SPRING TIME- DETOX THE BODY, MIND AND SPIRIT
In theories of acupuncture humans are looked at as part of the natural world that surrounds them. Seasons change and during this transition from one season to another, it is important to stay balanced with acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
Each season is linked with an organ system in the body. Spring is the Liver and Gall bladder organ and meridian. Spring is when the liver should thrive. However, during transition, or early spring, the liver can get out of whack or out of harmony and become vulnerable.
Acupuncture improves the function of the liver meridian and can restore balance to the organs.
According to TCM, the liver is responsible for smooth flowing Qi (chi) or energy through the body. The liver and gall bladder meridians govern the muscles, tendons, and nerves in the body. The liver also controls the eyes.
According to the five elements of TCM, seasons and change of season correspond to the flow of energy and the balance of Yin and Yang. Spring and the liver/gall bladder meridian go hand in hand. This is an ideal time for cleaning, harmony and rejuvenation.
Here are some signs that your liver/gall bladder meridian may be out of balance this time of year.
- You feel extra tense. The liver meridian controls the flow of energy. If the energy is not moving, things like emotional stress and the posture of your body can get disturbed.
- Muscle stiffness, aches and pains, headaches, menstrual cramps can seem worse than usual. The liver/gall bladder nourishes the tendons, ligaments and connective tissue. You may notice increased stiffness and tension now or in the coming weeks. This is known as stagnation in TCM.
- Irritable, frustrated, and tense. Each organ has an emotion attached to it, and the liver emotion is anger.
- Eyes, dry eyes, fatigued eyes are a sign of liver imbalance.
- Digestion is off. Digestion is dependent on smooth flow of qi or energy.
Choose to be joyful by cultivating a spirit of Gratitude.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the emotion that contributes to stagnation of the liver is anger, especially repressed anger.
Emotions that can help free the liver are compassion, forgiveness and non judgement, towards yourself and others.
Things to do for Liver/Gall bladder Qi Stagnation
- Move your Qi. Get outside and move. Exercise, walk, run, bike, etc.
- Eat Greens: Green is the color associated with the liver meridian. Eat fresh, leafy vegetables. Chlorophyll, the pigment for green is known to strengthen your liver and exhibit antioxidant properties. Include dark greens like spinach, parsley, green beans, green peppers, sprouts, peas, broccoli, asparagus, cucumbers, green apples, melons and kiwi.
- Taste associated with the liver is sour. Sour strengthens the liver qi. Add lemon to your water, use olive oils in your cooking and salad dressings.
- Try some Qi Gong, yoga, tai chi, or any movement patterns.
- Eye exercise. Take breaks from the T.V. and computer.
- Detox the liver. Many herbs can help including milk thistle tea and dandelions and apple cider vinegar.
- GET ACUPUNCTURE TREATMENT. I always recommend that any time there is a change in season to come in for 1-2 treatments to balance your meridians. Each season change has specific points as well as your own specific constitutional points to use for balance. Acupuncture treatment in spring can help your muscles, tendons, fascia and connective tissue. Acupuncture and spring specific treatment can also help your emotional wellbeing by balancing your stress, anger, frustrations and insomnia. Seasonal acupuncture treatments can help tonify your meridians and organs and balance minor issues before they become serious problems.