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The Season of Spring and Chinese Medicine

Can you feel it? That whisper of aliveness that rides in alongside longer and warmer days? The daytime and nighttime hours are almost even and the long days of winter are finally behind us, buds are showing themselves in the park, and the draw to leave home and get outside is strong. Spring is here!

In Chinese Medicine there are five seasons: Spring, Summer, Late Summer, Fall and Winter. Each season corresponds to a unique set of attributes and guides the movements of nature and, in turn, the way that our bodies respond to these seasonal shifts.

The Wood element

Spring is considered the time of year when yang is increasing and it corresponds to the element of wood. This means that the spirit of growth and renewal is all around! Just as the trees and plants begin to reach toward the sky, it is a time for us too to release the dark and start anew. Spring is a perfect time for birthing plans and looking to the future.

The color of Spring is green and the taste is sour

The color associated with springtime is green and the taste is sour. We can balance the fast movement and growth during this time of year by introducing fresh, green seasonal vegetables into our diets as they start to make an appearance. The green veggies go directly to the Liver and Gallbladder organs, which are also associated with spring, aiding in cleansing and clarifying the system. Sour foods like lemons and apple cider vinegar are also beneficial during this time of year as they move bile, which is one of the functions of the Gallbladder.

Spring allergies anyone? The spring is a particularly windy time of year and with all of this movement comes allergies. With that in mind, it's no surprise that the sensory organ associated with spring is the eyes. Itchy, red eyes and seasonal allergies are a common complaint in the clinic. Acupuncture and herbal medicine can be helpful in managing the symptoms of spring allergies. The Liver and Gallbladder organs and emotions Spring is the best time of year to work on individual emotional progress and stage plans because the prominent organs during the spring are the Liver and Gallbladder. The Liver is responsible for the smooth flow of emotions and blood in the body and is easily affected by long held emotions and stress. The Gallbladder is involved in planning, inspiration and decision making. When there are stored emotions or stagnation in the body, the Liver and Gallbladder take a hit. Moving the qi and blood in the body via exercise, breathwork and acupuncture treatments are the best tools to tend to your Liver and Gallbladder during the spring. As the spring energy grows and we move more deeply into the season, observe how the shifts in the environment affect you. Move your body, eat seasonal foods, tune into your emotions and get outside!

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