Just as we like to do a spring clean of our living areas at this time of year it is also a great time to spring clean this major organ of detoxification and elimination in our body.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the Liver organ is associated with the spring season.
It is well known that the liver is the major organ of detoxification in our body. What is less known but just as true is that all our organs work in particular rhythms. Thus the liver has a yearly rhythm and a daily rhythm.
The time of year that the liver works most strongly is spring time. Just as spring brings new life to the plant kingdom so does the liver bring new fresh life to us through its cleansing and nourishing functions. Apart from the well known detoxification function of the liver, its other main function is to create nutrients for the body to use.
The daily liver rhythm occurs between 1 and 3 am. Many people who tend to wake during this time and also struggle with their energy at the opposite time of day (1 to 3 pm) which is the small intestine time in TCM, have been found to suffer from an imbalance of sugar metabolism that is regulated by the liver. Interestingly there is a major blood vessel that carries all assimilated nourishment from the small intestine directly to the liver.
There are various ways to help your liver.
- A slice of lemon in a glass of warm water every morning is a great way to start the day. Not only is this a gentle liver detox but this will also help maintain a better pH balance in your body.
- Manage your stress. Either meditate or at least consciously relax. Stress can cause excess production of adrenaline which the liver then has to eliminate.
- Get a good night’s sleep. Especially between the hours of 1 to 3 am. It is while you are asleep that the body does all its repair work.
- Exercise. Moving your body is essential to good circulation thus aiding elimination.
- Drink plenty of water. Your body is 70% fluid and water is also cleansing. Tea, coffee, juices etc don’t count as your body (especially your liver) has to eliminate the waste, process the sugar etc.
- Eat good fats. Bad fats can cause inflammation, while good fats fight inflammation.
- Eat organic foods as much as possible to reduce the number of chemicals your liver needs to process.
Of course any of the Acupuncturists and Chinese herbalists at Health Space will be able to help you with a personal programme to address your own specific needs.