Even though it is technically spring, it sure doesn't fee l that way outside! However, the spring weather will be here soon and it is time to start thinking about what that means for us, health-wise. Springtime is an important time of the year to come in for acupuncture. Why? There are many reasons! In the springtime in particular, acupuncture can…
1) Boost immunity as the seasons change. The time between seasons is a risky time in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and a time when it is easy to get sick. Our bodies adapt to the weather and energies of each season, and it sometimes takes them a while to catch up. So even though more time outdoors means less exposure to incubating germs, our body’s defenses aren’t in their usual springtime mode. For instance, from an acupuncture perspective, one way that pathogens (sickness) enters the body is through the back of the neck. This area is particularly susceptible to rain and wind. So even if it is a balmy 50 degrees out and the sun is shining, if you go outside without the protection of your usual winter scarf, you run the risk of getting sick. Over the first few weeks of springtime weather, your body will adapt to this seasonal change and it will be better equipped for whatever the season throws at it. But initially, you must take extra precautions!
2) Treat allergies. Springtime for many, unfortunately, brings the onset of itchy watery eyes, a constantly runny nose, headaches, sinus pressure, sneezing, and itchy skin. Acupuncture has been shown in clinical research studies to reduce symptoms of seasonal allergies – and the best time to start treatment is BEFORE the symptoms begin.
3) Manage stress. For many, the spring brings a new level of stress to already busy lives – the final semester of the school year, state tests, college admissions, new job offers, figuring out summer travel plans, and busy months of business. Also, spring is the season of the Wood element in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The wood element is the most easily susceptible to stress – and when it is imbalanced, often the most common symptoms of stress manifest in the body: headaches, tight neck and shoulders, irritability, trouble sleeping (particularly waking around 3:00 am), digestive upset, chest tightness, anxiety, hormonal swings. Energetically, we are all more susceptible to these kind of stress symptoms during the spring (wood) season. Acupuncture during the spring season can help the body to better manage stress so that these symptoms don’t occur.
4) Help you grow. The energy of the Wood element, and the spring, is all about growth and expansion. Think of the energy contained in a newly sprouting seed, a bud bursting open with springtime weather. This is the Wood element – its energy runs within all of us and it wants to move, to grow, to expand. This energy leads to lots of great things – but when it isn’t flowing properly it hinders us all the more. Regular exercise and movement are therefore very important during the springtime months…and acupuncture can help that energy flowing freely in all of us, so we can grow into our springtime goals the way we intend to!
5) Calm you down. Each element in Traditional Chinese Medicine has an associated emotion that it relates to, that tends to easily flare when it is out of balance. The Wood element is closely tied to anger and impatience. Ever since I went to acupuncture school, I always notice that people start honking in traffic more as soon as the nice springtime weather starts. It is that Wood energy bursting forth – and when it can’t burst the way we want it to, it often results in increased anger, irritability, impatience, and frustration. A simple acupuncture treatment involving only a few powerhouse points can get that energy flowing again and get you calmed down.
6) Strengthen your eyes. The Wood element, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, opens into the eyes. This means that this is an ideal time of year to use acupuncture to treat dry eyes, blurry vision, floaters, or chronic irritation in the eyes.
7) Treat sports injuries. Spring is the season of marathons, baseball, softball, track and field (to name a few). As we get up and moving again after the long hard winter, the possibility of exercise-induced injuries increases. Acupuncture can help prevent sports injuries from occurring, or can treat injuries once they do occur. Common sports injuries we see in our clinic include plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, muscle strains and sprains, partial muscle tears, runner’s knee, bursitis, stress fractures, and prolonged recovery time.
8) Keep you in balance with the natural world. Springtime is the season of birth – think of new buds, new seedlings, new baby animals. It is the beginning of the energetic cycle of the seasons – coming after the season of death and decay, winter. In springtime, our energies are reborn and begin to grow for the year ahead. Acupuncture can help bring the energies inside of us into rhythm with the time of the year – which will enable us to retain our health while we, too, grow into the next year.
So what are you waiting for? Spring is here – and it will start to actually feel like it soon! Now is the time to get acupuncture and get your body in tune with this large seasonal change, to keep you happy and healthy and thriving.