In Chinese Medicine, everything is a cycle. We experience everything as a dynamic flow between yin and yang – the waning and waxing, the static and moving. During the spring, we especially feel this transition. As we move from the cold and dark of winter, into the busy light of spring. And as we transition out of a year of pandemic, this feeling is especially strong.
In traditional Chinese Medicine, spring is associated with the wood element, the color green, wind and the direction of east – like a sunrise, spring brings the dawning of a new day. In health, we associate spring with the liver organ. And like the liver, spring is a time for cleansing, activity, growth and renewal. It’s a time to focus on releasing the things that no longer serve us. And like a good spring cleaning, we should look within to find the emotions that hold us back like resentment and frustration and try to move forward.
So as we move into spring this week, here are some ways to help use that active energy to detox your body and your mind:
Focus on leafy greens that can help with liver and gallbladder detoxification:
- Dandelion leaf
- Sprouts/baby greens
Focus on lean meats like chicken and broths with healthy nutrients in them. The flavor of spring is sour – so adding in lemon or apple cider vinegar to your water in the morning can help with digestion and move the bile more readily.
In spring, when the wind picks up, we are more likely to acquire viral infections. And we know all too well the consequences of that in the last year. To help your immune system, add in some herbs and vitamins to help boost your immune system:
- Vitamin C
Additionally – wear a scarf of coat if it’s cold and windy to help regulate your body temperature and strengthen your immune system.
The liver in Chinese Medicine is related to stress and the emotion of anger. When things pile up or become stagnant, and you can’t release emotions from stress, anger builds up. Additionally, the gall bladder is the organ responsible for decision making and planning. So if you’ve been feeling stressed and overwhelmed and you feel like things aren’t getting done, take some time away to see if you can release some of those responsibilities and emotions.
We’ve all had a hard year. It’s reasonable to believe that things are becoming overwhelming (if they haven’t already). If you need some tips to help move forward with the spring energy, consider these things:
- Enjoy the sunny (and mostly warm) weather! Go outside – if even for a 10 min walk. The rays of sun and the energy of spring will help revitalize you.
- Increase your exercise – getting your body moving will help move the blood and reduce stagnation
- Laugh! Bring some silliness or fun into your home to help dispel stagnation
- Talk to a friend – we’ve been so isolated for so long, reach out to someone you care about.
- Detox – go to a sauna, steam room or soak. Get a massage or spa treatment. Treat yo’ self!
So to recap: tap into the energy this spring. Give yourself some space. Purge some things from your life and routine. And keep. Moving. Forward.
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