Put a spring in your step

AS the winter recedes and the sun blossoms, a sense of renewal ensues, making it an apt time for a Spring body clean out.

In Chinese Medicine the colder months are reserved for nurturing and restoring, often leading to reduced exercise, more comfort foods and the inevitable Tommy Tucker waistline.

Mike Dyson, a therapist at Fremantle Chinese Medicine, says now is the time to give the liver—the organ that detoxifies and does all the hard yards—a well-earned rest.

Naturopathic author Jan Purser recommends you have a few weeks free of gluten, caffeine and sugar, which can heat the body and aggravate the liver, exacerbating the dreaded seasonal allergies, skin breakouts, insomnia and headaches.

Alcohol to the liver is like an earthquake to a shanty town, says Purser.

So as the festive season approaches, she suggests it is a good time to abstain from our evening tipples and have a glass of water with lemon juice, or a green or dandelion tea instead.

Both practitioners recommend lighter, bitter vegetables, like kale, rocket, broccoli and parsley that contain liver-boosting nutrients and fat solubles, facilitating detoxification and healthy digestion.

And to get rid of the residual winter sluggishness, it’s important to get the blood pumping a few times a week.

Purser says that rigorous exercise helps the lymphatic system remove toxins from the body and drain excess fluids.

Psychologist Jess Chrystal says that as we get busier approaching Christmas, we should strive to get our eight hours of sleep and make sure we reserve slots in the week for ‘me time’.

At this time of the year, she says anxiety can be rife and recommends scheduled naps and time in nature to detoxify the mind.

As a psychologist at a primary school, Chrystal says keeping a bit of zen is particularly important if we don’t want our children’s end of semester stress to be the catalyst for a breakdown.

Hopefully after a good Spring clean-out, we and our livers will be fit and ready for the summer marathon.


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