Updated: Oct 21, 2018
Now that we have shifted towards spring, how do we maintain our best health as the season transitions. We may still be facing colder or damper days, mixed in with warm breezes and longer hours of light. The time when the seasons change always becomes a time for opportunistic changes in the body such as illness or allergies. In Chinese Medicine, spring is a season of growth and expansion. The organ of spring is the Liver, the emotion of spring is anger. With this in mind it is important to ensure that we help balance the Liver and maintain healthy detoxification habits to help prevent the upsurge of anger that may arise in this seasonal transition. This anger may arise in the form of agitation, irritability or outbursts and is often a manifestation of not having let go in the transition of fall to winter. A Liver in harmony will help in creative progression, improved decision making and an easier navigation of work-life balance. So how do we best work through this winter to spring transition to encourage the best health of our Liver, body and mind? Here are some suggestions to help you get through this exciting seasonal change.
1. Get outside more! Enjoy the longer days and increased temperatures with daily walks or move your routine exercise outdoors. Increased movement in your body will help you come out of winter hibernation and activate your body's metabolic processes as you get ready to engage with spring and summer. In TCM terminology this moves your body's qi to help reduce stagnation and improve Liver function.
2. Acupuncture and Cupping! Schedule a visit to get an immune supporting seasonal acupuncture and cupping session. This will help regulate the Liver, support a healthy immune response to increasing springtime allergens and improve lymph circulation and clearance in your body.
3. Start eating lighter. You appetite will naturally reduce as your body is no longer in storage mode. While it is still important to eat warm and cooked foods, you can start to increase raw foods in your diet, and lighten up on the soups and stews. Think steamed veggies, stir-frys, and lots of leafy greens. It is a great time to make a warm salad with dandelion greens due to their ability to support healthy Liver detoxification.
4. Incorporate sour foods. The flavor of sour is associated with the Liver and therefore with the spring. It will help brighten meals, balance the heavy foods that were eaten through the winter and smooth out the qi of the Liver to help reduce those outbursts! Some great sour additions are vinaigrettes to warm salads, fermented vegetables, citrus fruits and tomatoes. You may enjoy starting your day with a liver cleansing digestive tonic including lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, fresh ginger and a dash of cayenne pepper.
5. Continue to protect yourself! Wear layers for easier temperature regulation, this will help reduce the chance of seasonal illness. Fight the urge to wear tank tops and flip flops until it truly warm enough to do so. Keep a jacket with you and a lightweight scarf for around your neck. Consider taking an immune supportive formula. Not sure which immune supportive formula is right for you? Schedule an appointment for an herbal consultation!
It is important to recognize the shifts that happen internally during seasonal transition. The shifts are not just physical, but emotional as well. Embrace the growth and excitement of spring!
**All information and resources found on balancedstonewellness.com are based on the opinions, experience and research of the author unless otherwise noted. All information is intended to motivate readers to make their own nutrition and health decisions after consulting with their health care provider...even if that provider may be the author ;)