Acupuncture has been practised in China for thousands of years. Underlying it is a theory of medicine which is very sophisticated and produces extraordinary results. Energy flows through meridians or pathways that connect to the internal organs.
In spring, energy peaks in the liver and gallbladder systems, problems here will manifest as a rancid body odour, sluggishness, headache, constipation, craving for chocolate, tendon or ligament problems, indigestion, inflexibility, eye complaints, and quickness to anger and resentment. Gallbladder problems will often cause difficulty losing weight. The Chinese speak of a person with a big gallbladder as being courageous, and equate a small gallbladder with timidity.
In Chinese medicine, each organ has a mental aspect, the liver governs planning and the gallbladder governs decision making. It has now been scientifically proven that excess alcohol affects the executive functions of planning and decision making. The classical dream a person might have is that they cannot get the bus or train to get the plane, or they are lying down and cannot get up.
Traditionally, spring and the season of Lent are connected with a lighter diet and no alcohol. Easter is a moveable feast, occurring on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the Spring Equinox, March 21, which makes Easter Sunday fall on April 20 this year.
As it can vary by weeks, from an internal organ perspective February 1 is the ideal time to begin a detoxifying diet to improve energy. Linda Heffernan is 30 years practising acupuncture. Her clinic is in Woodquay, Galway, on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, phone 091 561676; and Moore Street, Loughrea, on Fridays, phone 091 871812.
Linda Heffernan is the director of the College of Integrative Acupuncture, which is based in Moore Street, Loughrea. The college offers a three year part-time professional acupuncture course.