Spring is here. The days are getting longer, the first flowers are starting to blossom and it’s the ideal time to gently cleanse and detoxify the body. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the transition from winter to spring is an important moment to look at our overall health and see where we may need to make some changes – from making new plans for the upcoming year and adjusting our diet and lifestyle, to fortifying our body with herbal tonics and acupuncture.
This is especially true for people in their forties – another important time of transition when things naturally begin to slow down, our diet and lifestyle choices begin to become evident on our face and in our body, and underlying conditions caused by our genetic make-up may start to appear. Our forties are perhaps the last moment we can make significant changes to our health in order to positively influence our wellbeing and potentially prevent serious pain and degeneration during our remaining years.
By addressing health concerns at a deeper level rather than simply focusing on surface symptoms alone, TCM can help slow down or stop some ageing processes altogether, such as muscoskeletal pain, insomnia, dermatological problems, menstrual disorders, while others such as menopausal issues and autoimmune disorders can be successfully treated to alleviate discomfort and make the process as smooth as possible.
The vital energy available in spring can be a great motivator to help us make those all-important changes, so here are just 3 ways TCM can help put a spring in your step this season:
- Improve blood flow
In recent years, Western biomedical research has shown that changes in blood flow and viscosity play a significant role in the development of serious and chronic illness, from cardiovascular disease, diabetes and renal failure to conditions like headaches, loss of vision and muscoskeletal aches and pains such as ‘40’s shoulder’ and ‘50’s joints’, for instance Polymyalgia Rheumatica. TCM treatments such as acupuncture and herbal formulas directly influence the functioning of organs to thin the blood slowly – gently improving its flow, clearing stagnation and avoiding the need for harsh pharmaceutical interventions.
- Support organ function
Due to the body’s constitutional make-up, our organ function typically starts declining from our forties onwards – often leading to tiredness and fatigue, poor mental performance, and dermatological and fertility issues. In TCM, the tonic herb Huang Qi*, sometimes known as astragalus, can be made into different supplements together with other herbs – including liquid extracts, capsules, powders and teas – to support organ function, strengthen the immune system, reduce inflammation and treat heart and kidney disease naturally.
*Huang qi黄芪 (Astragali RadiSx), belonging to the Leguminosae family, is sourced from the dried roots of Astragalus membranaceus and Astragalus membranaceus var. mongholicus. More than 200 compounds have been identified including saponins, flavo-noids, polysaccharides and amino acids. Among these, the triterpenoid saponin astragaloside IV (AST-IV) is the principal active component of the herb. Crude extracts of Astragali RadiSxand constituents have multiple pharmacological effects, including anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, anti-fibrotic, and immunostim-ulant effects. Source: Evidence-based Clinical Chinese Medicine, pp. 139-168 (2021)
- Restore hormone balance
Our hormones may become imbalanced through a combination of ageing, diet and lifestyle, which can cumulatively affect the body’s homeostasis and lead to disrupted sleep patterns, irregular sexual function, and adverse symptoms associated with menstruation and the menopause. Although Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is a common treatment for menopausal symptoms, it introduces synthetic hormones into the body and has been linked with negative side effects including heart disease, blood clots, and breast and ovarian cancers. TCM offers a natural alternative to HRT, combining herbal medicines and formulas that act in a gentle synergistic fashion to effectively restore hormone health and return the body’s balance.
If you are experiencing any of the concerns described in this blog or would like to learn more about how Chinese medicine can restore your health and wellbeing this spring, contact me on 07944 848 953 to arrange a free 15-minute conversation.