Self Care for Spring
Spring, while a lovely time of year, can also be a difficult one for people. Often people notice that during the spring months, they experience disrupted sleep, more irritability and anger, restlessness, PMS, etc. Just as one day may be sunny and 70 and the next will be cloudy and 45, so too will our emotional and mental states be rather volatile.
“Spring cleaning” is more than just cleaning out closets after a long winter. According to Chinese medicine, spring is the time of year which is optimal to create, renew, move, and cleanse. As winter is the time during which things rest and gather energy, spring is the time that comes after; a time when all that stored energy is released. This happens outside in nature as well as in ourselves and its a great time to get that energy up and out of our bodies.
How does one best take advantage of this spring energy? Here are a few recommendations I tell my patients:
During the spring, eat an abundance of green vegetables. The Liver and Gallbladder are the two organs most affected by spring and their health can be improved by eating leafy greens like arugula, watercress, dandelion, chard, etc…
Wake up earlier… Just as the sun begins to rise earlier, so too should we follow suit and do the same. This can help you feel more energized through the day.
Begin the day with a 10 minute meditation to clear the mind of clutter.
Resist the urge to throw out all winter clothes and switch over to sundresses and tank tops. Spring is often breezy and the old wives tale about keeping your neck covered to prevent illness turns out to be true. A light scarf and/or jacket can do a lot to keep those external pathogens from invading.
The Liver is the organ which is responsible for keeping the qi (energy) in our body moving freely. When it goes off balance, we will often feel irritation and tension. Movement is really important to keep those feelings of irritability at bay. Things like yoga, qi gong, walking, etc can help keep things moving smoothly.
Get outside! Spending time in nature- whether a hike in the woods or a picnic in a park- is a great way to witness all the spring energy in action. It can be helpful to witness what’s happening in nature and notice how the same things are happening within ourselves
Schedule an acupuncture appointment! Acupuncture works directly to bring you back into balance by harmonizing your Liver and attuning you to spring. Experience relief in your symptoms and set the stage for long-term health for the rest of the year with a spring acupuncture tune-up. It is also a fabulous way to help minimize those pesky seasonal allergies.