Spring is Here! Keep Your Qi Harmonized!

March 22nd, 2011

What does the phrase, “balance and harmony”, really mean? Well, this simple Taoist phrase implies that since the universe is in constant motion and everything is always changing, we, as humans, must always be adapting too. If done properly, a long, healthy, and prosperous life will prevail.

The change of seasons is a perfect example to illustrate this concept of balance and harmony. With springtime upon us, the following information will help you understand and stay as balanced and harmonized as possible through this transition from winter to summer.

What does Spring signify in Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Spring is the season of growth and renewal and is associated with the Liver organ. This organ stores the blood and regulates the smooth flow of qi. It manifests itself in the ligaments of the body and the nails. The emotions associated with the liver are anger and frustration. Comparable to an army general responsible for overall strategy of the body’s functions, the Liver is easily susceptible to agitation and irritability due its complex job.

What is Liver Qi Stagnation?

Many people in modernized societies, particularly America, have congested livers. Stress, a major contributor to blocked, stagnant, and congested energy, causes emotions such as anger, frustration, to arise all to frequently. Other hallmark symptoms of the common pattern known as Liver Qi Stagnation are: Cold hands and feet, muscle tension, acid reflux, PMS, irritability, and depression.

What Should We Eat?

One way to help relieve stagnant liver qi is to simply eat less. Avoid eating processed foods and increase your consumption of whole grains and lightly steamed vegetables. Good spring foods are: Spinach, leafy green vegetables, onions, wheat, cilantro, mushrooms, sprouts, leeks, and Chinese yam. The sour flavor is associated with the Liver organ. The sourness of apple cider vinegar is an effective way to enliven a sluggish liver. One teaspoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with either honey or maple syrup in a cup of water may help decongest or detoxify the liver.

What Type of Exercise is Best?
Exercise is the best way to move one’s qi. Walking, the activity of the liver, is particularly helpful since it harmonizes and smoothly moves one’s liver qi. Take short breaks often and walk around outside. Breathe the fresh air and enjoy the blooming flowers and fresh greenery of spring!