Spring has sprung. According to the Chinese calendar, spring officially began this year on January 28th. As the sun warms the earth, the flowers bloom and the seeds sprout, we are reinvigorated with a sense of renewal.
Spring is represented by the wood element which is related to the liver and gallbladder organs. According to Chinese medicine, the liver is responsible for the smooth flow of Qi (energy) throughout the body. When the liver functions smoothly, energy- both physical and emotional also flows smoothly. This is why it is so important to move your body during this time.
Stretching is an excellent form of movement because the liver controls the tendons. According to Chinese medicine, the liver stores blood during periods of rest and then releases it to the tendons during activity. This maintains tendon heath and flexibility. Try incorporating a morning stretch into your routine or practicing yoga or Tai Chi.
Go outside and move your body. The simple act of being outside helps liver Qi flow. If you find yourself irritable, simply go outside for fresh air and a walk. This will move and smooth out your stagnant liver Qi.
Eat your greens. Green is the color of the liver and of springtime. Include fresh, leafy greens and sprouts in your meals to support your liver.
Enjoy sour foods. Add lemon slices to your drinking water or vinegar to your salad dressing. Foods with sour tastes stimulate the flow of liver Qi.
Drink milk thistle tea. Milk thistle helps protect liver cells from toxins and promotes the cleansing of substances such as alcohol, medications, heavy metals, pesticides and other environmental toxins from the liver.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can help improve the health of your liver and treat symptoms such as stress, frustration and anger that are associated with liver Qi stagnation.
We at the Traditional Chinese Medical Clinic wish you a healthy and happy spring!