By: Dr.Carina Lopez and Kath Saxby
Eastern theory suggests that the universe and our bodies are united as one. Each season is paired with corresponding organs in our body. Thus, ancient healers would use each season to nourish or detoxify its correlated organ for disease prevention and better health.
They connected the liver with the spring. According to eastern traditions, the liver functions to strengthen our tendons, balance anger, harness our will and more. For them, a common “liver” ailment seen in the spring is tendonitis and hay fever.
Here are some simple ancient tips to strengthen our liver during the spring:
Sound Therapy Daoists believed that specific vibrations act profoundly in organ healing. To detoxify the liver, they recited the sound “shhhhh” during meditation. Tip 1: Hold your hand under your right rib cage where your liver is located. Inhale and, on the exhale, recite shhhhhhh. Do this ten times.
Food & Flavor Ancients believed eating sour foods helped the liver. Sour tastes encourage the liver to release bile, the bright green fluid needed for digestion. Sour foods include citrus, good quality vinegar and pickles. More recently, scientists reported in The Journal of Membrane Biology that apple cider vinegar had a protective effect on the liver, noting that rats fed cholesterol had lower blood lipid (fat) levels when they consumed apple cider vinegar. Tip 2: Take one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in an 8-ounce glass of warm water before meals. This is a home remedy for acid reflux, constipation and arthritis. Ask your physician if it’s right for you.
Emotion The emotion Chinese medicine connects with the liver is anger. Anger repressed or left unresolved contributes to serious liver issues. In this season of new beginnings, begin a practice of forgiveness. Letting go of anger helps your interaction with people and allows you to heal. Tip 3: Seeking the help of a therapist to release suppressed anger in a healthy way is a great start.
Creativity As nature herself begins to sprout beautiful flowers and greenery, so too does your inner creativity. According to ancient tradition, the liver harnesses the will to move forward and complete one’s goals. Spring is the time to create. Tip 4: Create a vision board. Find magazines and begin posting to a board pictures that illustrate your goals.
Color Green is the color of spring. Green is also the color of a forest. A 2009 Japanese study found that Shinrin-yoku (“forest bathing” or taking in the forest atmosphere) lowered concentrations of cortisol (our stress hormone), and blood pressure. Tip 5: Take a leisurely walk among trees in a park or forest daily.
There are many practical and metaphysical connections when it comes to our bodies’ interactions with nature. Every season has a potential for healing. With that I hope your spring season is filled with love. This will prep you for the summer season, the season of the heart!