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Spring Into Spring with Shiatsu by Karen Hielsberg

It has been a long winter for us here in Minnesota. Laurel wrote about Winter and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in our last newsletter. I’m here to write about Spring and TCM, even though there’s still snow on the ground!

TCM places great importance on the changing of the seasons. Five Element Theory is one of the basic tenants of TCM, we’re switching over to the Wood Element (Spring) from the Water Element (Water).  The meridians associated with the Wood Element are the Liver and Gallbladder. Each Element has emotions, tastes and colors associated with it, as well as parts of the body that it governs. The Wood Element/Liver/Gallbladder Meridians are associated with:

  • -Color: Green
  •  Taste: Sour
  •  Emotions: Anger, frustration, indecision, stress
  • Parts of the body: eyes and tendons
  •  Functions of the body: detoxification

 So what does this mean? It means that we can help the Liver/Gallbladder energy by taking these preferences into account. We can eat a lot of green vegetables (always a good thing), especially vegetables that are the first to come up in the Spring: spring greens, dandelion leaves (I eat them straight from my lawn), radish leaves, etc.  We can eat/drink sour things like lemons, vinegar, dill pickles, sauerkraut, etc.

 The Wood Element governs the eyes and the tendons, so we can do some gentle stretching and take lots of walks in the great outdoors. Resting our eyes is important, especially if you spend a lot of time staring at a screen.

 Lastly, we can be aware of the emotions that are associated with the Wood Element: anger, frustration and indecision. These emotions are pretty common in today’s busy, stressful world, but sometimes I feel extra-edgy in the Spring. If I feel that way, I’ll try to eat some extra sour or green things or take a good walk to smooth out that Liver Qi (energy). Sometimes it helps to just acknowledge the emotions and realize that it may be TCM-related and that it will lessen as soon as we transition into the next Season!

 Of course Shiatsu is also a great way to help us feel wonderful all year round. I’ve got one scheduled fortomorrow morning. Give us a call if you need to schedule your Spring Shiatsu!

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