Winter is over. Now is the season of spring — the season of rebirth and renewal. It is the perfect time to do some cleansing of the body, mind, and soul. And what better way to do it than to take inspiration from the 5,000-year-old traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)?
Chinese medicine and philosophy state that every aspect of the world is related to Wu Xing, or the five elements. These are metal, wood, water, fire, and earth. They flow with time, just as they flow within us.
Fittingly, the season of spring is associated with the element of wood. The trees start to bud, the flowers start to bloom. It is a moment in the year when nature experiences new growth and renewal. You can harmonize with nature by strengthening your health, engaging in mental activities, and nurturing your emotional well-being. But how?
According to TCM, spring is associated with the liver and gallbladder. You would expect that the function of these organs would be in the spotlight now. Since they serve to remove toxins from the body, now is the time to rev up your body and focus on supporting their functions.
Here are some tips to improve well-being in the spring:
1. Go for the greens
Green is the color of spring; the sour flavor is its corresponding taste. This means you should add greens to your diet like lettuce, chard, sprouts, watercress, chickweed, and arugula. These vegetables have powerful components that cleanse the liver. Also, don’t forget sour tasting foods like vinegar, lime, lemon, pomegranate, and fermented foods. Just a tip — make a veggie salad and add vinegar and lemon, a powerful combo that incorporates both green and sour in one healthy dish!
2. Take advantage of spring’s natural boost
Spring brings a natural boost to the body. Even without coffee, you’ll have enough energy to do some physical activities. It’s a good time to wake up early, put on your running shoes, and go for a jog to awaken your body. Revive your muscles and sweat out the toxins, stimulate serotonin in your brain, and energize your blood and lymphatic system.
3. Shrug off emotional baggage
Traditional Chinese Medicine states that when it comes to negative emotions, out of all the major organs, the liver is the most affected. This is because the liver, a yin organ, is responsible for the blood flow and emotions. An unhealthy liver or an overactive one can cause emotional distress.
What you can do is eat the right foods targeting the organ, go outdoors and enjoy nature, meditate, socialize, and meet new people or reconnect with old friends, and let go of the heavy emotions. Of course, with the CCP coronavirus outbreak, meeting face-to-face is not possible right now, but connect through other means like The internet.
4. Give your eyes a break
If you think your eyes and liver are completely unrelated to each other because of their positions in the body, think again. As stated in TCM, the health of the eyes is connected to the energy of the liver. If you overwork your eyes by spending all day in front of the computer, then your liver will be affected as well. Besides, not giving your eyes some rest is generally bad. So take some time off from your gadgets. You can also benefit from looking at the color green since, according to psychology, people associate green with calmness and nature.
5. Release your creativity
Spring is all about movement, planning, and moving forward. There’s this jolt of creativity whenever the season arrives. So aside from doing daily physical exercises, mental activities are a welcome addition to your new routine. So go ahead and read a book, build something, write a poem, solve a puzzle, and engage in other activities that will stimulate your brain!