Spring is a time of growth and rebirth. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), spring is associated with the Wood element and the Liver and Gallbladder organs. In this blog I will discuss some TCM recommendations to prepare for spring.
Springtime: A Season of Growth
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), spring is considered a season of renewal, growth, and rejuvenation. The energy of spring is upward and outward, representing growth and renewal. It is the time when the natural world awakens from its winter slumber and begins to sprout new life.
TCM associates each season with one of five elements or specific organs within the body. Chinese medicine theory states that the season of spring is closely linked to the liver energy and wood element. The Liver energy is thought to rise and expand during springtime just like plants grow and blossom.
The smooth flow of Qi (energy) in the meridians is controlled by the liver. A person can feel calm, flexible, and adaptable both physically and emotionally when their Liver Qi flows smoothly. If the Liver Qi becomes blocked or stagnant, it can lead to moodiness, irritability and headaches.
Because this is the season of the liver, Spring is a great time to support liver health and increase the flow of Qi. You can do this by eating seasonal, fresh foods, gentle exercise, and incorporating traditional Chinese medicine therapies such as acupuncture or herbal medicine.
Eat green and aromatic foods:
In TCM, green and and aromatic foods are believed to support liver function and promote the movement of Qi. Examples of these foods include leafy greens, such as spinach and dandelion. These foods are cooling and detoxifying. Also aromatic vegetables, such as daikon radish and celery are good during this time of year to stimulate the movement of Qi. This combination will wake the the movement of Qi.
Eating with the seasons is a great way to balance yin and yang. Seasonal vegetables and foods naturally match the needs of the organs and body throughout the year. In springtime we have wonderful vegetables such as aromatic ramps or asparagus which are perfect for helping to move the Qi of the liver
Exercise Moves Qi and Promotes Circulation
Movement is important for promoting the flow of Qi throughout the body. Activities like yoga, tai chi, and qigong can be especially beneficial for supporting liver health. Aerobic exercise that gets your heart pumping is a sure way to help move the qi in your body. Studies have shown that intense aerobic exercise promotes liver health through increasing the circulation to the liver.
In TCM, it is believed that spending time in nature can help balance the body and mind. Outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and gardening are especially beneficial during this time. Also, you can take a walk in the park or simply spend some time sitting in a natural setting. Being outside and exercising out of doors has shown to have many benefits including improved mood and better concentration. It can even help people recover from injuries quicker.
Get plenty of rest
Adequate rest is important for supporting the body’s natural healing processes. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night and try to establish a regular sleep routine. If you have trouble sleeping, acupuncture can help you get your ZZZ.
Get Acupuncture to Relieve Allergies
Acupuncture is another activity that can help you with the transition to spring by relieving allergies and sinus headaches. Acupuncture can be particularly effective in reducing inflammation, improving circulation, and boosting the immune system.
Seasonal allergies can cause a range of symptoms including congestion, sneezing, itchy eyes, and fatigue. Acupuncture can help alleviate these symptoms by reducing inflammation and improving respiratory function. Acupuncture can also help regulate the immune system and reduce the severity of allergic reactions.
Acupuncture can also help to treat and prevent sinus headaches during this time of year. It helps by strengthening the immune system and improving circulation. Many of my patients come in early in the season or as the seasons change to prevent the allergies from developing.
Chinese medicine recommends aromatic and leafy greens, exercise, getting outside, and acupuncture as a means of preparing for spring. This can also help to treat a variety of springtime ailments, from allergies to sinus headaches to stress and anxiety. By getting the qi flowing, you can better adjust to the change of seasons and enjoy all that spring has to offer.