Chinese Medicine and the Art of Letting Go

Are you feeling pissed off? Angry? Upset? Irritated? Frustrated? Agitated by things that are beyond your control?

It’s a good time to Let Go.

We choose to let go, not because we are detached and unfeeling (or apathetic), but because we make a conscious choice to stop wasting our precious energy and contentedness on things we cannot influence and instead shift our focus to where we can have the deepest and most profound impact, even if that sphere is smaller than we would like.

In Chinese medicine, the ability to let go is associated with the Metal element and the Lung and Large Intestine organs. It is also associated with autumn, which is a painful time of year for many people because letting go is a natural, but often painful process. Eastern traditions teach us that humans are connected to and experience the same cycles as the natural world that surrounds us. Autumn is the time in the cycle where life contracts, closes, and turns inward. It is normal to feel sadness and loss but also feel nurtured by tuning in to our internal environment. Autumn/Metal time is a natural balance to the turning outward that naturally occurs in the Spring/Wood time, creating a foundation from which to operate. Turning inward allows you to understand yourself and what you want to achieve with your life while turning outward creates the energy and forward motion to actually accomplish those goals.

In Chinese medical thought, the Lung and Large Intestine organs are primarily associated with our boundaries and interactions with the outside world. What we choose to let in and what we choose to expel. The Lung brings in what is new so that our body and sprit can expand, while the Large Intestine lets go of all that no longer serves us. Lung and Large Intestine are not separate, but rather two sides of the same movement. What this means is that you can’t have one without the other. We see this clinically all the time- breathing issues and elimination issues go hand-in-hand.  This applies to our emotions as well- allowing in new experiences and letting go must also go hand-in-hand.

Metal is also associated with the desire to control and feelings of righteousness. These are both qualities that can be positive and contribute to making the world a better place, but can also cause a lot of frustration and pain when directed in a less productive direction.


How to Let Go

Get Clear

Take some quiet time to get clear-on what you want to achieve-and what you need to let go of.

Sit or lay down in a quiet place. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Let your face, shoulders, and belly relax. Imagine what you hope to be doing in 1 year. What will you have accomplished? What will your body feel like? How will your relationships feel? How will your actions be changing the world?

Now, think about what you will need to let go of in order to move forward. Could you accomplish more by letting go of some anger?  Could you be stronger if you let go of certain vices (cookies?)? Could your relationships be more meaningful by letting go of past wrongs?


The breath connects the mind and body. By bringing the attention to deep, slow breathing, we can calm the nervous system to more easily let go of things that upset us. The breath is our constant connection to the outside world, bringing in what we need and letting go of what no longer serves us.

Lay down or sit upright, either in a chair with feet flat on the floor, or with legs crossed. Lengthen the spine and relax the shoulders. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly, just above the belly button. Close your eyes and just observe your breath-feel the air enter through your nose and fill your chest. Notice how quickly or slowly you are breathing. Pay attention the rise and fall of your chest and abdomen. Gradually slow your breathing. Imagine that your pelvis is a pool of clear water and that your breath is a stream of water pouring all the way down to fill that pool. Feel your belly rise and fall with each breath.

Practice this deep breathing at least once every day. There is no such thing as too much breathing! If you are new to this type of exercise, even just 3 minutes makes a difference. Work your way up to 10-15 minutes daily.


If you’re having a hard time letting go of your emotional ‘stuff’, try purging some of your physical stuff (a.k.a. clutter or junk). Get rid of old clothes that you don’t wear any longer, pass on books that you’ve already read, toss the clutter filling your tables, closest, and shelves. Maybe it sounds a little odd, but I’ve seen people cure their constipation by clearing their homes (Remember that Large Intestine connection). Letting go begets letting go.


One of my favorite essential oil blends is made with black spruce, juniper, and cedarwood (I just call it ‘let go!’). These conifers all have a light piney quality that affects the lungs and helps to deepen the breath. In Chinese medicine terms, they strengthen the Lung Qi and metal element, thereby boosting our ability to let go.

Apply this oil to any of the key essential oil areas (inside the wrist, on the breastbone, behind the ears), or to the acupuncture point Lung 7, know for its ability to open both the Lung and Large Intestine and facilitate the Metal movement of bringing in the new and letting go of the old. This point is located on the thumb side of the wrist, around 1 inch up from the wrist joint, in a small depression between two tendons.


(And now, despite my tendency towards paralyzing perfectionism, I shall take a deep breath, publish this post, and LET GO!)



Would you like to connect with me to see if I can help you with my unique and effective approach to holistic health care?

Request a free consultation and we’ll meet to discuss your case. We’ll sit down, review your health history and goals, and see if you are a good fit for our services. You will have an opportunity to ask any questions about our approach and if you feel confident that I can help, you’ll have an opportunity to learn how to move forward and work with me.

Shop the Apothecary
Join the Free Resource Library
"Amazing. Both acupuncturists I've seen here are wonderful, and I'm so impressed by the results. It's such a lovely atmosphere and comfortable experience!"​​​​​​​​​
Thanks, Sandy!
When I was first diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) in my early 20s, I was terrified about what it would mean for my future health and fertility. The doctor's advice at that time was to simply take the pill and consider IVF when I decided to conceive. ​​​​​​​​​
As someone who felt horrible on the pill and wanted to take a proactive approach, this advice didn't sit very well with me. I dove into the one (!) book I could find at the time, started acupuncture, visited a number of holistic health providers, and gathered all the information I could find. I was determined to understand the reasons behind my condition and find ways to address its root cause. I wished for a comprehensive resource that could guide me and help me tailor a plan that suited my needs.

When I established Four Flowers Wellness, I envisioned it to be the resource I had sought but couldn't find. Our mission is to help women solve their health and fertility challenges, not by handing them a magic pill (it doesn't exist), but by collaborating to find the best solutions for each individual and together crafting a clear plan to turn their dreams into reality. 

Over the past 20 years, the understanding of PCOS and women's health issues has grown significantly, offering a wealth of knowledge. However, with this abundance, there is also a flood of misinformation. At Four Flowers Wellness, we spend our days sifting through this vast sea of information so that our clients don't have to.

What has been the most significant obstacle you've faced while trying to solve your health challenges?
Trying to find a solution to your cranky injury, chronic pain, or stubborn tension?​​​​​​​​​
The answer could be a treatment using the humble soup spoon, known as Guasha! Guasha is a unique and effective form of soft tissue mobilization using simple, smooth tools such as these ceramic soup spoons. This therapy helps to transform your soft tissue injury back into healthy functioning tissue.

You may have never heard of Guasha before, but like many traditional Asian healing therapies, it has been rebranded in the West as "Graston" or "Astym" which are commonly used by professional sports teams and physical therapists.

Guasha is clinically proven to treat the following (and more!):

- Neck, shoulder, knee, and lower back pain
- Tendonitis
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Scar tissue
- Women’s health (post-Cesarean scarring)
“It’s like magic!”​​​​​​​​​
✨ This is one of my favorite things to hear from clients because even after years of practicing acupuncture, it really does still feel like magic! 

✨ Acupuncture is generally considered a cumulative practice in that we see the greatest results over time with regular treatments, but we can also often feel changes in the body immediately with even just a single needle. 

✨ These immediate changes with acupuncture treatment are most often noticeable when treating pain because the discomfort starts to change as soon as we place the needle. 
For more chronic issues, such as painful menstruation or infertility, we rely on tender areas that reflect the underlying imbalances. For example, many women with painful menstruation have a tight area below and just to the left of the belly button which corresponds to poor blood flow in the uterus and feels sore or painful with pressure. We will check in on this area throughout the acupuncture treatment to make sure that our points are changing the uncomfortable sensations in that area. 

✨ Often, these reflection areas change quite dramatically with treatment. When an area that was painful just a few minutes ago becomes perfectly comfortable just from placing a couple of needles, "It feels like magic!" ✨
Small joys, like flowers, are important reminders to stop, breathe, and find beauty in the moment. ​​​​​​​​​
What small joys can you find right now, in this moment?
8 Evidence-Based Ways That Acupuncture Improves Fertility. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
So you know what acupuncture is. Your friends are all telling you to try it to help you get pregnant. Maybe you’re getting frustrated with your fertility journey – why is it taking so long? – or maybe you’re just getting started but want to know you’re doing everything you can to have a healthy pregnancy and baby. But you’re wondering - How will getting treated with tiny needles improve your fertility? Here are 8 ways acupuncture can help you get pregnant:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
1. Hormone Regulation 〰️ Acupuncture regulates hormones that play a role in the menstrual cycle and ovulation, such as follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), estrogen, and progesterone.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
2. Healthy Blood Flow 〰️ Acupuncture can significantly increase blood flow to the uterus and ovaries, improving egg quality and the ability of a fertilized egg to implant. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
3. Stress Reduction 〰️ Acupuncture regulates the nervous system to improve stress resiliency, allowing you to bounce back from stress more easily and reducing the impact of stress on your hormones.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
4. Improved Ovarian Function 〰️ Acupuncture can improve ovarian function and promote regular ovulation, which increases your chances of conceiving.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
5. Sperm Counts and Quality 〰️ Acupuncture improves both the number and quality of sperm in as little as 4 weeks.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
6. Reduced Inflammation 〰️ Acupuncture reduces overall inflammation in the body and balances immune factors to promote conception and implantation.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
7. Egg Quality 〰️ Acupuncture helps eggs have enough energy (mitochondria) and internal organization (chromosomal integrity) to successfully fertilize and implant.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
8. IVF Success 〰️ Acupuncture can lead to an improved number and quality of eggs and may improve IVF success rates by up to 65%.

Your Initial Consultation is Free.

Come in and meet us in person. Learn more about our approach and what we do. The free consultation is an opportunity to review your health history and goals and see if you’re comfortable with our philosophy and recommendations.

Share This