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!

{ 0 comments }

Do You Feel the Wood Energy Rising Already?: Tips for Staying Sane as we Move from Winter to Spring

February 23, 2018

Every year, it’s either my acupuncture patients, or the plants in my yard (sometimes both) which alert me to the fact that the wood element energy, associated with the liver, is starting to rise up around us. Because it seems to be raring its nasty little head earlier than usual this year, I wanted to […]

Read the full article → by Inger Giffin, L.Ac., Dipl. Ac.

Metal Season: The Time for Learning about Letting Go, but that what’s of Value Remains

November 5, 2016

  The air is pungent with the quieting of the seasons. Everywhere around us we feel the downturn of energy, as leaves shine their last dying blasts of color before departing this world for their fall into the earth. Now is the time of letting go, of releasing—of bringing inward the scattered energies of the […]

Read the full article → by Inger Giffin, L.Ac., Dipl. Ac.

Earth Element of Acupuncture: Late Summer Season Video is LIVE

September 9, 2016

Hello and welcome to Earth Element Season! — an extra season that we recognize in Chinese medicine called “Late Summer”. Since what we do/eat now will have one of the biggest impacts on whether we have a vibrant, or a tired and sick cold season ahead, it’s crucial that we do as much as possible […]

Read the full article → by Inger Giffin, L.Ac., Dipl. Ac.

Acupuncture Tips from the Earth Element for Staying Balanced in Late Summer

August 21, 2016

The end of summer is upon us, and the bounty of the earth’s harvest is pouring in. The long, playful days of summer have past, yet the air is still warm and the leaves are nowhere near falling. Traditionally, this was the season for building our stores of nourishment for the coming months, and hours […]

Read the full article → by Inger Giffin, L.Ac., Dipl. Ac.

New Study Shows how Acupuncture Helps Stress by Regulating Hormones

August 11, 2016

Acupuncture helps Stress…but HOW? I’ve known since I started practicing acupuncture that it is amazing at helping people with their stress levels.  Not only do many patients report feeling “euphoria” during and right after acupuncture, but many also report that these feelings last for days after their treatments.  We have many explanations for how acupuncture […]

Read the full article → by Inger Giffin, L.Ac., Dipl. Ac.

Portrait of a Food Meltdown: Even Acupuncturists Have to Find Ways to Keep Keepin’ on, When Eating Healthy Feels Too Overwhelming

August 6, 2016

A couple weeks ago, I had one of those moments that as an acupuncturist, I’m usually coaching my patients through: a total food meltdown. Because I so often hear my patients go through them when they’re trying to completely overhaul their entire way of eating, after I was through it (and thinking clearly) I knew […]

Read the full article → by Inger Giffin, L.Ac., Dipl. Ac.

The Depths of the Water Element will Keep you Balanced this Winter

January 12, 2015
Thumbnail image for The Depths of the Water Element will Keep you Balanced this Winter

  It’s the midst of winter and all is elusive…the days are short and dark, the fields barren.  Not much occurs on the surface, and when we are in rhythm with the patterns of nature, our lives reflect this dormancy as well.  In this time of rest, and especially in our do-ing culture, it is […]

Read the full article → by Inger Giffin, L.Ac., Dipl. Ac.

Acupuncture Jing Meditation–5 Minute Meditation for Greater Strength, Vitality, and Joy!

January 7, 2015

The past few weeks I’ve been focusing on our Jing, which is stored in our Kidneys, and is related to the Water Element in Chinese Medicine. This week, I’m going to teach you a simple, pleasurable meditation exercise that you can do outside the acupuncture clinic, to increase your kidney function, build your vital Qi […]

Read the full article → by Inger Giffin, L.Ac., Dipl. Ac.

Foods to Nourish Your Jing–An Acupuncturist’s Approach to using Chinese Medicine Nutritional Principles for Staying Healthy

January 2, 2015

Last week, I wrote about our Jing, how In Chinese Medicine it’s connected to our Kidney energy, and therefore the Water Element, and the season that we’re in right now: winter. Acupuncturists know that we want to do everything possible to avoid tapping into and therefore depleting our Jing — the root of all energy […]

Read the full article → by Inger Giffin, L.Ac., Dipl. Ac.

Is Your Jing Depleted? A Chinese Medicine Concept you may Want to Know About

December 29, 2014

What is Jing, and why does it matter for my health? Jing is a concept that I don’t talk about much in the acupuncture clinic, but according to Chinese Medicine, it has everything to do with the elemental season we’re in now: Water.  It is all wrapped up with the kidney energy; and for those […]

Read the full article → by Inger Giffin, L.Ac., Dipl. Ac.

Acupuncture helps Stress by Regulating Hormones, New Study Shows

September 8, 2014

It’s finally proven: Acupuncture helps stress I just got back from my regular acupuncture treatment with a colleague in town with whom I do trades. As usual, about 10 minutes into the treatment I found myself riding on those notorious waves of euphoria that acupuncture is so well known for while the stress just dissolved. […]

Read the full article → by Inger Giffin, L.Ac., Dipl. Ac.

The Fire Element, Robin Williams, and Suicide/Depression

August 15, 2014

In the wake of Robin William’s death, and the utter sadness I know so many of us share over the loss of this beautiful spirit, I felt moved to write a post from the perspective of the 5 Elements—explaining how depression fits in, what it means that we’re in the middle of the Fire element, […]

Read the full article → by Inger Giffin, L.Ac., Dipl. Ac.

My latest 5 Element Video, on the Fire Season, is Released!

July 7, 2014

Welcome to Summer, the Fire season, and my latest video in my 5 Elements!  This one focuses on the Fire element, and while there’s way too much to say about each element to fit into a short helpful video, I cover three vital aspects and functions of the Fire energy, and leave you with some […]

Read the full article → by Inger Giffin, L.Ac., Dipl. Ac.

Balancing your Wood Element with Benevolence: Is Your Internal Wood energy a Leader or a Fighter?

May 5, 2014

 Lead with benevolence Those of you who’ve been around the block with me for a few years have heard me talk about how essential it is in the Spring to have clear goals, and to be moving towards them with ambition.  This is because according to Chinese Medicine and acupuncture theory, we are in the […]

Read the full article → by Inger Giffin, L.Ac., Dipl. Ac.

The One Food That’s the Most Beneficial for Helping You Stay Balanced in Spring

May 5, 2014

Like every season, it is easy to figure out what foods will be beneficial for us right now by looking out at nature. And what do we see sprouting up all around us? Green!  Just little bits; but soon more, and then more, until it is virtually an explosion in green! In the past, at […]

Read the full article → by Inger Giffin, L.Ac., Dipl. Ac.

Don’t Throw Those Dandelion Greens Away!: There’s Powerful Medicine for Springtime in Those Garden Weeds

April 21, 2014
Thumbnail image for Don’t  Throw Those Dandelion Greens Away!: There’s Powerful Medicine for Springtime in Those Garden Weeds

  “A weed is just a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered” –Ralph Waldo Emerson We’ve all seen ’em, we’ve all got ’em, right?  Those pesky, durable flowers that sprout up from everywhere in our gardens and driveways.  The typical response from most people is to either yank them out and throw them […]

Read the full article → by Inger Giffin, L.Ac., Dipl. Ac.

How to Make “Paleo Bread” that is all Veggie & Protein, Without Unealthy Gluten-Free Substitutes

March 11, 2014

What do YOU think this is? Looks like bread… Tastes like bread… Feels like bread… It’s not bread! No gluten, no unhealthy substitutes like potato or corn starch. No grains at all. Paleo Bread It’s actually just sweet potatoes with eggs. That’s practically it! All I added were some sunflower seeds and flax seeds sprinkled […]

Read the full article → by Inger Giffin, L.Ac., Dipl. Ac.

Acupuncture and Christianity: Does Acupuncture Interfere with Christian Beliefs?

March 10, 2014

Over the years, I’ve heard the concern that acupuncture might interfere with people’s Christian beliefs, so I just wanted to give my thoughts on this topic. For most people, it’s a passing question which quickly leaves them, but for some, I can hear the pain and genuine deep struggle in their voice as they desperately […]

Read the full article → by Inger Giffin, L.Ac., Dipl. Ac.

3 Tips for turning the added impatience and agitation of the Wood Element Season to your advantage

March 7, 2014

If you’ve been following my last couple posts, then you know that we’re headed into Wood Season, and it can be a time of being challenged with increased impatience, agitation, irritability, and anger. This is because the Wood element, associated with the Liver, corresponds with these emotions. While this can mean more struggles for many […]

Read the full article → by Inger Giffin, L.Ac., Dipl. Ac.