Spring is Here! Keep Your Qi Harmonized!

What does the phrase, “balance and harmony”, really mean? Well, this simple Taoist phrase implies that since the universe is in constant motion and everything is always changing, we, as humans, must always be adapting too. If done properly, a long, healthy, and prosperous life will prevail.

The change of seasons is a perfect example to illustrate this concept of balance and harmony. With springtime upon us, the following information will help you understand and stay as balanced and harmonized as possible through this transition from winter to summer.

What does Spring signify in Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Spring is the season of growth and renewal and is associated with the Liver organ. This organ stores the blood and regulates the smooth flow of qi. It manifests itself in the ligaments of the body and the nails. The emotions associated with the liver are anger and frustration. Comparable to an army general responsible for overall strategy of the body’s functions, the Liver is easily susceptible to agitation and irritability due its complex job.

What is Liver Qi Stagnation?

Many people in modernized societies, particularly America, have congested livers. Stress, a major contributor to blocked, stagnant, and congested energy, causes emotions such as anger, frustration, to arise all to frequently. Other hallmark symptoms of the common pattern known as Liver Qi Stagnation are: Cold hands and feet, muscle tension, acid reflux, PMS, irritability, and depression.

What Should We Eat?

One way to help relieve stagnant liver qi is to simply eat less. Avoid eating processed foods and increase your consumption of whole grains and lightly steamed vegetables. Good spring foods are: Spinach, leafy green vegetables, onions, wheat, cilantro, mushrooms, sprouts, leeks, and Chinese yam. The sour flavor is associated with the Liver organ. The sourness of apple cider vinegar is an effective way to enliven a sluggish liver. One teaspoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with either honey or maple syrup in a cup of water may help decongest or detoxify the liver.

What Type of Exercise is Best?
Exercise is the best way to move one’s qi. Walking, the activity of the liver, is particularly helpful since it harmonizes and smoothly moves one’s liver qi. Take short breaks often and walk around outside. Breathe the fresh air and enjoy the blooming flowers and fresh greenery of spring!

What Education is Required to become an Acupuncturist?

The profession of Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine is highly regulated on a national and state level. California maintains the highest requirements in the country to become a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist.

We must first obtain a Masters of Science degree from an accredited college of Oriental Medicine. This education is a full time four year curriculum encompassing biomedical sciences, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and clinical training.

Once we have graduated, we must pass the very rigorous CA Board Exam to become a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist. We also must complete 50 continuing education units every 2 years to maintain our license.

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Why is it Important to take Herbs?

The foundation of Chinese medicine lies in its many classic herbal formulas, which have been used for thousands of years. The Chinese have the largest pharmacopeia in the world with over 3500 medicinals. While acupuncture works with the meridian system to energetically connect the body from the outside-in, Chinese herbal medicine works biochemically from the inside-out. The two work together synergistically to alleviate symptoms and, most importantly, address the root of the problem thus, preventing symptoms from recurring. Taking herbs helps increase the efficacy of your acupuncture treatments.