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Spring in Chinese Medicine

In Chinese Medicine, Spring is associated with the liver and gallbladder, the wood element, the climate of wind, the color green, and the emotion of anger.  We are moving from the contractive nature of winter into the expansive and growing nature of spring. It’s a time of new beginnings and rebirth.

While there are two organs for this season, we tend to focus more on the powerhouse which is the Liver. The function of the Liver is the smooth flow of Qi. This is essential for the proper function of all organ systems in the body.  The liver is considered the general of the army. In charge and governing at all times. And when it gets out of balance, the Liver becomes the bully on the playground harassing all the other organs that are disrupting their proper function.

Common ailments I see in my clinic include:

  • Hay fever

  • Allergies

  • Tight neck and shoulders

  • Feelings of stress

  • Frustration and anger [overall feeling stuck in life]

  • Digestive issues

  • PMS

  • Menstrual irregularities

The Liver is also associated with anger. When we’re not in alignment with what we’re doing and unable to feel growth and expansion, we feel stuck. This then affects the flow of Qi causing stagnation and potentially the ailments listed above. Since Springtime is a time of bringing new life into something already existing or something new altogether, when we’re out of balance with this expansion we can feel stuck and frustrated.


To effectively support the Liver this Spring, focus on incorporating the following nourishing practices into your life:

Focus on Green Foods

A vibrant array of greens, from nutrient-rich kale to delicate spinach, crisp lettuce, and peppery arugula, complemented by wholesome broccoli, sweet peas, and tender green beans. As the weather embraces warmth, we'll gracefully reintroduce refreshing raw options to our plate.


This is a time when your body can start to handle a more intense movement. Keep getting outside and taking walks but add in weight training, riding a bike [inside or out], and even a more vigorous yoga class. Moving our body moves our Qi and makes our liver happy!

Gain Awareness

Become aware and acknowledge where you're holding on to anger. Anger is a natural emotion but when it gets out of balance and we hold onto it unnecessarily, it only hurts us. Get out your journal and talk to a therapist, a coach, or a friend.

Keep Your Body Protected

Spring tends to be a windy time so it’s important to keep our body protected. Jackets, sweaters, and light scarves are still important.  Wind can stir up our liver energy so be mindful!

Start a New Project

Start the new project you have had in your mind. Think about what you’d like to embody more of and get started. Utilize this time of birth and new beginnings!


Remember to breathe! Deeper and slower. Do your 4-count box breathing when you’re driving or walking somewhere.

Book a Chinese Medicine Session

Come in and get a “Change of Season” session to bring your organ systems into balance for spring. In addition to whatever is going on in your body, we’ll also focus on moving your liver Qi!


Kelly Maher is a certified life coach, acupuncturist, and herbalist. She is the owner of Kelly Maher Acupuncture + Wellness and throughout her 10-year career has treated thousands of patients with both needling and coaching sessions. Kelly currently lives in Chicago and is also an active member of the fitness and wellness community, specifically as a lululemon Legacy Ambassador.

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