March: Stretch

The red peach blossoms were moistened by the night rain,
The green willow leaves were dampened with the fog of spring,
The fallen petals are waiting for the servant to clean,
The hermit is sleeping, though the warblers already started to sing.
— The Joy of Pastoral Life by Wang Wei

WHEN INSECTS ARE AWAKENING COMES THE TIME OF STRETCHING

Nobody can steal the spring away. So quietly, this spring already came.

Outside of the window, the sunlight is penetrating through branches and leaves. Falling on the withered twig tips, sun rays greened the branches softly. We are sprouting, too. The frozen and rigid mind is melted by the warm spring breeze, and ideas are fermenting inside the body.

In other words, the year of 2021 is unveiled by spring. The tender hearts are waking up from the winter hibernation. As the insects came out of the soil, humans have no reason to stay indoors. We need to find the sport best for us to work out. Before everything, stretch a little bit to warm up.


STRETCH TO GROW, EXERCISE TO EXPEL DROWSINESS

After the Insects Awakening Day, everything on earth starts to revive and resume the paused development. As the weather gets warm, viruses and bacteria are becoming active, too. Following the rule of nature, the human spirit, emotion, qi and blood need to recover and reactivate again. In the season of growth, we should sleep early and get up early and walk and jog to drive away spring drowsiness.

The constantly fluctuating air temperature and pressure as well as the dryness may increase the blood viscosity and slow down the blood flow. Together with the prolonged blood vessel contraction, some elderly people, especially those suffering from vascular sclerosis, may easily get attacked or deteriorate in health condition by cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. Or even worse, they could have a stroke or myocardial infarction because their body failed to adapt to the temperature changes.

Half an hour before sleeping, you should get all the concerns out of your mind. Keeping peace in mind helps you sleep well. You may soak your feet in warm water and massage your face and foot soles to relieve the tiredness, calm the mind and spirit, and fall asleep quickly. Quality and sufficient sleep is good for the liver as well.


KEEP FIT TO PREVENT DISEASES

Keeping fit and improving immunity are important to resist diseases. In early spring, the weather may change frequently. The sudden temperature rise and drop may reduce human immunity and body defense against the propagating pathogenic microorganisms that just awakened from winter hibernation and lead to the spread of infectious diseases, like influenza, herpes zoster, conjunctivitis and parotitis. Therefore, some preventative measures need to be taken strictly to keep us away from them.

At a time when the coronavirus is still wreaking havoc, we need to build the body immunity against infectious diseases by eating more vegetables and fruits, exercising more, sleeping enough, and keeping the indoor air fresh.


EATING LIGHT FOODS TO NOURISH SPLEEN AND LIVERS

After the Insect Awakening Day, the growing yang may lead to liver heat. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, doctors emphasize “nourishing and relieving the liver qi in spring.” Spinach is the best green vegetable benefiting livers since TCM classics recorded its cooling nature and efficacy in replenishing blood, quenching thirst, lubricating intestines, nourishing yin, cooling down liver heat, and cleaning intestines and the stomach. But bear one thing in mind, spinach can only be cooked after boiling in hot water for a while.

Besides keeping warm, we must promote the fluid production with some lung-nourishing foods in spring. “There is the tradition of eating pears around the Insect Awakening Day since raw pear is cold in nature and can moisten lungs to arrest cough. Pears are good for eating cooked or uncooked. Cooking it with Bulbus Fritillariae Cirrhosae (Chuanbei) is effective for wind-heat-caused cough featuring yellow phlegm.

Those who have dry cough in spring may have some lily and almond porridge. Lily root replenishes qi, invigorates the spleen and stomach, and warms lungs to arrest cough, while almond nourishes lungs and spleen to eliminate phlegm and relieve asthma.


THE COOKING METHODS OF SEASONAL TEA

Black tea with honey

Put 5g black tea leaves in a thermal flask, pour the boiled water in, and cover the flask with a lid to brew the tea for a while. Add an appropriate amount of honey and brown sugar to the tea. Drinking it before meals every day may warm your stomach. This recipe is good for spring use since it relieves the overheating liver qi and activates the functionality of the spleen and stomach.

White chrysanthemum tea

Drink some flower teas in spring to ease the swelling and aching gum or constipation. Of the flower teas, chrysanthemum teas are the most effective; and of the chrysanthemum teas, the white chrysanthemum is the best. Replacing your daily drink with white chrysanthemum tea may clear off the internal heat and toxins from your body.


CHINA MOONSHOT RESOURCES

    • To view more March China Moonshot Content, you can visit the following links: Awakening of Insects and The Spring Equinox.
    • Customize The Wellness Moonshot: Contact Kendra Kobler (Kendra.Kobler@globalwellnessinstitute.org) for specific ways to tailor The Wellness Moonshot branding assets and educational materials to meet the needs and aspirations of your company, community or country.