Dawn from Oakland on the Spring Equinox

As a Spring baby, I get very excited for this particular change of seasons as we move from the cold, darkness of winter into expansive, growth of spring. In Chinese medicine this is when the extreme Yin starts to move in the more Yang direction. Yin is like the cold, dark side of the moon and Yang is the warmth of the sun. This is the time that the sun becomes more present in our lives, lengthening the days. With more and more sunshine, the energy of the world also begins to pick up. The trees are excited to sprout their leaves. The dormant seeds of bright flowers begin to poke up from the ground as the pollinators buzz around them. The quiet seeds within ourselves begin to sprout as well, awaking us from the sleepy winter hibernation energy. We may find ourselves more active and inspired to create. 

With all these natural associations, it may come as no surprise to hear that the element associated with Spring in Chinese medicine is Wood. This is related to an upward and expansive movement of energy, like a tree reaching for the sky. Renewal and regeneration are keywords here, as we reach out to the world again, reborn in the warmth of the sun. This upward, expansive energy can sometimes move upwards too quickly though, causing irritability or light headedness. Too much upward energy in the head can also cause insomnia at night.   

The weather pattern associated with Spring is Wind. Wind is a quick changing, fast moving type of weather. When we are exposed for long periods of time it can make us feel stiff and rigid. This type of windy weather is thought to get stuck in the body and cause symptoms like stiffness of the joints and muscle pain, which can move around in the body. It is also a weather condition that may affect our respiratory systems.  Many people experience allergies from this wind invasion in the sinuses. In Chinese medicine the space behind the ears is called our Wind Gates. In ancient texts it is described as the most susceptible place for Wind to attack, so be sure to wear a scarf when out and about on blusterous days. 

The change of the season is always a great time to come in and get some acupuncture as this can help us adjust to our new environment, including the longer days and growing energies of spring.  Acupuncture can help to keep the immune system strong and help fight against colds, flus, and allergies. Regular acupuncture can also reduce muscle and joint stiffness and pain. In addition, it can soothe our minds which may be racing with new found inspiration, and calm our bodies to help us sleep at night. Happy Spring Equinox!

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