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Chinese Medicine and the Seasons: Spring

Spring-CrocusSpring is finally here, the sun is warming up and the wind blows the last of the dead leaves from the trees, making space for the explosion of new growth. In Chinese Medicine we look at symptoms both physical and emotional, taking into account the environment that we are living in. One aspect of this is our relationship with the seasons and the five elements of wood, fire, earth, metal and water. The winter, season of the water element, is now over. The ice is melted by the warming temperature, seeping into the soil, to start the germination of the dormant seeds.

Spring is the season of Wood which signifies creation, it’s a time of new beginnings, birth, creation, growth and development.

In the body the Liver and Gall Bladder are the organs of the Wood element, the main role of the Liver is to ensure the spreading and smooth flow of Qi in the body. It is at this time that we should be especially attentive to symptoms that may point at an imbalance in our Liver system.

Headaches, stiffness and muscle tension are all signs of stagnation, and if you feel you are more tense in general, this may be a sign that your Liver needs some extra care. The emotion associated with the Liver is anger, or frustration. If you are feeling a little more impatient and on a emotional roller coster at this time of the year, perhaps your Liver could benefit of a bit of TLC !

Besides acupuncture, here are a few tips to help your Liver in spring:

  • Engage in more exercise, stretching and long walks. This will get the circulation going and helps untie the knots created by the cold, long winter.
  • Go to bed early, and rise early. This will allow your Liver energy to be restored at night and help detoxification. Rising with the birds singing will also rejuvenate your spirit!
  • This is also a good time to cleanse and detox your body. Try to eat less meat and add plenty of leafy greens and vegetables, as well as fresh lemons (the taste associated with the Liver is sour).
  • Taking a break from stimulant such as caffeine and alcohol, and avoid fatty food, to help your Liver clear out those accumulated toxins.

If you feel you need extra help managing any of the symptoms listed above, we would recommend a course of acupuncture to unstuck stagnated energy and give your Liver this extra push in the right direction.