Spring has an energy of sweet anticipation. The Qi of this season rises up and out like a beautiful strong tree. It’s all about growth and renewal and there can be a mild restlessness associated with it’s arrival. I know that this winter here in New York is really dragging it’s feet and we are very ready for some warmth and sunshine!
Winter encourages us to conserve energy, reduce our physical activity and increase our internal practices. Spring wants us to regenerate, reproduce and renew ourselves. It’s like we’re poised at the starting line waiting for the gun to go off. Ready, set, grow!
The organ system associated with spring is the Liver and Gallbladder. The Liver controls the proper flow of energy in the body. When it is blocked, we can experience irritation, frustration, and impatience. Fittingly, the emotion associated with this organ is anger. Anger in its simplest form says, “I don’t like this. Something needs to be different about this situation.” Anger expressed in a healthy way is a beautiful catalyst for change. We are seeing this in many forms in our world right now!
The transitional time between seasons is a perfect time for a seasonal tune-up treatment. Acupuncture can strengthen your body to help it navigate the extreme weather shifts. Check out my transitional tips below for practical ideas on how you can capitalize on the energy of the first weeks of spring!
1. Grow & Expand
The energy of the Liver and of springtime is up and out! Picture all of those little saplings bursting through the soil to reach for the sun. Spring brings new life, rebirth, and restores vigor and energy for our hopes and dreams. Make a wish list. Take a look at your New Year’s resolutions and see how you are stacking up. Learn a new skill. Update your resume. Go for it!
2. Seek alternatives for your allergies
If you suffer from allergies, herbs and acupuncture can help tremendously to sooth congestion, sneezing and itchy eyes. The time to start treating your allergies is before they are a problem, not when they are at their peak. Regular treatments can alleviate or even banish symptoms all together. Allergic reactions are seen by Chinese medicine as an inability to interact smoothly with your environment. “Going with the flow” is the m.o. of the liver. Consider areas in your life where you could let go a little more.
The Liver rules the tendons, sinews and ligaments. Any injuries to these areas may be acting up right now. Our body wants to stretch and expand after being cooped up all winter. Notice where your body holds tension and gently ease it out. The Gallbladder meridian runs down the side of the body from the temples down the shoulder to the ribs and all the way down the side of the leg. The Liver meridian goes from the big toe up the inseam of the leg up the abdomen to right under the breast. Pay special attention to these areas.
4. Eat green
Young green plants like dandelion or mustard greens, sprouts and immature cereal grasses can stimulate the Liver and move your Qi. Other foods to begin to include in your diet now are radishes, watercress, ginger, mint, cilantro, basil, pear, apple, celery, carrot, leeks, onions, dates, mushrooms, and spinach.
5. See your acupuncturist for a seasonal tune-up
Transitional times are not the most comfortable. Poised between the familiar but outgrown (Winter) and the new but unknown (Spring) can cause frustration, allergies, stress, muscle injuries, irregular menstrual cycles, and general imbalance. Seasonal acupuncture treatments are appropriate to keep you in harmony even if you aren’t experiencing any particular health issues.