the Acupuncture Works
Spring 2018

Needle Notes
Spring - The Wood Element - Gall Bladder and Liver Merdians

In the spring, life burgeons. Young animals are born. Young plants force their way up through the frosty earth.
Spring's Imperative: Grow and Create!

Spring is the season associated with new beginnings and possibilities. We live in a culture that reveres the powers of the Wood element. Vision, leadership, organizational skill, planning, pushing forward, boldness - all are applauded in our culture. Those who embody these qualities "get ahead," and have worldly power.

Wood encompasses action, the yang principle - the spring energy that pushes forth from the still-cold ground. A tree is emblematic of the Wood element, with its roots deep into the earth and its limbs reaching for the sky. Trees that are healthy are upright, sturdy, strong and flexible in the face of storms. Those that are diseased are weakened and tend to break in the presence of a heavy wind.

The Wood element in balance and health is reflected in a lifestyle that is productive, and spacious enough to allow time for creative and fun endeavors.
Acupuncture Point of the Season

Liver 3 - Supreme Rushing - aka - Happy Calm

This is the Source Point on the liver meridian. It is found on the dorsal surface - the top - of the foot in the angle between the first and second metatarsal bones. This point is by far the best point for calming emotions related to anger and irritability. In Chinese Medicine the Liver channel is responsible for moving energy in all directions. When energy gets “stuck” in the Liver channel it then EXPLODES and leads to symptoms such as anger, irritability, PMS, IBS, twitching eyes, and a throbbing headache.

creative, new ideas
able to maintain perspective without judgement
good eyesight / vision

Out of Balance
aimlessness, can't make a plan
tendency toward resentment
vision problems / headaches
Seasonal Recipe - Bitter Greens with Mustard Vinaigrette

8 Servings
2 Tbsp. finely minced shallot
1 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. grated garlic
1/3 C plus 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 C lightly packed bitter greens - chicory, escarole, radicchio, frisée and dandelion - torn into pieces

Whisk first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Add oil in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly; whisk until well emulsified and blended. Season vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper.
Herbs for Spring Health

From an herbalist's perspective, it is said that Spring is the perfect time to do an herbal detox to support, tonify and cleanse the Liver, which promotes vital Qi and organ health. The herbs classically used for the detox are the roots of the dandelion, burdock and yellow dock plants. If you are interested in using an herbal detox as part of your spring cleaning - body, mind and spirit, email Barry at
Practical suggestions for cultivating the gifts of spring

  • Start a garden, or at least a window box, and think about the unique potential in each seed or plant as you place it in the earth. Grow an unfamiliar kind of flower or vegetable and expect the unexpected!
  • Reorganize your desk
  • Begin new things - at home, in your work and in yourself. In this season when nature reinvents itself, we too can see people and situations with new eyes. Let new tissue grow over old hurts, and take fresh hope. Be creative. Make things, do things. Begin!
  • Feel your ability to bend and be pliable, as well as stand tall and firm. Emotionally and mentally, do your thoughts and emotions bend with ease and grace? Can you take a stand in life? Be fully yourself? Be true to your inner nature?
  • Learn from your frustation: If your plan isn't working, what does that tell you? Have you lost the "big picture"? Are you bogged down in the details?
  • Make a list. Stop procrastinating!
Be Open Minded this Season!
 | the Acupuncture Works | 802-748-2020 |
offices in St. Johnsbury, VT and Hanover, NH