Here are several easy qigong exercises that can help your wood element or Liver energy through the springtime. These can be done in a seated or standing position.
Acupressure Self Massage Set
If you are prone to allergic reactions in the spring, do the Acupressure Self-Massage set. It has many points in it that release wind from the body, and is especially helpful for itchy eyes, allergies and sinus problems. I often teach this set in Workshops. If you have learned it from me before, I suggest you pull it out for use in the Spring.
Healing Sounds for the Liver
In Chinese Medicine, each organ has a sound that helps to cleanse and clear it. That sound vibrates through the organ, releasing stuck energy or emotions that are preventing it from functioning optimally. Think of healing sounds as being like an energetic detox cleanse for the organ.
The healing sound for the Liver is "Xu".
It is pronounced "shuuuu", (just like the word "shoe").
To use this sound, sit or stand with your feet flat on the floor. Take several breaths to ground your energy. If you know how to do Pulling Down the Heavens, use it to clear your energy.
Then place your hands, one on top of the other, over your Liver. The Liver is located on the right side of your body, just underneath the bottom part of your rib cage. It is a large organ and extends out almost all the way to the left side of your body.
Use your hands to do a circular massage over the Liver, going 9 times in one direction, then 9 times in the other direction. This tells your body where you want to localize the sound, and helps to open up and access the organ.
Then inhale, and tone the "Xu" ("shuuuuu") sound as you exhale. Feel the sound vibrate all the way through your Liver. Imagine that the sound is vibrating loose old energy patterns that no longer serve you. Do it 6-9 times.
If you know where the Gall Bladder channel runs, you can use that channel to help the Liver get rid of excess toxins released by the healing sounds. Simply end the Healing Sound qigong by leading the energy down the Gall Bladder channel with your hands and your intent.
End by standing quietly for several minutes to notice how your feel.
Refueling the Liver with Light
Once you have "detoxed" the Liver with healing sound, you can refuel it with pure light.
The Liver is strengthened by the color green, so we will simply breath green light into the organ. We want to use a cooling green, a dark green, or a green with bluish tones.
Sit or stand with your feet flat on the floor. Direct your attention to the Liver area.
You can massage it as we did above, or just use your mind.
See a cloud of blue green mist or light in front of you.
Inhale the healing blue green light through your nose and watch the color descend into your Liver.
See the color saturate and settle into the entire organ.
Exhale through your mouth, releasing heat and toxins with your breath. You may want to see these leave as a cloud of darkness.
Repeat for at least 18 breaths. Inhaling the beautiful green color, exhaling any heat and toxins.
If you like doing this exercise, you might try imagining that there is a beautiful green tree in front of you, and draw the green color from the tree. Or, even better, do this exercise outside and use a real tree!
These are both great exercises for everyone to do in the Springtime.
If you are someone who has a lot of Liver disharmonies, you might want to do these exercises year round. Signs that you might have Liver disharmony could include headaches, allergies, tremors, certain digestive issues, and almost all PMS patterns. Emotional tendencies can include the tendency to be irritated, frustrated, or "wound up." Depression can also be associated with the Liver.
If you are not sure, ask your acupuncturist or Medical Qigong Practitioner. You may contact me for a consult if that feels appropriate.