Tapping into the Energy of Spring with Chinese Medicine

Kathleen Macgregor
Licensed Acupuncturist

Each morning that I walk out into my garden over this last month it seems as if the plants, particularly the veggies, have grown by inches overnight. The bees are humming briskly on all the flowers, the birds are twittering loudly and the ladybugs are flitting everywhere. This is the energy of spring; exuberant, noisy and vital.
Ancient Chinese Medicine teaches that each individual is a unique balance of the constantly changing and transforming energy of the Five Elements; Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood. Each element, or movement of life force, has its particular characteristics and the season of spring is associated with Wood.
After the stillness of winter the forceful, upward movement of spring arrives. Each seed bears its blueprint for regeneration and fulfillment of an inner purpose as it grows to maturity. The energy of the Wood element within each of us gives that sense of hope for the future and the vision to meet that purpose.
Spring gives us the opportunity to connect with our Wood energy. We can plant seeds for a fall harvest, create new ideas and begin new projects. We can envision direction for the new cycle.
When the Wood Element is out of balance a person may lack a vision for the future and feel resigned and hopeless. An acupuncturist might choose points on the energy pathways associated with Wood; the Liver and Gall Bladder meridians. A point called Bright and Clear can be used when we can’t see where to go. It provides a rush of clarity to illuminate the way. Gate of Hope is another possible point that is an antidote for disappointment and hopeless frustration. It empowers a person to feel optimistic.
With the vision and planning of the Liver and the clarity and decision making of the Gall Bladder we can be in the right place at the right time. Without this ability no movement is possible, energy gets stuck and there is anger and frustration which can translate into physical pain and inflammation.
Anger, the emotion associated with Wood, rushes up and bursts out when our growth is blocked. Sometimes we need to express ourselves forcefully but when Wood is out of balance we may loose our ability to speak up for ourselves or be too assertive and bossy.
The Wood Element is most active at night between 11PM and 3AM. When we say “I’ll sleep on it” we are tapping into the ability of the Liver and Gall Bladder to see what is needed and to make a decision. Good sleep allows us to order our internal plan. Without healthy direction we loose our rhythm and our biological and emotional cycles becomes disordered.
So take the time to sleep well, rise early and go for a walk in nature. Feel the energy of spring and nurture the seeds of hope and vision by connecting with the Wood energy in all of us.

Kathleen Macgregor has been practicing acupuncture since 1988. Her focus is on the constitutional style of Five Element acupuncture. Chinese Herbs and nutritional medicine round out her practice approach. Her office is in Meiners Oaks at 137 W. El Roblar Dr. 805-646-6581. For more information http://www.5-elementacupuncture.com