One of the best aspects of Chinese Medicine is the emphasis on BALANCE. Balance between rest and activity, balance between comfort and stress, balance between interacting with the world and meditating on one’s self. AND balance with the seasons. The Chinese observed in ancient times how the seasons complicate one’s health. Summer can overheat the body, winter can chill it. Colds and flus abound at every change in season.
As we move into the changes in spring, Chinese Medicine emphasizes the word “movement”. Winter, a time of decreased activity and inner reflection, is waning. With the increase in heat, our bodies start to move more and, after any long period of rest, are more prone to joint aches and pains. The wisdom of Chinese Medicine focuses on warming up the joints in spring, nourishing the body for the growth of activity. Below are a few tips from the ancients on how to do this:
Green Foods for All! The Chinese noticed the liver was in charge of filtering out all toxins from our blood. Being in charge of such an important task means taking care of our livers are important. In winter, the lack of activity means a decrease in circulatory function. As we shake off that seasonal inactivity, the Chinese believed the liver needs to be a focus of our health so that it can get rid of winter sludge and provide the most nutritious blood to our joints and our tendons. Therefore, there is a heavy emphasis on eating green foods that sprout from the earth in spring. Green onion, sprouts, green beans, spinach and green peas all work!
Enjoy Detoxing Teas! Drinking Milk Thistle or Dandelion teas are a great way to shake off the liver and get it functioning optimally!
Stretch! Yoga in the Spring is a wonderful way to limber up those tendons and joints, getting proper blood flow to them after the winter chill.
Smell that Spring Air! Start taking longer jaunts outside and breathe in the fresh air. Walking more and more improves the circulation and prevents joint injury.
And lastly, but most importantly, get an acupuncture treatment! Acupuncture focuses heavily on proper circulation and optimal organ function. Get a few treatments that focuses on energizing the liver and nourishing the tendons and you will be set to go for Spring!
Feeling like you are getting a cold? Try this recipe and wrap yourself up in blankets until you produce a light sweat. It will kick that cold right out of you!
Formula – Cong Chi Tang (Scallion and Prepared Soybean Decoction) – Used when starting to get sick because it purges the illness before it gets hold.
2 cups of water
3-5 stalks of scallion (white part)
3 slices of ginger (aka Sheng Jiang)
1oz of fermented soybeans (aka Dan Dou Chi, note – an ounce equals one domino chip, if don’t have fermented soybeans, then exclude from formula)
Bring to boil and then let simmer for 15 minutes. Drink and then wrap up in blanket until produce a light sweat for 20 – 30 minutes. Wipe off sweat and then wear warm clothes.