These are a few of the sounds you may be making as we move into Spring. In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) this is the season of the Liver. If you are experiencing any of the issues below, though they can occur at any time of year, they may be more pronounced as we move into this time frame.
Headaches/ body aches and pains: In TCM language, we would call this STAGNATION SYMPTOMS – pain that feels like pressure, tightness or restriction.
Muscle Stiffness: The Liver and its associated system, the Gallbladder (the Yin and the Yang) bring nourishment to the body’s connective tissue including tendons, muscles and ligaments. If you are feeling more tension and tightness this is often believed to be arthritic symtoms when it could well be a sign of Liver imbalance. These feelings may feel exaggerated as we move into spring.
Feelings of anger: This is the emotion associated with the Liver – and while occasional bouts of anger are to be expected – kind of like a release valve- more frequent outbursts can suggest that the Liver is overtaxed.
Irritation/Frustration: These two emotions are associated Gallbladder imbalances and go hand-in-hand with the physical stagnation that can take place causing a feeling of ‘stuck-ness.’ You may feel yourself clenching your jaws more than normal, stiffness in the shoulder muscles, etc.
Feelings of anger: This is the emotion associated with the Liver – and while occasional bouts of anger are to be expected – kind of like a release valve- more frequent outbursts can suggest that the Liver is overtaxed. The Gallbladder kicks in with the feelings of frustration.
Digestive upsets: For our digestive system to run smoothly, the Liver needs to maintain a balanced flow and consistent movement throughout the body. Add to this the brain-gut connection and if you are more more stressed out than usual, the digestive function takes a hit as well. KEY HERE: Don’t eat when you are angry or upset – turn OFF the TV (especially if you are watching the news).
Vision/Eye imbalances: The sense organ relating to the Liver is the eyes. Any issue here is typically attributed at least in part to a Liver imbalance. This includes poor vision as well as eye pain and fatigue and dry eyes.
Acupressure can come to the rescue in many of these imbalances. There are two key points that can be used to address many of the issues listed above. They are LV (Liver) 3 and LI (Large Intestine) 4 and are referred to as the ‘Four Gates’.
LV (LIVER) 3: located on foot between first and second toes in front of bone convergence. This is the source point of the Liver meridian – like a ‘hub’ – where primordial qi (source of life) from particular organs gathers to be distributed throughout the rest of the body. This is a ‘go-to’ point any time of year to release stagnation throughout the body and because of it’s connection with spring, even more so now. Press often and firmly.:)
LI (LARGE INTESTINE ) 4: located in the webbing between the thumb and index finger, with pressure slightly up underneath bone of index finger. (Do not use when pregnant – can induce labor.)This point is helpful for allergies, headaches, hay fever, and general pain in upper body.
Some other tips for a healthy Liver:
* Consider a cleanse (check with your doctor) or at least add sipping lemon water to your schedule every morning and even throughout the day. Lemon helps to not only cleanse our system and remove toxins, it also alkalizes the body, a key component of good health.
* Limit intake of unhealthy fats as this puts a lot of stress on both the liver and the gallbladder.
* Increase consumption of fresh leafy greens, fruits and cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage) – and organic whenever possible. Also fruits that are high in fiber such as apples and pears.
* Dandelion tea would also be a nice addition as it helps to detox the body and promote bile production.
* STRETCH & BREATHE!! Consider practicing yoga & meditation to release pent up anger and frustration. (Click here for class schedule or to learn more about sage butterfly yoga.) Also, get out in the fresh air and nature daily even for a few minutes to ground and refresh your spirit.
* Do your best to not SIT too much. This not only affects our digestive system, but also our lymph system. If you are in a desk job and/or have a long commute or many hours in your car, schedule some time every hour to stand up and move around. This is absolutely essential for the health of our whole being – not just the liver.
**** And lastly, and perhaps most importantly (in any season), stop long enough several times a day to notice the miracles within and around you – everything from the blossoming of the trees (and your ability to see them), to the sound of the birds singing (and your ability to hear them) and your heart beating and connecting you to this amazing gift of Life. Now. And now. And now…
Chakra Balancing Meditation to Release Feelings of Anger
We can hold anger in any of our energy fields for various reasons, for instance, in our throat chakra if we feel unheard or stuck as far as self-expression. Or in our heart chakra if we are having a difficult time either giving or receiving love. Each of the fields can become blocked due to these emotional states. This meditation will help to alleviate the stagnation and invite in a free flow of energy from root to crown.