Spring Time In Chinese Medicine Five Element Theory
By: Talena DeBaun, BA, Mac, L.Ac.
Spring Tune-Up Time!
We are now in the Spring season, moving rapidly toward Summer. Already in the colder parts of the country the sap has risen in the maple trees and new growth and some leafing out has begun to happen. Here in Tucson we are already seeing green leaves and beautiful Spring flowers blooming. In our bodies the same is happening. Now is the time that in Ancient China when one traditionally visited the Acupuncture Therapist to receive the first of Five Seasonal Treatments. Even if one felt healthy, it was considered wise to take care of any problems before they manifested. Most people periodically take their auto in to the mechanic for a tune-up, and it is wise to take care of ourselves at least as well!
Wood Element most active in Spring
In Chinese tradition in each Season there is a certain energetic Element that is most active. In Spring it is the 'Wood' Element. The organs related to it are the Liver and the Gall Bladder. These organs influence certain Meridians (energy lines), acu-points, and deep in our bodies and minds. The Wood Element in us also helps our bodies to be cleared out of the Winter doldrums, and to become re-energized in the Spring.
The Wood organs are associated with smooth, yet directed action, abundant energy, the color green, good eyesight, strong muscles and tendons, strong back, and the ability to make clear decisions. It also has to do with a healthy sense of Self. Problems with the Wood Element manifest as a difficulty with any of these functions, as well as headaches, pain in the neck and shoulders, on the sides of the body, the low back and along the outer and inner areas of the legs and knees. Feelings of frustration and anger, or inability to know one's next step on the path of life often, also have to do with the Wood energy being 'stuck' or deficient. Chinese Medicine theory says that the Wood Element "controls the smooth flow of the Blood and Qi (pronounced ‘chee’) throughout the body," so any problems with hormonal cycles, as well as digestion, elimination, and respiratory problems such as asthma, and allergy may be involved. Many changes are happening with us in the Spring which need attending to, and it is time to look into them!
There are several things one can do to help their body to smoothly transition through the seasons. You can consider doing a Spring cleanse for your body, similar to the traditional spring cleaning of the home. If you haven’t been out for a walk lately get some gentle exercise. Nutritionally begin transitioning to cooler foods, eat seasonal fruits and vegetables and begin to eliminate the heavy starchy foods of winter. If you are experiencing any of the “out of balance” symptoms mentioned above definitely schedule an acupuncture session.
In conclusion, we humans are still part of nature despite the fact that many of us work and live indoors most of the time. We are mammals living on the planet and therefore are still woven into the web of nature. Our long term health depends on us understanding this fact and working with our bodies to flow with natural processes rather then be in conflict with them. By so doing we will experience more ease in life.
If you would like more information about how we may be able to help you please don't hesitate to contact us.