Along with adjusting the clocks and noticing the gradual lengthening of daylight hours, comes the start of another very significant change in the seasonal cycle. The fourth Jie Qi * of the year, Chun Fen, which is translated as “Spring Equinox”, begins on Monday, March 20th and lasts for fifteen days. The beginning of Chun Fen is significant because day and night are of equal duration (for the Northern climates). This is an important indicator for us because it means that light as well as warmth are becoming a more dominant aspect of the day. From Chun Fen on, daylight hours will increase until the Summer Equinox arrives on June 21st, when daylight will be at its zenith. How Does This Affect Your Health? The nature of Chun Fen is dynamic like the wind itself, and as such there can be rapid weather shifts from one hour to the next. It is important to pay attention to weather forecasts and to dress in layers, making appropriate adjustments throughout the day. Attempt to stay dry and out of the wind as much as possible to help guard against catching a springtime cold. Because of the stresses imposed by this natural phenomenon, our bodies are at greater risk for catching colds, fatigue, allergies, depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Self-care During Chun Fen Chun Fen and Exercise The Jie Qi of Chun Fen can be a time of unpredictable storms and shifts in the barometer and it welcomes back the migratory songbirds, arriving in waves. Chinese medicine, closely linked to natural rhythms, says that this indicates a need for increased movement for us as well. It is important, for our own health that we become more physically active and spend time outdoors, dressed to protect from the elements, as much as possible. In addition, we prescribe gentle stretching as an ideal way to keep the muscles and tendons healthy. These tissues function best with our support and attention as they experience the transition from morning cold to afternoon warmth each day. Chun Fen and Diet In Chinese medicine Springtime is the time of the Liver. This regulating organ is responsible for the smooth movement of just about every system in the body. Therefore, we advise minimizing fried foods or those high in fat, as well as spicy foods during Chun Fen especially. Enjoy light nutritious meals including whole grains, beans, and squash. Jasmine is a warming floral herb that can be taken as a tea. Focusing on a diet appropriate to the season helps you to stay healthy and staves off allergies, injuries, digestive issues, fatigue, and depression. Chun Fen and Lifestyle Indulge in activities that give you joy, especially those that promote laughter. This will not only help to boost your emotional state, but it will increase the immune function. As the Liver is the associated organ of Chun Fen, so the eyes are the sensory organs related to the Liver. During Chun Fen, to avoid over taxation of the Liver, the Chinese doctors recommend reducing activities that stress the eyes, such as screen time and reading in low light. Waking up and going to bed early are important for good health during Chun Fen. Prepare to be asleep by 11 PM, which, in addition to proper diet and exercise, will further support the Liver system. White Center Wellness Can Help During Chun Fen, which is a season of equilibrium, it is important to keep the muscles and tendons supple and warmed through gentle movement. It is also vital to keep oneself protected from the constantly changing elements. If you notice that you are already suffering from the ailments that can be pervasive during Chun Fen such as digestive distress, depression, seasonal allergies, and anxiety, schedule an appointment today. We at White Center Wellness Clinic can help return your body to a state of health through acupuncture, medicinal herbs and bodywork. We can help to restore equilibrium to your system, allowing you to meet the demands of this very dynamic season. The brightening hours and music of the birds invigorate and inspire, leaving you eager for the day ahead. Consider us your partners in restoring and maintaining a healthy balance.