Put a Spring into Your Step
Spring corresponds to the “Wood” element, which in turn is conceptually related to the liver and gallbladder organs. According to the philosophy of Chinese medicine, the liver is responsible for the smooth flowing of Qi (energy) throughout the body. When the liver functions smoothly, physical and emotional activity throughout the body also run smoothly. So, for optimum health this spring, move your Qi! Here are some simple things you can do to “move your Qi”:
Stretch – The liver controls the tendons. According to Chinese medicine, the liver stores blood during periods of rest and then releases it to the tendons in times of activity, maintaining tendon health and flexibility. Incorporate a morning stretch into your routine. Try Yoga or Tai Chi.
Eye Exercises – The liver opens into the eyes. Although all the organs have some connection to the health of the eyes, the liver is connected to proper eye function. Remember to take breaks when looking at a computer monitor for extended periods of time and do eye exercises.
Eat Green – Green is the color of the liver and of springtime. Eating young plants – fresh, leafy greens, and sprouts – can improve the liver’s overall functions and aid in the movement of Qi.
Taste Sour – Foods and drinks with sour tastes are thought to stimulate the liver’s Qi. Put lemon slices in your drinking water, use vinegar and olive oil for your salad dressing. Garnish your sandwich with a slice of dill pickle or other pickled veggies.
Do more outdoor activities – Outside air helps liver Qi flow. If you have been feeling irritable, find an outdoor activity to smooth out that liver Qi stagnation. Try hiking or take up a fun outdoor sport.
Enjoy milk thistle tea – Milk thistle helps protect liver cells from incoming toxins and encourages the liver to cleanse itself of damaging substances, such as alcohol, medications, pesticides, environmental toxins, and even heavy metals such as mercury.
Get Acupuncture treatments – Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help improve the overall health of your liver as well as treat stress, anger and frustration, which are often associated with liver Qi disharmony.
Whatever you choose to do, incorporate something for your health and get out there and enjoy Spring!