Top 8 Wellness Tips for Spring Rejuvenation
Spring: a season of rejuvenation and growth. As more plants and flowers bloom around you, you might notice a shift in how you’re feeling. In Chinese Medicine, you can look at the body and the world through the five elements, which are in a state of constant change (wood, fire, earth, metal, and water). Behind each season, there’s an elemental energy. Spring is associated with the Wood element, which represents expansion, free flow, and a shift from the more internal, still mindset of winter (Yin) to an expansive time of growth and development (Yang).
Each of the five elements are reflected in an organ system within the body, and the Wood element is associated with the liver. The liver is responsible for the smooth, free flow of Qi (energy) throughout the body. When the liver functions well, our physical and emotional processes flourish and we feel healthy. When the liver’s Qi becomes stagnant and out of balance, problems like digestive issues, irritation, anger, stress, PMS, sleep disorders, and hormonal imbalances can come to the surface.
Meridians are a circulatory system of energy that allow Qi to flow throughout your body, like roads that connect your whole system. Much like traveling on a road, it’s much easier when the pavement is smooth, without potholes or traffic holding you up. The liver ensures the steady flow of Qi and blood in the 12 meridians, so supporting the liver is crucial for good health.
We’ve compiled some tips to keep your liver Qi flowing this spring, so you can be happy and healthy.
TCM Tips for Optimal Health For Spring
Support your liver. The liver is responsible for eliminating toxic substances from your body. By avoiding or limiting junk food, processed food, and alcohol, you’ll help your liver function optimally.
Eat more leafy greens. A diet rich in leafy greens can improve your liver’s function and the movement of Qi in your body (dandelion greens and kale are great options). Sour foods like lemons and limes can also help, along with cooling foods and herbs like chamomile, mint, and cucumber.
Keep moving. Exercise increases blood flow all over the body, which can help undo any physical and energetic knots. Choose whatever you’ll enjoy and do consistently, like walking, jogging, yoga, hiking etc. Be careful of over-exercising or high intensity workouts because they can be exhausting rather than restorative and have a negative impact on your hormones.
Detox. You can choose natural herbs, like milk thistle to cleanse your liver. There’s no need to go on an extreme detox, which could put your body into a state of stress and shock. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, cleansing and detoxing means ridding your diet of greasy, fried, junk food, sugary food, and eating organic, healthy meals. Spring is a great time to eat lighter, with lots of cooked vegetables to brighten up your plate.
Protect yourself from the wind which is the external negative energy associated with spring. Colds, flus, and allergies can be triggered by too much wind exposure, and many of the meridian points that are affected by wind are located on the neck, head, and upper back. Try wearing a hoodie, scarf, or hat to protect yourself, without compromising your Qi. Don’t forget to enjoy the sun, though! Aim for 15 minutes a day to replenish your Vitamin D and calm liver inflammation.
Rest your eyes. Too much screen time is all too common these days. Give your eyes a break by going outside to look at the green leaves of trees and plants around you. Green is soothing for the eyes and supports liver/gallbladder energy.
Try acupuncture to help improve the flow of Qi and Yang in the body, which supports overall health.
Use the power of herbal supplements. Herbal supplements have been used for centuries to improve your Qi and Yang energy, boost your immune system, and bring balance to your system.
Olanani herbal formulas that directly support the liver: