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The Energy of Spring
Allow your self to rise earlier, expend more energy, set goals and be more creative. Now is the time to cleanse stagnant energy from within. The old adage of "Spring Cleaning" does not have to pertain only to cleaning a house of old clothes or papers. It can refer also to ridding the body of toxins, excessive wastes or unhealthy emotions. Springtime seems to be the best time for cleansing. Periodic cleanses such as one-day fruit and vegetable juice fasts can give the digestive system a well-deserved rest. Processed foods high in fats, sugar and preservatives are difficult to assimilate and can impede the digestive system's proper function. It is important to consult a health care physician before beginning a cleanse or fast of more than one day. Fasts, especially water only fasts, can be debilitating to the entire body.

The Wood element governs the Liver and Gall Bladder. These organs carry out essential body functions, particularly the digestion and metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, helping to regulate blood sugar levels. The Liver is responsible for filtering the blood of toxins and eliminating them from the body. If the Liver is overtaxed, toxins accumulate and injury to Liver energy may occur. Symptoms such as illness or allergic sensitivities result from Liver injury. A sluggish Liver can also make it difficult to start the day. The Gall Bladders' role is decision-making. An imbalance in Gall Bladder energy may manifest itself in poor judgement, planning or organization. The imbalance may also be shown as excessive organization, with a tendency to headaches, neck and back tension and an inability to relax completely.

It is important to replenish wood energy to the Liver and Gall Bladder with supportive and tonifying herbs, being cautious not to deplete the organs of their vital energy. The Liver and Gall Bladder are already actively cleansing themselves during springtime. By using excessively harsh cleansing herbs, the organs may subsequently become weakened. Milk Thistle is a valued Liver tonic. Stress and environmental toxins can overburden the liver, and milk thistle helps to eliminate toxins and regenerate dead cells while relieving stress, fatigue and overexertion. Dandelion is also a traditional herbal treatment for the liver and gall bladder. Dandelion helps the liver detoxify and cleanse the blood. It can be used for any condition involving the wood organs, including food sensitivities and poor digestion. Dandelion leaves can be steeped in water for teas or can be eaten raw in salads or steamed in stir-fry.

During spring it is essential for the diet to consist mainly of greens (especially dark leafy greens), sprouts, salads, fruits, nuts, seeds and some grains. A significant decrease in heavier foods like meats and dairy products should follow along with the spring diet. The taste associated with the wood element is sour. Foods like lemons and vinegar are extremely beneficial to wood energy. Experimenting with different types of vinegar and adding them to salad oils or over brown rice is a good way to incorporate the sour element into your diet. Another way is to drink fresh squeezed lemonade (taking it easy on the sugar, allowing the natural sour taste to dominate).

As the seasons change, we change. Our state of health ebbs and flows with earth's perpetual rotation. Like the five elements (wood, water, fire, earth and metal), we too are mutable and able to transform ourselves to meet the demands of nature�s constant flux. If we resist these natural changes within, we become susceptible to illness and dis-ease. Our health corresponds to our connection to the world around us.

For more information about The Energy of Spring or how Chinese Medicine can help you, call to speak with one of our acupuncturists.
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