Living in harmony with Spring

Chinese medicine suggests that we should live our lives in harmony with the seasons. After a long wait, it seems that this weekend the season of Spring has suddenly arrived.

This is from the classical Chinese text called the Neijing, or Yellow Emporer’s Medical Classic, assembled between 200 BCE and 200 CE.

 In springtime there are three moons,

This is a time for breaking out and bursting.

 The skies and the earth both give birth and all myriad creatures prosper.

Go to sleep at nightfall and rise at dawn.

Take large steps out in the courtyard.

Uncoil your hair and stretch out the body, thus to set the will on birth.

Help bring forth life and do not slaughter,

Help donate and do not take away,

Help reward and do not penalise.

This is a response to the qi of spring

And the Art of caring for life.


If you go against it you injure your liver.

In the summer the weather will stay wintry, and there is little to support any growth.

This translation is taken from the Essential Texts in Chinese Medicine by Richard Bertschinger, page 62.

He explains that “We have the rise and fall of Yin and Yang within us, echoing the world outside. The shifting sun and moon, arrival and departure of day and night, warmth and coolness of heated summer days and winter nights, these impinge on us all.”


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