5 TCM Tips for Taking Care: Spring
Spring comes and goes fast in Austin. With summer just around the corner, what can we do now to strengthen our body and mind?
Here are AOMA’s traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) tips for staying healthy, happy, and in harmony with the season of spring.
1. Wear a scarf
- Wind is one of the six pernicious evils (Wind, Cold, Heat, Damp, Dryness, and Summer Heat), and it is the external evil associated with spring.
- Many of the points that can be easily affected by Wind are on the upper back, neck, and head.
- Wearing a scarf or hoodie, especially when it’s windy or after an acupuncture treatment, can help prevent wind attack.
- Common symptoms of wind attack:
◦ common cold
◦ nasal obstruction
◦ allergies and rashes, to name a few
- When your acupuncturist tells you to stay covered up after a treatment, the wind points may be more open. So risk looking like a hipster to prevent catching a wind invasion.
2. Eat your greens
- Spring is charged by the energy of the Liver and the color green.
- It is a vital time to eat foods that are sprouting, in harmony with the natural growth of the season. Eating more of the light, healthy greens like asparagus, kale, collards, watercress, and lettuce while avoiding rich foods can help to unblock the heavy energy of the previous winter months.
- Pungent foods like garlic, onions, peppermint, basil, dill, fennel, and rosemary all work well at supporting the upward and outward energy of spring and unblocking stuck energy.
- Start the day with a glass of warm water with the juice of half a lemon. The sour flavor soothes the liver and helps rid the body of toxins.
3. Let go of old grudges
- Holding on to anger constrains the Liver and its natural harmony.
- Developing self-care for the spirit is just as important as what we do for our body.
- Consider journaling, writing poems, or meditating on letting go. You don’t need to have confrontations to heal.
- Forgiveness can be very therapeutic for balancing energy and is in perfect harmony with spring.
4. Move your qi to put some spring in your step
- Whether it’s taking a walk in the open air, starting a taiji or qigong practice, or joining a gym, spring is a wonderful time for renewal, growth, and transformation.
- Breathing fresh air supports the Lung qi which directly balances your Liver qi.
- Liver qi stagnation can manifest as irritability, digestive upset, PMS, depression, and poor appetite, just to name a few.
- Ask your acupuncturist to show you some exercises for harmonizing the Liver and get that qi moving smoothly.
5. Get acupuncture
- Nothing can support your efforts to cleanse and detox the Liver like a springtime acupuncture treatment.
- Acupuncture stimulates the channels, clears out stagnation, and smooths the flow of qi.
- Liver qi stagnation (irritability, depression, PMS, etc.) responds well to acupuncture.
- While all treatments are tailored to the individual, the practitioner will be working in conjunction with the ancient principals of seasonal movement of qi and can help to harmonize your body.
Stay tuned for our tips to beat the heat of the upcoming summer months.
About the author
Lauren has lived in Austin since 2006 by way of Lake Tahoe, California. While pursuing her MAcOM at AOMA she continues to work with The American Cancer Society as a cancer information specialist. She counts ATX as her home with her husband and two Boston terriers. http://www.earthspringacupuncture.com/