Ah, it's finally starting to feel like Spring! And, with Spring comes new growth and beginnings. The air is full of that bouncing springing Tigger kind of energy. It's all very exciting, unless you are feeling stuck in the same old rut, can't see clearly your plan for the future, and feel frustrated or downright angry!
This is what we call Liver qi stagnation and it can be a real meany. We can be snappy, short tempered or explosive when all of this new energy rising up inside of us gets trapped and can't be expressed. This same energy can cause red irritated eyes, headaches, stomach upset, PMS, constipation, breathing difficulties (asthma), even hiccups!
So, what can we do to smooth out our Liver qi and keep the incredible hulk from coming out and smashing everything to bits?
- Take your bra off - Yes, that's right, ladies. The liver channel goes right to the area where you bra is and if it's too tight or too restrictive, it's only going to make your qi stagnation worse. Make sure you have a bra that fits right (go get fitted if necessary), avoid bras with underwires, and take them off entirely when at home and lounging around. Certainly don't sleep in them!
- Exercise - The best way to get energy unstuck can be to move it. A simple walk can be enough to release frustration and help you feel like you are moving in the right direction. Running and more aggressive sports or classes like kickboxing can also be an outlet, but try not to over do it. We are aiming for balance so moderation is key.
- Hit something - No, not your spouse! Or your boss. Or that neighbor that always makes noise at 3am while you are trying to sleep. Instead, hitting a pillow or your mattress can be useful. Yelling while you do it can also release a lot of pent up energy. You can also pound a punching bag at the gym too. Or, Master Nan Lu talks about taking a dozen eggs, throwing one at a time at the shower wall in your bathroom, letting it fall to the bottom of the shower. After throwing all 12, one at a time, then clean it up. It's therapeutic, I promise.
- Eat your greens - Green veggies can help to cool off all that extra energy. Wheat grass shots, dandelion greens, bitter broccoli rabe, chinese broccoli or bitter melon (if you can handle bitter) are all great choices to cool off the fire within.
- Breathe - Breathing exercises help to open the diaphragm which is connected to the liver. Try taking a few moments to slowly and deeply breath in and breath out 10 times. Notice how you feel and if you can relax any tension out of your neck and shoulders, which is another area that Liver qi stagnation can hang out.
Still not sure these are working for you?
Come to my free talk to learn some physical practices that you can do to help manage stress.
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