(NaturalNews) Observing the change of season, spring bursts forth in explosive new growth while the cold, reflective quality of winter begins to fade. Traditional Chinese Medicine has known for centuries how the body relates to the unique qualities for each time of year. Spring is the season of the liver and gall bladder as well as the emotion of anger. Seasonal harmony and balance are supported through the use of diet, bodywork and connection with nature.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the wood element predominates during the vitality of spring. This element is closely tied to the energy of growth in living things such as trees, plants, and physical bodies. The liver and gallbladder also fall under the domain of the wood element. Our ability to have clarity, focus, and make sound judgments are governed by this element as well. When the liver is out of balance, one can experience depression or explosive rage along with irritation, frustration, and aggression. The body may be prone to numbness, dry eyes, vertigo, and headaches. When the liver and gallbladder are functioning properly, one is able to manage anger and stress in a positive, healthy way.
The use of nutrition is strongly indicated in TCM to maintain free-flow of energy (Qi ) in the body. Bitter foods such as asparagus, dark leafy greens, romaine lettuce, rye, amaranth, and quinoa all help promote healthy liver/gall bladder Qi. Herbs such as basil, garlic, cayenne, dill, chive, and cardamom are also useful. Additionally, herbal teas that calm excited energy include peppermint, chamomile, jasmine, chrysanthemum and orange peel. An abundance of light, raw food can be happily consumed during the yang expression of spring.
Detoxification is most effective during the spring by powerfully clearing away the stagnancy of the winter months. Eating lightly with a focus of easily digestible foods such as sprouts and freshly made vegetable juices all support the rejuvenation of the liver and gall bladder. Carrot/apple and beet/leafy green juices are especially good for springtime cleansing. Cereal grass green drinks, sea vegetables, spirulina, and chlorella assist the body in ridding accumulated waste. Toxic heavy metals, environmental pollutants, and the byproducts of over-indulgence during the slow winter months are removed from the body with cleansing. This is the time to limit meat and dairy along with fatty, processed and high-sodium foods.
For those without heat signs (constipation, red face, and thirst), unpasteurized apple cider vinegar with a small amount of honey is an excellent liver tonic. Combine both in a glass of water and consume first thing in the morning. This simple drink helps to unblock liver stagnancy. If heat signs are present, substitute lemon, lime or grapefruit juice for the vinegar.
Bodywork is important during spring to keep the energy channels flowing while assisting in detoxification. To calm an overactive liver or invigorate a stagnant one, walking, hiking, or swimming in nature is beneficial. According to TCM, the color green brings harmony to the liver/gall bladder energy meridian. Natural spaces connect one with the vividness of spring while supporting balanced vitality. Qi gong in nature is extremely effective for promoting emotional equanimity. Acupuncture can also be of benefit as it works specifically with the energy of the season to maintain equilibrium of Qi. Moreover, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a very potent tool for healing emotional imbalances such as anger.
As springtime erupts with renewed growth and vibrancy, an opportunity is at hand to revitalize health and well being. Through the gentle encouragement of a balanced wood element within the body, the liver and gall bladder are rejuvenated; anger, frustration, and aggression are healed.
Sources for this article:
"Healing with Whole Foods", Paul Pitchford, North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, California. Third Edition (2002).
Carolanne enthusiastically believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef, and wellness coach, Carolanne has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of organic living, gratefulness, and joyful orientation for over 13 years. Through her website www.Thrive-Living.com she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people from around the world who share a similar vision.