Spring Cleaning = Detox Your Life from the Inside Out!
With March in full swing, spring is right around the corner. Give yourself a jump start as you clear out the old and make space for something new!
On the 20th of March - our sun will triumphantly cross the equator line to head north marking the spring equinox! This means longer days, more sunny rays, and warming temperatures (hopefully no more of these sneaky cold fronts we have been experiencing). Besides soaking up some beautiful afternoon sunshine – spring also signifies transformation. What might we need to leave behind to shed layers of our former selves and make space for the new season? Here are some of our suggestions on how to detox both internally and externally.
Flush and De-LIVER!
The renewal of spring is associated with the liver and gall bladder organs. The liver plays an important role in clearing the body of any toxins, cleaning the blood through filtration, and storing essential nutrients so that they can then be distributed through the body.
What is the easiest way to flush out your liver?
Be sure to hydrate throughout the day!
Dr. Sarah Anzola recommends a glass of lemon water every morning
(the liver produces more enzymes in the presence of lemon which = healthy chemical processes which = a natural cleanse of your body!)
Other Tips: Kale Anyone?
The high mineral content of spring greens makes them an ideal resource for a liver cleanse. Spring greens include kale, spinach, Bok choy, mustard greens, and dandelion greens. It is important to eat seasonally and organically, and to shop local to find the most nutrient and mineral-rich foods to supply to your body. These greens are great at soaking up toxins in the bloodstream. Cruciferous veggies are also excellent in moderation (avoid consuming in large amounts if you are sensitive to thyroid problems). Indulge in moderation with broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels, and cabbage – these all include glutathione which triggers the toxin cleansing of the liver. Other great suggestions: turmeric, citrus, beetroot, garlic, ginger, vinegar-based foods, bamboo, dandelion, fennel, eggplant, and scallions.
No-Nos: Stay away from alcohol and do not assume that all supplements are created equal! Check with Dr. Anzola during your next visit if you want to learn more!
More Movement = More Energy!
Time to get up, get out, and get moving! Dr. Anzola recommends gardening as a great way to connect with the new life that spring brings. She says, if you are incorporating some form of movement into your daily routine – you are doing something right!
“I love to move my body in whatever way feels good,” says Anzola. “A stationary body accumulates Qi stagnation which leads to tension and tightness. By stretching and moving we can invigorate the function of the liver to move Qi and blood more effortlessly.”
Another way to not only move your body but build connection with your community, is through a Yoga practice. Acushen has the most adorable garden space to get you started on your Yoga/fitness journey with Vinyasa style classes and Qigong to help coordinate your breathing and movement and help you to better align your energy! Yoga incorporates several twisting postures to wring out your body and nourish you physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Acushen offers classes for all levels. Click here to sign up!
Above, Houstonian yogis enjoy a "Detox" themed Vinyasa flow class in the beautiful Acushen garden.
Cleanse Your Thoughts!
Learn to detox your mind by focusing in on your thought patterns. Learning how to practice “thought shifting” can help rid your thoughts of negativity and allow space for thoughts centered around self-love, gratitude, and healing. How do we do this? It’s not easy. We can start by identifying intrusive, unproductive thoughts and replacing them with more productive ideas centered around mindfulness. Meditation is a great way to achieve this. Through habitual mediation we can reduce anxiety and stress, promote emotional health, and enhance self-awareness. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Keep a daily gratitude journal.
Start small – there are plenty of apps and free resources you can use to help guide your meditation for even just a few minutes a day. Even just one minute of deep, full, and intentional breathing can be powerful!
Find a quiet and distraction free space that calms you and makes you feel safe so you can practice your meditation and build a consistent practice.
Try a guided meditation class. Acushen offers a Reiki healing and third eye awakening workshop - ask for more info on this!
Love YOU More!
And we mean all things YOU! This includes your surroundings… think about all that makes you feel good and get rid of what does not. (Thanks, Marie Kondo! We obviously do want to spark more joy!)
In addition to detoxing internally, spring is the best time to clear out your surroundings. Now is the time to organize that closet you’ve been postponing since last spring and de-clutter. Donate the sweater you have had since 2010 and never wear. Someone else might need that sweater right now.
Once you have cleared out the clutter, start to think about the people in your life. Do they energize you, encourage you, lift you up, challenge you? OR do they constantly deplete you of your energy, joy, and positivity? There is a give and take and if you are the only one doing the giving, it might be time to re-evaluate.
And of course, be sure you are taking care of yourself!
Get plenty of beauty rest and limit your screen time during the day.
Dr. Anzola has these at home self-care recommendations:
Take a mineral bath with warming herbs like yarrow, ginger, elderflower, or basil.
Go to sleep by 11:00 p.m., as this is the time of the wood element. From 11:00 p.m. until 3:00 a.m., the gall bladder and liver are actively building blood, performing cellular repair, releasing bile, and detoxing the blood. Have you ever found yourself waking up in the night during these times? If so, then flushing the liver can be effective at helping you to sleep better.
Write down your thoughts before bed, especially your to-do list. The liver is associated with planning, so by actively getting your thoughts out of your head and on-to paper you can soothe your liver for a better night's sleep.
WHAT’S THE POINT???
This month’s Acu-point: Duh… 'Tis the season of the liver = LV 3
LV 3 AKA the “happy calm or great rushing” and the heavenly star point, is the source and earth point of the liver channel. This point is located on the top of your foot, in the hollow distal to the junction of the first and second metatarsal bones. You can stimulate this point by gently massaging it directly for 30 seconds or until you are inspired to take a deep breath.
Stay tuned for our follow-up blog to explore all you need to know about the liver and how to understand what you can do to help this vital organ do its job more effectively!