* Color: Green
* Nature: Yang
* Organs: Liver, Gallbladder
* Emotion: Anger
The health of your liver reflects your overall health and well-being. The liver filters over a liter of blood every minute. It is responsible for detoxifying, nourishing, replenishing, and storing blood. It also acts to energize the blood by releasing stored sugar, and it recombines amino acids to create the protein our bodies need to grow and repair tissue.
According to Chinese medicine, the liver is responsible for the smooth flow of Qi (energy) throughout the body and smoothing our emotions. Anger, irritability, and frustration are all signs that our Qi is not flowing smoothly. This is referred to as liver Qi stagnation. Other signs of liver Qi stagnation include: depression, mood swings, sighing, constipation, abdominal pain and discomfort, PMS, stomachache that improves after massage, and poor appetite.
Green is the color of the liver and of springtime. Eating young plants ~ fresh, leafy greens, sprouts, and immature cereal grasses ~ can improve the liver's overall function and aid in the movement of Qi.
Incorporate breathing exercises, stretching, QiGong, yoga, light weightlifting, walking, meditation, or light cardio into your daily routine. Not only will you find it easier to lose those extra winter pounds, exercise can also improve your mood and increase energy.
DO MORE OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES
Outside air helps liver Qi flow. If you have been feeling irritable, find an outdoor activity to smooth out that liver Qi stagnation. Try hiking or take up tennis.
ENJOY MILK THISTLE TEA
Milk thistle helps protect liver cells from incoming toxins and encourages the liver to cleanse itself of damaging substances, such as alcohol, medications, pesticides, environmental toxins, and even heavy metals such as mercury.
ACUPUNCTURE POINTS FOR MOVING QI
A popular treatment associated with liver Qi stagnation is known as the "four gates." These points enhance the circulation of Qi and blood and have a calming and analgesic effect.
Large Intestine 4 is located on the padded area of your hand between the thumb and index finger, between the first and second metacarpal bones. Massage this point with your thumb on both hands for approximately 30 seconds.
Liver 3 is located in a hollow on the top of your foot below the gap between your big toe and the next toe, between the 1st and 2nd metatarsal bones. To stimulate this point, place your right heel in the juncture between the bones that attach to the large and second toes and gently knead the point for approximately thirty seconds. Then switch sides to stimulate Liver 3 on your other foot.