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There is a real vibrancy and vitality to the energy of Spring, yet many of us feel at this time of year that we are paying the price for our overindulgences of the past few months: hearty meals, red wine, cheese, port, chocolate and so on, which all had their place during the cold winter months have led to extra pounds that need to be shed, feelings of sluggishness or general toxicity. We may feel we are playing catch-up with our health as colds, flu and other winter viruses have left us depleted. Acupuncture is a great way to kickstart our health and sense of wellbeing, and to cleanse our bodies and minds at this time of year through detox treatments, acu-points that echo the energetic shifts of Spring as well as through what are known as ‘horary’ treatments. So how is an acupuncture treatment different at this time of year?
In Chinese Medicine, Spring is considered a time of rapid transformation and growth, which is accompanied by an upward surge of energy in us. This energetic shift provides an opportunity to plant a seed or make a positive change in our life - whether it be a business or personal project that will come to fruition later on in the year, moving house, switching jobs or careers, starting a new relationship and so on. A key component in enabling these changes to happen however is an ability to plan and to have good decision-making aptitudes. In acupuncture, these functions are directly related to two organs: the Liver and Gallbladder, both of which are associated with Spring and are known as the organs of the Wood Element. As a result of their seasonal association, this time of year can either reveal the power of these organs or bring about particular issues for them. You will know when your Liver and Gallbladder are in good health, as these organs are responsible for the smooth flow of Qi, which is the energetic force understood in Chinese Medicine to underpin health and wellbeing. So when Qi gets stuck, this may cause a range of symptoms including headaches, itchy or other skin conditions, short-tempered or erratic behaviour, tearfulness, delayed menstruation, or problems conceiving, and so. Acupuncture can directly support the functions of these organs and the energetic potential brought about by the season by both supporting cleansing and detox processes, and through tailored seasonal treatments. There are also specific acupuncture points to support the health of the Liver and Gallbladder points on several acupuncture channels. The names of some of these points exemplify well
both their indications and the potential energetic change they can bring in a person to improve strength, vision and confidence: for instance Eye Window, Bright and
Clear, Upright Living, Great Esteem or Gate of Hope. Acupuncture also works by bringing overall harmony and balance to body and mind, and by nourishing or keeping under check other organs which are affected by the health of the Liver and Gallbladder. As well as having acupuncture treatments at this time of year, supporting your organs through certain foods (see examples above) and gentle exercise such as walking and stretching (Yoga, Tai Chi) are also said to be beneficial. Simple yoga moves which encourage stretching, such as Child’s Pose (hold for 1-2 minutes), Corpse (5-15 minutes) or Seated Twist (3-5 minutes each side) all encourage the necessary smooth flow of Qi throughout body and mind.
Choose foods to support clearing of toxins at this time of year such as as those
with a sour flavour. Even adding a slice of lemon to water you drink throughout
the day can be beneficial.
Foods to consider might include:
- Pickled cucumber
- Tea (esp. black, green, nettle)
- Green leafy vegetables
- Lemons, grapefruits
- Green salads, sprouted foods
Avoid fatty, heavily salted or over-sweetened foods. Eat fresh!
Lisa Lee Acupuncture