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Coming into bloom: Spring Awakening and Chinese Medicine

Whilst the New Year is often positioned as a time of reflection, shaking off the previous year and starting anew with well-intentioned resolutions, the onset of Spring provides a slightly more intuitive space to move forward, as momentum in nature starts to pick up and the year ahead starts taking firmer shape.


The title of this blog post is in part inspired by an event I was recently fortunate enough to participate in. Titled ‘Womb Health and Healing: Spring Awakening’, I was invited to speak about the themes of cyclical living with reference to both nature and its connection to our reproductive health in the context of TCM. It was such a wonderful event full of connection and beautiful insights from my fellow panel speakers Kam Bening (Blossom Osteopathy) and Laura Swann (Wild medicine specialist).



Four women standing side by side at a Women's health event at a wellness space called UNTIL in Marylebone
Laura Swann, myself, Noush Savva, Kam Bening at UNTIL Marylebone for our inaugural Womb Health event

A particularly insightful part of the discussion came through exploring how we can align ourselves with the Spring season mentally and emotionally, figuring out how we can propel ourselves forward with the momentum that may be surrounding us. In Chinese medicine, Spring is associated with the Wood element, which represents a sense of creativity, new beginnings, and growth. The organs that are energetically linked with the Wood element are the Liver and Gallbladder. In TCM, the Liver predominantly allows the smooth flow of Qi (energy) in every direction which is essential for optimum health.  On an emotional level, it leads the charge in making plans, whilst the Gallbladder is its partner-in-crime in executing plans. The Liver can be negatively impacted by emotions of anger/frustration. If chronic, this can lead to Qi stagnation, which manifests in our physical health with aches/pains/menstrual issues for example, or in our mental health as anxiety or depression. Therefore, to optimise our wellbeing for the Spring season, there are a few things we can address or tweak to support maximal function of our Liver and Gallbladder:


  1. Consider a ‘mental’ Spring clean. Whether it's writing it down or chatting about it with a friend, processing or letting go of ruminating thoughts or even tasks that seem to be dragging can free up mental space for new opportunities and offer the physical release of the dregs of Winter that may still be lingering in us.

  2. Engage in physical activity- whether it’s a fitness class or a walk in nature, movement of any kind allows the endorphins released to give you a boost to your wellbeing. From a TCM point of view, this will also help with Liver Qi stagnation.

  3. From a dietary point of view, eating seasonally and increasing your intake of leafy greens will offer a great foundation to support the Liver. The Liver is also associated with the taste of sour, so incorporating citrus into your diet will work really well. Lighter methods of cooking like steaming, sautéing or stir-frying are also apt for this season.

  4. Be mindful of the intake of fatty foods/caffeinated drinks. This doesn’t mean cutting it out completely (which never really works anyway!) but just being aware of balance will give your digestion a chance to rest and digest when it needs to efficiently.

  5. Be aware of your sleep routine- prioritising good quality rest helps to set a solid foundation for productivity. This may sound obvious and is easier said than done but can be difficult to achieve. How about starting with one change at a time, like using white noise, or having blackout curtains? (A blog post specifically on sleep hygiene will be coming soon!)


As I encourage with all my patients, even just making one tweak or adjustment that is sustainable can make a huge difference. The season of spring brings so many things around us into bloom – I hope taking the time to reflect on how you would like to move into this new season allows you to flourish in all the ways you wish to.

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