Spring, Magic, and the Element of WOOD.

wood energy shiatsu

Spring is the WOOD season in Chinese Medicine. Wood is the unfettered GREEN growth of life when energy RISES. Generally during this time we HAVE a lot of energy and feel the drive to get our projects going. When already going, we feel the pressure to solidify the fruits of our labor. But fruiting comes later, during  summer.

Wood is the time to keep moving, try new things, to be creative and flexible. Yet while mercury is currently retrograde (slow down and re-hash your plans) and Saturn revisits SCORPIO (regeneration), that wood energy can feel frustrating and antagonizing at best.

I am feeling THAT are you? Old stuff coming up again? Plans still up in the air? The feeling that there is a lot still to do? Old e-motions and ways of doing things resurfacing and clouding up all of the potential and new….possibility?

What’s scorpio re-generating for you?

liver meridian

liver meridian

The WOOD meridians of spring are the liver and gallbladder. The liver (yin) rises from the earth – up the inner thigh to the bilateral rib cage. Wood energy runs UP as does OURS during this time of year. To complete the cycle of wood energy, however, we need to get the gallbladder energy (Yang) moving out of the head (weighing options and decision making), down through the hip (balance), to the feet (taking steps and moving forward), and into earth (solidifying plans into action.)gallbladder meridian shiatsu

Where people run into problems is when this energy gets stuck – either in the head (head-cases anyone?) or along any part of the pathway (see diagrams.) WOOD wants to move! It does not like stagnation. The feeling of frustration that we experience in slow moving rush hour traffic- that’s wood! Wood energy out of balance is rigid like a dictator that has to have things their way. Wood energy IN balance is trusting and ready to meet new challenges with patience and a smile. There is a Chinese herbal formula called “free and easy wanderer” that is a good representation of balanced springtime wood energy.

Symptoms of wood out-of-balance? Insomnia between 11pm-1am (gallbladder) or 1-3am (liver.) Migraines, headaches (esp. on the sides of the head), allergies, TMJ, tight neck and shoulders, hip pain (hip tension can cause low back pain), general muscle tension, tight calf muscles, sciatica, and knee pain from tight hip and side leg muscles. Emotionally people can experience increased anxiety and frustration as well as feeling overwhelmed with too much to do.

Suggestions… Receive shiatsu, massage, acupuncture. Do yoga. Meditate. Dance, sing, sweat. Get on the bike. GARDEN. Get into the forest and get your bare feet on the ground. Smell the flowers as well as the cedar chips. Wood energy can be playful and fun if we keep it “watered” so that it stays flexible enough for us to use to our advantage. Take magnesium, eat nourishing green salads (with sea salt for mineral supplementation), and drink lemon water (loads of vitamin C and very detoxifying to the liver.)

Last, a tale of magic and how the universe is always in communication with us.

Hiking is my favorite way to reconnect to nature and feel that I am a part of this web of life. Recently, I took a friend to one of my favorite hiking spots so that we could catch up, get some exercise and recharge our batteries. While on the trail, my friend asked about my thumb,charlie and the newt, magic which does not bend since I had surgery in November. I tell her that I am working on it- receiving acupuncture, doing yoga, and that my shoulder and thumb feel like they are still healing. We come across a newt as we talk. I pick it up… so cute! I scared the poor thing but still held it nonetheless. Later, at the end of the trail by the river, my friend and I set up a picnic spot. We talked some more. We told each other about our experiences growing up – each of us sharing tales of our families. We have a mutual understanding that despite our “difficult” circumstances we have both made it pretty far.. actualizing into people we perhaps were never “supposed” to be. She notices a duck dive bombing in front of us for a fish and then floating – just 1?!, and we watch it for a while. We take comfort in each other as our chosen “family.”

Since listening to the world around me helps me to know that I am both connected and guided, I was curious to see what spirit had to say about the meanings of our animal visitors! When I was home with my technology, I looked up the newt and the duck in my Animal Totem app.

Newt –  Regeneration. “The newt has the ability to regenerate lost or damaged limbs, eyes, heart, spinal cord, intestines or jaws. When the newt comes into your life, it is a clear sign that some things thought lost or damaged can be repaired. ” The newt showed up when we were talking about my thumb. Super cool!


duck shiatsu

Duck – Emotion and Spirit. “The duck’s message is that the time is right to work diligently toward your internal emotional growth and your spiritual development.” The duck showed up after we were talking about my friend’s current heartbreak 🙁 and before we talked about our experiences growing up and growing into ourselves. Unbelievable.

Overall, I would say that we are on the right path. The path to healing, regeneration, connection, growth and possibility. Here’s hoping that you are too, and that our experience will inspire you to get outside and talk to nature. Remember to make time to listen to what she has to say back.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of wood-out-of-balance, want to find magic in your coonection to life, or need assistance in hearing the messages that your body has to say, schedule an Ensoflow Shiatsu session today!

In health,


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