How to Get the Spring Back in Your Step

Spring Wellness Plan, Part 2

March 20th to June 20th 

The Spirit of Renewal, Creativity, Growth, Flexibility, & Vision

Wine Country Poppies

Spring is the ideal time for cleansing and rejuvenation for overall health and well-being. It’s time to clear out any internal stagnation you may be experiencing from the reduced activity and overindulgences of winter. The Liver and Gallbladder (the major detoxifiers of your body) are usually the primary targets for Springtime cleansing and health regimens. These organs are in charge of regulating a smooth and soothing flow of energy throughout the whole person (body and mind). Unfortunately, they’re prone to stagnation with our modern western lifestyle. Here’s what you can do to prevent a Springtime Liver and Gallbladder meltdown.

  • Put Some Spring Into Your Step: When the liver functions smoothly, physical and emotional activity throughout the body also runs smoothly and vice a versa. So, for optimum health this Spring, get a move on!
  • Do More Outdoor Activities: Outside air helps the liver energy flow. If you have been feeling irritable, find an outdoor activity to smooth out that liver stagnation.
  • Stretch: The liver controls the tendons. According to Chinese medicine, the liver stores blood during periods of rest and then releases it to the tendons in times of activity, maintaining tendon health and flexibility. Incorporate a morning stretch into your routine. Try yoga or tai qi.
  • Eye Exercises: The liver opens into the eyes. Although all the organs have some connection to the health of the eyes, the liver is connected to proper eye function. Remember to take breaks when looking at a computer monitor for extended periods of time and do eye exercises.
    • In a quiet, relaxed environment, clear the mind and slowly look around in a circle with the eyes only, reversing the direction each time. This  exercises the muscles of the eyes in a healthy way.
    • Look far away: go outside into a natural clean environment and look as far away as possible. Relax the eyes, focus on one direction for 30 seconds at a time, and then focus on something that is close by. Repeat a few times, three times a day. This allows the muscles and lens of the eyes to maintain their elasticity, and prevents premature changes in vision.
  • Clean Up Your Diet:

Eat Green: Green is the color of the liver and of Springtime. Eating young plants (fresh, leafy greens, sprouts, and immature cereal grasses) can improve the liver’s overall functions and aid in the smooth movement of energy.

Taste Sour: Foods and drinks with sour tastes are thought to stimulate the liver’s function. Put lemon slices in your drinking water, use vinegar and olive oil for your salad dressing. Garnish your sandwich with a slice of dill pickle.

Enjoy Milk Thistle Tea: Milk thistle helps protect liver cells from incoming toxins and encourages the liver to cleanse itself of damaging substances, such as alcohol, medications, pesticides, environmental toxins, and even heavy metals such as mercury.

Cook Less: Use shorter cooking times, lower temperatures, and less oil. Think sauté, steam, blanch, simmer. Increase the percentage of raw and fermented foods in your diet.

Buy In Season Foods: In season foods tend to complement the prevailing season, helping our bodies adjust to the climate, supporting health, and preventing the illnesses typical of that time of year. From a western perspective in season food simply contains more nutrients. If it’s not locally in season, it has to be imported and food looses nutrients after harvest. The shorter the time from harvest to your plate, the more nutritious your food will be.

Spring Shopping List
Animal Products: free range chicken, duck, lamb, eggs, full-fat raw or pastured milk and cheese, goats milk and cheese, cultured dairy products including butter, yogurt, and kefir
Grains: wheat, rye, brown basmati, and long grain brown rice
Vegetables: artichokes, arugula, asparagus, avocados, baby bok choy, baby greens of lettuces and other vegetables, beets, cardoons, carrots, English peas, fava beans, fennel, green garlic, green onions, leeks, nettles, nopales (cactus paddles), spring onions, pea shoots, radishes, rhubarb, snap peas, snow peas, sorrel, sprouts, turnips, watercress
Fruits: cherries, grapefruit, kumquats, lemons, mandarins, strawberries
Herbs, Spices, Condiments: cilantro, mint, parsley, and other fresh herbs, apple cider vinegar, umeboshi plum vinegar, raw sauerkraut, kimchi, other fermented vegetables
  • Get Acupuncture treatments: Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help improve the overall health of your Liver and Gallbladder as well as treat stress, anger and frustration, which are often associated with Liver/Gallbladder disharmony. Seasonal acupuncture treatments just four times a year can serve to tonify the inner organ systems and can correct minor annoyances before they become serious problems.

Time to Take Action

Take a moment and pick 2 things from above to help align yourself with Spring and foster your creativity, growth, flexibility, and vision! Yup circle them right now. Health is so much more than the absence of disease; your health is the most precious asset that you have. There is nothing more important than being proactive about your health, investing in your well-being, and choosing a lifestyle that fosters longevity and vitality. Springtime is a great time to initiate changes that can bring about your best sense of self. If you have any questions, please be in touch.  I’m always happy to help people figure out how to find their balance and maximize their natural rhythms.

(Image Source: mcastellucci)

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