Shiatsu springs from Traditional Chinese Medicine which uses Five Element theory to frame its practice. Spring time is the Wood element: energy and sap rising. We begin to feel the urge to stretch and flex, and move and create as we come out of our Winter hibernation. It’s a great time begin new projects, make plans and set them in motion. Wood element is related to energy rising up through the body, like a sapling bursting through the earth. It’s also related to the muscles and tendons in the body which facilitate this burst of movement. If our Wood energy is out of balance, we can experience headaches, muscular tension and pains, especially round the neck, back and shoulders. We may get feelings of irritation and anger as the energy rises quickly. Or if our energy gets stuck, we may feel stressed and tired, uptight and not be able to see the wood for the trees. We get a feeling unable to make decisions.
Self-Help in Springtime
In Shiatsu, we use acupressure points to deal physical and emotional symptoms and to rebalance the body. When Wood energy gets “stuck”, it can explode and leads to symptoms such as anger, irritability, sleep disruption, PMS, IBS, twitching eyes, and a throbbing headache. This is one of my favourite self-help acupressure points to draw the energy down and provide a quick and easy Springtime rebalance.
Acupressure point: ‘Liver 3’ or ‘Great Rushing’. When working an acupressure point, work both sides of the body. This point may be a bit ‘ouchy’ and sensitive. So take your time and a few slow relaxed breaths whilst applying firm (but comfortable) pressure to the point.
The Wood element loves movement, so just playing your favourite song and having a little dance round your living room, getting outside for a brisk walk, or laughing with friends can begin to shift that stuck energy. If you have a yoga practice, some sideways bends and spinal twists help free Wood stagnation in the body.
The Wood element governs the organs of liver and gallbladder. Foods to nourish us at this time of year are fresh, dark, green vegetables like kale and cabbage, sour foods like lemons and limes, and fermented foods like sauerkraut.
Springtime Shiatsu: If you feel in need of additional help to release some of that tension or address areas of pain and stuckness, you can book yourself in for a Springtime Shiatsu session with Jenny White at Santosa or come along to a Shiatsu Connects Wellbeing Online class.
As well as working with some great acupressure points, this can involve some gentle stretching and movement to allow flow back into the body and mind. This can allow the body to release any held tension and allow this beautiful Spring energy to move through and inspire new possibilities.
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