It’s mid-Spring and according to Five Element Theory, the ‘Wood’ energy is coming to its lowest ebb.
If you’ve been reading BIOM’s Seasonal Health Tips, you’ve recognized that the effect Spring has on your body has been quite strong this year, based on whichever of the common Spring health problems you may be experiencing.
Just as Five Element Theory indicates that the characteristic energy of Spring is “Wood,” it also says the color is ‘green,’ which is the color associated with your Liver and Gallbladder. The surging energy of Spring is seen in the vibrant green color of young leaves, and how you feel Spring’s energy in your body is determined by the health of your Liver and Gallbladder. If these organs are balanced, you’ll feel a smooth, pleasant energy flowing through you that stimulates your creativity and a sense that fundamentally all is well in your life.
If your Liver and Gallbladder are not functioning properly, emotional problems like frustration, irritation, anger, or rage are not uncommon. Physically, symptoms like insomnia, high blood pressure, sciatica, constipation, migraine headaches, vision and other eye-related problems, hives, asthma and eczema can all be exacerbated by Spring energy and may be bothering you more than usual right now.
There are things you can do to help yourself get through this time of year more comfortably if you’re experiencing any of the problems mentioned above.
Foods To Avoid
Be aware that certain foods can have a detrimental effect on the Liver and Gallbladder. Try to avoid rich, fatty, oily, deep-fried, buttery, and creamy foods. For example, when you have a choice between fettuccine alfredo and fettuccine primavera, choose the primavera because fettuccine alfredo has cream and eggs in it, making it too rich for the Gallbladder. Also, be aware that the Liver and Gallbladder have a hard time processing alcohol — including beer and wine. So if you’re having Liver trouble consider avoiding, or minimizing, the amount of these foods you eat and drink.
Foods To Eat
Foods that improve the health and function of the Liver and Gallbladder include: shiitake mushrooms, sour citrus (grapefruit, lemon, lime, and sour apple), and marinades with a moderate amount of vinegar.
As always, Chinese medical herbs are extremely useful for strengthening and balancing the Liver and Gallbladder. Chinese medical herbal formulas have proven to be among the most effective treatments available for healing all degrees of Liver problems.
Get Enough Rest
Do your best to get enough rest. Rest is especially important for your body in the Spring because of the intensity of the energy discussed above. Remember that Liver imbalances can cause insomnia, which can be alleviated by Oriental Medicine.
Manage Your Stress With Exercise
Exercise is essential for your physical and emotional health, and Chi-based exercise methods like Chi Kung and Tai Chi for Gardeners are particularly beneficial in Spring to help the seasonal energy flow through your body. By combining a Chi-based exercise program with acupuncture and Chinese medical herbs, you can keep your body’s Chi, or energy, from becoming ‘stagnant.’
Summer Is Coming
Summer is the season of the Fire energy. It remains to be seen how quickly and intensely “Fire” flows into the northern hemisphere this year. Be aware that the drying out of all of the juicy Spring growth that you see today, is exactly what will happen to you and me in Summer. So think back and remember the health problems and discomforts you typically experience in Summer — now is definitely the time to get prepared.
Kitty Bradshaw is a licensed acupuncturist, with an advanced clinical degree in Oriental Medicine. Studying and working with Oriental Medicine since 1986, Kitty combines Traditional Oriental Medicine with Taoist healing methods to offer healing possibilities beyond the level of standard health care. Her deep understanding of Chinese medical herbs, combined with her intuitive abilities to diagnose and treat difficult problems, has helped many people regain and maintain their health.