Have you noticed the birds singing, the grass sprouting or the flowers blooming? Ah, spring. For many, this much-awaited season of regeneration and renewal happily brings us out from the more introspective time of winter.
In Chinese medicine, spring is connected to the Wood element and the organ systems of the Liver and Gallbladder. Just as the trees and plants are budding and growing, the Wood element represents the energy of growth, movement and flexibility. And, not surprisingly, the color associated with Wood is green, which is also the predominant color of spring.
According to the philosophy of Chinese medicine, the Liver is responsible for the smooth flow of Qi (energy) throughout the body. When this energy is blocked, we can feel anger, resentment, frustration or stress—not very flexible!
Spring is the perfect time for cleansing and getting Qi moving. Just as we are naturally drawn to “spring cleaning” to get rid of unnecessary stuff around us, cleansing our bodies helps move out junk or unwanted toxins internally, invigorating our spirit as well.
Here are some simple suggestions to get you in the flow of spring and regeneration:
Exercise, Stretch, Move – Get your Qi moving, which automatically gets your liver functioning optimally. Walk, bike, jog, do yoga, T’ai Chi or dance! Movement keeps the body supple and flexible.
Add Sour tastes – Sour tastes help smooth and soothe the Liver Qi. Drink fresh squeezed lemon in water first thing in the morning. Add some apple cider vinegar to salad dressings. Eat cultured vegetables or sauerkraut—other great foods for digestion and cleansing.
Eat Green foods – As spring approaches, you might find yourself drawn to eating more salads and vegetables. Consider eating more greens including dandelion, parsley, kale and chard. Steaming beet greens is also detoxifying and great for digestion.
Include Chinese Herbs – Chinese herbal formulas can specifically target “stuck” areas in the body and help the smooth flow of Qi so that all the organ systems are harmonized and working efficiently. A Chinese herbal tonic would be a great addition to any cleanse, specifically addressing any annoying symptoms you’re having, especially allergies or colds.
Try some Acupuncture – Even if you don’t receive acupuncture treatments regularly, getting a “tune up” at the beginning of spring is a great way to keep yourself healthy, free of unwanted stress and make the transition between seasons without getting sick.
Do a Cleanse – If you want a more thorough cleansing experience, Standard Process’ Purification Program is a very gentle yet deep cleanse, and it’s NOT a fast. Side benefits can include weight loss, better sleep, and renewed energy. This is a great way to transition into spring!
Taking a few simple steps to make a healthy transition into spring can be easy! Creating healthy routines and getting support with natural medicine including acupuncture, herbs, and whole food nutrition are amazingly beneficial. Wishing you a Happy Spring with renewed health and smooth flowing Liver Qi!