By Danisha Bogue, L.Ac. - March 20, 2023
Categories: General

Holy weekly-snowstorms! Spring cannot get here fast enough! It’s time to open the windows, let in the sun and fresh air, and clean out the stale, winter air. Spring is also the perfect time to give your body a cleanse and a chance to experience the renewal of the season.

Spring in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Spring is one of the 5 (yes, 5!) seasons recognized in Traditional Chinese Medicine: winter, spring, summer, late summer, and fall. All of the seasons have their own elements and Spring is the wood element, which regulates the liver and gallbladder energy pathways. When they are balanced, the five seasons and their elements create harmony in the body. When they are unbalanced, they can create chaos within the body.

The liver and gallbladder are the focus of a Spring cleanse. The liver is responsible for the smooth flow of the Qi throughout the body. In the Spring, the movement of the liver system is upward and outward like the shoots of the new plants sprouting around us.

The Change from Winter to Spring

Winter is the water element and regulates the kidney and bladder meridian channels, our source of the Qi. It is meant for resting and restoring our energy by retreating inward. Our rest in the Winter gives us a healthy and vital Spring. But changing from this dark, cold, and calm to a period of movement, growth, and light can be a shock to our system and lead to an imbalance in our bodies.

In a transition of Yin to Yang, our bodies along with the earth are supporting new growth and energy. We can lean into the Wood element with its characteristics of persistence, creativity, and also sometimes anger.

Springtime in the Liver

Our Liver meridian system is in charge of the flow of our Qi and emotions. The change from Winter to Spring can cause an imbalance in our energies and our emotions. In our bodies, we may feel muscle tension and tenderness, headaches, higher blood pressure, rib and side pain with distension, and digestive issues. With our emotions, we may be feeling restless, irritable, impatient, anxious, depressed, or have difficulty making decisions.

With a healthy Liver and Gallbladder system, we should feel inspired, fulfilled, assertive, decisive, forgiving, vibrant, healthy, and full of joy!

How to Spring into Spring!

  • Detox – A liver detox is a great way to get your Qi flowing and bring balance back to your Liver system. Limit greasy, fatty, and fried foods that are hard on your liver. Also, limit caffeine and alcohol if you are experiencing emotional imbalances. Add organic leafy green vegetables to improve your liver function and movement of Qi. Also add sour food that stimulates the liver’s Qi such as lemons, vinegar, and pickles.
  • Move – Put the spring in your step by getting out into the sunshine and moving! Fresh air helps the flow of the Liver Qi and improves irritability we feel with liver stagnation. Yoga, walking, and hiking are all ways to ease our way back into moving more.
  • Stay Warm – Don’t get out the summer wardrobe just yet! Spring weather is still unpredictable and windy. Many of our meridian points can be affected by exposure to the wind on our upper backs, necks, and heads. Keep a scarf or hat handy for the unexpected times Winter sends a few more chills our way.
  • Drink up – On those surprisingly chilly spring days, reach for a warm cup of milk thistle tea! This herb protects the liver from incoming toxins and encourages the liver to cleanse itself of harmful substances such as alcohol, medications, pesticides, environmental toxins, and heavy metals.
  • Stick ‘em Up! – Get acupuncture treatments to improve the flow of Qi and the health of your Liver. This treatment can help relieve the stress, anger, and frustration that can come from the imbalance of the change of the seasons.

Flow into Spring

The rollercoaster of the changing seasons outside doesn’t have to mean the same for our bodies and minds. By following the overall health focus practices of TCM and acupuncture, we can transition smoothly into the most renewing part of the year. Call today for an appointment to discuss your best treatment plan for feeling like springing into spring.

Be well.



This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or illness. Please consult your healthcare provider prior to the use of this product if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medications or have a medical condition. Individual results may vary.