Staying Healthy in Spring
At the outset of Spring, Chi (life-force or energy) has a “springy” quality to it—outside and inside of you.
The energies associated with the Wood element are peaking, and from a 5 Element Theory point-of-view, your health will benefit if you employ some Chi Kung and 5 Element Diet & Nutrition to help balance out the seasonal impacts on your Liver and Gallbladder. If you’re feeling particularly “jittery” (which is common during this time of year), acupuncture, acupressure and Chinese medical herbs will provide relief.
How Are You Feeling?
You may find that during Spring you’re more susceptible to illnesses or discomforts, like:
Fatigue. If your “lifestyle choices” over the past couple of months have not been ones that balance and tone the Liver, you may be feeling tired—especially if you’ve been experiencing a lot of volatility and stress in your life.
Digestive problems. During Spring, an increased intolerance to foods that include highly saturated fats is common.
Skin problems. Herpes outbreaks, skin problems, like eczema and psoriasis, and others can flare up during Spring.
Lung problems. Spring is hay fever season, so sinusitis, and related Lung conditions can be an entrenched problem by May.
Insomnia. Insomnia is a direct result of Liver imbalances in many people. If you started having insomnia, or if it’s gotten worse, Oriental Medicine has methods for balancing Liver energy and mitigating the problem.
High Blood Pressure. Even high blood pressure can result from Liver imbalance. If you’re experiencing unusually high blood pressure or if you experience chronic high blood pressure, Oriental Medicine is a low-impact way to alleviate uncomfortable symptoms while beginning the process toward a long-term solution.
Spring Health Tips
There are many things you can do on your own to help balance and tonify the Liver to relieve Spring-related discomforts.
- Because the taste of sour is associated with the Liver, Spring is a good time to consider adding sour citrus to your diet. (Oranges are not suggested because they’re predominantly sweet.)
- Dandelion greens are a good way to detoxify and help soothe the Liver.
- Chrysanthemum and chamomile teas serve as nerve tonics, and can help alleviate symptoms associated with an out-of-balance Liver.
- Gentle stretching exercises stimulate the tendons, which are governed by the Liver. By stretching you relieve stresses that congest the Liver, thereby providing an internal massage that calms and stimulates healthy Liver function.
- Avoid eating heavy oils; use sesame, or an organic olive oil instead. Stay away from greasy, fried foods. Remember that saturated fats, like butter and cheese, make the Liver work harder.
- Moderate alcohol intake. And if you’re having heat-related problems, like skin rashes and hives, stay away from alcohol all together.
Tonify and Detoxify
A tendency towards irritability and unwarranted anger are directly related to Liver imbalance. So if you tonify and balance the Liver, you should feel calmer and less frustrated. (“Anger management” techniques are always useful, but if you detoxify your Liver, you’ll have to rely on them less.)
How do you know if your Liver is “toxic”—assume that it is! With the amount of pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides all around us—in the air, water, food, and other products we use, you should assume your Liver is somewhat toxic, and start doing the simple things mentioned above to detoxify it.