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Spring According to Chinese Medicine

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Ancient Chinese Practitioners believed that the best way to avoid getting sick and to live healthfully is to be in harmony with the seasons.

It is now Spring, which is the season of growth, expansion, and change.


Spring time is the time for new growth, expansion, and change- this is easy to understand by observing how plants and animals are leaving hibernation and are beginning to grow and blossom!
Just as nature is taking on these characteristics, humans should be as well. Now is the ideal time to let go of what is no longer serving you, and to put time and energy into new thoughts and ideas.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, spring is represented by the Wood element. Wood represents birth and newness, the time for fresh ideas and new starts.

Unsurprisingly, the color associated with Wood is green, like the fresh growth of spring. Wood is correlated with the Liver and GallBladder in Chinese Medicine which governs your spine, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and eyes.
Your Liver is responsible for the smooth flow of “Qi” (energy), and smooth flowing Qi means health and vitality. The emotion associated with your liver is anger.

If there is a Wood imbalance, it can lead to spinal problems, poor flexibility, arthritis, and vision problems.  It also can disrupt the smooth flow of Qi in the body which means you could find yourself being more irritable or angry than usual.

Healthy (and happy) Spring acupuncture practices mean balancing your Wood element and caring for your Liver.

Some Routines to Practice During Spring:

These tips are to support your Liver Channel
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.

Zen’s favorite and most effective Detox that she recommends to her patients is the 21-Day Purification Program

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.

Some Diet Recommendations During Spring:

● 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 your acupucnturists 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 balanced and your Liver healthy, you will be happy!

You’ll feel vital, flexible and clear.

Click here to book an appointment with one of our talented licensed acupuncturists and herbalists to help your body thrive during the spring season!



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