What a ride it has been in New England this year. We had spring-like weather in February, back-to-back Nor’ Easters in March, then “winter” in early April.

Since our bodies respond to changes in seasons the same way other animals and plants do, we may be feeling a bit off. The longer daylight hours beckoned us outside yet wind-chill readings suggested hot chocolate and a blanket by the fire.

You will notice though, that nature continued to push forward. Robins are hopping around our yards, the daffodils are staying the course, and trees have started pushing buds out of hibernation.

Spring is a time for cleansing and rejuvenating ourselves. The organs in Chinese medicine associated with spring are the gall bladder and liver, whose job is to purify our bodies.

Acupuncture is based on the belief that energy (called chi) flows freely through our bodies along pathways called meridians. The liver is responsible for keeping chi flowing smoothly throughout the body. Gallbladder energy is associated with courage and decision making.

During the winter our chi may become sluggish or stagnant due to lack of exercise and/or eating too many “comfort” foods. It is very important to get chi flowing properly now for optimal health and wellbeing.

Are you feeling irritable, frustrated and/or angry that your daily activities have been thwarted by the weather? It may mean that your liver chi is stagnant and needs to move. Having trouble making decisions? Your gallbladder meridian needs some attention!

Here are several things you can do to help get your chi moving again:

  • Stretch – Activity helps restore the flow of chi after a night’s sleep.
  • Eat greens – Eating fresh leafy greens may improve the liver’s overall function. Kale is everywhere these days. It’s all the rage and it’s delicious!
  • Get outside – Fresh air helps improve the flow of chi. Even simple walks outdoors can help.
  • Drink warm water with lemon juice – Slice the lemons and add spring or purified water first thing in the morning. Make sure to use organic lemons. This is helpful all year.
  • Eat sour green apples and radishes – They help support the gallbladder.
  • Get acupuncture treatments – Acupuncture stimulates specific points along the meridians to help restore the proper flow of chi. Treating liver chi can help reduce this feelings of irritability, frustration, and anger.
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