The seasons

Awaken into Spring with Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

Spring is here!!

Spring is the season of wood. Its color is green. Its energy is emerging and that of rebirth. Its taste is sour. It relates to the eyes. Its organs are the liver and gallbladder.

When the wood element is balanced there is harmony with nature. There is a clear vision of the future. Choices come through clearly using the lens of the past and seeing the possibilities ahead which will enable unclouded decision making.

When the wood element is out of balance there tends to be frustration, anger and confusion. There is a sense of feeling blocked and being stuck. There is no sense of growth or rebirth in the springtime. All ability for decision making has gone out the window. There may be headaches, brain fog, PMS, digestive issues, side body pain, vision problems and injuries.

To nourish the liver and gallbladder, to stay in harmony with the wood element, there are many simple things you can do. Start by incorporating plenty of leafy greens, fresh herbs and sour foods into your diet. Add lemon to everything, including your water every morning. Eat smaller meals to give your digestive organs a break. Make sure to stay hydrated. Avoid alcohol as much as possible, it tends to aggravate the liver. Find time to rest, to meditate and unplug, but don’t forget to stay active. Being active helps to spread that liver energy to avoid stagnation. Make sure to get plenty of sleep.

One of the best ways to stay balanced during these spring months is to surround yourself in nature. If you live in the city and can’t get to some trees make your home a forest. Surround yourself with house plants. Listen to nature sounds when you’re meditating or drifting off to sleep. Be creative, but be in nature.

You’ve hopefully been at rest over the winter months. You’ve been gathering your energy to burst out with new ideas and vibrant visions of what’s to come. You’ve been comfortable and cozy, but now the days are getting longer and brighter. There is new growth all around. It’s time to get out once again and rekindle the friendships you had put away. Now is the time to plant the seeds for what you’d like to see come to fruition. The possibilities are endless.

Chinese herbs to keep the liver happy

Xiao Yao San or Emotional Balance is a great and gentle formula to keep liver qi and the good vibes flowing all springtime long.

Acupuncture to keep the liver happy

Liver 3 (Taichong)

Located on the top of foot between the first and second metatarsal bones. Massaging this point aids in smoothing out liver qi, regulating liver blood, regulating menses, nourishing liver yin, calming excess liver yang, soothing liver fire, clearing and calming wind, calming the mind, reducing pain, and easing spasms. Press on this point while inhaling and release while exhaling. Do this for 3 minutes on each foot a few times a week to feel the full benefits.

Dandelion tea to detoxify the liver

Dandelions are packed with nutrients and antioxidants that can boost your health. Every part of the plant from dandelion roots and dandelion leaves to the vibrant dandelion flowers is edible. The leaves are often used in salads and cooking and have a mildly bitter taste. Bitter foods have a cleansing effect on your liver. However, dandelion root is even more beneficial to your liver because it is extremely bitter.

Dandelions are a good source of fiber to aide in streamlining digestion. The leaves of the dandelion plant contain more protein than spinach, making it a good choice post-workout.

Dandelion roots are often used to make tea and boast significant health benefits. They contain high levels of potassium, calcium, and phosphorous. Magnesium in dandelion root helps to relax muscles and alleviate pain. Dandelion root works as a diuretic and detoxifier, purifying the entire body. It can increase the flow of bile through the liver and biliary tract. It can be a mild laxative.

To start your tea go out to the yard and harvest a bunch of dandelions. Once you have gathered enough roots, take them to the kitchen. Wash them thoroughly and pick off the fibrous stringy bits. Rinse them again and then cut into small pieces. You want them ¼ – ½ inch pieces or smaller.

Place on a roasting pan and bake at 250 degrees for 2 hours.  Flip after one hour to make sure all the sides are roasted.  Once they are cooked try to chop them even smaller.

Put your root pieces or powder in a tea infuser and steep for about 20 minutes. When you are making tea you never want to steep the tea in boiling water. You should bring the water to a boil and then let it sit for a few minutes before adding your diffuser or tea bag.