It’s Spring! Well, almost… (Don’t forget to turn your clocks forward on Sunday!) In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), Spring is represented by the element of Wood (think healthy, growing trees), which is associated with growth, change or transformation, regeneration and new beginnings.
The Liver and the Gallbladder are the organs associated with Spring in TCM. These are the organs connected with cleansing, rejuvenation, and new growth. An imbalance in these organs can lead to pain and stiffness physically. It can also manifest as frustration, irritability or anger, and difficulty asserting one’s will or accomplishing goals. If you are having trouble with any of these things, consider acupuncture to help to restore balance and harmony to get you back on track!
The liver in Western physiology is an organ of detoxification and metabolism. You can help your liver and the energy that TCM associates with it healthy by:
Stretching and exercising regularly. Just as a healthy tree branch sways with the wind, your body can navigate daily stressors by stimulating circulation with regular body movement. Yoga is a great choice to accomplish this! Come check out our classes: http://nswellness.com/our-services/yoga/
Take care of your eyes! The Liver Meridian opens to the eyes. Make sure to get enough rest and take breaks from computer screens. Try rubbing your palms together and gently place them over your closed eyes for 30 seconds every hour or so to warm and soothe tired eyes.
Eat plenty of leafy greens, sprouts, and wheat grass which can help to keep the liver functioning well. Sour foods are also associated with balance for the Liver (lemon, vinegar, dill pickles).
Get outside! The warmer temperatures are inviting us to get out more, breathe the fresh air and watch as the first green starts to pop up out of the ground and on the trees.
Try milk thistle tea. As the liver helps to cleanse the body, so milk thistle tea helps to cleanse the liver by stimulating bile production. Milk thistle can help the liver clean out especially after taking lots of medications, during periods of stress, or even after making dietary/exercise changes.
Get acupuncture! Acupuncture can help to regulate imbalances in the Liver and Gallbladder. Pain, dizziness/vertigo, indigestion, fatigue, eye problems, menstrual / menopausal disorders, allergies, skin disorders, anger and depression are just a few of the things that are related to the Liver and Gallbladder.
Here is a fantastic recipe for Spring Chinese Noodle Soup (reprinted from Healing with Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford):
2 cups noodles, cooked and drained (try rice noodles or Japanese udon)
4 cups vegetable broth
1 carrot, chopped
1 green onion, chopped (optional)
2 cups spring greens, finely cut
½ cup sprouts
Sea salt to taste
Add carrots, onion, and salt
Simmer 10 minutes, until verging on tenderness
Add greens and cook until bright-colored
To make it a Hot and Sour soup, add lemon juice or vinegar and hot sauce.
Happy Spring! Book your acupuncture appointment with Christine Davis, LAc today by calling 847-266-8000. Check out www.nswellness.com for more info.