Many of us have noticed a dandelion pushing itself through a crack in concrete, and may have even stopped to marvel at its sense of determination to live and grow. This little wonder is the energy of Spring, the energy of new life bursting into existence.
In Chinese Medicine theory, that energy that comes with springtime is represented by the element wood. Wood is the first element in the 5 element cycle, it is the birth phase and witnessed in nature when seeds and buds explode into new growth, when grass pushes through the earth, or trees extend themselves with new shoots and leaves. Each element is also aligned with a personality type. In this case, it is the Pioneer.
The Pioneer breaks new ground. This is the explorer, the creator of new paths. They break tradition to discover new things. Whether we think about that dandelion working its way to the surface or a pioneer on the Oregon Trail, we can admire the will power it takes to move forward despite challenges. It takes vision to set sail to new horizons, but the Pioneer doesn't stop there. They take the necessary action; they move.
Are You A Pioneer?
Do you consider yourself motivated?
Do you work well under pressure?
Do you sometimes have a hard time relaxing?
Do you enjoy travel?
Have you ever started a new business?
Do you work in an innovative field?
Do you like to be the boss?
Do you exude confidence?
Do you sometimes lose patience?
Do you get frustrated with injustice?
The wood-type personality can sometimes be seen as harsh, given the tenacity they naturally embody. They can also be prone to anger, the emotion associated with liver energy, when there is stagnation within or around them. Liver is the wood element’s organ and the organ of springtime. In our bodies, the liver likes to get our qi moving after winter’s lull and can make us feel irritated if hindered in any way. It is important for wood-types to work on adjusting their speed and intensity to not feel either stifled or burned out. They must find the right pace as they pioneer through life and learn to be flexible like the new spring branches that bend (and not break) with the wind.
Pioneers can keep balance by finding time to slow down when necessary, get regular massages to loosen tight muscles and stiff joints, and enjoy but not overdo spicy or sour foods. Green is a great color for these wood types to align with the natural expression of springtime. Wearing green or keeping some indoor plants can help a wood-type whose lifestyle may keep them indoors for periods of time. Simple adjustments like these can help to prevent some of the health issues
Pioneers may face like tension headaches, high blood pressure, or burnout fatigue.
If you don’t see yourself as a pioneer but know someone who is, offer them a ‘thank-you’ for paving the way for the rest of us. (They love that! ..and deserve it.)
No matter what element you resonate with the strongest, acupuncture can help you align with the season. Call to book an acupuncture session to keep your wood element in balance and help you feel as alive and proud as that little dandelion that burst through the concrete to smile at the sun!
Rebecca M H Kitzerow is a Licensed Acupuncturist practicing in La Center, Washington. With over a decade of experience she has won 10 Nattie consumer choice awards from Natural Awakenings Magazine since 2014.