In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Spring belongs to the wood element and dominates liver functioning. Spring cleaning is not only for your home, it’s also a time to clear out toxins from our bodies. This season is the perfect time for that. Eating the growing variety of vegetables and fruits available at your local market and incorporating a regular exercise routine to your week is one of the easiest ways to help your body renew itself.
Because seasonal health issues and allergies are sometimes frustrating to manage, keeping healthy liver function is vital. If the liver is not healthy, it could affect the spleen and the lungs. Chest congestion, sneezing, runny nose and itchy eyes are some of the symptoms associated with disharmony between the organs. It is very important to cleanse the liver and lungs to bring balance and maintain vitality. Acupuncture, herbs and eating the right foods can help to accomplish this balance.
According to Chinese Numerology the number in 2015 is the number 8 (2+0+1+5=8). Here are eight steps to stay healthy in the spring season:
1. Eat lots of green foods which are rich in chlorophyll in order to help accelerate liver rejuvenation.
2. Cook vegetables for a shorter time but at a higher temperature. Lightly steam or a quick stir fry vegetables.
3. Avoid too much dairy, fried foods, poorly sourced meats and large quantities of nuts.
4. Incorporate more pungent foods like garlic, ginger, green onions, basil, watercress, mustard greens, turmeric, cardamom, marjoram, cumin, and fennel. These help to ease the transition into spring when sudden changes in weather make us susceptible to acute illness.
5. Incorporate more bitter foods like asparagus, amaranth, quinoa, radish leaves, citrus peel, dandelion, chamomile, milk thistle seeds, and Oregon grape root which have liver cleansing capabilities and help to lessen allergy symptoms.
6. Stretch. Stretching your body increases flexibility by bringing blood, oxygen, nutrients and removing waste from muscle tissue and tendons. Regular stretching also improves the function of your liver and gallbladder as well as your mind.
7. Slow to Anger. Anger is the emotion associated with the Liver and Spring. Becoming excessively angry, and/or perpetually irritable adversely affects the liver. Feeling angry or complaining constantly are self-indulgent and destructive responses. Your body’s biochemistry responds to anger by down-regulating serotonin and other feel good neurochemicals. You put yourself in a vulnerable and depressive state by allowing your anger to dominate your emotional landscape.
8. Be open to change. A key indicator of spring is the erratic shift of weather from day to day over the coming weeks. In order to survive and even thrive, the natural world must be open to erratic and unpredictable changes. Resistance proves harmful to plants, animals and even people without adaptability to unforeseen circumstances.
These subtle shifts in behavior and attitude foster a healthy environment in your body which keeps you in sync with the world around you. Be well and enjoy the energy of Spring! Now is a good time to schedule a series of Spring acupuncture tune-up treatments, to keep yourself balanced and in harmony.