How to Love Your Liver, Spring Cleanse, Tight Neck and Shoulder Help
Happy March! It's Spring, and in Chinese Medicine, that means we've entered the time of the Liver.
What does that even mean?!
SMOOTH FLOW, MOVEMENT
The Liver is all about the smooth flow of movement--on every level. It is about moving our bodies, moving our minds, shifting things in our lives. The liver is also associated with the eyes, and with the blood in this ancient system. So what can we do to help support healthy liver function?
The first thing is to take a look at movement in our lives---the liver HATES getting stuck. As a matter of fact, FRUSTRATION is a sign that the liver needs some movement. Getting a little more irritable lately? It's time to move your body! Go for a walk, do some stretching, visit a gym, go to a yoga class, join your friends for a jog. Just MOVE IT. Then...AAAAAAHHHHHH!!!! A Happy Liver. Now, I don't mean go out and run a marathon. The Liver is like Goldilocks--it likes the JUST RIGHT amount of movement. Not too much, not too little. Just the right amount. That's different for every body. A good litmus test is to check in and listen to how you feel after you exercise. Do you feel refreshed, a burst of energy, and a calmer, more present feeling? Then you've done the right amount. Do you feel like you could lay down and go to sleep for an hour after a workout? Then you need to back it up, and start slower. Are you more irritable after moving? Slow it down, cut back the time or intensity and find the happy medium of being invigorated but not wiped out after a workout.
Here's some great flowing movements to get your body harmonized:
Qi Gong for morning:
Qi Gong for evening:
WIND & TIGHT NECK and SHOULDERS
With all the wind whipping around, this is also the season of tight neck and shoulders. (Some of you would ask, isn't that always?). It's especially so right now. To keep tension here at bay, and your body fluid, try this short yoga routine for tight neck and shoulders:
Yoga for Tight Neck and Shoulders (17 minutes)
A few other tight neck and shoulder tips for you here: if it's really windy out, and you get a stiff neck, come home and get your hair dryer out (really!). Turn the heat up, and blow the wam air on your neck, as you turn it back and forth. Then put some good muscle cream on it and gently turn it back and forth, as slowly as you can stand. (I have both Pain Terminator Cream and CBD cream in the clinic if you don't have one at home). Keep the heat on it. Take an epsom salt bath, then more heat. If THAT doesn't do the trick, call us and get in for some acupuncture or a massage with Jomar. I've seen a bunch of stiff necks in clinic this week, so keep a scarf on when it's windy out to prevent neck pain!
CLEAN IT OUT, FROM WITHIN
Cleanses. Oh my. We live in a culture of cleanses. Let's just do the two ends of the spectrum.
Simple: Warm water with lemon I it every morning when you wake up. The simplest hello to your liver, first thing in the morning. 16 oz. Smile into your liver, eat good food, avoid sugar, and drink half your body weight in water every day.
Complex: I recently found myself needing to support my liver and gall bladder and I did a 3-day dietary re-set. It involves some cooking (not a bad thing!), and a lot of delicious soup, so I'm including the information here. I did it last year and again this year, and while I don't love complex, sometimes that's just the right thing. If you want very complex, the author also has a 30-day anti-inflammatory approach to eating that is personalized and effective. I have had patients make some radical shifts with this program when it was really necessary. To find that information, get the book The Metabolism Plan (link to book on Amazon below).
(This link includes food plan and recipes for 3 days. I recommend skipping the canned or boxed chicken broth and using water or homemade broth only in the recipes.)
(how to efficiently cook all that delicious food to last three days!)
https://www.amazon.com/Plan-Eliminate-Surprising-Healthy-Fat/dp/1455515493 (book on Amazon).
GRATITUDE!!!!! (huge gratitude!)
Thank you all who voted for me for Best of Lawrence--I REALLY appreciate your support and votes of confidence!
If you are feeling a little out of whack, a little run down, a little out of it, a little poor digestion, poor energy, poor focus, tight neck and shoulder-y, come in and get yourself feeling vibrant again!! Here's a link to schedule yourself some Chinese Medicine nourishment:
or you can call or text 773-991-9455--I would love to see you and help you GREAT!
FRUSTRATION vs. COMPASSION
Finally, the liver has two emotions associated with it: frustration, as mentioned above, and COMPASSION. When you feel compassion--for yourself, for others, for all human suffering, your liver is functioning well at an emotional level. When in doubt, reach for compassion, for yourself first and foremost, because from that, everything else flows. AKA Lovingkindness. All day. Every Day. Because love is the most powerful medicine of ALL.
In deepest gratitude and compassion,
PS: Thank YOU for your referrals and kind words, I am so thankful to be of service to our community! I appreciate your sharing this information, and my clinic information with anyone you thing would benefit. I LOVE to help people feel better in their bodies and their lives. It's my deal :)