A solar term is a period of about two weeks and is based on the sun’s position in the zodiac. Solar terms form the traditional Chinese calendar system. The calendar follows the ancient Chinese belief that living in accordance with nature will enable one to live a harmonious life. This article series explores each of the year’s 24 solar terms, offering guidance on how to best navigate the season.
Solar Term: ‘Rain Water’
2021 Dates: Feb. 19–March 4
As the sun draws nearer and warms the earth, snows recede and rain increases, but this rainwater is very gentle, so as not to harm the fragile sprouts that signal spring’s emergence.
The current solar term is Rain Water, a time when nature provides the necessary conditions for growth.
According to Chinese theory, everything on Earth is composed of just five elements or phases of matter: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water.
The element for spring is wood, the only element among the five that is a living organism. This reflects the fact that all living creatures are very prosperous and come alive during the spring season.
During Rain Water, all living beings, including the bushes and trees, which are made of wood, are waking up from the winter and need water for nourishment. This also follows the theory in the five-element system that “water enhances wood.”
The rains are typically very mild—even misty—during this time. One can see this as heaven’s tender love to gently awaken the plants with sprinkles of rain, rather than downpours, as large drops would surely crush the baby sprouts.
Living in Harmony With ‘Rain Water’
Not surprisingly, there is a lot of humidity in the air, and that is good for the skin but bad for the bones and organs.
In the theory of five elements, the organ associated with the element of wood is the liver, so spring is the best season to adjust any imbalances associated with the liver.
It is better for the elderly to avoid direct contact with cold water and not to eat too much food which is overly sweetened or processed.
To promote a healthy liver function, avoid alcohol and heavy or oily foods. It is also important to keep a calm mind, as the Chinese believe anger damages one’s liver.
Baths and foot baths are very helpful to promote circulation and tone your stiff muscles after the cold winter. For those suffering from poor blood circulation, weak muscles, numb nerves, or simple age, regular warm foot baths help to awaken your senses and strengthen your muscles.
Gentle but regular exercise is strongly recommended for anyone in any age group. It kicks start a good routine and corresponds perfectly with the hormone and mood changes happening inside our body. Exercising 3 to 5 times a week, 20 minutes each time, is ideal. For those not exercising, this should show noticeable results in just couples of weeks.
The Best Time for Weight Loss
At this time of year, hormones and enzymes are very active, and with minimal effort we can get rid of retained fluids inside our bodies and extra fat stored over the winter. You may be surprised by how quickly your body can shape up if you exercise regularly and sleep and wake early.
To take the best advantage of this season, eat plenty of freshly sprouted spring greens. New sprouts are filled with enzymes and minerals to help our bodies recharge, refresh, and energize in accordance with spring powers.
Eat plenty of root vegetables, such as carrot, yam, radish, colorful beans and their sprouts, goji berry, strawberry, spinach, and any deep green vegetables.
In addition to anything that is local and freshly sprouted, try herbal teas made with dandelion, lemon balm, rosemary, fennel seed, and orange. Season your food with celentral, coriander, thyme, basil, ginger, and garlic.
Epoch Times contributor Moreen Liao is a descendant of four generations of traditional Chinese medicine doctors. She is also a certified aromatherapist, former dean of the New Directions Institute of Natural Therapies in Sydney, and the founder of Ausganica, a certified organic cosmetic brand. Visit Ausganica.com.au