The seasons have a direct effect on our health, affecting the balance of the elements inside each one of us. In Chinese Medicine it is encouraged that as the seasons change, we should adapt accordingly to promote good health. By living in harmony with the environment, we can prevent illness and imbalance.
Spring is the season for rebirth, renewal and re-growth. It is when we move from the darkness of winter (the yin part of the year) into the light (towards the yang part). Below are the AcuMedic doctors’ top tips to help you spring forward to better wellbeing.
1. LOOK AFTER YOUR LIVER
According to TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) spring is associated with the liver. Did you know that your liver is one of the most important organs for renewing, cleaning and energising the body? TCM teaches us that when the liver is running smoothly, emotional Qi will flow with ease throughout the body. The liver is responsible for metabolism of fat, detoxification of drugs, breaking down carbohydrates and producing heat for the body.
Help Your Liver:
• The liver is the organ relating to emotion in Chinese Medicine theory. Releasing negative emotions from this organ helps us to feel reinvigorated and ready for new beginnings. Try something new or refocus your energy on a goal that you may have let slip.
• The liver opens into the eyes. Remember to take breaks when looking at a computer monitor for extended periods of time and do eye exercises.
• The liver controls the tendons, so start stretching every day. Stretching is good as it will open the pathways of the liver and gallbladder, avoiding stagnation and the many health problems that can arise when these organs are in bad shape.
• The liver is related to your ability to plan ahead, while the gallbladder is related to your ability to finalise decisions. Be positive to protect these vital organs, allowing yourself to grow as nature intended.
2. CLEANSE THE BODY
In winter we often find ourselves craving hearty meals. Then there is the festive season where we overload on indulgent feasts and guzzle down countless drinks while exhausting ourselves with all the partys we couldn’t miss out on. Now is the time to renew and regenerate your body from the inside out. Just as we spring clean our homes, we also need to spring clean our body, especially our digestive system. Put simply, it is time to focus on digestion and detoxification.
TOP TIP: Liver energy is green, just like spring. Activate and nourish your liver Qi by adding fresh green and sour foods, such as green leafy foods, to your diet.
As spring is associated with the liver, it is important to have a diet that strengthens and cleanses the liver. Our doctors’ advice you reduce the intake of sour flavours and increase sweet and pungent flavours to help facilitate the liver to regulate Qi throughout the body.
Your Spring Diet:
Foods that support the blood and clear heat and stagnation are also helpful. Cut down on alcohol, starchy foods and sugar, which are hard to digest and hurt the spleen and stomach.
Furthermore, eat early. Chinese Medicine believes that the night time is for cleansing and healing the body from the day before. By eating late at night you risk disturbing the liver and gallbladder Qi as the body will use the energy to digest rather than cleanse.
3. SPRING CLEAN
In spring it is just as important to detox your home as it is your body. To start fresh it requires removing toxins from our daily routine. It is an important time for cleaning and improving harmony, not only on the inside but also in our surroundings. Open the windows to the fresh spring air and start cleaning the home. Do as much as you can to reduce your toxic load by choosing natural cleaning products and natural personal care products for your body.
It is a great time to start getting regular massages. As massage stimulates the circulatory system, it supports the body’s natural detoxifying functions. Aromatherapy, Thai and Tuina massage are all options you should consider indulging in when spring arrives. Although all massage feels great, relieves tension and increases energy, Thai and Tuina massage use special techniques to help release blocked Qi that may have been caused by the sluggishness of winter. It’s all about spring-cleaning your life!
4. COME OUT OF HIBERNATION
Like all things in nature, we often find ourselves living sedentary lifestyles, retreating into our warm homes during the cold winter months. As hibernating animals awake and flowers start to bloom, spring encourages us to fling open the windows and get outside to replenish Qi with good quality air.
Why not try doing these 4 stretch exercises from the ACUMEDIC ESSENTIAL STRETCH GUIDE outside? A great way to boost energy using Chinese stretching techniques.
Remember making simple changes in your daily routine and diet can make a huge difference to your health and wellbeing. For more advice on how you can improve your personal health, visit our doctors at AcuMedic clinic for free health advice.