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Staying Healthy in Spring—The Five Element Way

Spring Flowers in the Desert
Eliot Furness Porter, “Wildness Portfolio”

Feeling over-amped? Do people around you seem a bit manic? Insomnia more of a problem than usual? If yes, you may be surprised why this is:

Because it’s Spring!

According to the Five Element Theory of Oriental Medicine, Spring is the time of year when the Liver is most active energetically. Which means we’re all vulnerable to seasonal symptoms like irritability and run-away mental activity—inside ourselves and in people around us.

We’re Part of Nature Too
Liver energy in Spring is intense. It has to be ... Nature has work to do.

You can see the force of the season at work by observing the forcing-out energy in our parks and gardens, as plants force themselves out of the ground in search of the sun and trees force leaves and buds out of their branches.

This is the energy that’s around us, and within us—after all, we’re part of Nature too. Liver energy is what we need to smooth out as it courses through our nervous systems in Spring.

Balance is Key
How out-of-sorts you feel in Spring is different for everybody. How your body processes Liver energy in Spring, and the symptoms you experience, depend on your constitution and general state of health.

Normally when your Liver is energetically balanced you would experience negligible health problems because of Spring’s forcing energy. But for most of us these days our Liver energy is not sufficiently balanced. This is because life’s normal stresses have become more stressful, and our bodies are in the process of learning how to adjust to evolving environmental problems.

Spring-related Health Problems
So given all that’s going on—inside and out— depending on the energetic condition of your Liver, it’s not uncommon at this time of year to experience Spring-related health problems like:

  • Insomnia.
  • Allergic, nasal and sinus discomfort related to plant pollen and some of the foods we eat.
  • Headaches.
  • Lower back and sciatic pain.
  • Skin problems like eczema and psoriasis.

What You Can Do To Feel Good In Spring
Acupuncture and Chinese medicinal herbs are always good for rebalancing your body and mind—and maintaining and sustaining that balance.

Eat Well. The simplest thing you can do to improve and maintain your health is to learn about Healthy Eating: The Five Element Way where you’ll learn how to order or prepare meals in a way that keeps your body energetically balanced and healthy.

Exercise. Get some exercise every day so your Liver energy doesn’t get stagnant. Walking is an easy way to keep your body’s energy flowing.

The exercise you choose to do doesn’t have to be strenuous or a test of endurance. It’s easy to strain or sprain yourself in Spring if you jump in and exert yourself too quickly, especially if you’ve been relatively sedentary over the Winter. 

Get Enough Rest. Give your body the time it needs to rest. Rest is an inexpensive, powerful medicine for the body and the mind.

Spring can be a joyous experience of movement and growth. Let Nature be your guide.


Garden Haiku
Magical green dusk of Spring
Lights the new tiny leaves
Life returns to the garden
— Lao Xian

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IMPORTANT: All information on this Web site is provided for educational use only and not meant to substitute for the advice of a local Oriental Medicine practitioner, biomedical doctor, experienced coach, or martial arts instructor.