Feeling Grouchy?

March 5, 2010 at 3:15 pm Leave a comment

Irritable lately? Or a little depressed, lethargic, or restless? That’s a sign of spring on its way.

Winter is ruled by the water element: deep, cool, and still. Spring is ruled by the wood element, which represents growth, change, and movement. As we begin to shift from winter to spring, that dynamic energy starts to stir. But because it’s really still winter, it’s hard for that energy to flow well, and we may feel pent-up, frustrated, or inexplicably tired.

To help smooth this transition, try doing things that help move your energy and “soothe the Liver” (the Liver organ is associated with spring, and the movement of energy in the body, as well as emotional flow). Here are some suggestions:

1. Eat Sour Foods: The sour taste is associated with the Liver, and helps smooth the flow of qi/energy in the body. Pick up a jar of sauerkraut, add pickles to your sandwich, squeeze a lemon in your drink.
2. Change the Scene. If you can get to the Bahamas, go for it. Otherwise, anything outside your normal setting can refresh. Last weekend, after the Veterans Clinic, I walked around Charlestown, a Boston neighborhood I almost never visit. It’s remarkably restorative. (I suppose climbing the 294 steps in the Bunker Hill Monument probably helped move the qi, too!).
3. Have a Glass (Just One!) of Red Wine. Wine affects the Liver (we knew that already!), and was often used in classical Chinese herbal formulas to increase their qi-moving effect. Over-indulging in alcohol, however, is taxing to the Liver and results in major stagnation, so be careful!
4. Get Some Vigorous Exercise. Nothing moves the qi better or more directly than moving your body. Trying a new activity will shake things up even more.
5. Have an Acupuncture or Massage Treatment. These modalities help increase the circulation and flow in your body, and release areas where energy may be stuck.

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Entry filed under: Emotional Health & Sleep, Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , .

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