According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, each season corresponds to an organ and emotion. To ensure the best organ function, start eating for the season 3-5 weeks before the seasons change.
It’s time to start preparing for spring which means it’s time to start loving your Liver!
What do you think of when you think of spring? Green! Growth! New Life bursting from the earth! This is how Traditional Chinese Medicine views the Liver’s energy. It’s in charge of storing and circulating blood throughout the entire body and is responsible for the smooth circulation of qi throughout the body. If your qi is not flowing smoothly, it stagnates which can cause us to become irritable or angry, feel pain, or experience cramping during menstrual cycles. From a Western perspective, the liver plays an important role in detoxifying, digesting, and processing proteins, fat, sugar, as well as toxins, heavy metals, drugs or alcohol. Love your liver with acupuncture, and a nutritional and emotional spring cleaning!
Signs and symptoms that your Liver function might be out of balance:
- you are easily angered or irritable,
- you have hypochondriac pain (wandering or localized),
- you feel like you have a lump stuck in your throat,
- you have dry eyes, blurred vision, brittle nails,
- you wake between the hours of 1-3AM,
- you experience IBS symptoms or constipation,
- and ladies, you experience painful menstrual cycles (clotting, cramping, sore breasts).
Nutrition is the best way to help your Liver function at its optimum. TCM tells us to eat green for the spring. Add (preferably cooked or lightly steamed) green vegetables and sour foods to your diet. Acupuncture will work even more effectively if you have the basic nutritional building blocks in place.
Foods to start adding to your diet:
- warm lemon water first thing in the morning or right before meals
- mint tea and honey
- beets, carrots, watercress, mustard greens, onions, seaweeds, radish, dandelions
- green smoothies (with non dairy milk) or green juices
Get in touch with your anger and express yourself!
Believe it or not, not expressing your feelings can actually make you sick (even if you’re eating the right foods and exercising)! Each organ has its own emotion. Anger is the emotion associated with the Liver. Being too angry can be just as detrimental to your health as swallowing your anger and pretending everything is fine. Set the intention this season: learn to compassionately speak your mind! Your voice deserves to be heard. It’s okay to compassionately confront someone if you feel hurt or angry. Help your liver by expressing yourself!
Here’s the quick test. Do you need to cleanse?
On a regular basis do you:
- feel tired?
- feel dizzy, trouble concentrating or foggy thinking?
- eat fast, fatty, fried, oily, processed foods?
- use stimulants, coffee, cigarettes, sugar to boost yourself each day?
- move your bowels less than twice a day?
- have intestinal gas, bloating or constipation?
- experience headaches?
- eat fish more than twice a week?
- have food allergies or skin problems?
- have sinus problems or often have lower back pain or weakness?
- feel sluggish or overweight?
If you answered yes to more than three of these questions, you might want to consider adjusting your diet and adding in some acupuncture to help your Liver Qi flow more smoothly!