645 Ridgely Avenue Annapolis, MD 21401

Shift into Spring: The Wood Energy

by Clem Knox, Licensed Acupuncturist


We know the moment it happens – we wake up one morning and know that spring has arrived. Perhaps we see green tips pushing up through the earth or feel the wind gust as it hasn’t for a while. Birds and squirrels are suddenly everywhere and we ourselves feel the urge to get busy again. The world is waking up from its winter slumber and cabin fever has taken hold.


This is the spring energy, also known to the ancient Chinese, as the Wood Element. Wood energy rises forcefully out of the quiet potential of the winter Water Element. It bursts forth, bringing with it momentum and rebirth in the form of tender shoots and buds and babies, or as new ideas, plans and visions that will take shape and mature throughout the year.


This is the season to plant the seeds of our future, formulate ideas, make decisions and set the direction for the year ahead. If our Wood is balanced, we will feel up to the challenge, strong and steady yet flexible, so that if plans change we can go with the flow. If we are not balanced, we may feel brittle or obstructed which can give rise to anger, frustration or indecision.


Wood represents the qualities of creativity, expansion, cooperation, benevolence and social justice. It is often referred to as “the General”, decisive and purposeful, marching forward with an eye on the goal but also on the greater good. Wood can be generous and forgiving or spiteful, stubborn and mistrusting.


Wood governs the organ systems of the liver and gallbladder, which in turn govern the muscles and tendons and the smooth flow of Qi in our bodies. If these “Officials”, as we call them, are not functioning well, they can give rise to headaches, muscle spasms, problems with menstruation and fertility, high blood pressure, depression, anger issues and much more.


How can acupuncture help?


As acupuncturists, we are able to assess the health of an organ system and unblock stuck energy by choosing several, among hundreds of acupuncture points to address the precise nature of a person’s imbalance. We may choose to tonify or disperse the energy, redirect or break through a block or perhaps supplement it with a gentle herbal heat application. As the energy is balanced, symptoms dissipate and we feel better within our entire body, mind and spirit.


If there is no actual disease to address, a seasonal treatment is a wonderful way to get our selves in tune with the energy of the season. Spring can be especially difficult for some people because we are going from the quiet energy of winter to the explosive energy of spring and often the reserves just aren’t there. Treating points along the liver and gallbladder pathways can help bring our Wood into balance so that we may fully embrace the gifts of the season.


Here are some ways to cultivate Spring Energy:


  • Take a brisk walk outside and notice what is new and blossoming
  • Plant a garden and eat greens
  • Implement an idea and use your creativity
  • Let go of an old hurt – forgive and forget
  • Clean your house, organize and get rid of clutter
  • Support a cause for the greater good
  • Challenge yourself physically with a new sport or exercise regime
  • Take a course and learn something new


Spring is here – go for it!


"I am a mother of 4 active children. Their sports--gymnastics, ice hockey, soccer and rugby--are all high impact and inevitably result in fractures, sprains and muscle trauma. Acupuncture speeds the recovery time and always increases...

– PK


FULL CIRCLE Healing Arts

645 Ridgely Avenue
Annapolis, MD 21401
Phone: 410-266-9370
Fax: 410-266-3902