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Hello Spring

Put some spring in your step – with Chinese Medicine

SPRING heralds the promise of warm days, new beginnings, rejuvenation, new regimes and healthy eating.

From a Chinese Medicine point of view Spring is about the Wood element which is associated with the Liver and Gallbladder (GB).   Spring then, is about supporting your Liver/GB so that you have a strong foundation for health during the coming season.

The Livers’ function is to store blood and move Qi (energy flow) smoothly around the body to maintain a calm disposition.   This calm movement helps us to move forward and get things done without stress.  A Liver that is not moving will manifest in emotional turbulence, frustration, irritability and compulsive behaviour.  Over time this can lead to depression.

So, it ‘s time to shake off the cold hibernation of winter and to get active and moving.  The Liver likes to keep moving to stay healthy, so Spring is the perfect time to start that new exercise regime.  The Liver is also about flexibility and rules the tendons, so consider doing some daily yoga or pilates.

Wind is associated with the Wood element of Spring.  And from a Western Medical perspective

we see Spring as the season of hayfever, sinus and allergies.  Wind, from a Chinese Medicine perspective is one of the “6 evils”, pathogens that enter the body and wind often brings with it cold and/or damp into the body.   Wind stirs things up in the body.  Internally wind will manifest as dizziness, cramps, itching, spasms, twitching pain that comes and goes or moves, headaches and dryness.  Emotionally, it can lead to emotional disturbance and nervousness.

Wind is also associated with itching, sneezing, watery eyes, running nose, symptoms that we normally associate with hayfever, sinus and allergies and cold and flu.

Although Spring is heralding in the promise of warm weather, it is not here just yet.  The external temperatures are changeable, with cool mornings, with lovely warm days, but getting very cool and windy in the early afternoon.

This is an important time to keep a jumper and scarf with you at all times.   Wind enters the body through the “wind gate”, the area at the nape of the neck and upper back.  Keep this covered at all times during spring.  So those with a lowered immune system will be susceptible to hay-fever, sinus and a spring colds/flu.

Spring sees many people wanting to slough off the feelings of being “weighed down” after the hibernation and sleepiness of winter.

So Spring is the perfect time to change to some new, healthy and lighter eating habits.  Whilst in Winter we need to eat warm, slow cooked comfort food, in Spring it is time to start to lighten those meals to stir-fries and warm salads.  This will start to free up and detox the Liver.

Green is associated with the Liver and Spring time, so add lots of young green leaves (spinach, kale and Asian greens), green herbs (parsley, mint and cress) and sprouts to your meals.  Eat foods that help nourish the Liver Blood, such as beetroot, kidney beans and small amounts of red meat.  Include some spices that are known invigorate the body and encourage circulation such as garlic, ginger, cayenne, cloves, coriander, turmeric and cardamom.

Sour is the taste of the Liver, so start the day with ½ lemon squeezed into a large glass of water to clear the toxins from the liver first thing of a morning.  Use Apple Cider Vinegar with some olive oil for salad dressings.

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