The spring season is characterized by renewal and transformation; however, Spring body types generally do not embrace the change that is intrinsic to their season. Typically, these body types are rigid and unyielding in both body and mind. From a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective, the physical pain and emotional frustration typically experienced by these types results when qi is stagnant or when the flow of energy becomes interrupted within the body.
In general, Spring body types may exhibit one or more of the following symptoms: tension headaches, migratory pain, eye conditions (e.g. blurry or poor vision, or twitching), constipation, bloating, hiccups, and frequent sighing. Women with this seasonal body type may also have menstrual pain or irregularities, cysts, or soreness in their breasts. The characteristic body structure of Spring types is lean with taut musculature.
"Spring is when life’s alive in everything."
– Christina Rossetti
A Spring diet should be filled with the naturally abundant greens of the season. Chlorophyll-rich leafy greens allow for a gradual cleanse and detoxification of the body. For this seasonal type, it is best to consume foods that encourage the flow and circulation of qi throughout the body. Pungent foods like mustard greens, watercress, and members of the onion family help to promote movement, while fresh herbs and spices aid in digestion.
Light eating and simple meals are also important for Spring body types. Dietary fats tend to hamper liver function and should be consumed in limited quantities. A lighter and more cleansing diet improves the body’s circulation of qi, promoting the release of tension from the body and stuck emotions from the mind and heart.
Leafy greens and vegetables
Sour flavors, e.g. lemon and vinegar
Lightly cooked foods prepared through steaming, stir-frying, or sautéing
Fatty, greasy, and heavy foods
The overall focus of Spring body types should be the release of both mental and physical tension. These body types thrive by way of movement, change, and growth: letting go of the old and welcoming the new. They also benefit from finding an effective outlet for their thoughts and feelings. Cognitive therapy, awareness exercises, and support groups can help them to express their emotions more freely and manage stress and tension.
By adopting a more flexible and forgiving attitude toward themselves and others, Spring body types can encourage flow and movement in all areas of their lives. As they release their need to control and plan every outcome, they can learn to loosen their rigid ways, live with more ease, and relax into their natural well-being. The spring season calls for the free flow of new ideas and energies, prompting us to look forward and be receptive to whatever changes life may bring.
Spring types should focus on activities that circulate blood and qi, encouraging energy to flow both through them and within them. Qi gong, an Eastern-style exercise that focuses on enhancing one’s qi and promoting its circulation, can be helpful for these body types. Activities like yoga and gentle stretching done in a warm setting can help to improve flexibility in the tight muscles, tendons, and ligaments common to Spring types. Regular massage therapy and bodywork are also beneficial for releasing tension in the musculoskeletal system.
These body types should also consider incorporating expressive and free-form activities into their routines. An emphasis on fun, play, and the simple pleasure of movement can provide balance to more structured forms of exercise. Activities like art and music can help the Spring types to express and release harbored emotions like anger and frustration, while freeing their energy in a social, non-competitive way.