Spring Cleaning for Your Body and Mind

Our goal in Spring, as with other seasons, is to align ourselves with the movement of the prevailing season. Spring is a time of upward, expansive movement, and a time of creativity and new beginnings. According to Chinese Medicine, Spring is aligned with the Liver and Gallbladder which are responsible for the smooth flow of energy throughout the body and the storage and detoxifying of the blood. In the same way that many of us engage in spring cleaning during this time of the year, our bodies do the same thing physically and emotionally. Now is the time we see the buds on plants and trees begin to swell, ready to burst forth with strong determination of new growth and beauty. Our activities should also focus on moving forward with strong determination and creativity. If you skipped the January New Year’s resolutions, now is a great time to take those steps toward making this the best year ever.  Spring is the perfect time to stop procrastinating and face the challenges that can impede our forward movement and creative nature.

Now is a good time to let go of stimulants like coffee and alcohol, tobacco and recreational drugs. The movement of Spring gives us that boost naturally. Take advantage of this natural boost of energy to begin or renew your exercise program, to shake off the cobwebs and feel alive and refreshed. Movement helps to get the blood and lymph flowing and allows us to sweat out toxins that have accumulated during the dormant winter. This is spring cleaning for our body.

How do you know if you need acupuncture at this time of year?

Pain: If you are experiencing pain of any kind, remember that Chinese Medicine states that pain is the result of stagnation of blood, fluids, energy or emotions, so now is a great time to begin some gentle movement to get things moving. The Liver and Gallbladder govern the tendons, muscles and nerves, and most pain has a tendinomuscular or neuromuscular component.  Rib-side pain (especially after eating while emotional), abdomen distention, diarrhea, or constipation are all signs of imbalance.

Emotions: If you are experiencing the emotions of anger, frustration, irritability or resentment, these are the negative emotions of the Liver and Gallbladder.  Left unresolved, these emotions can damage these organs.

Other signs: An imbalance in Spring can arise as foggy thinking or forgetfulness, difficulty making decisions, blurry, red, or dry eyes, lethargy, dry skin, skin itch, or rash.

By promoting the proper functioning of the Liver and Gallbladder, we can reduce pain and keep the body, mind and spirit moving freely.  We can move toward positive emotions of compassion, acceptance, patience and honesty.  If we don’t adapt to the changing climate in spring, we may susceptible to seasonal health problems, such as flu, pneumonia, or a relapse of chronic diseases.

Our body is a microcosm of the world, and is equipped with acupuncture points that resonate with the season.  By stimulating these points we harmonize the body and mind so that it can take advantage of this powerful time of year. Through harmonizing with the springs energy we begin to feel energized, light and open. With tendons supple and strong we can move easily through our day.  With eyes clear and bright we can appreciate the beauty of spring.

Here’s to renewed creativity, growth and renewal!  Go forth with determination.