Chinese Medicine and the Season of Spring
Is Chinese medicine we place great importance on living in tune with nature and the seasons, our environment, and our diet in order to stay healthy and prevent disease.
The season of spring is finally upon us and is a very exciting time of year. In Chinese medicine this season is connected to change, increase of energy , cleansing, and the organ network of the liver, which deals with the smooth flow of qi, or life force in our body in both a physical and emotional way. In the world around us we see and feel a sense of excitement as the trees are about to burst forth with buds after a long hibernation during winter.
Liver Imbalance can manifest in many ways. Here are a few symptoms that you may recognize.
Menstrual disorders like PMS, irregularity, or pain
Shoulder and neck pain or tightness
Anger or short temper
But don’t despair. We can address these issues and prepare ourselves.
Diet is a big part of being in tune with the seasons. In the spring it can help to balance the liver by eating all those new spring greens, especially bitter ones like baby arugula, and dandelion as well as kale, watercress, and sprouted greens. Sour is associated with the liver. By adding a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar or the juice of a half of a lemon to a glass of water we can soothe the liver as well as help to balance the PH of the body. This is the best time to do a dietary cleanse by eliminating heavy foods such as dairy, sugar, meat and refined carbohydrates. The impulsive aspect of the liver can push us to crave sugar and eat without thinking. Take 2 minutes to do some deep breathing and realize that it will pass.
It is important to not let the liver get the best of us by over scheduling our days. Practicing calming techniques as often as possible is extremely important to keep that energy from spinning out of control. Whether it’s meditation, yoga, tai chi, qigong or just sitting by a pond to calm the mind and the physical body.
Having a regular exercise routine in the spring is very important for diffusing the excess energy as well. Since emotional issues tend to flare in the spring it is critical to have an outlet that you are comfortable with so trying something new and risky is not a great idea. Walking in nature a few times per week will actually calm the emotions and the liver. It is easy to be enthusiastic and over do it in the spring, risking getting injured. Gradually building energy for the summer will keep that green energy in check!
Timing is everything in the spring.
Getting up early, especially by 7 am is more in keeping with liver time and nature now that the light is up earlier. In the evening, although it is tempting to eat dinner later since it is still light, it is actually important to eat by 7 pm. After that the liver starts to work doing its job of cleansing the blood for the night.
Getting acupuncture in the spring is a perfect way to soothe the liver and balance the body. Regular treatments will give you a head start on those Spring symptoms like allergies and help to keep you healthy and in balance for the rest of the season. A series of 4-6 treatments will get you right on track to spring forward and enjoy the energy of the season.
Contact me for information on my spring qigong classes or to find our more about acupuncture.
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