The Wood Type. Five Element Acupuncture for wood elements.

Spring Clean

The Clinic

So, I began spring cleaning the clinic today, and it gets me thinking… (I know it is a bit late really, but Spring seems to be late this year, right?)

Chinese Medicine

Anyway, in Feng Shui activities like spring-cleaning are really important for moving stuck and stagnant energy. As it is based on the same system as Chinese Medicine, the language and concepts involved in Feng Shui are very much like those involved in health. As I cleaned the dust out from behind the phone cable that is attached to the skirting board, it struck me that the places dirt accumulate really are predictable: under the furniture, in the corners, where things get piled up…

This is really what the acupuncture points and meridians are like. The Chinese say that Qi flows like water and most of the points are in areas where that flow would be disrupted – at the flare at the head or base of a bone or at a joint or junction. Just like the dust that collects in the nooks and crannies, our energy can accumulate and stagnate in these spots, leading to stiffness, pain or other problems.

So what to do? One of the very best things you can do, to give your body a good spring-clean is get moving – Once your heart is pumping hard, it kicks the lymphatic system in to action. The lymphatic system is an intricate network of vessels that are found throughout the body and act like an internal housekeeper. The blood and all the different organs are supposed to look after their own rooms, but the lymph is like an internal mum that picks up all the bits that get missed, puts the bins out and notices that the curtains need washing.

Unlike the blood vessels the lymph does not have its own pump. It relies on the pumping of the heart, muscles and lungs to move and de-clutter. Therefore, exercise is the key to internal clear outs. Walking, dancing, bouncing on a trampoline anything really but make sure it makes you smile.

The Liver and Gall Bladder are the organs of Wood which is associated with spring, and they are also the channels that are most likely to become stagnant. Stagnant Liver and Gall Bladder Qi can have numerous physical effects, but it can also make us feel gloomy, depressed and stuck. Exercise will help with this too, but another great way to remove internal stagnation, especially of an emotional nature, is to actually spring-clean your house.

The very essence of Chinese medicine is metaphoric, they created the entire system upon the idea that we are a miniature reflection of the world. So by clearing up your bit of the world, you also sort out your internal dynamics.

This is why I try to spring-clean each year. It’s a time to get in all the cupboards and get rid of the things I don’t need. To unpile the piles and sort things out, to clean the nooks and to clap in the corners. (Try it – In Feng Shui corners accumulate stagnant Qi and clapping moves it on – be warned it can have powerful effects!)

I recently read a very interesting book by a lady called Marie Kondo*, which I recommend for those of you who don’t mind a bit of bonkers… Marie is Japanese so much of her advice is based on Feng Shui. She recommends going through all your possessions and picking them up one at a time to see if they ‘Spark Joy’. If they don’t, get rid of them, she says. You have obviously been keeping them for some other reason, but if the emotions associated with those reasons aren’t positive, why bother? What I really love about this idea is that if you actually do it, you end up completely surrounded by things that bring you joy. How liberating is that?

Joy, incidentally is the emotion of Summer

Rachel Geary

Rachel Geary BA(Hons), Lic. Ac. MBAcC is a fully qualified acupuncturist, having graduated from the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine in 2002. She has previously practised in Inverness and Barnstaple. "I first became interested in acupuncture whilst I was at university studying History and Philosophy. I was particularly drawn to eastern philosophy, which I found particularly elegant and beautiful. I then went on to complete a three and a half year course of study in acupuncture and discovered it to exemplify these very same qualities. I feel very privileged to have been able to learn so much about the Chinese understanding of health and to be able to use this knowledge to help others." Rachel Geary is a Registered Acupuncturist, she is registered at The British Acupuncture Council (BAcC), and The Association of Community and Multibed Acupuncture Clinic (ACMAC).