Spring and Traditional Chinese Medicine
With the official start of spring just months away, there's no better time than now to consider using popular forms of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). As mother nature comes out of its state of dormancy, flowers will begin to blossom, trees will develop leaves, and the snow-capped landscape will be replaced with flowing green grass. This massive change comes with some unwelcome side effects that TCM may prove useful in treating.
While cold and flu infection rates typically diminish by the start of spring, a new problem begins to emerge: allergies. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), approximately 50 million people in the United States suffer from seasonal allergies (source). When exposed to pollen or other plant allergens, the individual may develop a runny nose, nasal congestion, eye redness, headache, sore throat, and other related symptoms.
Whether you suffer from mild, moderate or severe seasonal allergies, however, acupuncture can help. This centuries-old TCM involves the placement of fine needles on specific areas throughout the body. Acupuncture is believed to restore the body's flow of energy (referred to as Qi) while stimulating the body's self-healing mechanism.
In Chinese astrology, spring falls under the Wood element, meaning this time of year is closely related to the gallbladder and liver. According to TCM, one of the liver's primary functions is to regulate Qi through the body. If Qi is blocked or restricted in any way, the individual will be susceptible to disease and illness. The bottom line is that you want to keep your Qi moving this spring season for optimal health.
Here are some tips to keep your Qi moving:
• Limit (or eliminate) your intake of processed foods. • Eat more fresh vegetables and fruit. • Start your mornings off with a light stretching exercise like yoga or tai qi. • The warm weather offers the perfect opportunity to get outdoors and exercise. • Consume sour food and drinks. According to TCM, sour flavors stimulate the liver's Qi. • Seek acupuncture treatments.
There are over 2,000 acupuncture points spread across 20 meridians, but none hold as much weight for the spring season as the Liver 3. Located between the first and second toes, the Liver 3 (also known as the 'springtime acupressure point') is an acupuncture point that's particularly beneficial for this time of year. It lives up to its namesake by channeling energy between the liver; therefore, conventional wisdom should tell you to focus on it during this spring. If you plan on scheduling on an acupuncture session, ask the physician if he or she can target the Liver 3.
Give me a call today to learn how you can get back on track to better health!