By Melanie Buckley Jackson
Spring is here! It’s a wonderful time of year to watch nature beautifully unveil its renewed self. The landscape becomes green and vibrant, the rivers flow wildly, birds chirp throughout the Cottonwood trees, and a lively energy is present. Our natural tendency is to become less dormant and begin to move more, change our diets with the new season, and to shift naturally with our external world.
In Chinese Medicine, spring is the time of the liver; a very important detoxification and filter organ. Our bodies now transition from a rooted winter state, to moving upward and outward, like a spring flower. So how do we eat and move to best stay in our best health during seasonal cycles, and support the natural process? If the liver is sluggish or stagnant, you will start to have symptoms such as: poor moods, headaches, low energy, less than optimal digestion or foggy thinking.
Add what your body will utilize best, and reduce what is detrimental. Sour is the flavor that is associated with the liver and that we use to “guide” to the liver. Squeeze lemon on everything – in your water, and especially on your greens, to flush your body’s filter. I do not recommend or do fasts or radical cleanses. I feel it to be too harsh and not beneficial. Instead lighten the heavy winter rooting foods of the meat and potatoes and add living foods like uncooked seasonal veggies and fruits.
Reduce the heavy white flour, sugar and dairy foods and top your salads and sandwiches with sprouts, cucumbers, and hydrate with an abundance of lemon water. You will feel a pleasant difference. Your skin and eyes will look and feel clearer, your mood lifted, and likely your body will feel and look less heavy.
Move your body this spring! Take some time to sweat it out and a few moments to breath deeply; both are great ways to detox the body. Get outside and walk, cycle, run or hike. Practice yoga! Add some twists to your practice to “wring out the digestive organs.” Reaching arms and hands over your body creates space for your organs to optimally function. Inversions can help drain blood and lymph fluids from the lower body. Yoga stimulates the body’s systems and also relaxes us. Taking a break from the toxins, the stressors, and the heaviness in our lives, allows us to lighten up in every way. Set an intention and try to practice yoga, everyday this spring. Breathe deeply, everyday. Clear your eyes and head for clear vision of all the beauty that surrounds us. Happy Spring!
Melanie Buckley Jackson is a highly sought-after personal trainer, yoga teacher and nutrition coach who has worked with individuals of all fitness levels and ages — from professional athletes to weekend warriors to those new to exercise. Melanie is a Licensed Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist with more than 20 years experience in the healthcare industry.
Melanie is also available for private personal training, nutrition consultations and small-group classes. Please contact Member Services team at (435) 785-5040 to reserve a spot in a class or arrange a private session.