Spring and the Wood Element: Rebirth and Renewal

No matter how dark and cold the depths of Winter may seem, life surges forth in Spring. The shift can seem miraculous. As long as the earth turns, light and warmth return. For all living things, including humans, Spring is a time of renewal, birth and growth. The ancient Chinese observed the vigorous awakening of plant life – symbolically, the Wood Element in Five Element acupuncture theory – and saw in it the essence of Spring: regeneration, vitality, purposeful growth, and adaptability.  To learn more about Spring and the Wood Element in nature, watch the video.

Although we experience Spring and the Wood Element as a time of new beginnings, in reality, it is part of an endless cycle – the cycle of the Five Elements. The ancient Chinese were great observers of nature. They understood that the nature of life is ceaseless change, and that the forces at work in nature are also within us. The Five Elements – Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water – are organizing principles to help us understand complex relationships in the flow of life.

Five Element acupuncture accesses the Five Elements within the human body, mind and spirit.  How do Spring and the Wood Element influence our health?

Vitality and Regeneration

Spring and the Wood Element are at work within us as much as around us, bringing us vitality and vigor in body and spirit. Health often takes a turn for the better in Spring, both physically and emotionally. Someone may have been struggling with illness, pain and fatigue over the Winter, yet suddenly feel better with the change of seasons.

In reality, the groundwork for healing is laid over the Winter – time of the Water Element and deep dormancy.  To learn more about the Water Element in nature, watch the video.  During the dark months, the healing is happening inside, hidden and not felt. With Spring and the Wood Element, the results begin to show on the surface. Vitality returns, and the person feels better.

Dispel Depression and Despair

Just as important as physical health, Spring and the Wood Element restore the mind and spirit. The lengthening days bring light, warmth and growth, calling us to look outward to the world. Like sprouts from the seed, we crack open our introspective Winter shells. Spring and the Wood Element bring awakening beauty to the earth. New sights, sounds and smells stimulate our senses and our curiosity. Beauty and curiosity are the antidote to depression.

Spring and the Wood Element look to the future. Looking to the future gives us a sense of hope. Hope restores the spirit and pulls us out of despair.

Purpose, Growth and Meaning

Spring and the Wood Element bring intense growth to nature. Day by day, the ecosystems around us unfold, triggered by light, temperature and growing conditions. One day, dozens of robins suddenly appear on the lawn – how did they know?

The speed of growth can be astonishing, but it is never chaotic. Nature has a plan. Every living thing carries its genetic blueprint, its intrinsic purpose for being alive. Life proceeds according to the inner plan.

Humans are no exception. We are part of nature, and we also have an inner plan. Spring and the Wood Element bring us in touch with our intrinsic nature, giving life a sense of purpose, destiny and vision. It’s this larger vision and purpose that gives life meaning.

Adaptability and Flexibility

Healthy growth requires not only an inner blueprint, but also the ability to adapt to circumstances. Growth proceeds according to plan, but the surrounding environment – sun, shade, wind, soil quality, other plants – all influence how well a plant can thrive. A successful plan is flexible. Flexibility allows us to adapt.

Likewise, humans need flexibility to thrive. Plans can only be realized if they are adaptable, because conditions vary throughout life. Each day is different. Externally, environmental conditions are constantly changing, both in the cycles of the natural world, and in human society. Internally, we change as we grow and as our cells regenerate throughout life. As living organisms, we are constantly rebalancing inner and outer circumstances. Adaptability and flexibility are essential for health and wellness.

Five Element Acupuncture: Balancing Spring and the Wood Element Within

Five Element acupuncture treats the root cause of illness by addressing the Elements, including Spring and the Wood Element, within the human body, mind and spirit. By accessing and balancing the flow of vital energy in the meridians, Five Element acupuncture treatment clears blockages that are the basis of illness, and restores health.

Inner Works Acupuncture is a Five Element acupuncture clinic, located in the Alphabet District of northwest Portland.  To learn more about Five Element acupuncture or to schedule an appointment, call 503-227-2127.