A guiding principal in Chinese Medicine is that by living and harmonising yourself with the seasons, you are able to cultivate your health and prevent disease.
After all, Chinese medicine sprang from the observation of nature and is organized around the interaction of the nature’s five elements: Water, Wood, Fire, Metal and Earth. Each of these five elements is associated with a specific season and each season flows on from each other. New motivation in spring is dependent upon the rejuvenation of our reserves that occurred in the winter. Spring then affects summer in the same way that a plant grows and produces fruit. Health, then, becomes cyclical and remaining healthy is about keeping these elements in balance with each other and living in harmony with the seasons.
Tips for staying healthy in Spring
As the weather warms, we crave different foods than the hearty winter meals that comforted us the season before. Spring is time to cook lighter meals using methods like steaming and stir-frying. Eat green foods like kale, asparagus, dandelion greens, spinach, collards, sprouts, lettuce, peas, scallions and mint. Eat sour foods like lime/lemon, tomatoes, yogurt, vinegar, fermented foods like kimchee, sauerkraut and pickles. Eat above ground foods like fruit, and vegetables including mushrooms and herbs.
The energy of Spring is associated with new growth and expansion, so springtime is a good time of year to start new projects or set new goals. The energy of Spring is expansive and outward moving, so it’s time for people go outside, exercise and sweat. Join that gym. Go on those afternoon walks. We need to move our Qi for optimal health in the spring.
Spring and Your Liver
Spring is associated with the Liver organ in Chinese medicine. The Liver energy, when balanced, smoothes our emotional energy. If the Liver energy is congested, emotional outbursts (frustration, anger, and agitation) can occur frequently and with less prompting. The Liver energy also controls decision making, so a balanced Liver allows us to follow through with our creative visions. However, a Liver with excess energy can manifest as an inappropriate determination to accomplish goals that we become a “workaholic” ignoring other aspects of our lives.
Ways to support your liver are as follows: Minimise chemicals, drugs and alcohol. Avoid eating greasy, fatty foods and instead cook your foods by steaming, grilling and stir-frying. Manage your stress by practicing stress relief techniques. If you’re having an energy slump, avoid over-consumption of caffeine, refined sugar and processed foods and instead eat a well balanced diet with plenty fruits, vegetables and grains. Spring is a perfect time for a detox program since Spring is associated with Liver energy so support your liver health during this season. Do consult a qualified naturopath practitioner who specializes in detoxification for a more specialized program.
If you are experiencing symptoms associated with a imbalanced Liver, it may be a good time to seek a Chinese Medicine practitioner who uses acupuncture, herbal supplements, Chinese food therapy, and lifestyle recommendations including exercise and stress relief practices. Call us on 3369 0045 to book a session with a qualified practitioner today.