Nourish Life: Spring Up👏

As a TCM practitioner who are pursuing health and longevity, I would like to share with my friends the ideas of self-care at the time of transitioning from winter to spring. Spring is a wonderful period of renewal, growth, and expansion, but it also brings some challenges for our health and well-being. 

According to TCM, spring is associated with the wood element and the liver organ. The liver is responsible for the smooth flow of qi (energy) and blood throughout the body, as well as regulating our emotions and detoxifying our system. When the liver is in balance, we feel energetic, flexible, creative, and optimistic. When the liver is out of balance, we may experience anger, frustration, irritability, insomnia, headaches, allergies, and digestive issues.
To keep your liver healthy and happy, here are some suggestions: 

Eat more fresh, green and sour foods

Spring is the time to enjoy the bounty of nature and eat more leafy greens, sprouts, herbs and seasonal vegetables. These foods help cleanse the liver and support its function. Sour foods like lemon, vinegar, pickles and fermented foods also stimulate the liver and aid digestion.

Avoid heavy, greasy and spicy foods. These foods can clog the liver and cause stagnation of qi and blood. They can also aggravate allergies and inflammation. Instead, opt for light, simple and nourishing meals that are easy to digest.

Adjust your sleep schedule.

In winter, we tend to sleep more and rest more to conserve our energy. In spring, we need to wake up earlier and go to bed earlier to align with the natural rhythm of the sun. This helps us feel more refreshed and energized in the morning and avoid overstimulating our liver at night.

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Exercise moderately and regularly.
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Physical activity is essential for moving qi and blood and preventing stagnation. However, don’t overdo it or exhaust yourself. Choose gentle exercises that suit your constitution and fitness level, such as walking, yoga, tai chi or qi gong. These exercises also help calm your mind and relieve stress.

Prevent spring allergies.

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you may want to start taking some preventive measures before they flare up. Acupuncture and herbs can help balance your immune system and reduce your sensitivity to allergens. You can also use acupressure points like LI4 (between the thumb and index finger), LI11 (at the elbow crease), LI20 (at the side of the nostril), and GB20 (at the base of the skull) to relieve nasal congestion, itching and sneezing.

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Have more energy.
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Spring is a time of growth and creativity, but it can also be exhausting if you don’t have enough energy to support your activities. To replenish your energy, you can use herbs like ginseng, astragalus, codonopsis pilosula and goji berries. These herbs tonify your qi and blood and enhance your vitality. You can also use aromatherapy oils like rosemary, peppermint, lemon, or grapefruit to invigorate your senses and uplift your mood.

Be happier and more relaxed.

Spring is a time of joy and optimism, but it can also be stressful if you have too many expectations or pressures. To balance your emotions and cultivate a positive outlook, you can practice meditation, breathing exercises or mindfulness techniques. You can also use herbs like chrysanthemum, lavender, chamomile, rose or jasmine to calm your nerves and soothe your liver and heart. 

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