It’s still cold here in Los Angeles ─ there’s even snow on the ground in Southern California ─ but Springtime is right around the corner! Like all seasons, Spring has its own unique and important function when it comes to wellness and healing. It is the time when the body comes out of the dormant, hibernating, restful, and rejuvenating stage of winter and transitions into the stage of new beginnings ─ represented by moving, sprouting, and growing.
Doctors of traditional Asian medicine encourage their patients to cleanse the body of toxins, and to release old, stored emotions of anger and frustration. Spring is the optimal time to cleanse the Body, Mind, and Spirit. Out with the old, in with the new.
The Liver Qi
The liver and Liver Qi (the energy of the liver) are the stars of the Spring show. The stressors from our hectic lives are the biggest culprit ─ the Liver Qi can get blocked from taxation and emotional exhaustion.
The other contributors are the unhealthy food we eat, and the unhealthy lifestyle we might lead. Not to mention the environmental toxins we encounter every day. This all leads to feeling tired, sluggish, and basically out of balance. By harmonizing the liver, we rejuvenate our body and mind, and create longevity by slowing down these contributors to aging.
From the perspective of Asian medicine, freeing the energy of the liver and gallbladder from blocks and stagnation is the number one disease preventative. Free-flowing energy is the best way to guarantee health and harmony. As human beings, we are a part of nature, and we can benefit from, and work with, the Springtime cycle to manifest wellness for ourselves.
There are a few simple ways to get started on your Spring cleaning:
Eat smaller portions and incorporate foods that cool & cleanse the liver. Some good choices are organic fresh greens, apples, cherries, grapefruit, lemons, sprouts, wheat and barley grasses, beets and their greens, kale, parsley, onions, turmeric, mint, apple cider vinegar, quinoa, oats, sunflower seeds, green tea, seaweed, dandelion root, chamomile flowers, asparagus, and all green vegetables, as green is the color of Springtime.
It’s best to avoid or limit caffeine, sugar, chemical additives, unhealthy fats (seed and vegetable oils, cream, cheese, shortening), fried foods, overly spicy foods, alcohol, peanuts, and all highly processed foods.
- MOVE your body. The liver thrives on exercise, as it moves the Qi. A daily walk is ideal to keep the energy and lymphatic system flowing. Get up from that chair, turn off the computer, and move your liver energy.
- Try acupuncture treatments. Acupuncture and herbs can help improve the overall health of your liver as well as treat stress, anger, and frustration, which are often associated with liver disharmony. Feel free to contact me, if you have any questions about acupuncture, at joyfullifehealing.com.
- Feng Shui and clear clutter. Do a spring cleaning of your house, body, and mind. Get rid of the old to make space for new things you want in your life. Clean out your closets and cupboards.
- Express your emotions. I have found that 10 minutes of journaling every morning for at least 40 days allows me to dump it all out onto the page and leaves me feeling like I have a better handle on what can feel like the chaos of my life. It’s a free and easy way to clearly see and release what no longer serves me.
I hope you try out some of these Spring cleaning methods, and that you feel your health and wellness sprout and bloom!