by Anandini Wadera, LAc
When I was a child, “spring cleaning” meant garage sales, endless trips to the donation center and garbage bags set out on the curb.
Now that I’m an adult practitioner with twin specialties in Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, spring means it’s time to think about cleansing the liver.
Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture operate in accordance with the seasons and strive to bring harmony between man and nature. And in Chinese Medicine, spring marks the beginning of the yearly energy cycle.
This time of the year is characteristic of growth, and a surge of Qi energy that wants to move upward and outward to cleanse and renew.
Spring governs the liver and gall bladder. If your liver and gall bladder energy are stuck, you may experience more frequent than usual feelings of anger, agitation, or depression – and on the physical plane: digestive discomfort and menstrual disorders such as PMS, painful or irregular menstruation, or exaggerated menopausal symptoms.
The pandemic hasn’t helped – many of us have been feeling stuck physically and emotionally, and this likely means we haven’t been moving our liver Qi sufficiently.
This is the time of year to eat loads of greens and leafy vegetables (chard, kale, beet greens, nettles, cabbage, dandelion root, parsley), and add some sour foods (lemon, sauerkraut, apple cider vinegar, sour plum) to help detox the liver.
Exercise helps circulate Qi by moving it up and outward in accordance with the natural direction of the energy of spring.
Even though spring can bring fresh momentum, remember to pause and take in that which is around you – and relax!
Of course, a few sessions of acupuncture can help your body attune more quickly to spring and cleanse the old energies of winter and fall.
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