In Chinese Medicine, each season is associated with an organ system, and Springtime belongs to the Liver.
There are other associations with the Liver system, such as the color green (imagine new shoots rising up from the earth), wind (Spring is often a breezy time of year - this is especially true in San Francisco), growth, planning and decision-making (this is what happens when our liver qi is strong and healthy), as well as the emotions of frustration and anger (or stress) which erupts when our Liver qi does not move smoothly.
Chinese Medicine is about being in tune with the outer world, connected to nature, moving together with the seasons. In fact, much of the philosophy that guides the principles of the medicine is rooted in how observations of nature play out in similar ways in our bodies.
Liver Qi Stagnation is a term you may hear when visiting an acupuncturist's office. This is a very common manifestation and is essentially Chinese Medicine speak for the presence of stress symptoms. When we see Liver Qi Stagnation we may notice a dusky colored tongue, a pulse that feels tense, muscles that are tight, expressions of frustration or anger, an inability to move forward on something or trouble with decision-making.
Foods and lifestyle can stagnate liver qi. Foods that are damp in nature, such as dairy, alcohol or excessively sweet foods can be hard for the liver's energies to process.
Being sedentary for long periods of time will also stagnate liver qi. Our bodies are designed for consistent, steady movement at a moderate pace. Modern lifestyles don't always allow for this, so if you work at a desk job, parceling up tasks into 50 or 90-minute blocks with 10-20 minute breaks in between for some light movement can be a good way to remain productive and keep your liver qi flowing.
A walk out in nature is also a good remedy (just remember to keep a scarf around your neck to protect against that Spring Wind!), and, of course, acupuncture. Acupuncture helps keep the qi in our meridians buzzing and moving freely, it can energize our thinking, inspiring us to follow through on plans that we make, support healthy circulation and stimulate our nerves towards connectivity. Even a brief 20 minutes with needles can do wonders.