Wood Energy; The power of new beginnings

Spring has arrived early this year. Already the grass is growing, the trees are budding and dormant bulbs are pushing upward after their winter’s slumber. Spring is the time of the year symbolising new openings and new beginnings – birth, growth and development – as new life takes form or regenerates and the cycle moves on. It is the time for self-actualisation as new plans and ideas germinate and take shape. Wood also called Tree energy

From my perspective as an Oriental Medicine practitioner and teacher, Spring is the time of the year associated with Wood energy and its related organs – the Liver and Gall Bladder. The vigorous and pervasive force of Wood energy can best be seen in spring. There is a particular moment every spring when new shoots push up through the soil seemingly at a visible rate, a time when the rapidity of change all around can almost induce a feeling of disorientation. There is also a feeling of heady exultation; spring is the time of rebirth after the quiescence of winter as a new cycle of growth and resurgence begins again – challenging our adaptability and motivation. Wood energy is associated with new beginnings, not only with the spring season but also every morning with the dawning of the new day and the beginnings of everything.

Spring marks a period of revitalisation for most people, but for those whose Liver and Gall Bladder energy is imbalanced it can bring on an intensification of physical and mental discomfort with pre-existing symptoms worsening.

The direction of Wood energy is akin to that of plants – organised yet anarchic, purposeful yet in all directions. It is also characterised by its flexibility, providing us with the ability to change direction should obstacles be encountered – like any plant.

Energetically, the Liver gives us the ability to plan and create visions; on the other hand the Gall Bladder provides us with the ability to make decisions as to the optimum direction for growth in a given environment at a particular point in time. In tandem, the two manifest as integral facets of our Wood energy.

In a similar way, the Liver functions to circulate and move our life energy in all directions. In Oriental Medicine, one of the most important functions of the Liver is the storage and distribution of energy and blood, with the emphasis on nourishing and moistening. To this end, Liver regulates the volume of circulating blood releasing more blood for circulation around the body during periods of activity and storing blood during periods of rest.

Deficient Liver energy manifests with dry, painful eyes, with blurred or weak vision, lack of suppleness in the muscles, pain in moving the joints, dry skin, dizziness (lack of blood in the head), etc.

Liver makes Chi flow without obstruction both within the Liver and between the other organs, establishing a smooth and soothing flow of energy throughout the whole person and nourishing body, mind and spirit.

© Maria Serrano 2021