The Wood Element and Horary Spring Treatment for Seasonal Transition

During the cold winter months, recuperation and nurturing of our qi (energy) deep within begins. As the months go by the energy of winter, which is the water element, begins its transition in to the wood element of spring. Like a well the storage of qi, slowly begins trickling upwards and outwards, eventually overflowing and becoming expansive enough to break free and become a flowing spring, giving birth to life. This surge of energy bursts out bringing colour to our lives, fresh green buds appear along with bouncing lambs, daffodils, snowdrops, blue bells and freshly cut grass which fills the air with spring time fragrances. The wood energy of spring brings and explosive change; life force is at its strongest. This creative energy within us begins to stir, bringing optimism, hope, new ideas, plans and an unstoppable desire to move forward. This seasonal energy gives us the surging potential to break free from the old and move into the new.

The Wood element is connected to our liver qi and gallbladder qi. When in balance we grow quickly, overcome difficulties with ease, we make the right choices which put us on the right path. We flow naturally with our destiny (ming) and we ascend to heaven, upwards, like bamboo. We grow fast, are flexible, strong, and sway with the wind, life seems to flow effortlessly.

The liver is in control of the free flowing and spreading of qi, and when this flow is stagnated we become out of balance, discontented, frustrated and become irritable. When out of balance life seems to be a struggle as the wood energy is either excess or deficient. We become rigid, tense, inflexible, irritable, hot headed, and eventually we snap, or conversely, we lack drive, energy, become timid, feel anxious, repress anger and cannot deal with anger appropriately. The gallbladder is the decision maker, it utilizes the liver’s vision and planning and makes a judgment, deciding which decisions to bring into fruition. When out of balance the gallbladder finds it difficult to make wise decisions, making life difficult and stunting growth.

Wood (Liver and Gallbladder) Imbalances

  • Muscle tension
  • Prone to tendon and ligament injuries
  • Sciatic painblossom 3
  • Migraines
  • Headaches
  • Visual disturbances
  • Dizziness
  • High blood pressure
  • Indecisiveness
  • Over-perfectionism
  • Overly assertive
  • Irritability
  • Tentative
  • Depression
  • Outbursts of anger
  • PMS, Menstrual irregularities, fibroids
  • Digestive issues such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Cohn’s, acid reflux, ulcers


Horary Acupuncture Points for the Seasonal Treatment of Spring

Using the wood element points found on the gall bladder and liver channels we can help the mind, body and spirits transition from winter to spring, synchronising with the Dao (the flow of life).

LIVER 1 Dadun; Great Esteem; Jing-well; Wood Point; Entry Point; Horary 1am-3am/Spring

LIV 1 is a jing well point, it is here that the qi begins to bubble upward and flow
outwardly towards the trunk of the body. Dadun can be translated from Chinese to English in to meaning ‘Great Esteem’, ‘Great Clarity’, ‘Great Honesty’ or ‘Big Heap/Mound’. The effects of this point certainly do bring about a great surge of confidence to leap forward with direction, boldness, strength, optimism and flexibility into a new beginning. Helping the patient to leave behind past hurt, resentments, and old thoughts that have hindered them from moving forwards and reaching their potential goals.

tumblr_o49ub8VTVB1tksmofo1_1280-e1471942980931Gall Bladder 41 Zulingqi; Foot Above Tears; Shu-Stream; Wood Point; Exit Point; Horary 11-1am/Spring

GB 41 has the ability to tonify its corresponding yin organ, the Liver, it is here that the qi pours down the channel. This point has the ability to remove the restraints of
old negative judgments based on past regrets, resentments, hurts and failures which has led to fearing the unknown, with the inability to move forward with a positive outlook. An explosion of energy will release the suppressed emotions which have prevented the person moving forward, giving courage to jump for
ward and begin with a fresh start.

blossom 2

Acupuncture and exercise are great ways to move stagnant qi, also staying hydrated by drinking 2 liters of water daily will help the liver’s process in detoxifying the body.


Acupuncture for the Treatment of Hay Fever (Allergic Rhinitis)

Pollen is in the air, fertilization has begun, from March into early May trees begin to release their pollen, followed by grasses which pollinate from May to August and then shrubs that pollinate in the late summer. It can be a lengthy miserable 8 months for those who suffer with a variety of symptoms such as

  • runny or congested nose
  • red, itchy, puffy or watery eyes
  • itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears
  • sneezing
  • coughing
  • loss or reduced sense of smell
  • facial pain
  • earaches
  • headaches
  • fatigue/tiredness

Hay Fever from a Chinese Medicine Perspective

There are many underlying factors which lead to hay fever. A diagnosis is based on the individual symptoms presented by the patient which are either hot (yang) or cold (yin) in nature. For example hay fever relating to heat would present symptoms such as red, inflamed itchy and or dry eyes, conversely a person with cold type would have clear nasal discharge, a nasal type voice, and feel chilled. The underlying cause of the patients condition is also accessed, Chinese medicine works to treat the fundamental cause of an illness rather than just treating and alleviating the symptoms.

Illness occurs when a persons Qi (life energy) has become depleted and or is out of balance, a course of treatments would strengthen and balance the qi, restoring health. The Lungs in Chinese medicine are related to Wei qi, this wei qi acts as a defensive qi, protecting the body from external pathogens, acupuncture strengthens this wei qi (defensive qi). In Chinese medicine  the root cause of an immune system dysfunction is either due to the deficiency of Kidney qi, Spleen qi or Lung qi, treating these underlying deficiencies during the remission stage is very important, it is only until the root cause is treated that the patient will no longer have the illness.

Acupuncture has successfully treated a number of people with allergies such as hay fever. WHO (world health organisation) strongly recommends acupuncture for hay fever, and clinical research trials have proven that the effects of acupuncture is far superior than that of conventional anti-histamine drugs for treatment of hay fever.

What to expect

Following an acupuncture treatment, patients usually feel instantaneous relief from symptoms, the body begins to re-adjust over three days post treatment, and begins to re-balance. Acupuncture can relieve symptoms, however, treating the root cause of an illness will take more than one treatment, a long term plan of treatments is advisable for lasting results, with no side effects. As the person becomes more balanced, an improvement in many aspects of their health is felt.







Simple Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is simply fermented cabbage, and why do I mention simple? well, it’s very very easy to prepare, cheap, a great probiotic for your health and is great for moving Liver Qi. When our Liver Qi is stagnated symptoms such as, mood swings, anger, frustration, headaches, constipation, nausea, allergies, bloating and slow metabolism can arise.
I recently found out that our gut, and our feelings, are closely related. And when our gut bacteria becomes out of balance, it not only has a negative effect on our metabolism but also effects our emotions. An imbalance between beneficial bacteria and harmful bacteria, is known as ‘dysbiosis’, dysbiosis has been linked to psychiatric and neurological disorders.
How can sauerkraut help? it’s a probitoic which means it lines the digestive tract with good bacteria, supports the immune system and helps your body digest nutrients. This fermented cabbage naturally produces organic acids which stimulates the growth of good bacteria.
Its super easy to make and keeps for yonks, you can use any variety of cabbage, add some salt, mix together, compress it into an air tight container, leave for seven days and voila DONE!


1x red cabbage or white

2tbsp sea salt

you can add various spices but i like to keep mine plain. Mix together the salt and cabbage thouroughly. Put into air tight container. Push, compress the cabbage until juices start to be released, make sure the juice from cabbage covers the cabbage, and leave for a week. If not enough juice is produced to cover cabbage, leave it sit for a few hours and when you come back, tightly pack the cabbage by pushing it down into the cotainer, there will be an adequate ammount of juice this time around…simples 🙂

The Benefits of Wild Garlic

A couple of weeks into spring and the wild garlic has begun to spring up in our woody woodlands and hedge rows in the U.K. Its a fantastic versatile herb which grows in abundance and can be used in many culinary dishes, a great substitute for the bulb garlic, plus its wild and in season. I like to make wild garlic pesto, throw it in with the lamb for a Sunday roast, add it to pasta dishes and all sorts, its a super food rich in vitamins and minerals.
Wild garlic has antibacterial, antibiotic and possibly antiviral effects, studies have also shown it to reduce high blood pressure
Nutritionally per 100g the leaves are packed full of Vitamin C 47% and Vitamin A 188%, Iron 15%, Calcium 10%, Potassium 558 mg, protein 3g. Get picking, its free, its seasonal and good for your health 🙂

Wild Garlic (Ramsons)

Spring is in the Air

Refreshing to know spring has arrived, snow drops at the highest village in Wales Bwlch Gwyn, Wrexham.
Spring represents growth, new beginnings, in Chinese Medicine its related to the Wood element, and Liver Qi. It’s the revitalisation of all things, time for growth, a healthy time for you to becomes unsuppressed physically and emotionally, because frustration is easily stirred during this time of year if one feels stunted in growth. During this time take advantage of the expansive nature of all things and get that spring back in your step and move forward with a fresh outlook.

Moxibustion the Superb Herb

Moxibustion aka moxa is a fantastic treatment, it gives of an aromatic aroma and leaves you feeling cosy inside and outside of your body. I use it to treat cold conditions and those with yang deficiency. Moxa is made from mugwort, a herb that is mentioned in old sacred Chinese medical texts, and even the Anglo-Saxons used it as a magical protective herb. The herb moxa can be used during a treatment directly, indirectly, or semi-directly. Indirectly moxa punk is attached to the end of an acupuncture needle, or a moxa-needle-pic-bowlcigar-shaped roll formed of moxa is lit and moved over specific channels and acupuncture points. Used directly a small amount of moxa is placed on the skin and lit. Semi-direct moxa uses stick-on moxa which is applied directly onto specific points. All forms of moxa warm the channels and stimulate specific acupuncture points. I generally use moxa punk attached to the end of a needle and semi-direct stick on moxa in my practise.