After a long hibernation, enjoying the darker, quieter hours of winter, I am back with the spring!
Spring has officially sprung: the weather is getting warmer, plants are blooming, and the days are getting longer. The Spring is a time of renewal, when the energy that has been resting and collecting during winter, has built up the momentum to literally spring forth. Dormant plants and animals begin to emerge, as energy moves from a contracted state to a more expansive one. Our bodies follow this pattern as well. The Spring is ruled by the Wood Element which governs the Liver. The Wood of the Liver is rising and expanding along with the plants outside. This can overstimulate the Liver causing health challenges such as:
Irritability and anger
Headaches and migraines
Rashes and skin eruptions
Digestive issues (bloating, indigestion, heartburn)
Worsening of PMS or female health issues
Luckily there are many ways to help soothe our Livers and reestablish balance during the season of the Wood Element.
5 tips for staying healthy during the spring time
Move your body! Make sure to get a little exercise every day, whether it be going for a walk, dancing to music, working out, yoga, tai chi, jogging, hiking, etc. Moving the body, moves the blood, which moves the qi, also moving the Liver qi. Stuck Liver qi makes us feel stuck, stagnant, and irritable, so get that energy moving!
Eat your greens. The Liver and the Wood Element are ruled by the color green. Eating fresh, organic greens will help decongest the Liver. Try making a soup or smoothie and blending in spinach, kale, or your favorite green food. Try adding a small salad to each meal. Have a green juice. If having digestive issues, don’t overdo raw greens or consume too many sugary smoothies/juices, and instead add to a soup or gently cook before eating.
Tap both sides of the abdomen and brush down while breathing deeply. The Liver is on the right and the Spleen is on the left, so this will help activate both organs, moving out any heat or dampness. This move is great if you’re having digestive issues or any of the Liver symptoms listed above.
Do some spring cleaning. Since this is the season of renewal, it is a time for taking in the new and releasing the old. This can mean changing our diets and eliminating unhealthy foods. This can also literally mean cleaning our homes and closets and getting rid of what is no longer needed. It’s also a great time for forming new habits and patterns. Make a list of 5 things you want to do or change this spring and stick with it!
Drink more water and less alcohol and caffeine. Water helps flush out toxins, hydrating the body. Caffeine and alcohol are considered “hot” in Chinese Medicine and can aggravate an overstimulated liver and also encourage dehydration, so best to consume in moderation.