• Stacy Spence, L.Ac, MSOM

Chinese Medicine: Best Strategies To Keep You Healthy During Spring




In this blog, I will share with you the best tips and strategies to stay healthy and even thrive during the spring. Chinese Medicine has mastered how to live in accordance with the seasons and I will be sharing the best ways to optimize your health this spring.


Who does not love spring? The beauty that erupts after the cold and stillness of winter is like eye candy for the soul. This is the season where you will notice the seeds sprouting in your garden of life. The forces of nature are shifting to give birth to the Yang energy from the Yin of winter and will continue to build and grow. The days are finally starting to grow longer as the Yang is rising. You may notice that you are starting to wake up earlier or at least waking up a little easier. The benefits of slowing down in winter is to conserve your energy so that it can spring forth right now.


According to Chinese Medicine, living in harmony with the seasons will promote optimal health and longevity. This is why it important that we adapt to the change of seasons instead of living a lifestyle that is in resistance to it. Spring is associated with the liver and gall bladder organs. This is the perfect time to focus on these organs by giving them special attention this spring.


In Chinese Medicine, the Liver has the same physiological roles as explained in western medicine. It also has other roles in the body as well as specific characteristics. To grasp a better understanding the of the role played by your liver, here is a short list in terms of Chinese Medicine:

In charge of the interior

Harmonizes the flow of Qi in the body

Acting general and planner

Wood element

Emotion-anger

Climate-wind

Season-spring

Color-green

Time-1:00-3:00am

Stores blood

Stores ethereal soul

Governs the sinews and tendons

Opens into the eyes


When our liver and gall bladder are not functioning optimally, we will experience particular symptoms. Below are some common symptoms that you may experience if these organs are out of balance.

Digestion-belching, bloating, nausea

Discomfort at side of your ribs

Womens Health-PMS

Frequent sighing

Headaches and migraines

Mental Health-mood swings, easily frustrated and angered, and depression

Vision- blurry vision, increase in floaters, dry eyes, decrease in vision, night blindness, or yellowing of the eyes.


SPRING HEALTH TIPS TO HELP YOU THRIVE


Spring Diet & Nutritional Guide

During the winter season, we ate heavy foods to fatten us up and to keep us warm. Now we are transitioning to lighter cooked foods and slowly increasing raw foods to prepare us for the hot summer months to come. Follow this spring nutrition guide to help improve your health while supporting your liver and gall bladder.

Here are some nutritional tips to keep your liver and gall bladder optimized:



  • Eat lighter meals and smaller quantities. Stop eating once you are satiated. 

  • Drink less alcohol so your liver has more energy to detoxify.

  • Best to cook food by steaming or lightly sauté your veggies. Think stir fried dishes.

  • Stopping eating 3 hours before bed.

  • Think GREENS. Eat lots of green veggies-kale, bok choy, nappa cabbage, mustard greens, carrot tops. Even though they aren't green, beets are amazing for the liver and blood.

  • Sprouts-include lots of sprouts to your meals and be sure to try different varieties. Spring is all about the sprouting energy and we can capture that Yang force in the foods we eat. If you haven't tried it, I recommend sprouting raw nuts. You can taste that bursting Yang energy in your mouth. Soak raw nuts in filtered water with dash of sea salt over night and rise. The soaking times vary depending on the type of nut, which you can find online.

  • Fruits-lemon, limes, and grapefruits

  • Grains- quinoa, brown rice, millet, and barley

  • Avoid-alcohol, sugar, processed foods, fried and greasy foods, and white flour products


REDUCE STRESS THIS SPRING FOR BETTER HEALTH

Spring is all about having a fresh start, taking a risk, or trying something new, which these activities make your liver happy. When we are under stress and overwhelm; it will cause the liver to stagnate and make you feel easily irritated. Stress management is very important always, but particularly in the spring. Finds ways that help you feel less stressed like yoga, walking, meditating, breathing exercises, Qi Gong, or even using essential oils. It is important to try to eliminate these stressors in your life.


EXERCISE TIPS FOR SPRING

After winter months of hibernating, it is time to really get the body moving. The liver hates to be stagnate and sedentary. It is important to know how much Qi you have to perform the level of intensity of workouts. The goal is to feel energized and nourished after a workout. If you feel wiped out and have to lay down, then you exercised at too high of intensity and expended too much Qi. We exercise and movement, we want to create Qi and not tax ourselves.


USE NATURE FOR BETTER HEALTH THIS SPRING

Spring Qi is all about reconnecting with nature and getting outside. I recommend getting outside to literally get grounded. Grounding is absorbing the electrons from the earth so your body can use it to help you help you stay health and it has many health benefits. Pay attention to how well you sleep and how you feel after a grounding session. You need to have skin contacting the earth like dirt or grass for about 40 minutes. Do other activities that connect you to nature like gardening and hiking.


COLOR THERAPY BENEFITS FOR SPRING

Each season has a specific color resonance and spring is the color green. The liver makes a digestive fluid called bile that is green in color. Green represents growth and new beginnings. Green has a cooling and calming effect. It brings balances and harmony to the body and to one's life. This color is perfect for even combatting depression. Incorporate greens into your life like clothing or jewelry that is green.


I hope these will bring you optimal health and a vibrant life this spring.

In good health,

Stacy


PS-If you would like a recipe for liver detox tea that is simple to make at home, shoot me an email and I will send you a copy.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES


The effects of grounding (earthing) on inflammation, the immune response, wound healing, and prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4378297/


Earthing: Health Implications of Reconnecting the Human Body to the Earth's Surface Electrons

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3265077/


Chinese Nutrition Therapy by Joerg Kastner, MD, LAc

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