Spring Time Wellness with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)


By Olivia Peters-Lazaro, L.Ac.

In the Winter months we refill our deep energy stores. Did you get some extra sleep in those dark months? Did you eat warm filling foods with family and friends? Did you stay in doors and rest a little more? Seeds and plants go into dormancy, the water reservoirs fill up. In the Spring we get to move forward with all the energy that was getting nourished in the dark winter months.  Think about a seed pushing up out of the earth, of all the new growth on the trees pushing out.  Spring is a time when we get to ride the the natural energy of vision, expansion, growth, making your dreams come true.  How is that showing up in your life this month?

Green is the color associated with springtime.  In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the element of spring is Wood:  think about all the trees growing.  We’ll keep using this tree metaphor to look at our own body and spirit. The organ associated with springtime is the Liver.  The Liver governs the "tendons and sinews" and the smooth flow of Qi in all directions.  Wind is associated with this season and Organ system...think about the Spring wind blowing in the tress.  The Liver wants us to be flexible and smooth, to have movement in the direction of our vision and creativity.  Imagine a tree swaying in the wind, if it is flexible it moves and bends, if it doesn’t it breaks.  Imagine tree branches or grasses growing up to the sun.  The Liver wants us to express our creativity, it wants us to demonstrate leadership and vision in our own lives, to make decisions that move us forward.  How are you doing in this area of your life?  

The "negative" emotion associated with the Liver is Anger (or frustration or irritability).  If Anger isn't expressed in a healthy way (acknowledging, communicating, being present with, changing something in response to) then it can turn inwards, and ball up and lead to depression and anxiety.  Move that energy through!  Don't let things stagnate in your emotional, mental, physical life!

So, what can you do to be in balance with this season and support your Liver system? Acupuncture! Qi Gong (see below)! Eat foods that are in season!

First acupuncture: We see a lot of allergies, neck pain, headaches, bells palsy, trigeminal neuralgia, vertigo, dizziness, itchy skin, irritability, depression, and joint pain in the clinic at this time of year. These are all conditions that can come out or be exacerbated by the wind and everything that is blooming and growing right now (HELLO POISON OAK = Itching skin). But don’t worry, we have points for all of those conditions! Like most health concerns, give yourself about 10 treatments over 2-8 weeks to get good improvement. 

Come check out a Qi Gong class series to get some easy exercises to help move that Liver Qi (call us for upcoming dates). Stretching, visualizing, using healing sounds, helps us to balance and harmonize our own bodies similar to how the placement of acupuncture needles balances and moves our Qi for health.

You can’t go wrong shopping at one of our wonderful farmers markets…then you’ll know your food is in season. Bitter foods are very cooling and are good for the liver. Green leafy vegetables, becoming abundant right now, give you lots of that nice gentle cooling and minority bitter quality. Eating sprouts is also right in line with this season. 

It is the VISION and DREAM of this clinic to be full each day, to offer as many people in our community as possible as much acupuncture as they want for whatever concern they have, and to reach whatever goal and dream that they have for their lives. Let us support you in your spring time wellness goals.

We look forward to seeing you in the clinic soon. If you have any questions or want to book a session, call us at  (530) 345-5300 or book online

Lily RothrockSpring, TCM