Spring is here! Keep warm and let the Qi flow!

Hi My Friend,

4th February marks the solar term Beginning of Spring (立春) in the northern hemisphere! In this article, I will share how the changes in weather may affect our health in the coming months, along with health improvement approaches from the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective.

I will be hosting a live online sharing of this article and upcoming courses on 06/02/2024, Tuesday, from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm (Singapore Time). Please here click to register.

This year, the Beginning of Spring (立春)and the Lunar New Year are only a few days apart. With the arrival of this significant solar term, there has been a noticeable change in the natural atmosphere, as Yang Qi (energy) begins to rise, bringing vitality. At this turning point of the geneal weather, it is essential to pay more attention to health, protecting ourselves from the cold and unpredictable weather of spring.

Reflecting on the health update I shared in November 2023, we mentioned that as the weather gradually turns colder, many people may experience symptoms such as leg and foot pain, rheumatic pain, and numbness in the hands and feet. The recent Major Cold (大寒)(Jan 20) brought a unique cold season to Singapore. With the arrival of the Beginning of Spring (立春), the weather will become windier aand unpredictable, indicating that our bodies need greater adaptability.

Although Singapore, located near the equator, does not have distinct four seasons, spring, especially on sunny days, may still bring a slight chill with the cool spring breeze.

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The changing climate during these solar terms transition also corresponds to the high incidence of infectious diseases, such as outbreak of SARS, Covid-19, and the recent increase in coughs and severe colds among friends (including myself). Therefore, it is important to remain vigilant during gatherings and adhere to safety measures for disease prevention.

From the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), spring is a time when liver Qi is abundant, which can affect the spleen, making its function relatively weaker. Therefore, the focus of health betterment approaches should be focusing at addressing the digestive systems (the spleen and stomach), regulating the emotion (the liver systems) and promoting the Qi circulation (Yang element conditioning). Here, I will introduce some simple and practical health methods to help everyone maintain their health during the spring.

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Acupressure areas

  • Massaging the ribs area – Regulating Emotion and liver systems
    • The last point of the liver meridian, Qi Men, is located in the sixth intercostal space below the nipple. This point helps regulate liver Qi. Use the technique of rubbing the sides, placing hands under the armpits, and rubbing along the rib interspace to the chest. Repeat 30 times. Pay attention to breathing during the process to better feel the flow of Qi. Warm sensations in the rib area are ideal.
    • Video: https://youtu.be/-mhZweshxCk

  • Rubbing “Zusanli” – nourishing the spleen and stomach
    • Zu San Li is a point that regulates immune function, enhances disease resistance, and tonifies the spleen and stomach. Moderate massage of Zu San Li combined with deep breathing can improve the body’s ability to defend against diseases.
    • Modern medicine research has identified that Zusanli adrenocortical system has a two-way benign regulatory function, can enhance the body’s ability to prevent disease.
    • Video: https://youtu.be/XtQN1HkAIUE

  • Comb hair – Promoting yang qi circulation
    • Spring is a season of rising yang Qi, and timely hair brushing aligns with this health requirement. Brushing the hair stimulates the scalp’s meridians, helps disperse stagnation, promotes the flow of Qi and blood, and promotes Yang Qi. During hair brushing, gentle scalp massage can relax nerves and relieve head pressure.
    • Video: https://youtu.be/XLBVxyeQaj8

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 Medicated diet

  • Millet porridge
    • [Ingredients] millet 150 grams, red dates 8, dried tangerine peel 5 grams.
    • [Effect] Nourish the spleen and stomach, regulate liver systems, promote appetite.

  • Red Dates Walnut porridge
    • [Ingredients] Rice 1 bowl, Walnut 5 , red dates 5
    • [Effect] Nourish Qi and blood, Calming, strengthening the spleen and stomach

  • Chinese Yam Porridge
    • [Ingredients]  Chinese yam 100g, Rice 100g, 5 Red dates.
    • [Effect] Tonifies the spleen and stomach, nourishes the lungs, and benefits Qi and Yin.

These methods are simple and easy to incorporate into our daily lives. Consistency is key to achieving optimal benefits. I hope everyone will share these suggestions with family and friends, learning and benefiting together from these health-preserving methods.

In conclusion, I wish everyone a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous Lunar New Year in the Year of the Auspicious Dragon 2024! May you have good health and happiness for your entire family!

Dr Clement Ng


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