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March 23, 2020
Spring is here, and boy has it ever been a wild entry into the season, to say the least! My family and I have been adjusting to homeschooling and social distancing. Our days are filled with lots of playtime, food, reading, writing, math, a movie and more playtime. Lucky for us we live walking distance to the beach with lots of nature around us. The weather has been good so we’ve been spending lots of time outdoors making sure to stay 6 feet away from other people and to wash, wash and wash our hands over and over again. It’s been a challenge with 2 young boys but we are making it work.
Interestingly enough in Chinese Medicine, Spring is a symbol of new beginnings. It is the time to do away with the old and start fresh. In nature, life awakens from Winter’s cold, dark and damp slumber. The sun warms the earth and new life emerges as plants peek upwards from the soil. By following nature’s cues and adjusting our lives accordingly, we can avoid seasonal maladies while enjoying a better sense of well-being.
Here are 5 things you can do to keep yourself happy & healthy this Spring season:
In Chinese Medicine, it is thought that the world around us has a profound impact on our health. Not only are we affected by our own thoughts and emotions, but also the thoughts and emotions of our inner circles, our country and the world. Being connected through technology has its perks, but it also has a downside. Anxiety can be contagious and some of us are more vulnerable to the negative impact it can have on our health.
I encourage everyone to disconnect from technology for a bit and spend time mending your relationship with yourself. Reconnect with your true nature and do the things that you love. If possible, spend some time out in nature, read a book, play a board game, cook a new recipe, plant something in your garden, take a nap, pet your animals, take an Epsom salt bath, listen to your favorite album, paint or do anything creative that brings you joy.
Spring is the time when we naturally eat less and cleanse our bodies from the heavier foods of winter. Plant foods that are fresh should be the main focus of our diet now. Green is the color associated with the Wood element which rules the season of Spring. Fresh greens are cleansing and the bitter ones such as dandelion and nettle support the liver and gallbladder functions. In addition, pungent herbs such as basil, bay leaf, caraway, dill, fennel, marjoram, and rosemary are great not only for their flavor but for their therapeutic effects. During springtime, foods should be minimally cooked using water or just a little bit of oil. Raw fruits and vegetables are ok to consume in small quantities as long as you don’t have any digestive problems.
Just as we are cleansing our physical bodies with food and water to get rid of stagnant waste, we can begin to cleanse our thoughts and emotional patterns as well. The main emotion related to Spring is anger. One of the first signs of liver disharmony is not being able to control our emotions. Anger comes in many forms such as frustration, irritability, aggression, rudeness, impatience, resentment, arrogance, and stubbornness. Now is the time to recognize unhealthy thoughts and emotional habits and to let them go. Focus on cultivating acceptance, compassion, patience, and honesty. One of the best ways to regulate emotions is through movement.
Starting your day with a brisk walk is one of the best things you could do for your health right now. Walking fast gets your heart rate up, encourages a sweat and gentle detox, increases blood flow throughout your entire body including your brain with minimal risk of injury. Not only will you feel energized afterward but It will lift your spirits helping you to think more clearly, make better decisions and stay positive. The benefits will last throughout the entire day so start early!
Nature provides many powerful herbs that can support the liver and gall bladder functions. Some great springtime herbs include nettle, mint, dandelion, lemon balm, angelica root, and licorice root. Making a tea out of any of those herbs will be beneficial. My Spring Tea is not only light and refreshing, but it mildly cleansing promoting seasonal well-being.
December 21, 2019
With a vast drop in temperature, darker skies and rainy days, winter is the most yin of all the seasons. It is associated with the kidney and bladder organs, the color black, the element water, the emotion fear, and salty and bitter flavors.
December 06, 2019
Goji berries are one of the most well known Chinese herbs in the US. Used for over 2000 years in China, they were first mentioned in the Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing, the oldest known book on Chinese herbs in 200 BC. They are prized for their ability to tonify blood and yin without causing stagnation. Consumed daily in China as a food and herbal medicine, goji berries are revered for their anti-aging properties. They are used in many beauty tonics.
November 26, 2019
From pumpkins and spooky Halloween decorations to Hanukkah candles, Christmas lights and hot cocoa, the holiday season is a lively time of year. Traditionally this is the time to spend with loved ones, give thanks for all that you have and indulge in comfort food. As a child, my excitement came from watching holiday cartoons and anticipating the arrival of Santa and presents.