Reflexology Plus Therapies

When your liver can’t see the wood for the trees it might be time for a “spring clean” | TCM 5-Element Natural Inspirations for health

Each Season of the year offers a personal health profile with Traditional Chinese Medicine Philosophy (TCM), a particular wellness focus period if you like. Spring is Liver and Gall Bladder’s TCM ‘ Wood’ season’ and it’s a good time to be ‘Liver Health Aware’. 

The Liver is responsible for the storing of blood and together with the Gall Bladder this Spring ‘couple’ are responsible for the flow of chi (energy) and the smooth integration of all the body’s systems.

For most of us, states of health and wellbeing are not always smooth; they ebb and flow to varying degrees depending on our circumstances and the amount of stress we are experiencing.  Stress seems to perform in peaks and troughs; a little can be motivational of course but stress becomes a pernicious ‘task master’: incrementally creeping up on us over time, so that eventually we find the body ‘in-balance’ becomes the body ‘out of balance’.

Out of balance represents dis-harmony and dis-ease between our thoughts, feelings and physical states. For example, symptoms of environmental or emotional stress might manifest as tight muscles due to tension, insomnia due to worry, eye strain or headaches due to continuous screen gazing, inability to make decisions, dizziness, sudden outbursts of anger, poor perspectives and ‘not seeing the wood for the trees’.

The beauty of working with TCM 5-Elements is that they point us to the inseparable emotional and physical links behind the presenting symptom. As demonstrated by the above which are classic examples of Liver & Gall Bladder energetic imbalances.

The Liver is known as ‘The General of the Body’ and it stands to reason that the Gall Bladder is the ‘General’s assistance’.  This pairing, assuredly, plays an important role not just in Spring time but in year-round body maintenance.

Our bodies speak to us but do we listen? TCM doesn’t like shock tactics – moderation is a byword – slowly decrease, slowly increase applies. When we are ‘under stress’ it is not advisable to embark on anything extreme like a strict new diet or a full-on detox. Why? Because aspects of ourselves are already under ‘heavyweight’ pressure and don’t need more!  Physical stress on top of emotional stress only invites further stress symptoms e.g. fatigue, headaches, aching muscles and lethargy.  Just as one can’t instantly go from no exercise to a marathon or mountain climb, so it is with a detox regimen.

Some TLC practical advice from TCM philosophy!  Detoxing can be quite challenging for the body: from the TCM Element’s perspective, the key toxin ‘eliminators’ are Lungs, Large Intestines, Skin (Metal Chi), Liver (Wood Chi) Kidneys, Bladder (Water Chi).  All of these organs need kindly consideration when embarking on a body ‘spring clean’.  Activities such as body brushing, saunas, keeping hydrated, gentle exercise like yoga and eating lots of fruit and vegetables to encourage regular bowel movements are supportive.

Spring chi for the Wood Element, Liver/Gall Bladder, is fresh, green, buoyant, yang –  expansive energy after the ‘hibernation’ state of Winter.  So, if you are not currently experiencing high levels of stress, if you can see the wood for the trees, now is a good time of year to embark on a gentle mental or physical cleanse.  (If you are stressed, postpone!). Of course, if you are concerned about any health issues or have a specific dietary condition, please, always check with your doctor first.

My TCM meridian based therapies support emotional energy and work with the body, not against it > the focus is on encouraging a ‘letting go’ so stress and tension can gently and steadily be released and a state replenishment restored.

Louise gives talks on the 5-Elements and runs CPD Approved Workshops and Master Classes on the subject. To find out more about TCM 5-Element relationships please contact

Louise Exeter AMT, CNHC, MAR

All text and illustrations © Louise Exeter March 2017

Mind, body, spirit: everything works together for the benefit of the whole. Louise Exeter:            5-Element meridian reflexologist, E.F.T. energy therapist, wellbeing and soul-goal coach,        angel intuitive practitioner

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