“The months of the Spring season bring about the revitalization of all things in nature. It is the time of birth….this is the season in which the universal energy begins anew and rejuvenates…one should attempt to correspond to it directly by being open and un-supressed, both physically and emotionally.” Huangdi Neijing
Another spring break in Iowa City has come and gone. The students are bustling around the Pentacrest with renewed vigor. Even the plants in the office are blooming again. Spring is in the air!
The winter was long and brutal and we are beginning to feel the stirrings of life rise up once again. The transition from the cold dry darkness to the warm damp light can leave us feeling a little out of balance. Time to start caring for ourselves again.
One of the things we have been seeing a lot of from patients recently is stagnated liver qi. (Chi)
Stagnant qi is blocked energy in your physical body.
One of the main causes of stagnant qi is emotional unrest. Repressed emotions can really take a toll on the body and your overall energy. Depression, anxiety and stress are reactions to inappropriately channeled qi. It is common to displace these feelings instead of confronting them head on. One of the easiest emotion to displace is anger. We may feel a need to lash out at others instead of understanding why we are angry. Ultimately, most anger stems from fear.
In Chinese medicine, the organ that represents anger is the liver. Unresolved anger and fear will build up and impair the function of the liver. Thus, the liver stagnates.
This time of year everyone is spring cleaning. It’s time to do some cleaning out of your body and psyche.
The liver detoxifies our blood and helps defend the body from different allergens and disease. It filters out the toxins that we absorb or ingest like, sugar, salt, caffeine, hydrogenated fats, and processed food. Add alcohol to the mix, and your liver is in for a workout! The winter time is the worst time for our eating habits. The holidays bring about eating and drinking to excess and to top it all off unhealthy sweets. Lack of exercise and toxic emotions can bring the liver to a complete halt!
Here’s a list of some things you can do to support your liver and improve your health for this springtime energy shift!
1) Eat real food- the less processed the better. Think fruits and veggies. Whip out that smoothie maker
2)Detox with lemons. Try adding some lemon water to your life or some lemon with your tea in the morning. It will aid in detoxifying your liver and add a tart taste.
3) Focus on your sleep patterns. Try to get at least 8 hours and go to bed early. You want to be rising with the sun for optimal liver usage!
4) Get some fresh air. Take your workout routine outdoors and feel in touch with the world around you. Yoga, Qigong or Taichi are all great ways to get your qi flowing and can easily be done outside.
5) Dark leafy greens are a great side dish and are healthy. Great sources of potassium and vitamins. Here’s a great recipe Oven Baked Mushroom Risotto with Garlicky Chard
6) Get more hydration! Blood is mostly water. Give your liver a break and help flush out toxins but upping your water intake.
That’s all for this weeks Qi blog. Enjoy the spring weather!