Springtime and the Liver

Spring, a time for renewal. A time to reawaken. For transformation. A time when nature resets and the perfect time for our bodies and minds to do the same from the inside out.

We understand that the current state of affairs is full of uncertainty, is scary for some, and has disrupted our sense of normalcy. However, we can still support ourselves through connection. Connection to oneself, nature, our body, and our mind.

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), it is believed that people and nature are connected through the 5 Elements:
Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood. Similarly to our chakra system, each element is linked to a color, season, internal organs, emotions, food, herbs and ways to find balance/determine imbalances in our elements.

As we close out Winter (Water element) and head towards Spring (Wood element), we want to share ways to strengthen and support the transition of seasons:

    • Season: Spring
    • Element color: Green. Liven up your home with vibrant greenery (feng shui, anyone?!), add vitamin-rich greens to your diet and spend time outdoors in nature
    • Organ(s): connected to the liver and gallbladder
  • Emotion: Anger. Anger can be considered a healthy emotion, but when out of balance can come through as frustration, stress and outbursts
      • Mindfulness: incorporate visualization & manifestation meditations to your daily routine. Add breathing exercises to reset the nervous system. Journal.
      • Fragrances: lavender, chamomile, orange/grapefruit
  • Herbs: anise, basil, bay, caraway, dill, fennel, ginger marjoram, parsley, peppermint, saffron, sage, and turmeric
  • Gemstones: jade, emerald, green opal
    • Signs of balance: creativity, enthusiasm, growth/expansion, decisive
    • Signs of imbalance: stiff muscles/joints, headaches, digestive troubles, liver/gallbladder troubles, sallow or yellowish skin, oily skin & blackheads (try our janegee no.2 face oil), anxiety/panic attacks, neck pain, anger, resentment, bitterness, lack of compassion, irritability, low self-esteem, etc.
    Feeling out of balance? Here are some ways to strengthen the Wood element:
      • Emotionally: If you’re finding yourself easily agitated, allow yourself space to respond rather than react. Sometimes it’s as “simple” as taking a breath before letting your emotions get the best of you. Give yourself space to let go of resentments. Practice patience, forgiveness and kindness. Harboring old feelings can wreak havoc on our internal system (nervous system, organs, energy channels and so on), so try processing and cleaning out those icky, unresolved emotions to allow feelings of joy and peace to enter in. As with most things, this takes time and practice. Be easy on yourself as you explore what arises.
      • Movement: we may be feeling a little isolated - working remotely and practicing social distancing, so it’s extra important to move our bodies. Our favorite studios and gyms may be temporarily closed, however many are now offering online virtual classes to keep us moving! And don’t forget the nature that surrounds us. Wake early with the sun, go for a walk or run outdoors. Find nature trails, explore the woods in your neighborhood. Are you catching our drift? Movement and time outdoors will relieve stress, reset the mindset and keep our energy levels up. We may get a little stir crazy if we remain sedentary. Plus, we support our liver function with movements like yoga, tai chi or stretching. It’s a win-win. 
  • Connection: connect back to yourself through meditation, breathing exercises, movement, and writing. Reconnect with friends (technology can be such a blessing in this time of social distancing). Connect back to nature. 
  • Bring in new habits or hobbies: Try dusting off that old instrument you’ve been wanting to play. Write. Read. Play games. Keep your activity list fresh to spark creativity as we transition into the newness of Spring.
  • Diet: eating fresh foods rich in vitamins and that are green in color will fuel the Wood element. Foods like spinach, kale, asparagus, artichokes, lettuce, avocado, broccoli, cabbage, celery, green beans, leeks, peas, wheat grass, zucchini, the list goes on! Roots such as carrots, beets, potatoes, onions and garlic also help detoxify the liver, so consider adding those and any of the herbs listed above to the mix. And as always, stay hydrated!

  • Spring is also the perfect time to de-clutter and organize. Yanno, time to get on that good ol’ spring cleaning kick. And with the recent expansion of social-distancing and shutdowns, there is no excuse not to tackle projects in and around your home. Rid yourself of things you no longer need and create space. There may be chaos in the world, but we can create less chaos in our minds and in both our indoor and outdoor living spaces! 

    Keeping our Wood element in balance with these healing properties will allow us to better enjoy the fresh start that Spring brings. Allowing us to freely move toward transformation, creativity, connection and re-balancing as we access a more free flow of energy and emotion with mind, body, and spirit.

    Cheers to new beginnings, Spring!