Spring is a happy time. Nature comes alive! Flowers emerge in long forgotten corners of your garden. The birds return and sing so loudly they wake you in the morning. This is not a time to be irritable, frustrated or angry, but according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, these emotions are exactly what you can expect if you don’t balance your wood element.
In TCM, spring is represented by the element wood. Wood represents birth and newness, the time for fresh ideas and new starts. Unsurprisingly, its color is green like the fresh growth of spring.
Wood governs your spine, joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons. A wood imbalance can lead to spinal problems, poor flexibility or arthritis. Most important for your mood, wood governs your liver. Your liver is responsible for the smooth flow of Qi (vital life force or energy) and smooth flowing Qi means health and vitality. The emotion associated with your liver is anger. If your liver is imbalanced your Qi will be disrupted and you’ll be angry.
Healthy (and happy) spring acupuncture practices mean balancing your wood element and caring for your liver.
Healthy Spring Acupuncture Practices
Try these spring acupuncture recommendations, to keep your wood element balanced and your liver healthy.
- Cleanse. Cleaning your colon releases accumulated toxins, undigested food, parasites and fungi. With a clean colon your digestion is more efficient and your body is healthier.
- Detox your liver. Reduce or eliminate alcohol or drugs that are toxic to your liver. Consider a detox that specifically targets your liver. Check with us for information on available detoxes.
- Stretch. Start or recommit to a healthy stretching routine. Try yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, or other exercises that move, loosen and flex your joints.
- Exercise your eyes. Massage your face, especially around your eyes. Roll your eyes and move them in figure 8s. Practice focusing on distant objects and then focusing on close objects in quick succession. Put time limits on your computer sessions. These exercises strengthen your eyes and can improve your eyesight.
- Control your anger. Create a healthy anger management plan. Journal, meditate or get counseling. Put limits on stressful situations. Find activities that refocus your anger in healthy ways. High expectations and unrealistic planning can lead to frequent disappointment. Reassess your expectations and plans and consider a more gentle approach during this time of year.
Healthy Spring Acupuncture Diet
Follow these tips for a healthy spring diet that supports your liver.
- Eat light. Overeating taxes your liver.
- Eat greens. Sprouts, wheatgrass, spinach, kale and dandelions are particularly good foods in the spring.
- Eat sour? Sour is the flavor associated with spring, however sour flavors are only recommended for certain constitutions. Instead of dousing your greens with vinegar or lemon juice dressings, consult with me to find out what flavors are best for you.
- Drink milk thistle tea. Milk thistle detoxes your liver.
- Season your food. Pungent spices like basil, fennel, marjoram, rosemary, caraway, dill and bay leaf are excellent for spring cooking—and they taste good!
By keeping your wood element balanced and your liver healthy you will experience more happiness. You’ll feel vital, flexible and clear. If you have questions about healthy spring acupuncture practices feel free to call us for recommendations.