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Spring and Liver Energy

Spring and Liver Energy

In Chinese Acupuncture, the organs said to be associated with the spring are the liver and gall bladder. In Five Element acupuncture, people with an inherent imbalance in their liver and gall bladder energy are described as Wood types. To get an idea of a wood type of person you need to take a look at the function of wood. Good wood allows strength alongside flexibility. Trees are powerful in their ability to stand firm against adversity and the ability to grow and push out. If this energy is out of kilter in you, there will be a tendency to inflexibility in body mind and/ or spirit. This inevitably leads to tension, again in body, mind and/ or spirit. So we may experience stuck conditions or become inflexible in our thinking. We may be a little moody, even come across as angry or overly forthright. Equally we may feel frustrated or thwarted. 

Wood is associated with the spring because of the powerful energy needed at this time of year, the push required to grow and allow new growth. The sort of ailments usually( but not exclusively) associated with wood are headaches, pmt, depression, liver intolerances, anger, sciatica, poor decision making, mood swings. 

The main way to maintain good wood health ( and therefore good health of liver and gall bladder) are as follows:

Exercise is key, by walking, running, swimming, cycling or any means to raise overall heart rate and cardio rate. Movement prevents stagnation, stagnation is damaging to wood energy.

Avoid alcohol, drugs, caffeine, e-numbers, to much spice, too much fatty food, sugar, dairy

Food to eat specifically for liver and gall bladder health and wood energy:

Cooling food, fruits wood be banana, rhubarb, water melon, lemons


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Sugar and Health

On my recent visit to China I was struck by how little sugar there was on sale. We had many lovely banquets with wonderful exotic food, but never anything sweet. Walking down the street, the street food was all savoury, and supermarkets had a tiny sweet section. Cakes are made for special occasions and anniversaries. We have become so used to seeing whole aisles at supermarkets with sugary sweets, puddings, breads and drinks that it has become normal in this country. Yes we need sugars in our diet, but these can be found in all carbohydrate food stuffs that are not refined. The one big lifestyle change for all of us in this country would be to stop eating sugary, refined foodstuffs....join the change and cut the junk! 

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Stretch into Spring

As we gain momentum with spring we can get a little over enthusiastic. Most acupuncture clinics and indeed osteopath surgeries receive requests for help with back aches, arthritic aches and general structural aches and pains. Many of us approach the lighter evenings and sunnier days with gusto, forgetting that we have had little strenuous exercise over the winter months. Our advice for the season would be to start gardening slowly building up over several weeks. The best approach is to stretch before you dig, mow and sow. 1. Get on all fours and stretch like a dog or cat. 2. Hold one arm out in front of you and use the other to stretch it over your chest. 3. Stand facing a wall, put both palms against it, gradually walk your fingers up the wall until you feel like you are stretching as far a possible without causing any pain. If any of this is uncomfortable, do not do it. The idea is to stretch before you garden in order to avoid injury, only stretch as far as you are able to without causing yourself pain.

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I consider myself very fortunate to have found Julia's Acupuncture Practice 2 years ago, when I decided to try acupuncture for back problems. After a few treatments the problems were solved. Since I have every confidence in Julia's ability, each treatment is a very relaxing and worthwhile experience.

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