Being from the California, the concept that it’s actually springtime in Wellington (even when the days still feel pretty cold) came upon me gradually then suddenly. As I look back over the past couple weeks, I realized that I had been feeling slightly more tense, the days were getting longer, and I’m favoring mint over green as my daily tea.
For me personally, spring can be an exciting but difficult time. It’s a time of new beginnings, new growth, purification, and for clearing out the old. All this new growth is electrifying and wonderful but it can come with difficulties too. On these cold mornings, I sometimes feel like seed that is still deciding if it wants to stay safe in the ground or take the leap and emerge from under the soil – or in my case, the covers of my warm bed.
Depending on where you live, you may not have yet seen evidence of new life bursting forth; it might be a little more subtle. You many have noticed a shift in your body’s energy and changes in how you feel physically and emotionally as the hours of daylight increase.
What gives me that extra push forward is that I fully believe that by following the rhythms and cycles of nature, we can also create balance within our own lives. In Chinese Medicine spring is associated with the Wood element, which governs the liver and gall bladder organs and maintains the smooth of Qi in our bodies. Strong winds are typical during spring (especially here in Windy Wellington). The blowing of wind in spring can offset the equilibrium of these organs, which in turn can affect other organ systems causing congestion and imbalance. When this happens, I see the most common symptoms of spring walk into my clinic:
5 Signs That Acupuncture Can Help You This Spring
1. Feeling a little extra tense or angry
In TCM, the Liver is responsible for smooth flow of Qi throughout the body. When the Liver is not functioning optimally, things like emotional and situational stress tend to aggravate us more.
2. Experiencing more than the usually sore muscle or headache
When the Qi isn’t flowing smoothly, we start to experience what acupuncturists think of as congestion or stagnation-type symptoms. These include pain, tension, tightness, or restriction of our muscles and body. Headaches and menstrual cramps are commonly worse this time of year as well.
3. Digestion feels a bit off balance
Good digestion is dependent on consistent and smooth movement of Qi throughout the whole body. When the Liver fails to control the flow, digestive problems are most likely to occur. Don’t forget the brain-gut connection, as we know, when our emotional stress is higher than usual, our digestive system takes a hit.
4. Springtime allergies
If the liver is not healthy, it could affect other organs like the spleen and the lungs. Symptoms of this disharmony between these organs include: chest congestion, sneezing, running nose, itching eyes and other symptoms that are associated with allergy problems.
5. Difficulty sleeping through the night
A weakened Liver can also affect your sleep. When the Liver is not controlling the smooth flow of QI, you might notice you’re up thinking all night or still upset about something that happened at work. The time of the Liver is also between the hours of 1am-3am and this is when most people wake and have a hard time falling back to sleep.