.  Grow only what suits you best.  You are the star of your own show.  You are the bounty of your harvest.  And, remember,
to be a star, you must shine your own light, follow your own path, and don't worry about the darkness,
for that is when stars shine brightest!

May The Blessings Be!

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