Its spring, during this time of year it is common for many cleanses to pop up around and I want you to be educated to know what cleanse you should do and why. Check out my previous blog posts on cleansing to learn more.
Springtime (Taken from Staying Healthy With the Seasons by Elson M Haas MD)
“Springtime is natures birthing season. The time of creation and development. The earth energy is warming the seeds begin to sprout from the depths of the soil, trees bud, and nature awakens in her green flowering beauty. After winter, the withdrawn internal work that was done comes forth to bloom in spring.
The beginning of spring is March 21st, the time of the spring equinox, when the day equals night.
Spring is a good time to take a look at your life and a good time to consider what you want to clear out in your environment and in your personal being.
What would you like to see happen this year. Take some time to write a new health plan, make new lifestyle changes, including goals for how you can implement these changes into your life.
In Chinese system of the Five Elements, the spring season is correlated with the element of Wood, which governs the liver and gallbladder.
The Wood element refers to living, growing entities: trees, plants, and the human body. They grow simultaneously out and upward, down and inward. The development of the root structure, as well as its early nourishment by sun, air, water and soil, provide the strength and growth to the organism.
A wood imbalance can result in spinal problems, poor flexibility or a weak rooted individual.
The color associated with the Wood element is the green of young spring plants. Someone who either likes or dislikes this color can be imbalanced in the wood element.
The nature of spring and the Wood element is described as beginning or birth. Mentally, this corresponds to the “idea”. The Wood element creates our mental clarity and our ability to focus, plan and to make decisions. A Wood element imbalance may be manifested in poor judgment, planning, and organization, with an inability to make decisions; or a very strong overdeveloped Wood element may result in excessive mentality, for example a person who may have a hard time relaxing and may be prone to headaches and neck and back tensions.
The direction associated with this element is east – the beginning or creation of the day as the sun rises in the east. This element rules the morning and a healthy Wood element gives one the capacity to arise energized for the day. A sluggish liver will make a slow morning riser.
The climate for the spring and Wood element is characterized by wind, which clears the old and brings the fresh, new air, like the transition from winter to spring. Wind nourishes the Wood. However, too much wind may be harmful. So in the spring, if the Wood (or liver) is weakened or injured by over exposure to extreme winds, one may get symptoms associated with that unbalanced Wood element, like poor resistance to illness or allergic sensitivities with many symptoms suck as sinus or skin problems or irritated watery eyes.
The eyes are the sense organ for the liver and Wood element thus site is the sense, and tears are fluid. The liver governs the eyes; which is to say if you have poor vision, tearing, or eye problems this may suggest taking a look at the health of the liver.
Each element has, along with a sense organ, a specific “indicator”, and both may be observed to get an idea of the health and balance of that element. The nails, especially the toenails, are the Wood elements indicator, so you may check both the eye tissue, and the nails for the state of health of the liver and the Wood element.
The Wood element is associated with the sour flavor. Naturally sour foods will nourish the liver, however too much can cause an imbalance. A person that craves sour vinegary foods or who has a real distaste for them may have a Wood imbalance.
The emotion of anger and the sound of shouting are related to the Wood element. Repressed anger may injure the liver and gallbladder. A person with a lot of anger may have a Wood imbalance.
The Wood element governs the muscles, tendons and ligaments. Muscle weakness, flexibility, congestion, muscle fatigue or pain may be a result of a Wood imbalance, either in the liver itself or its corresponding energy channel or meridian.
The Wood element gives the ability or capacity for control. If one who has a Wood imbalance is met with a challenge or request for change, he or she may respond by trying to control, either his behavior or the situation. The Wood element is also said to give the spiritual faculty to life; the liver is the home of the soul. This element gives us the inspiration and desire for life. If it was weak, we may lack the enthusiasm and spark to live.
In the spring, all living things are renewed and restored by the new light. Because the liver is the powerhouse of the body, with its wide reaching functions, it is especially important to keep it balanced and working well. The liver is responsible for the distribution and regulation of Qi throughout the entire body, and if weakened or toxic, general health and vitality are diminished. When the wood element is weak, people can feel indecisive and stuck. They may have anger, expressed or unexpressed, and may be controlling, arrogant and short-tempered. Imbalanced liver people can be workaholics, or indeed, because of their addictive natures be alcoholics or drug addicts. They may also have digestive problems and experience bloating, gas and heat. With gall bladder imbalance, there is a tendency to be emotionally frustrated, resentful and irritable.
Liver and Gallbladder
The liver and gallbladder carry out essential body functions, particularly the digestion and processing of many substances we take into our bodies.
The liver is the body’s largest internal organ and is located in the right upper abdomen. It conforms to the undersurface of the diaphragm. The lower livers edge can often be felt under the rib cage on the right side of the body. The liver is the body’s master laboratory. Essentially, it stores and distributes nourishment for the entire body, involved in the formation and breakdown of blood, and filters out toxins from the blood. The liver cells make bile, which aids in digestion and stores bile in the gallbladder to be used in the intestines for the breakdown of fats and for enhancing the small intestine’s ability to absorb fatty acids.
When the liver cannot clear the bilirubin, a principle component of red blood cells, the skin, eyes and mucous membranes will pick up this green-yellow pigmentation. This most commonly suggests a liver problem, but may also be a result from excessive breakdown of blood cells.
In summary the liver functions are vast; it detoxifies the blood, enhances immunity, produces bile, regulates the blood sugar, metabolizes all nutrients, stores vitamins, stores blood, and lubricates the stools. It is important to consume foods and herbs to support, cleanse, and maintain healthy liver function.
Proper digestion is crucial for health. When digestion is efficient and complete, all of the food that you eat is either converted into nutrient fluids for absorption into the body or flushed out as wastes. When the digestive process is incomplete or inefficient, partially digested food matter is left behind in the digestive system. This substance, called ama in ayurveda, becomes toxic to the physiology if allowed to stay in the body or build up over time. Ama is not only inherently toxic in itself, it also clogs the channels of the body, further disrupting the flow of digestion and leading to an escalating cycle of toxin build-up. Ama is fertile ground for infections and disorders to germinate, take root and flourish. Ama build-up is considered the first stage of imbalance in the physiology. If not addressed, disorders invariably follow.
The digestive process leaves behind toxins either when you eat foods that are not fresh, natural or suited to your constitution and digestive capability, or when routines and practices that are not ideal. Eating processed or artificially flavored foods and foods that are grown with chemical pesticides and fertilizers can lead to toxin build-up. Drinking iced water or ice-cold beverages douses the digestive fire and causes ama to be generated. Eating heavier foods after sundown, eating when a new meal before the previous one is digested, or eating when stressed or working also impact digestion.”
Springtime is a perfect time to clean the house, clean out the closets, cupboards and refrigerators. I love taking this time take down my altars and recreate them. Its a wonderful time to create vision board, and set your intentions for the new year. Its also a perfect time to do a cleanse, support the liver and gallbladder as well as to shed to accumulated winter/holiday pounds. To learn more check out my other blog posts.