Otium Wellness

A guide for Spring: Optimizing your health with Chinese & Holistic Medicine 

Well, it’s almost Spring! I don’t know about you, but I am especially excited to come out of winter hibernation this year. The days are longer, and the sun is shining more; Spring makes us hopeful and happy, but for many, Spring months can also bring irritability, anxiety, neck/shoulder pain, headaches, sinus issues, allergy flare-ups and even colds – holistic medicine can help with that. 

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) claims to be the third-oldest medical system, preceded only by Egyptian and Babylonian medicine – give or take 3,000 to 4,000 years, which gives this medical system, as a whole, a lot of credibility. TCM uses many methods to diagnose and treat, but for the focus of this article, I would like to concentrate on how TCM uses the seasons to balance and strengthen the body. TCM has five seasons: winter, Spring, summer, late summer, and fall. Each season has its own unique set of properties and relationships within the body. For example, Spring is associated with the wood element, which governs the Liver and the Gallbladder and their energetic pathways called meridians. The health of our Liver/Gallbladder system is vital for us to bend and flow in life and plan and achieve with ease – if we are not balanced energetically and physically, we tend not to have any space for everyday life. As a result, we can feel overwhelmed by the tiniest details – hence the term ‘I feel like I’m going to snap” – we have no room to bend. 

Spring is a time of creativity and planning, and the Liver is at its peak of releasing your Qi/energy stores from winter hibernation – strengthening your muscles and tendons to get ready for more activity. As I mentioned above, being active and spending time outside can be great ways to support the Liver/Gallbladder energies during Spring and help the body let go of pent-up energy that may be causing you issues.  

Spring is also when fresh greens are abundant, and it just so happens that green is the colour TCM associates with Spring. Including more fresh greens daily helps the Liver detoxify the blood; Dandelion greens, in particular, are a good source for detoxification and are abundant for wild harvesting in Spring. Other good greens are spirulina, chlorella, parsley, sprouts/micro-greens, and wheat grass. 

Avoiding excessive stimulants like coffee, energy drinks and black tea during the Spring months can help protect the body from excess energy that tends to deplete us, making us more tired. Instead, think about light, nourishing, cleansing foods and drinks that boost vitality. By taking breaks from foods, activities and substances that strain the body, you make room for the body to heal and prepare for the fun summer months ahead. 

Incorporating Holistic medicine practices and acupuncture regularly is your ally in preventive medicine so you can flow through the seasons with vitality. Be sure to find a board-certified acupuncturist in your area; lucky for us at Otium, we have two talented and dedicated Chinese medicine practitioners ready to serve our wonderful community. 

Written by: Melanie Snell R.Ac, Reiki Master

In gratitude,


Practitioner at Otium Wellness in Legacy, SE, Calgary, AB


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