Put some “Spring” back in your step!

Spring has sprung everyone and it’s time to harness that forward moving energy that Mother Nature is giving us and grow with it!  As I sat down at my computer yesterday, excited to write a new post for the first day of Spring, I realized that I had so much to say but was having an awful time getting it out.  After about 60 minutes of scrapped ideas and a 30 minute blank stare followed by a “bleep” it,  I began to remember something that we have learned at IIN about Spring and how it relates to Chinese Medicine.  After doing a little more of my own research, this is the quick version of what I learned.

Spring is a time of rebirth, renewal and regrowth and is a great time of year for cleansing and rejuvenating your overall health.  In the Five Element Theory of traditional Chinese medicine, the element “Wood” symbolizes new growth and has the positive personality traits of being ambitious and motivated.  When the “Wood” element is out of balance, negative personality traits such as anger and frustration emerge.  The organ in our body that is associated with the “Wood” element is the liver and it’s yang side kick the gallbladder.  The liver is responsible for detoxing our bodies and regulating Qi (fundamental life energy) while the gall bladder’s function is to secrete bile for the digestion of fats and to regulate judgment, decision-making and the ability to execute a plan.

Signs of imbalance may be sore joints, head aches, migraines, digestive issues, stomach aches, anger and depression. Here are a few things that you can do to detox your liver, find your balance and get your energy moving in an upward and outward direction:

Eat greens: Tender baby greens such as sprouts, pea shoots, bok choy, baby spinach to name a few.  Greens improve the livers overall function.

Stretch: Try yoga or simple stretching exercises.  The liver stores blood and sends it to the tendons during activity.

Taste sour: Try putting lemon in your water.

Get outside:  In times of frustration take a walk, bike ride, hike or any activity you find enjoyable.

Be creative:  Take time for you and your personal growth.

Relax your eyes: Take a break from the computer and give your eyes a rest by closing them periodically or moving them side to side and up and down to stretch them.  The liver is connected to proper eye function.

Avoid: Heavy or fatty foods, greasy or oil foods and foods high in sodium.  These types of foods draw your energy inward.

So, I think that it’s time for some spring cleaning!  I spring clean my closet, my house and my yard so I may as well spring clean my overall health and wellbeing.  Along the way, I hope to find balance and direct my energy upward and outward to be more productive.   This experiment will be my first personal experience with traditional Chinese medicine and I’m excited to give it a try.  I’ll keep you updated along the way.  If anyone has any thoughts or an experience of their own to share, I would love to hear about it!

Happy Spring Everyone! – Andrea


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