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Even though it feels like our world has changed dramatically, nature has stayed the same. The seasons are changing, right on schedule, and the gray clouds have given way to sunny skies and warmer temperatures around the country. Our bodies are in tune with the natural seasons, and as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has taught us, Spring is a time of new growth and cleansing. Does your spring cleaning schedule include liver cleansing?
In TCM, every season has a color, a flavor, a natural element, and an organ that are dominant during that time. Spring is the green season, when bitter flavors like dandelion greens are prominent, the wood element governs, and the liver and gallbladder are the organs that drive how we feel. This affects your moods, spine, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, eyesight, and motivation level.
This may all sound quite strange to you if you aren’t familiar with the holistic approach to health, but I assure you, everything within you is connected and communicates, and you are also connected to the cycles of the planet. We know this on a more concrete level with how the health of our environment affects our own health, and how we feel as the seasons change. TCM takes this further to study how the cycles and health of everything in the natural world around us affect our wellbeing.
Spring is a pivotal season for health. Because it is the time of renewal, if we don’t listen to the signals we are getting that the liver and gallbladder need support, then we carry this ill health with us into the following seasons, until we come back to Spring again. This can cause a snowball effect and leave us with a bigger challenge to overcome next year. On a positive note, if there are signs your liver and gallbladder need support and you nourish and cleanse them back to health, then the momentum is built to overcome other health issues in the coming seasons.
If your liver meridian (energy pathway) is in balance, you may be feeling a rush of creative energy and inspiration, with a new drive to achieve your goals. However, when your liver energy is stagnating, you may feel fearful, irritable, indecisive, angry, aggressive, frustrated, or downright stuck on your path in life. (Honestly, I think this pretty much describes everyone during this pandemic.) When these feelings linger, they are often accompanied by some level of depression and lacking in motivation. At the same time, you may have achy joints, less flexibility, digestive issues, and dimming eyesight.
In order for a liver and gallbladder to cleanse to be effective, we have to be able to eliminate the toxins completely, and the best way is through the bowel. A back up of toxins from the liver causes bloating, trouble digesting fats, fatigue, constipation, acid reflux, fat gain, and can spread to other organs and can even affect the health of the thyroid and your hormone balance. If your digestive system isn’t running at peak performance, then that’s the first place to start.
When we are in tune with what the seasons have to offer, it becomes effortless to cleanse and nourish the dominant organs. In Spring, the bitter green foods and herbs that are part of the wood element are springing up from the ground and are excellent liver and gallbladder cleansers that also help to stimulate bile flow. Cleansing doesn’t have to be harsh and drastic to be effective. Small daily changes to your routine can produce excellent results!
Here are the elements your Spring cleansing regimen should include:
Do you have a body refreshing spring cleaning regiment that includes any of the above or anything extra? Let us know in the comments below!
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