Acupuncture and Herbs for Spring: What You Need to Know

Spring is here. Can you feel the shift? 

Whether you know it or not, your body adjusts to the environmental and energetic changes in spring just like the sprouting plants and stirring critters. 

Unfortunately, these shifts aren’t always pleasant. When your body is out of balance, it’s normal to experience springtime woes like allergies, insomnia, irritability, tension, itchiness and more. 

Let’s learn how the body shifts in spring from a TCM point of view, and how you can use acupuncture and herbs in spring to steer clear of health issues and enjoy the season to the fullest. In our Natural Wellness Newsletter, we offer more spring self-care tips.  Be sure to check it out!

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Spring Wellness: Focus on the Liver

Spring is just about enjoying warmer temperatures and longer days, right? While these are two of the most obvious changes we experience in spring, there’s more to spring than meets the eye. 

In Chinese medicine, every season is paired with an organ system and corresponding characteristics. For spring, that organ is the Liver. Like spring itself, the Liver clears away the “old” and welcomes the new by detoxifying and purifying the blood. The Liver system is also in charge of the tendons and ligaments, stress management and vision.

Because the Liver is under more pressure in spring than in other seasons, we often experience issues related to these associated systems (like stiffness, lack of mobility, irritability, and vision changes or eye issues). 

Aside from Liver imbalances, spring will also bring issues related to inflammation or imbalance to the surface. Seasonal allergies, sinus infections, skin irritations, and even food intolerances can worsen in spring if there is underlying inflammation or a weakened immune system. 

Embrace Spring Wellness with Acupuncture and Herbs

You should enjoy spring, not suffer from it! Thankfully, acupressure and herbal medicine can help you fight spring illnesses and enjoy the season to the fullest. Here are a few of our favorite at-home tips for spring health and wellness. 

  • Get acupuncture or try acupressure.
    Many acupuncturists recommend treatment at every change of season when your body’s immune system is most vulnerable to imbalances. Acupuncture helps address any potential issues early to reduce your symptoms or even ward off spring issues like allergies, sleep disturbances and stress before they start.

    Can’t make it to the acupuncturist? Acupressure offers similar relief, right at home. Try these useful acupressure points for spring wellness:

    • Relieve sinus pressure with Large Intestine 20: LI 20 is most commonly used to reduce sinus pressure, clear nasal congestion, and alleviate allergies.

      LI 20 is at the nasolabial sulcus (just to the side of the nostril). Press for 10 seconds on each side, then release. Repeat 3-10 times.

    • Boost your immune system and energy with Stomach 36: ST 36 is an incredibly versatile acupressure point with many benefits. In spring, use this point to increase your natural energy, improve circulation, relieve aches and pains, boost immune power and promote overall well-being. Press for 10 seconds on each side, then release. Repeat 3-10 times.

      ST 36 is on the lower leg, one handbreadth below the kneecap and one fingerbreadth lateral to the crest of the tibia.

    • Improve flexibility and relieve stress with Liver 3: Help your Liver adapt to spring with ease with LV 3. This point helps smooth the flow of blood and qi through the Liver channel and throughout the body for improved flexibility, reduced pain and better moods.

      LV 3 is on the foot, between the first and second metatarsal bones. Press for 10 seconds on each side, then release. Repeat 3-10 times.

Address Spring Health Concerns with Chinese Herbs

  • Along with acupuncture, herbs can also give your body the boost you need to thrive in spring. Here are three of our favorite Chinese herbs that fight spring allergies, stress and more:

    • Xin Yi Hua: Xin yi hua, or magnolia flower, is often added to allergy relief formulas or immune-boosting formulas to help reduce nasal congestion. Combine with cang er zi and fang feng for powerful herbal congestion relief.

    • Ye Ju Hua: Ye jua hua are young chrysanthemum buds. Add these to allergy formulas or steep them alone to relieve dry, itchy, red eyes or irritated skin.
       
    • Bo He: Bo he, better known as peppermint, is refreshing and clearing. It soothes red and irritated eyes, calms the Liver and nervous system, and improves stress.
  • “Go with the flow” with Flexibility Liniment and Flexibili-Tea Herb Pack.
    Spring corresponds to the Liver system, which includes the tendons and ligaments. What happens to the tendons when the Liver is imbalanced? Tension, tightness and lack of flexibility.

    To help you ward off spring stiffness and move freely, make a batch of Plum Dragon Flexibili-Tea and use Plum Dragon Flexibility Ligament on tight areas daily.

    These formulas include spasm-relieving herbs that smooth tension and relax your muscles, tendons, and ligaments. While these help with stiffness in spring, they can be used year-round to improve your flexibility and enhance your training. 

Spring into Balance with Acupuncture and Herbs

Living well means living in tune with our bodies, nature and the seasons. Thankfully, that’s easy to do with acupuncture and herbs. Shop the key spring herbs above, or browse our full range of whole herbs to meet all your wellness needs. 

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