The Basics

Seasonal Changes

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Acupuncture can help many health conditions, but did you know that it can also be useful at preventing diseases?

In China, over a hundred years ago, people only paid their acupuncturists when they were healthy. If you fell ill, the acupuncturist would treat you free of charge until your health returned.

For almost three thousand years, Chinese medicine practitioners have been offering their patients a few annual appointments to strengthen their vital forces and immune system. This actually constitutes the very foundation of this holistic and preventive medicine.

Over the millennia, seasonal protocols have been put in place and tested to prevent the onset of diseases that seem to follow an annual cycle. Therefore, instead of waiting for the problem to arise, it is recommended that you visit your acupuncturist eight times a year as a preventive measure. By doing this, your immune system will be ready to deal with foreign invaders!

In Chinese medicine, the seasons don’t start or finish the same way that we are used to. The equinoxes and solstices are in the middle of the seasons instead of the beginnings. There is also a fifth season, called inter-season or late-spring, late-summer, late-fall, and late-winter. It is a period of transition from one season to the other.

Generally, the two transitions that affect us the most are the equinoxes: the passage from summer to autumn and the passage from winter to spring.

Each season corresponds to a different element, to particular organs, and to various stages of the yin-yang cycle. Here is a small summary table of the classifications under the theory of the five elements:

WOODFIREEARTHMETALWATER
Liver Gall BladderHeart Small Intestine Pericardium San JiaoSpleen
Stomach
Lungs Large IntestineKidneys Bladder
SpringSummerInter-seasonFallWinter
WindHeatDampnessDrynessCold
SourBitterSweetPungentSalty
AngerJoyPensivenessSadnessFear
BirthGrowthTransformationHarvestStorage
Time to cleanse, pay attention to self-awarenessTime to wake up early, enjoy the sun and flourish like natureTime for self-nurturing, self-cultivation, and a good time to slow downTime to plan, organize, let go of what we don’t needTime to turn inwards, to self-reflect, to rest