Can you feel Spring in the air? Can you also feel changes in your inner climate? A shift in your own energy. Is your Liver qi flowing freely or are you angry and frustrated? Covid-19 restrictions are definitely frustrating my natural Spring-time energetic expression. Am I angry? Sometimes of course. Anger viewed impartially is a useful emotion. Am I stuck in anger? I try not to be. I use tools to shift this emotion, which I am sharing here with you.
Imagine the force of energy it took for these shoots to push up through stones and soil into the light. Spring is a time of surging energy, of beginnings and new growth. We also experience this energetic up thrust. Some of us find this transition from the slower Winter months to Spring easy, others benefit from an acupuncture seasonal tune up (Please note: Spring 2021 seasonal acupuncture is cancelled due to Covid-19 - hopefully Summer 2021 seasonal acupuncture will go ahead). This Spring will be like no other. Covid-19 restrictions mean that we can't implement many of the plans made during Winter. Naturally, like these shoots navigating the stony soil, our energetic impulse is to push against these limitations. Spring is associated with the Wood Element in Chinese medicine and the organ pair, Liver (LIV) and Gall Bladder (GB). In Chinese medicine one of the main functions of the Liver is to help our qi or energy flow smoothly in our body and mind. Often, the Liver is inefficient and our qi stagnates.
Are you Angry? Of course you are! We all are. 'Anger' is the Wood emotion - the energy of the potential for change.
So, how do you know if your Liver qi isn't flowing freely? Let's look at our emotions. It's completely normal to feel emotions, such as anger, it's part of being alive. It's when we get stuck in an emotional state or we repress emotions that they are harmful.
It is important to note that in Chinese medicine 'Anger' (understood as the Wood emotion) is the energy of the potential for change.
It's a catalyst - the energetic push needed to make change - such as moving home or changing a relationship. A lack of Wood energy may manifest in indecisiveness (a GB tendency) or lack of drive. Getting stuck in anger may look like rage, frustration irritability.
Is your Liver qi stagnant? Have you any of these common symptoms?
anger, irritability, depression
tight neck and shoulder and/or pain
irritable bowels (alternating constipation and looseness)
pre-menstrual tension and/or pain
If you've self-diagnosed Liver Qi Stagnation here are some tips to help soothe your Liver.
Press Acupuncture point Liver 3 (LIV 3)
LIV 3 is a great point for moving stuck Qi manifesting as headaches and frustration/anger
It's the third acu-point (of 14) on the Liver (LIV) meridian. Each point has specific effects on the body's Qi. One function of LIV 3 is to move Qi in the whole body. If energy is stuck it may cause pain, such as headache or emotional imbalance like frustration or anger. Acupressure at LIV 3 may help move this stasis.
Location: top of foot. In between the big toe and first toe, up from the web. Can be really tender. How to apply acupressure: gently massage in slow circular movements applying medium pressure or press the acu-point with steady pressure.
Duration: 20 seconds - 2 minutes. Breathe deep and slow
Stretch regularly - your body & your mind
Inflexible wood snaps under pressure. Inflexible bodies injure easily. Inflexible minds are also quick to snap! Yoga is perfect medicine to soothe a rigid body and mind. As the LV and GB energy pathways flow along the sides of the body include any side-stretching in your regular yoga practice. More time online, sitting at ergonomically unsuitable work stations - perhaps even on your sofa - do not help body stiffness. Remember to take breaks and stretch often.
If you are unfortunate and are in chronic pain I am open for high needs acupuncture appointments from Carlisle Therapies, 34 Lowther Street. Acupuncture, cupping, massage, heat therapy such as infra-red may all help chronic pain.
Eat to nourish your Liver
Your Liver loves a detox! Try hot lemon water for a cleanse. Spring chicken with Spring greens. Iron rich beetroot for nourishment. If these tips help with any of your Liver Qi Stagnation symptoms, let us know - we'd love to hear your feedback!