Spring is a time of regeneration, new beginnings, and a renewal of spirit. The world is alive with buds and blooms, and sweet fragrances fill the air. Just as the outside world is being reborn, so are our bodies. Spring is the ideal time for cleaning and clearing, not just our homes and yards, but our bodies as well. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine’s (TCM) Five Element Theory, spring represents the wood element (the five elements of TCM are wood, fire, earth, metal, and water). The principles of the Five Elements describe the flow of energy or “Qi” within the body. They state that all change within the body and the world at large occurs in five distinct stages with spring being the time for wood energy, and regulation of the liver and gallbladder.
Springtime energies stimulate the liver and gallbladder to cleanse the blood and internal organs of impurities. These impurities may be due to processed, fatty or undigested foods, enzyme deficiency, or environmental toxins such as polluted air, heavy metals, drugs, poisonous chemicals, and contaminated water. These cause stress on the liver and may bring about symptoms such as: allergies, foggy thinking, headaches, nausea, irritability, muscle tension, itching, skin eruptions, and fatigue. Liver stress may also cause women to experience PMS, fibroid tumors, and endometriosis due to the active role of the liver in processing excess estrogens out of the bloodstream.
A healthy spring diet is a natural way to cleanse the liver and gallbladder. One way to support your liver and gallbladder is to increase amounts of fresh enzyme-rich vegetables and herbs in the diet. For example, beet root is excellent for the liver, try a teaspoon of freshly grated beet root on a salad, you can increase the amount as your liver begins to cleanse. You can also add beet greens (tops) to the salad as a great way to up your nutrients. Another one of my spring favorites is dandelion leaves, yes dandelion! Pick the plant before the flowers form from a crop in a pesticide free yard, or purchase at your local health food store and add to your salad. Herbs such as: Oregon grape root, yellow dock, barberry, milk thistle, red clover and burdock are excellent for cleansing the liver and gall bladder and create increased efficiency in the digestive and immune systems. These herbs can often be found together in a liver supporting herbal tincture.
Therapeutic massage is another great way to assist in the elimination of toxins. Swedish massage increases venous blood flow and stimulates the lymphatic system, helping to carry away toxins that accumulate in the muscles and the fascial system.
It is important to remember that we are an inseparable part of the biosphere and connecting with the changes of the season facilitates the balance of body, mind and spirit. Tuning in to nature can provide us with a new level of awareness and understanding. Book your next session here.