The Stoplight that Never Turned Green: Keeping Your Liver Calm & Happy in Spring

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The Stoplight that Never Turned Green: Keeping Your Liver Calm & Happy in Spring

You know the drill…you’re driving along, you’ve got somewhere to be, and just your luck, you’re hitting EVERY RED LIGHT.

As if that isn’t bad enough, the lights seem to be turning green particularly……  slowly  …..  today  …..

Winter Turns to Spring — in its own good time…

When I moved here to Fort Collins, it was my first time living somewhere where we actually had a change in seasons.  Never before had I experienced that breath-held, anxiously awaited climax of the bursting forth of spring.

It was brown brown brown everywhere I looked….except where it was grey, of course.

I couldn’t WAIT for the first bits of green…the first signs that life was returning, that things were moving forward, that things would, indeed, unfold.  My entire body felt held in some kind of suspended animation, frozen in limbo.

What was this frustrating sense of being pent up…held back from…what?  Argh!

Early Spring restlessness

One day that first early spring, as I was sitting in front of a red light that seemed to be taking FOREVER to turn, I noticed I was feeling uncharacteristically edgy, irritable, and impatient. 

Tapping my finger agitatedly against the steering wheel, I thought, “What’s going ON with me!?”  I wanted to crawl out of my skin (…and go smash the traffic light!).  This was NOT a feeling I was used to.

And that was when it hit me: 

“My god…this is what Wood/Liver type people struggle with ALL – THE – TIME!!!”

While I have my own emotions to deal with, this sense of bottled up impatience is so unusual for me that I can count the times on one hand that I remember experiencing it.

I suddenly welled up with compassion for Wood types…the types who, when imbalanced, can become controlling, quick to temper, surly, impatient, and edgy — exactly the ways I was feeling just then!

Aaaahh, Spring…

Wood Imbalance Showing up in the Acupuncture Clinic – Can you relate?

So here we are again in Wood season.  If you don’t believe how much this can impact us, then I invite you back in time with me into my clinic this past week…when almost every patient was walking through the door reporting feeling on edge, unlike themselves, or unable to control their frustration, anger, or depression. The Wood energy just slammed us, big time, last week.  This is why I write more at this time of year than any other, about the challenges we may currently face, and how to best handle them. This is why I stress over and over again in the winter, the season related to the Water element (which nourishes and grounds the Liver), to take the time then to nurture and ground yourself so your Liver is nice and taken care of come Spring.

This is also why I shared with you all, a few weeks ago, MY plan for keeping my liver balanced and happy

Plan for Keeping Your Liver Happy

For those of you who are new to my practice or emails/blog, the Liver/Wood energy is about moving forward.  It’s about goals, a vision for where we’re headed, and moving full steam ahead.  That’s why, when balanced, it can make big things happen in our lives…and why, when imbalanced, it can create big havoc and chaos.  It doesn’t like being blocked, it doesn’t like being stopped, and it sees anything in its way as an imposition which it has no time for.

So the moral of this story is…


Every spring I remind myself, that if I’m feeling a little extra impatient, then probably everyone around me is feeling the same, if not more!  I try to give people a little more of a break at this time of year…to be a bit less judgmental with short or less than tactful energy.  Because the truth is, we’re all in this together right now.

Did all of you create a plan for keeping your livers happy?

Remember, it doesn’t have to be about exercise…that just happened to be mine, and it’s a great one for Wood season because the liver likes nothing better than to move.

If you haven’t come up with a plan/goal for the next couple months, I would definitely set one in place now.

Maybe yours is to STOP moving so much, to slow down, to take time at least 3 times a week to just read a book for an hour, or to take relaxing bubble baths, to switch one power-yoga class a week to a yin-yoga style.  For Wood types who are overactive, that may be just what you need.

The point is, we all need SOMETHING that we’re doing to support our Wood element right now…unless we want the entire next couple months of Wood season to feel like we’re just constantly sitting waiting, stuck in front of that stoplight that will never, EVER turn green.

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Tags: liver imbalance acupuncture and stress acupuncture and anxiety