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It’s Spring! The Season of the Liver and Gallbladder

It’s Spring! The Season of the Liver and Gallbladder

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), spring is the transitional season of the Liver and its partner the Gallbladder. The Liver is responsible for the smooth flow of blood, Qi (energy) and emotions throughout the body. It is a time of creating, cleansing, activity, movement, growth and renewal.

Spring is the perfect season to release emotions that no longer serve us. Liver stagnation can occur with stress and emotional repression, which can present itself as anger, resentment, frustration, depression, inability to forgive, indecisiveness, procrastination, irritation and unfulfilled desires. The Gallbladder governs our courage in decision making, planning, dreaming, inspiration, and assertiveness.

When these emotions are balanced and expressed freely they encourage us to move forward with mental clarity and emotional well-being. The emotional signs of a healthy flow of Liver/Gallbladder Qi present with a forgiving spirit, assertiveness, decisiveness, going with the flow, fulfilled, happiness, inspired, joy, and willingness to let go.

Green is the colour of spring and its budding abundance and the taste is sour. Consuming foods that support and balance Liver/Gallbladder Qi include: arugula, basil, bay leaves, beet, black sesame seeds, broccoli, cardamom, carrots, celery, chives, coconut milk, complex carbohydrates(brown rice, millet, potatoes, amaranth Etc.), cucumber, daikon, dill, grapefruit, green tea, legumes, lemon, lettuce, mint teas, oranges, radishes, sea vegetables, seeds, spring onions, and watercress.

During this transitional time it is advisable to continue consuming warm cooked foods and liquids with the cooling foods mentioned above like salads. A warm cup of lemon water first thing in the morning astringes the Liver and is beneficial for moving Gallbladder bile.

Ease into spring slowly. Relax. Take care of your mind, body and spirit with gentle exercise such as a walk, Qi Gong, and Yin Yoga. Vigorous exercise can overwork and overstretch the tendons, causing eventual loss of flexibility, which affects the Liver function of being flexible.

Acupressure Points for a Smooth Transition to Spring

What are Acupressure Points? Acupuncture points and Acupressure points are exactly the same, it is the technique used to stimulate them that is the difference. Consider the points as pools of energy that are waiting to be activated in order to do their assigned jobs. 

How do I stimulate the acupressure points? After you have located the point, it is “activated” by pressing gently at first, and if it is not sensitive, you may apply a bit more pressure. It should not feel uncomfortable, but some points can be tender at a very light touch. Gently massaging the point can be quite effective and for an extra calming result you can use a drop of your favourite essential oil on the points as well. 

How do I locate the point? An important thing to keep in mind as you are locating is that most acupuncture/acupressure points are not the exact size of an acupuncture needle tip (teeny tiny!) but rather, about the size of your finger tip. Finding a tender spot in the general area is just as or more effective than the textbook point. You will not be harmed if you are slightly off from the exact point!


  • Called – Great Surge
    • Located – On your foot, about two finger widths between your big toe and the second toe, in the depression before your finger touches the metatarsal joint (bone)
    • This point – This point strongly spreads Liver Qi which aids headaches, dizziness, and eye issues, regulates menstruation and is calming. This point can be tender with a very light touch, so be gentle!


  • Called – Union Valley
    • When combined with LV3 they are known as the Four Gates – redistributes energy and recirculates stagnant flow, alleviates pain, calms the nervous system, fortifies immune support, and balance
      • Located – On the dorsum of the hand, between the 1st and 2nd metacarpal bones, in the middle of the 2nd metacarpal bone on the radial side. You can usually feel a tender spot and the muscle may be larger where the point is.
      • This point – Moves Qi and blood, strengthens immunity, regulates sweat glands, and alleviates pain, any issues with the mouth, teeth, jaw, allergies, rhinitis, hay fever, acne eye problems, and headaches. This is a great point to stimulate while you have a headache!


  • Called – Vitality Point (3 Mile Point or Extra Mile) 
    • Located – four finger widths below the knee and one finger width outside of your shinbone. 
    • This point – is very healing! It harmonizes digestion and the stomach. Fortifies healing energy and the Immune System. Requires deep pressure unless it is already tender to the touch. Provides stability and grounding, heals the effects of too much worrying and over-thinking.


  • Called – Hall of Impression
    • Located – On the forehead, midway between the medial ends of the eyebrows. Commonly known as the “Third Eye”
    • This Point – Powerful point to calm the mind! This point is effective for treating insomnia, anxiety, and agitation. Can be used as a focal point during meditation. Also helpful for nasal congestion and discharge, including nosebleeds.

Article written by Casey Kohlman, R.Ac

Get in touch with Casey by email at

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