Every year the spring equinox comes around September 23rd. On this day there is an equal number of hours of day and night, and then the daylight hours will grow until we reach the longest day on the summer solstice. The lengthening days of Spring are a time for new beginnings, seeds and ideas germinating and blooming and new paths to follow in life or perhaps new ways to walk your current path.
In Chinese medicine, spring is part of the Wood element which in turn relates to your Liver and Gallbladder, your eyes, your tendons, the virtue of benevolence and the emotion of anger, the sour flavour, and the free flow of qi just to name a few of the correspondences.
Since your liver is an important organ of detoxification Spring is an ideal time for detoxifying and cleansing your whole system of any impurities, physical, mental or emotional, that you have collected over the past months or years. As your Liver likes the sour flavour try starting your day with a warm glass of water with either lemon juice or apple cider vinegar as a great way to help your Liver detox. Seasonal cleansing offers you an opportunity to clarify what you want to let go of and what you want to hold on to in pursuit of greater health and wellbeing. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are great ways to support your process and to help you spring clean your body, mind and spirit.
Your liver rules your tendons so spring is a perfect time to come out of winter hibernation and start stretching to get your qi flowing with some gentle exercise such as tai chi or qi gong. Fresh air helps your liver qi flow so going outside for a walk and getting your blood flowing freely is also a great way to support your liver. So, for optimum health this spring, get your qi moving.
While the warm air and colourful blossoms of spring are a delight to some for others it means a season of sneezing, congestion and red, itchy eyes. “Hay fever sufferers who underwent 12 acupuncture sessions experienced fewer symptoms and required less antihistamine medication compared to a control group”, researchers from Charite-University Medical Center, Berlin, Germany, reported in Annals of Internal Medicine. So book in today with your local acupuncturist for hayfever relief.
When your liver functions smoothly, physical and emotional activity throughout your body also runs smoothly. The emotion linked with the liver is anger and while it is often given a bad rap it actually has a beneficial side. The job of anger is to help you set and maintain effective interpersonal boundaries. As the virtue of the liver is benevolence it can happen that some may take advantage of your kindness so it is important to protect and restore your boundaries when this happens. If you have been feeling irritable, or a little short tempered recently, or even on a monthly basis, find an outdoor activity to give your liver qi some space to move and book in for a series of acupuncture treatments to tune up and tune into your liver so that you can flow more freely and be creative around restoring your boundaries.
Acupuncture treatments have many benefits such as better sleep, more energy, mental clarity, better digestion and less stress. However, one benefit that few people mention is that it helps you to be more present to yourself and this, in turn, can help you to be kinder to yourself. So book in for some regular treatments (even as little as once per month) this spring and help yourself to flow through life more easily.
Your feedback and questions are always welcome so please leave a comment below.
For further information on Chinese Medicine contact Tania Grasseschi (Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs, Qigong and Wholefood counselling). Tania is an AHPRA registered practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine located in Botany and Katoomba, NSW and is a lecturer at the Endeavour College of Natural Health Sydney campus.