Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spring Has Sprung! Time to Clear Out the Cobwebs and Boost Your Liver Energy.


Traditional Chinese Medicine draws much of its wisdom from Taoism, and the understanding that our bodies respond to the natural flow of the seasons.  In Five Element theory, each Element (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water) corresponds with a season, an organ system, emotion, sense organ, etc.   A simple Five Element chart looks like this:




Spring is the season of rebirth and mobilizing energy, and it corresponds with the Liver.  If we haven't conserved our energy adequately during the winter months, our bodies will have a tendency to get stuck during the transition from the still, energetically subdued state of winter, to the dynamic, energetically active state of spring.  Our Liver channel might need some additional support.  Think of Liver energy as a seed that, after laying dormant through winter, is ready with its bud to burst forth through the hard, cold earth.  When there is a struggle with the natural seasonal progression, we see symptoms physically and emotionally, such as frustration, anger, headaches, PMS, shouting, eye irritation and tendonitis.  

It's important to help your Liver channel ease its way into spring so that your body, mind and spirit can harness the season's rejuvenating energy.  Recommendations for putting a little spring in your step:
-Be creative.  Take your cue from nature.  Paint, play music, cook, rearrange your furniture...whatever energizes you.  

-Walk.  Especially in the early morning.  Notice the life that is emerging around you.

-Embrace change.  Let go of old, limiting habitual patterns. 

-Drink lemon water.  Sour tastes invigorate Liver energy.

-Eat your greens.  Green is the color of the Liver.  Think young spring greens and sprouts.

-Stretch.  The liver controls the tendons.  It's important to take time throughout the day to maintain fluidity.  Try a yoga or Tai Chi class.

-Strategize.  It's a good time to set goals and determine how you will achieve them.

-Get a seasonal acupuncture tune-up.  Acupuncture can help ease your body's transition into spring.

-Spring Clean.  Consider a spring liver detox.  Talk to your acupuncturist or another trusted health care practitioner who can help you choose a safe method.

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