The Wisdom of Spring-Cleaning

Giving your body a spring-clean after the long winter is a concept that still has relevance today.? Although we no longer survive on stored food through the winter, we have the modern-day problems of excess, processed foods, and stressful lifestyles.

Traditional Chinese medicine places great emphasis on the liver during the spring season.? The liver belongs to the wood element*? which represents expansive movement in all directions. And wood is the fuel for the following summer season (fire).

During this season it is beneficial to get to bed early. We should also wake up early and walk outdoors in order to absorb the fresh air and invigorating energy.? Since this is the season in which the earth’s energy begins regeneration, we should attempt to respond by being open both physically and emotionally.

This is the time to do stretching exercises to wake up the muscles and tendons.? These are governed by the energy of the liver. Our exercises should be smooth and gentle as we’re coming out of our winter hibernation.? And, because the weather is changing and sometimes windy, it is important to dress in layers of loose-fitted clothing.

Our liver energy is tending to be stronger now and can sometimes become constrained or overactive and cause some emotional symptoms like impatience, frustration, sadness, resentment, loneliness, belligerence, rudeness, edginess, arrogance, stubbornness, aggression, impulsiveness, explosive outbursts, or mood swings.? Yikes!

We can soothe some of this liver energy with a proper diet incorporating more foods with a pungent, or sweet nature, and that have cool, or warm properties.? Young fresh greens and sprouts are good at this time.? Most complex carbohydrates such as grains, legumes, and seeds are sweet in flavor. ? These are good in spring as well.

If you are experiencing some of these symptoms, or have a deeper interest in how a spring-clean can help you come out of the long winter, please contact me for more in-depth information.

Wishing you all contentment!? I think the spring is finally here!?

*The five-elements of Chinese medicine are wood, fire earth, metal and water and have a correlation to the seasons.

Posted in Acupuncture, Food/Dietary, General TCM, Mental Health

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