As we enter Spring we enter the wood element in Chinese medicine. The wood element represents change. There are so many global issues today around the world from global pandemics to war. When we resist change in the world the elements fall out of balance. It is challenging during these high energy times of extreme change to stay grounded. There are many principles within Chinese medicine that can help us achieve balance and grounding even in the midst of extreme change.
The Spring equinox is when the sun is directly above the equator and the northern hemisphere is tilted towards the sun bringing the warmer days. Night and day are now mostly equal which parallels yin and yang in balance and harmony. Coming out of the Winter yin months and emerging into Spring requires some yang energy in a sense to bloom. From ancient medicine's perspective, the body is a microcosm of the environment, and when we are more in rhythm with nature we can flow more easily in our healthy lifestyles. This can be a time for planting new seeds metaphorically and or blooming those incubating into fruition.
Because we are building up more yang energy this can require some inner strength building. Spring is the element of Wood in Chinese medicine. We can think about it as a tall strong deep rooted tree with its branches spread to the heavens. Just as trees we are mediators between earth and heaven. We bring the two worlds together with our spirituality and our reality. Staying rooted with the earth is very important to our human nature. We can easily get caught up in a concrete technological world. With rooted practices, this can help give you the strength to emerge tall in blooming forth your creative gifts and endeavors.
Some easy grounding practices can take as little as 5-15 minutes a day. Your communion and direct contact with the earth are healing and have been studied to be beneficial for physical and emotional health overall. If you like to plant or garden, you can use your bare hands to plant and bare feet to walk around in your garden. Take a break to get outside and lie in the grass on a blanket with your feet directly on the earth. Fresh air and sunshine are always beneficial, but even stargazing at night can be a real treasure. In this scientific study published by J Environ Public Health, “ The Earth's surface possesses a limitless and continuously renewed supply of free or mobile electrons…Through this mechanism, every part of the body could equilibrate with the electrical potential of the Earth, thereby stabilizing the electrical environment of all organs, tissues, and cells.” Earthing can help the body overall physically and mentally.
Some of my favorite herbs for grounding and spring are Milk Thistle, Scullcap, and Lavender.
Both western herbal medicine and traditional Chinese medicine use Skullcap. In Western herbal medicine, the American skullcap is very beneficial for mood stabilizing and lowering anxiety by stimulating gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that helps calm the nervous system. Skullcap is an excellent nervous system regeneration herb as well, which helps balance the nervous system that has been under chronic stress.
In traditional Chinese medicine, Huang Qin is known as a powerful antiviral and antibiotic herb.
Both American and Chinese Skullcap are high in antioxidants making it an excellent herb for protecting the body from free radicals and anti-cancer. American Skullcap also has neurodegenerative properties preventing Alzheimers and Parkinsons Disease. There have been studies showing the chemical constituent Skullcap, baicalin is very promising for treating insomnia and protecting the heart from heart disease.
Milk Thistle is a quintessential herb for springtime and cleaning the liver.
Milk Thistle is a powerful antioxidant with the active constituent, Silymarin. Silymarin is well known for protecting the liver and preventing free radical damage. It is essential to cleanse and regenerate the liver, even with a dietary cleanse often herbs are needed to facilitate the liver's ability to flush out toxins. In addition, it is stimulating the production of new liver cells, protects the kidneys, and works with a weakened immune system.
Milk Thistle is also an excellent herb for weakened adrenals from stress in our everyday lives. Milk Thistle also works with the bowels to regulate bowel dysfunction and calm inflammatory bowel disease.
Lavender is an excellent grounding herb. Known as a nervine and balancing the nervous system. Lavender flowers have a long history of uses for depression, headache relief, sleep, insomnia, anxiety, skin disorders, menopause, and digestive upset. Lavender is a flowering plant in the mint family. Dating back over 2,500 years lavender originally came from the middle east, the Mediterranean, and India. Lavender is a cooling herb going to the Liver, Lung, and Pericardium channels.
Traditionally lavender bundles were placed in the hands of women during labor to give them courage and strength. In addition, the scent contributed to easing anxiety and stress during childbirth. Lavender flowers have a very high concentration of volatile oils which make them excellent for steam inhalations and herbal baths. Lavender flowers can also deter insects. It can be bundled and added to clothing drawers to deter moths as well.
The lavender scent is most widely known for its use for depression, anxiety, and stress. Dried lavender bundles can be hung in the house or by the bed to aid in sleep. It is also very good for children who have trouble sleeping or with nightmares. Lavender tea can be taken at night to also aid with sleep, calm anxiety, and depression. Lavender is also excellent for irritability or a sense of disconnection, conflict, or "stuck" emotions.
Some essential oils I love for grounding are Frankincense and Cedarwood.
Ru Xiang resin - from Boswellia tree
This oil dates back to ancient times, mentioned throughout history as an oil used for healing and as a sacred gift.
In aromatherapy, inhaling the scent of essential oil (or absorbing it through the skin) sends messages to the limbic system, a brain region that influences our emotions and nervous systems.
Frankincense has an ancient smell. It is transportive and remains one of my favorite herbs for balancing and grounding. It enters the Lung, Heart, Kidney channels. It is an excellent mood balancer. It will help with feelings of anxiety and boost immune function. It is also an excellent anti-inflammatory and can be used on inflamed muscles, healing broken bones and arthritis. It has a sweet woody smell, its aroma diminishes feelings of stress and anxiety while improving concentration as well.
Has a warm woody scent, derived from various conifers and pine trees. It is distinctly grounding and balancing.
The cederol constituent in Cedarwood is known for being a mood stabilizer and excellent for anxiety and nervous system balance. It is also a sedative herb that will assist with insomnia and trouble sleeping.
Acupoints can be very beneficial for grounding. You can use some of the following points with pressure rubbing 9 times in a clockward motion and counter clockward motion. 9 is a complete number and can be used in a series set. You can also use a tapping technique called EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). You use your fingertips to tap on the points to stimulate and activate them. Whenever you are feeling a bit flighty, anxious, or just want to connect to your inner source here are some points you can use.
K-1 is located on the sole below the ball of your foot, about one third of the distance between the base of the second toe and your heel. There’s a depression formed when the foot is flexed between the second and third toes.
This point actually returns the unrooted back to its source. It will help bring all the heady energy back down to create balance within to calm the spirit.
LI-4 is located on the web of the hand between the thumb and the index finger. When you squeeze your thumb against the base of the index finger it's the highest bulge of the muscle approximately level with the end of the crease.
Li 4 is a very influential point. Affecting the head and face. It is a strong moving point and combined with LV 3 works in conjunction to move qi and blood throughout the body, keeping the energy flowing and preventing stagnation.
LV-3 is located on the top of the foot, between the first and second toes going toward the ankle in the junction of the first and second metatarsal bones. Run your finger between the space of your first and second toes.
Liver 3 has a powerful moving energy. Relieving stuck energy, facilitating change, and moving liver qi stagnation.
Ren 17 is located on the midline of the sternum, it's directly between the nipples for men. You can feel a depression right in the center of your chest.
This point is a good one for tapping and unbinding any tension in the chest descending qi downward.
A few stones I love for Spring equinox and grounding are Selenite, Flower agate & Black Tourmaline.
Flower agate is the ultimate spring stone, facilitating your growth and blossoming in the springtime. Flower agate is a relatively newly discovered stone that comes from Madagascar. I was immediately drawn to flower agate. It is a beautiful stone. It connects the heart and root chakra and stimulates a sense of purpose bridging the gap between reality and your emotions. This is a self-growth stone. Everything blossoms in spring and sprouts, this stone facilitates your ability for self-growth and evolution on your path to self-discovery. Restoring emotional balance and connecting us to joy and spontaneity. This stone is also very good for insomnia and anxiety, grounding you in your spiritual and emotional needs.
Is the quintessential clearing stone. Removing negative energy and cutting unwanted bonds that continue to hold you back. Whether this is a mindset issue or connected to another person. Selenite which is believed to be a crystallized form gypsum, “Shi Gao” in traditional Chinese medicine is used in the materia medica in combination with herbs.
Selenite is feather-light and a soothing stone. It is highly spiritual and excellent for shifting energy blocks and breaking unhealthy attachments. To facilitate your intuition and guide you on the best path ahead.
Is an essential grounding stone. Each piece is unique, the black color indicates its association with the root chakra. It can be found as far away as Brazil and as close as Maine. Black tourmaline is an excellent stone for those that are extra sensitive. It is not only a grounding stone but a protective stone as well. If you are lacking confidence or having trouble making decisions this is the stone for you. Black tourmaline will also help you identify negative patterns and break them.