Before the recent sunshine (yay!), I was having a tough time getting motivated. A big tell? I had to push myself to start my beloved Barre3 workout. I’ve done it every morning for 10 years! Somehow I lost my "flow" and instead I was finding myself annoyed. I blame the coming of Spring and here’s why.
When I notice that I’m feeling unnecessarily annoyed, it's a sign that my Liver needs more love. I'll take a walk outside or if I can’t get outside, I’ll open a window and/or march in place. I have a standing desk at work (okay, it’s a small fridge) and I stand on a vibration plate at home to complete chart notes and these very newsletters!
So, what can you do to make your Liver (and life) happier? Here are a few tips...you didn’t think I "wood" (get it?) leave you hanging!
1. Be brave and do something different: Three weeks ago, I tried a Zumba class. The last time I did Zumba was in Aruba while I was the acupuncturist onboard the Coral Princess cruise ship! Apparently 14 years is too long to go without Zumba as I was a bit clumsy. My shoe got stuck on the new flooring but my body kept moving. It was an epic fail/fall that ended with my hurt pride and a sprained right ankle. And even though I made a scene, I am proud of myself for doing something out of the ordinary. I am striving to be flexible with my time and activities and I am seeking to celebrate those small wins. And next time I’ll wear different shoes!
2. Look at trees. It’s simple; just notice the different shades of green around you. You can even do this from the comfort of your own home if you have house plants. Why? The Liver opens into the eyes and looking at the color green soothes the Liver and can relieve stress immediately.
3. If you are able to get outside, find a tree and do this quick and easy Liver detox qigong method: Stand close to a tree of your choosing. Wrap your arms around it and gently place your big toe on a root. Imagine toxins flowing out of your body into this tree via the root. And don’t feel guilty. Trees magically take our carbon dioxide waste and turn it into oxygen. They also move water against gravity! That’s a pretty epic feat!
4. Tap on your “karate chop” point: Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) changed my life the first time I did it. When I tap and talk, negative emotional energy connected to a bad feeling or event is lightened to the point where I can see it yet move on with my life. Do this EFT hack: Place your index, middle, ring and pinky finger tips on the opposite hand on the pinky side, where you might “karate chop” something. You will be tapping on the Small Intestine meridian and this will help to soothe and calm the central nervous system. You don't even need to say anything; just tapping for a mere 2 minutes will help.
5. Stretch: According to Chinese medicine, the Liver stores Blood during periods of rest and then releases it to the muscles in times of activity, maintaining flexibility. Incorporate stretching into your routine, at any time of day. I stretch when I sit on the floor to play with Maya.
6. Enjoy Liver-cleansing tea or take milk thistle at night: I like Detox tea from Yogi and I have that as my “dessert” at night. Milk thistle helps protect liver cells from incoming toxins and encourages the liver to cleanse itself of damaging substances. I take a small capsule of milk thistle every night and sleep well knowing that I’m helping save my hard-working Liver!
7. Think "Calm": I take an ancient Chinese formula called "Calm." It's my favorite supplement for stress as it works in just 20 minutes! I started taking Calm during acupuncture school. The demands of learning Chinese medicine and Western medicine while working took its toll. After final exams, I would spend the entire break in "fight-or-flight" mode, unable to de-stress. But when I started taking Calm, I was finally able to enjoy my vacations! Calm also relieves neck and shoulder tension, pre-menstrual syndrome and headaches while regulating hormones and aiding in weight loss. One patient has remarked that it replaced her nightly glass of wine! Now you can see why it’s my favorite!
Good luck to you and your Liver and thank you for doing this with me.
We took the Easter Bunny outside and played at the awesome Mountain View Champions Park in Beaverton. Maya loved the choice of play structures and I loved the clean bathrooms!