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Spring Cleaning for Good Qi Flow

Posted May 02 2009 10:00pm

In Chinese medicine, spring is the time of year when what has gotten stuck gets moving again. The season is associated with the Wood element, and the Liver organ, whose job in the body is to ensure the smooth flow of physical and emotional energy. When Liver qi is flowing well, our body systems work smoothly, and emotions come and go in an appropriate, no-big-deal kind of way. However, if the Liver qi is stuck, we may experience tension, irritability, depression, lack of motivation, or a worsening of various physical symptoms.

Spring is a good time of year to clear out clutter from your body and your environment so things can flow. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Do a good spring cleaning/decluttering - you can donate used items to Big Brother/Big Sister (donations are tax deductible, and they will schedule a pick-up at your house - see for more info), or any other organization.
  2. Cleanse your own system. Eating more whole grains and vegetables, after the heavier food of winter, will help lighten your body and unblock the energy channels. You can also cleanse your Liver with milk thistle tea or capsules — or buy some milk thistle seeds, toast them, and sprinkle on salads and other foods (thanks to Mischa Schuler at Wild Carrot Herbs for this tasty tip!).
  3. Air our your space and your lungs. We finally have access to the outdoor air, after a winter of breathing whatever comes through our heating systems. Find a warm-enough day, open the windows, put on some fans, and invite the outside air to flow through your space (if this is problematic due to asthma or allergies, please read the next article!). Spending some time outdoors also helps air out your own lungs and freshen the mind.
  4. De-clutter your schedule. Notice where you spend your time and energy, and see if you can let go of something unnecessary or taxing.  Making room for something new in your life helps keep the qi flowing and life fun.
  5. Schedule a seasonal acupuncture tune-up. Acupuncture treatment is designed both to balance your body’s energy, and to align it with the environment around you. Many people schedule quarterly acupuncture treatments to ease the change of seasons and maintain their health and balance through the year.

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