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Tuning Into Nature To Balance Health by Dr. Madea Allen

This article explores how to live in harmony with nature and balance the multidimensional aspects of who we are.

I am a teacher, wayshower, and facilitator of full spectrum health, which comprises all aspects of well-being that contribute to a life well lived. As a long time proponent of full spectrum health, I have come to know that the state of wellness is an ever-shifting composite of the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of who we are.

It’s easy to overlook all the things that contribute to our sense of nourishment and fulfillment. It’s not just the food we eat that affects our health, but all the other factors present in our daily lives. Healthy relationships, a fulfilling career, regular physical activity, and spiritual awareness are all essential forms of nourishment. When these “primary foods” are balanced, what you eat becomes secondary. Conscious consumption of both primary and secondary foods in accordance with nature is good medicine.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the Law of Five Elements describes five energetic capacities that are observable in nature: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. Each of the Five Elements represents a phase corresponding to a particular movement of qi, or life force energy. This movement is governed by two laws, a generative cycle, and regulating cycle, which are always acting simultaneously to create transformation, harmony, and balance.

The Wood element corresponds to the Spring season. The energy is rising upward and life is starting anew. There is more sunlight and warmer weather. We hear birds singing in the early morning. We see chives bursting upward from the ground, buds growing on trees, and an abundance of green all around. The winds begin to pick up to help spread pollen so we may eventually have flowers.

As energy is rising in nature at this time, we may also feel the rising up of emotions more frequently in ourselves. Unprocessed, stagnant, or unregulated anger may manifest as angry outbursts, fits of rage, or even depression. A person whose Wood element is out of balance may also have challenges with creativity, planning, making decisions, seeing possibilities, as well as difficulty with Third Eye vision, and outer vision of the physical eyes.

Spring is the season to tend to the Liver and Gallbladder organ system. The Gallbladder assists with digestion while the Liver governs the smooth flow of qi throughout the body. However, this function can be impeded by lack of exercise, unprocessed anger, and the overconsumption of heavy, rich, fatty, and spicy foods.

Following the cycle of nature, eat lighter in Spring (or even do a fast), to cleanse the body of the richer and heavier foods eaten in Winter. A seasonal fast is an excellent reset for the body. Just as you would get a car regularly tuned up, so does the body need regular maintenance to function optimally.

As we awaken to the energetic capacities within, aligning with nature and tuning in to what is needed in the present moment to harmonize our full selves (physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual) and help us to lead more intentional and fulfilling lives.

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