Observe a tree during a wind storm. Does it fight Nature and try to stay perfectly still? No. The tree stays firmly rooted in the ground, yet moves freely in the breeze. It is flexible and able to “go with the flow.” That free form, flexible motion is characteristic of the Wood element and the Liver, the organ in command in Spring. The Liver helps you flow through life with a freer spirit and with greater flexibility.
Much like a tree, Liver energy likes to move up and out freely. Its roots are nourished by Earth, the Stomach/Spleen. In the body, the Liver and the Stomach have a very close relationship. If the Liver does not function as it should, the digestive system becomes sluggish.
Just as everything in Nature is connected, everything in our bodies is also intricately linked. During both the transition into Spring and throughout the rest of the year, supporting the Liver will help us to avoid common health complaints like seasonal allergies. At a heightened level, the Liver will also be able to support the Stomach, thereby lessening digestive issues.
Smooth and strong-flowing Liver energy is essential for true physical and emotional health. Conditions such as PMS, migraines, indigestion, excess weight, vision problems, breast cancer, and a host of other health conditions are all signs of poor Liver energy function.
Stress disrupts the functioning of the Liver. In varying degrees, we all experience stress. It’s hard to avoid it. But when we learn to go with the flow, we begin to sift through the information we are bombarded with on a minute-to-minute basis. We begin to see the things that are truly important and we don’t get stuck in how things are ‘supposed to be’.
“Tree Shake” Exercise
On the next nice day, take a long, slow walk in the woods. Allow the beauty of the new Spring leaves and the healing warmth of the sun permeate your entire being. Watch as the trees flow, so effortlessly, so freely. Then imagine yourself as a tree. Move in a fluid, flexible way. Be free! Go with the flow! Never let anything stop you from growing and freely expressing yourself.
Click the video below to watch Grand Master Nan Lu and the TCM team demonstrate a powerful exercise to stimulate your Liver’s energy function. The “tree shake” requires movement, voice, and the release of emotions. Give your Liver a spring cleaning!