In Chinese Medicine, spring is all about the liver. The liver is a big, old workhorse for your body. It has more than 500 functions: from regulating hormones to filtering blood. It’s a mover and a shaker and when the liver is not functioning at it’s best it can get really bogged down.
Sometimes, livers are known to “stagnate.”
When your liver “stagnates” it means that it gets stuck, becomes sluggish and it’s having a hard time getting it’s job done.
When a liver gets clogged up it can really feel like a quagmire: physically and emotionally. When it comes to hormones, if the liver is moving on the slow side then there’s bound to be trouble like erratic temperatures, sore breasts, painful periods and sleepless nights.
Because the liver is in charge of so many functions, a lot can go wrong when it’s not functioning at its best. Aside from the physical complications, the liver can play an important part in emotions too. A stagnant liver can make a gal moody or cranky.
If you’re feeling a little on edge or you just want a little more spring in your step, then it might be time to put a little loving into your liver.
Here are a few tips to get your liver moving again:
1. Just a squeeze of lemon in your water will get your liver groovin’. That bitter/sour taste of lemon can help kick the liver into action. Lemon is known to detoxify your body and wake up the system. Just a little squeeze in water will freshen things up and give your liver a little perk.
2. Rub the tops of your feet. The liver meridian begins near the end of your big toe and goes up the top of your foot. There’s a few other meridians that are there too, but often tightness on the top of the feet will relate to your liver.
If your liver is stuck or bogged down, expect the top of your feet to be tight. If your liver is free and clear, then your feet will feel pretty good too. Take a couple of minutes to rub the top of your feet. Working out any soreness will help stimulate your lymph and get your liver cranking.
3. Take a hike. There is nothing like fresh air and a brisk walk to help move the liver. Remember, your liver is like a general. It’s coordinating and telling all the other organs what to do. Gentle movement tends to help your liver get it’s message out.
In Chinese medicine, we say that movement helps to soothe your liver. Exercise can clear your head and help work out your emotions. But, be careful with this one and consult a doctor first. A gentle walk is far kinder to your liver then an all out exercise catharsis.
With these three tips and a little bit of sunshine, Spring is sure to be sweet. Now go ahead, and get out there!
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Apprentice Editor: Jen Weddle / Editor: Catherine Monkman