Spring is the time of dynamic expansion of energy that, after a time of winter stillness, surges back into nature; flowers, shoots and leaves are exploding into life. The aliveness in the natural world, longer days and more sun (yes! That even applies to Scotland!) inspire us to make a change in our routines, get more active and embark on new projects. The ''spring clean''- detoxing from the physical/mental/emotional clutter accumulated over the Winter is now in order.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Spring relates to the element of Wood, which is reflected in the smooth functioning on the Liver. We know that from physiological point of view, the liver is the filter, clenser and detoxifer of our body. It is also the only organ that can regenerate and restore any lost mass, while at the same time providing full support for body homeostasis during the entire regenerative process. An utterly remarkable quality!
In TCM, the Liver, which is understood as a network of functions more than simply a physical organ, plays a vital role when it comes to smooth flow (be it matter or energy) throughout our bodies and minds. Its direction is upwards and outwards, which is why it so important when it comes to putting our plans into action and making things happen. When the liver energy is in balance we are able to make decisions and follow through with our creative visions. When the liver energy is deficient we may lack the ability to make decisions or follow through with them. If there are obstacles in its flow, it will stagnate and generate heat. You will then experience it as excess in the upper part of the body – headaches, migraines, tinnitus, teary/red eyes and runny nose (hayfever!), spots on the chest and face, tension in the upper back and shoulders. On an emotional level, congested Liver will manifest as outbursts of anger, impatience, frustration, feelings on stuckness, PMT.
If you experience any of the symptoms above, it's a good idea to get a Spring balancing treatment. Acupuncture will help restore smooth qi flow and re-harmonise the body and mind.
You can support yourself through this dynamic time by paying more attention to your diet and lifestyle. You might want to eliminate processed foods, saturated fats, chemical additives and alcohol, cut down on the caffeine. You will naturally feel the urge to get up earlier, so make sure you get enough sleep by going to bed before midnight. Also, get out more and move your body – the Liver loves movement and stretching. Great time to start that long-postponed yoga class or get back into jogging.
Oh, and discover the delicious magic of dandelions! They are excellent liver function supporters.
For a digestive/decongestant boost, have a cup of dandelion tea about 40 minutes after a meal, especially if it's on the heavy side of things!