09 Mar Feeling a lack of Spring in your step? This could be why:
It might not feel like it but, despite the snow, we are told that meteorologically (say that with a cold!) last week was the first day of Spring! The bulbs may be gritting their teeth and pushing onwards and upwards but many of us really aren’t feeling so great at this time of the year.
According to Chinese wisdom we are transitioning from the withdrawing, contracting reserves of Winter energy into the expansive, vibrant and explosive energy of Spring. This really is the “edge” where Yin becomes Yang. This is a dynamic seasonal change where the out-going tide magically begins to come back in! However, with this turning can come a certain amount of flotsum and jetsum. In short, this can be a time of year when the body throws up lingering or dormant issues to be cleared out and resolved. Whether it’s the residual drip drip of a Winter cold, low energy or hard to fathom emotional discomfort, NOW is a great time to sew those seeds of better health.
Small steps made now will yield a harvest of healthy and abundant energy in the warmer months ahead. So, be brave! Don’t just resort to the First Aid cabinet for a sticking plaster approach. Get on board nature’s wave and be good to yourself. Listen to what your body is telling you and turn with the tide. Acupuncture is a wonderful way of helping the body, mind and emotions find deeper balance, strength and vitality.
In acupuncture theory, our bodies are understood to reflect the natural world that surrounds us. Seasons, particularly the transitional periods, when we move from from one season to the next, can really influence how we feel. Each season is understood to be linked with an organ system in the body, and Spring’s system is the Liver and it’s paired organ the Gallbladder. This means that the Liver, as it adjusts to taking over the seasonal reins, is especially vulnerable. I must add here, that we are talking in Chinese Medicine terms not in Western medical terms, they are different.
Eventually, Spring can become a time when the Liver and its associated functions thrive. However, during this transitional period, when the Liver is still finding its footing, certain symptoms commonly show up. Acupuncture can improve these symptoms by restoring balance. Here are a few signs that your Liver may need some Spring acupuncture love:
You Feel Extra Tense – In acupuncture, the Liver is the system that is responsible for the smooth flow of energy throughout the body. When the Liver is not functioning optimally, things like emotional stress, rigid posture, shallow breathing, and jaw clenching may become exacerbated.
You Have Headaches and Other Aches and Pains
When things aren’t flowing smoothly, energy becomes stuck and sluggish and we start to experience what acupuncturists think of as “stagnation” symptoms. These include pain, and specifically pain that feels like pressure, tightness or restriction. Tension headaches and menstrual cramps typically fall into this category.
Your Muscles are Really Stiff – The Liver and its associated system, Gallbladder, nourish the body’s connective tissue, tendons and ligaments. You may notice increased stiffness, tension or tightness in your muscles and joints in the coming weeks.
You Feel Irritable and Frustrated – Are you feeling more annoyed than uplifted by the Springtime morning chorus? The emotional symptoms associated with Liver imbalances mimic the physical stagnation that happens. You may notice yourself feeling extra irritable or frustrated, perhaps more easily annoyed. For some there can be a sense of emotional stuckness that can take hold in Spring.
Your Fuse Is Shorter Than Usual – All organ systems in acupuncture have an associated emotion. The Liver’s emotion is anger. A certain amount of anger is healthy, it motivates us to action and through it’s expansive sometimes explosive nature is an effective way of overcoming blockages. However, when the Liver isn’t appropriately keeping things in check, there is a tendency for anger to rise up unhelpfully. Along with feeling irritable, you may have a harder time than usual controlling your anger.
Your Digestion Is under par – Healthy digestion is heavily dependent on consistent and smooth movement throughout the whole body. When the Liver fails to maintain a smooth flow of energy, digestive disturbances can occur, such as: abdominal bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, indigestion and belching, among others.
Your Eyes Are Bothering You – According to Chinese wisdom, just as all organ systems have an associated emotion, they also have an associated sense. Sight goes with the Liver system, so any issues related to eye health can be attributed, at least in part, to a Liver imbalance. This can include poor vision as well as eye pain and fatigue, dry, itchy and or watery eyes. Incidentally RIGHT NOW is the best time to boost your resistance if you suffer from Hayfever … before it begins!
If in the coming weeks you experience some telltale signs of “a lack of Spring,” don’t get down on yourself, this can be completely normal during the seasonal transition. A little acupuncture can really help to realign your system so that you can fully enjoy those longer and warmer days to come!