A Year’s Plan Starts With Spring
It’s easy to feel a boost of energy in the Spring with the fresh, sunny days and blossoming trees signaling new life and regeneration.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Spring relates to the liver and gallbladder organs, our body’s detoxification system.
The Liver system is known as the “farmer who cultivates”. It governs and regulates the blood and the flow of Qi (life force) energy to promote circulation. It processes our emotions and nourishment, eliminating what is not needed.
The Gallbladder system governs decision making and gives us the courage and ability to make decisions. The gallbladder also plays an essential role in the smooth flow of Qi throughout the body.
How Can We Help These Hard Working Organs to Boost Our Vitality in Spring?
Choose Light, Clean Foods
To be in harmony with the qualities of Spring, the foods we eat should provide a gentle cleansing from the heavier foods we ate during the winter months.
Try eating plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits such as; grapefruit, apples, radishes, daikon, broccoli, asparagus, lettuce, leeks, and shiitake mushrooms. Eat lean poultry and meats, preferably grass fed, that are grilled or steamed, not fried. Enjoy complex grains like brown rice and millet. Additionally, food and drink that taste sour are thought to stimulate Qi, so enjoy lemon slices in your water and oil and vinegar dressing or olives.
Fresh Air and Movement
According to TCM, the liver stores blood during periods of rest and then releases it to the tendons in times of activity, maintaining tendon health and flexibility. Find a daily stretching routine that works for you like yoga or tai chi. Fresh air helps liver qi flow so try to take a walk on your lunch break or try an outdoor sport like soccer with your friends or family.
Seasonal acupuncture treatments can tone your organ systems, aid in your detoxification efforts, and correct small imbalances before they lead to greater disturbances.
Giving our bodies extra support now will not only give us an immediate boost, it will strengthen our systems for the rest of the year. Likewise, investing in time to contemplate our lives and realign our focus, if needed, can help keep us on the path to reach our goals for the future.
Renew Your Mind and Spirit
Spring is a time of birth and change. Reflect on your priorities or goals in life and give them merit. Take opportunities that come your way, give yourself time to explore your creativity, or learn something new.