An Acupuncturist’s Insight: What your Impatience/Agitation and What I Saw in My Yard Have in Common

by Inger Giffin, L.Ac., Dipl. Ac.

 

Acupuncture Chives

Wake up, it’s Spring!

Last week, I stepped into my garden for the first time since fall. Low and behold, there, shooting up like little explosive fireworks, were my Chives! In little 5 inch tall bundles, they announced the arrival of Spring. But doesn’t it seem early for this?

And then the acupuncturist in me got hit on the head with an epiphany. Aaaaah, THAT’S why everyone is coming into the acupuncture clinic saying they’ve been feeling agitated and their sleep has been restless this week. They’re feeling the same energy that those little plants are, which causes things to move upwards, to rise tall, to burst forth. This, is the beginning of the Wood Element…the most celebrated and feared energy of the year in Chinese Medicine.

It is celebrated by acupuncturists because we all love Spring’s return to life and the energy that comes with it…and it is feared because the unbridled fierceness which that energy contains can be very difficult to manage.

We are just leaving the Water Element, that inward energy of the winter that calls us to dive inward, to take rest, and to nourish the deeper aspects of ourselves. The Wood energy could not be more different. Associated with the Liver organ, which is related not only to stress and anxiety but also to productivity and warrior like Type-A focus, it can create lots of agitated energy which makes it difficult to get to sleep at night.

In addition to unusual insomnia, this rising energy can create other mysterious symptoms for people who don’t usually have problems. Some are reporting headaches and dizziness. And, because the Wood energy is all about bursting forward and getting things done; like those little chives, we want to burst forth and get irritated when anything stands in our way. So if you notice your patience is at a low point and you’re getting more easily annoyed, that’s why. And get ready, because it will only get more challenging as Spring hits full force.

I’ll be writing more about this in the coming weeks, and more tips will follow soon with my annual article about the Wood Season and Spring; but for now, the best thing we can all do is to be aware that our liver will be on overdrive for the next few months. We want to do everything possible to keep it balanced.

  • For any of you who know that your Liver (from a TCM perspective) is a culprit with your imbalances and symptoms, or for those who are noticing unusual problems with insomnia, headaches, or dizziness, this is a perfect time to come in for some tune-up acupuncture to prepare for the Wood season ahead.
  • EAT YOUR GREENS! Green is the color of the liver/Wood element, and there is nothing nutritionally like greens to help soothe and calm an agitated liver.
  • Make extra time for your spiritual practice, prayer, meditation, and forgiveness exercises.
  • Move your body! The Liver gets agitated when things aren’t moving, so keeping your Qi flowing smoothly with regular exercise will keep your liver, and therefore YOU, happy!

While I don’t really feel like we even got our winter, and am still hoping for a late season snow dump, whether we’re ready or not, the Wood season has hit. So put on your seatbelts, fasten your safety hat, and get ready for the ride!

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