Therapeutic Bodywork for Springtime: Modalities that Promote Wellness During the Spring Season
Spring is the season of the Wood element in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It represents the liver and gall bladder as well as having an effect on the eyes, nails, muscles, tendons, ligaments, endocrine and muscular systems.
This season is also commonly known for its havoc wreaked on the sinuses from seasonal allergies. Allergy sufferers may complain of sinus congestion, headaches due to pressure, and an exhausted immune system. Bodywork may help bolster the system and for many can be an alternative to allergy medications.
Bodywork to Support the Wood Element
Pressure point therapy systems such as Shiatsu, Tuina, Acupressure and Reflexology are all good to receive during the spring. Each system contains points that will encourage the body to balance and build up the organs most affected during this season.
A gentle cleanse can also be planned alongside a series of treatments to help the body do a spring cleaning. Let your practitioner know about any spring fasting, special diets or considerations prior to scheduling a series of sessions.
Helping the Sinuses during Allergy Season with Bodywork
When possible plan a course of treatments to start before allergy season arrives in your area. This will help bolster your system and encourage a milder response to allergens. Some bodywork techniques that can be helpful for sinus congestion include:
• Face Reflexology – techniques will be applied directly to the face along reflex points that will encourage drainage and provide relief from symptoms.
• Indian Head Massage – a great way to help drain excess fluid from the head, including the sinuses, and give relief to sinus headaches and congestion.
• Foot Reflexology – the pads of the toes are the reflex areas to the sinuses, the practitioner will use gentle to moderate pressure over these reflexes and give a full session to encourage whole-body healing.
The liver holds the emotion of anger, particularly of suppressed anger. Receiving bodywork during Spring may bring up memories or emotions related to angry feelings from the distant or recent past. Some find receiving bodywork during this season can help to restore a sense of flexibility, calmness and improve sleeping patterns. The hours governed by the liver are 1:00-3:00am and the gall bladder is 11:00pm-1:00am. If a liver and gall bladder imbalance exists the sleep can be affected during these hours.
Choosing a Bodywork Practitioner
Check with your existing practitioner to see if he or she has a recommended protocol for Spring or can help you with your goals for a healthier system. Comfort levels and goals should also be taken into consideration when researching which form of bodywork to try. Most pressure point modalities are administered on a fully-clothed body by a practitioner that specializes in these forms of bodywork. Some massage therapists have received dual training in both Swedish massage and Tuina or Shiatsu, check with them about this advanced training prior to booking an appointment. Reflexology education standards in the United States is a 200 hour training course and most forms of Acupressure require a 500 hour training commitment.