In Traditional Chinese Medicine, just like the change of seasons, we should adjust our vital energy accordingly. Like plants, seeds sprout in Spring, grow in Summer, harvest in Autumn, and store in Winter. Observing the Tai Chi symbol, we can see Yin and Yang mutually transforming into each other just like how seeds start sprouting before they break the ground. The Lunar Calendar's Spring time comes earlier than we think and now is the best time to start springtime balancing!
Even with the cold weather right now, Spring is here and the growing energy is "switched on". During the Spring season, the Liver and Gallbladder dominates this growing energy by dredging and draining properties. This unique dynamic of Qi movement allows the body to detoxify the waste from the winter season’s storage. The Liver and Gallbladder together oversees emotions such as anger and depression as well as strategy planning and decision making. By detoxing and nourishing the Liver and Gallbladder, it will help balance the body. Balance in Liver and Gallbladder will help with calm mind and mood, prevent endocrine dyscrasia, manage anxiety and depression, PMS, and other many other conditions. The main healthy goal for Spring is cultivating clear Qi rising (sprouting/growing), ensuring the Qi moves freely, and detoxing the waste in the blood and system. Check out the action plan below:
Diet: Let's look at the Chinese character of soothe/dredging and draining 疏, and the character of vegetable 蔬. Don't they look similar? The Vegetable adds a plant symbol to the word soothe/dredging and draining and therefore, the key to Spring Diet is eating lots of vegetables! We also need to clean out the toxins accumulated from the Winter season and raise clear Yang Qi. Bitter and slightly pungent flavors are appropriate. A wide range of leafy greens like spinach, arugula, dandelion greens, kale, various sprouts, mustard or collard greens, and watercress; herbs like turmeric, basil, cardamon, marjoram, cumin, fennel, dill, ginger, horseradish; and vegetables like cabbage, turnips, cauliflower, broccoli, and brussels sprout should become the biggest portion of our daily diet. Lean meat, fish, soy protein, and whole grains (like quinoa or whole-grain rice) can be served as a side dish. Thinking about a snack? Persian cucumber will be the best choice.
Eat light and healthy, and drink plenty of filtered water. Have chrysanthemum and goji berry tea throughout the day, as desired.
Avoid: All processed foods, meat (fish is okay), dairy, fried foods, alcohol, coffee, sugar and soda, and hydrogenated and poor-quality fats (shortening, margarine, refined and rancid oils)
Meditation: Meditation is crucial and should be practiced two times a day, once in the mid-afternoon and once in the morning or evening. When exhaling, make the "shoe" sound with wrists down, and repeat it five times each session.
Gratitude: Write down at least five things you appreciate daily before bed. This is a great way to release negative emotions.
Sleep: Following the TCM channel clock, you can sleep slightly later than during wintertime (No later than 10:30 PM) and get up early to help with daily Yin Yang transitioning and activate Yang/Growing energy. Wake up early allowing yourself time beforehand to journal, stretch, practice yoga or Tai chi, etc.
You might feel increased fatigue during this time, which is expected as your body detoxes. Soon, you will be feeling renewed and energized! Please call us with any questions or concerns.
Together with TCM Healing, let's go for a sprouting a Happy and Healthy year!
Sample meal plans:
Eat a light breakfast following the guidelines. Add 2 Tbsp. Unrefined apple cider vinegar and 1 Tbsp. of honey to 1 cup of warm water and drink it on an empty stomach. In general, no packaged foods, processed pastries (bagels, muffins, etc.), or sugary cereals.
Prepare simple, natural meals of fruits, greens, and vegetables, whole grains (quinoa or rice), and lean fish or soy proteins.
Prepare whole grains, greens, vegetables, lean fish, or soy protein meals.
*Incorporate filtered room-temperature water and chrysanthemum-goji tea throughout the day. Chrysanthemum-goji tea is available for purchase at the front desk