TCM and Your Body’s Organs
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a style of traditional medicine that dates back over 2000 years, originating in China. This medical practice includes various forms of herbal medicine, acupuncture, acupressure, tai chi, massage among many other practices. As one of the oldest medicinal practices, to experience optimal health and to prevent disease, you must live in harmony with the seasons of the year.
Summer relates to the heart. Also, late summer correlates with the spleen. The fall/autumn season connects with the lungs. Winter to the kidney and spring is a direct correlation to your liver. Now that the leaves have budded and the flowers are blooming, you can feel the new energy in the air and in your body that’s often associated with spring. So let’s discuss how you can be at optimal health for the season. Discover how your liver plays a role in your well being and if it’s not functioning properly according to TCM. Also, learn how you may accomplish improving springtime health according to TCM in 6 simple steps.
TCM, the Liver & Springtime
TCM states that the liver is responsible for a smooth flow of emotions as well as Qi. Qi pronounced chee means vital energy. The liver is the organ, according to TCM affected most by stress and emotions. The liver is also partnered with your gallbladder. Even more so, according to TCM, the liver encapsulates the expanding energy in our bodies during springtime. This means a proper functioning liver will bring about an internal sense of freedom and emotional stability. See below to learn what TCM says the liver controls.
- The liver controls the volume and flow of blood vessels as well as stores the blood.
- The sensory organ connected to the liver is the eyes. So TCM believes that eye issues, eye allergies, blurry vision all may be symptoms that the liver is not functioning smoothly.
- It controls the tendons. According to TCM, the tendons are what gives a person its strength, not their muscles.
- Your springtime palette links to your liver. The taste of sour associates with the liver. Craving sour foods may mean your liver is communicating with you the foods your body needs.
- The liver connects to your emotions. Anger is a correlation of an imbalanced liver. Being quick to anger or becoming irritable, having trouble with reasoning and going with the flow may mean you have a liver function issue. Everyone will have moments but excessive and chronic anger and irritability is a sign of an imbalanced liver.
Other Signs of Poor Liver Function
- Digestion Disorder including IBS and indigestion.
- Menstrual disorders like painful and/or irregular periods and PMS.
- Shoulder and Neck Tensions
- Headaches and Dizziness
TCM Springtime Practices
If you have any of the signs above, according to TCM your liver may not be in its proper state. But there are simple steps you can take to bring balance back to your well being. Follow these 6 Steps to bring back the balance in your liver according to TCM.
- Yes, it’s spring and the new energy is contagious. But, it’s best to not get too caught up in this new energy. Staying calm can help keep your body in balance. Steps to keep you calm include, going for a nice walk, letting go of negative people (if you can), and things that cause stress in your life. Going for a long walk or practicing gentle exercises like yoga can relax your mind, body and spirit.
- Take a hairbrush that has rounded bristles and tap your legs. It sounds a bit strange but tapping your legs up and down the insides of your calves and thighs can gently stimulate your liver. This allows for your qi to flow freely and it helps to relax your liver. While you do this make sure you start at the ankles and work your way up to your thighs. Do this for at least five minutes.
- Take a break from alcohol. It’s no mystery in any medical practice that the liver metabolizes alcohol. Drinking in moderation or not at all can take your body a long way. It can preserve your liver and or give it a break.
- Wake up early. Go to bed by 10 p.m. and awaken by 7 a.m. to see if you feel more energized throughout the day.
Food, the Liver & Springtime
- Eat your greens. The liver is associated with the color green. Increase your kale, sprouts, spinach and arugula and other green vegetables. Also if you’re craving sour, incorporate vinegar and sweet and sour into your recipes. Even more so, you can add a slice of fresh lemon or a teaspoon of Apple cider vinegar to a glass of water first thing in the morning. The lemon or apple cider vinegar is optimal for digestive and emotional health. Read more about the best foods to eat in the springtime.
- Don’t be too busy. As mentioned earlier, we know that the new spring energy is contagious But if you exert yourself too much in the spring and summer months you will be depleted by fall and winter. Schedule downtime for yourself and let your energy gradually build.
Improving Well being in the Springtime as a Whole
TCM believes each season is connected to an organ. In the spring, it’s the liver. So according to TCM, you must do things to keep our liver in proper function and balance if you want to remain healthy. Spring is full of new energy and happiness but you must remember to take it slow, not over exert yourself, eat the proper foods, do light exercises like yoga and schedule downtime for yourself. Incorporating the six tips listed above should promote healthy liver function according to the TCM practice.