After the last few very cold days here in South Australia, you may be wondering what planet I’m on as I talk about the seasonal change from winter to spring. According to the ancient Chinese solar calendar, spring starts at the beginning of February in the northern hemisphere, which means the beginning of August here in the antipodes. August 5th is a cross quarter day, marking the midpoint between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. The ancients called this “Establishment of Spring Qi.” From this date, the days begin to lengthen rapidly, temperatures rise and there is an overall quickening in nature.
If you tune into your own body, you may notice that you too are responding to this speeding up. You may perceive it as a feeling of get-up-and-go, a sudden desire to dust off the hiking boots, clean the mountain bike, or get started on spring cleaning. For some it may appear as a restlessness that can only be managed by movement. This is the Wood energy of spring making itself felt in you.
This is a great time to make plans and start new projects, for the ambient Wood energy will support you in your endeavours. It’s a bit like a surfer catching a wave. If you catch the first waves of Wood in August, they will add power to your arm as you implement your new plans.
But take care not to rush too quickly to action. Wood energy can be jerky and erratic and many people suffer tendon and ligament strains in spring as a result of jumping into motion too quickly after a winter of inaction. Make sure you stretch your body before starting physical activity. If you are starting a new project, ensure your plans are sound before you launch into your endeavour.
There is an acupoint which can be very supportive of this transition from Water to Wood. Gall Bladder 25, Capital Gate, lies on the side/back of the body at the end of the twelfth rib. While it is a point on the Gall Bladder meridian (Wood), it is also the mu or alarm point of the Kidney (Water). Therefore it influences both Elements, helps to smooth the movement of Water to Wood and can ease our passage from winter to spring
Capital Gate relaxes the sinews and can get you going, stimulating the will to move into action. The point also helps with low back pain, spinal weakness, feeling the cold, lower abdominal cramp or distension, kidney complaints and difficult urination. It is known to support the free flow of Qi in the area after gall bladder removal.
So if it feels like your get-up-and-go got up and went during the winter, support yourself in the early spring with Capital Gate.
Location of Gall Bladder 25
GB 25 is located a the free end of the twelfth rib. Place your thumbs on your lower back around the level of your waist. Press upwards with your thumbs until you feel the bottom ribs. Follow the ribs down and outwards to the sides of the body until you can feel the ends of the ribs. You are still on the back of your body, but almost to the side. The point is often tender to the touch. Apply sustained pressure for two to three minutes or until the point relaxes and the Qi flows.