According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Spring corresponds to the “Wood” element, which in turn is conceptually related to the liver and gallbladder organs. According to TCM, the liver is responsible for the smooth flow of Qi (energy) throughout the body. When the liver functions smoothly, physical and emotional activity throughout the body also run smoothly. Because winter is darker, quieter and (for most of us) a time for less movement, Spring is a perfect time move your Qi! For those of us who suffer from springtime allergies, it’s important to start now on minimizing your sneezing, tearing up, and nose blowing symptoms.
How to Assist Your Liver for Spring
You may have liver Qi stagnation if you are experiencing: pain or discomfort located on the side of your body, constipation, gastrointestinal concerns, depression, or mood swings. The best way to loosen this stagnation and get your body moving in the right direction is to begin with some gentle exercises. Slow and steady is the way to get ready for more extended daylight hours and warmer temps that bring more ACTIVITY!
Stretch – The liver controls the tendons. According to Chinese medicine, the liver stores blood during periods of rest and then releases it to the tendons in times of activity, maintaining tendon health and flexibility. Incorporate a morning stretch into your routine. Try yoga or perhaps Tai Qi or Qi Gong.
Eye Exercises – The liver opens into the eyes. Although all the organs have some connection to the health of the eyes, the liver is connected to proper eye function. Remember to take breaks when looking at a computer monitor for extended periods of time and do eye exercises.
Eat Green – Green is the color of the liver and springtime. Eating young plants – fresh, leafy greens, sprouts, and immature cereal grasses – can improve the liver’s overall functions and aid in the movement of Qi.
Taste Sour – Foods and drinks with sour tastes are thought to stimulate the liver’s Qi. Put lemon slices in your drinking water, use vinegar and olive oil for your salad dressing. Garnish your sandwich with a slice of dill pickle.
Get Outdoors – Outside air helps liver Qi flow. If you have been feeling irritable, find an outdoor activity to smooth out that liver Qi stagnation. Try hiking or take up golf. A nice leisurely stroll around the neighborhood may also help.
Enjoy Milk Thistle Tea – Milk thistle helps to protect liver cells from incoming toxins and encourages the liver to cleanse itself of damaging substances, such as alcohol, medications, pesticides, environmental toxins, and even heavy metals such as mercury.
Many delicious foods can also help promote Qi movement. Here is a small list of foods idea to help set you on your path to springtime health.
Foods used to help move that liver Qi stagnation include:
- Milk Thistle Tea
- Mustard seed
- Sweet potato
- Red and black dates
- Caraway seed
- Red bean
- Sweet basil
Are you ready to get a spring in your step? Make an appointment today at Elements Holistic Wellness and find out how we can assist you in getting your liver Qi moving for spring!