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Super-charge your spleen

Super-charge your spleen

 

Many people find themselves struggling with low energy, trouble concentrating, strong sugar cravings and body aches this time of year.  There’s a different quality to August – things feel heavier, damper, slower – like a ripe fruit just hanging on the vine.  In fact, late summer is considered a separate season in Chinese Medicine.

If you’re feeling extra sluggish, your spleen may need some extra support.

Our spleens are what help us transform what we take in – food, thoughts, information – into energy that the body can use.

It also works to hold things in place. Things like bruising easily, spider veins, prolapsed organs are a few things that indicate a struggling spleen.

Some other signs that your spleen may be overworked:

■Fatigue, especially after eating.
■Cold hands and feet
■Fuzzy thinking
■Bloating
■Craving sweets

Two main ways that the spleen gets weighed down are poor eating habits and excess worry.

This eventually leads to an accumulation of dampness in the body, which might show up as sinus issues, arthritis, digestive issues, frequent yeast infections and ovarian cysts.

Having a well-tended spleen helps us feel grounded and steady in times of change.

Food, exercise and mindfulness are the main things to work with when it comes to supporting the spleen.

There are certain foods that are best avoided when the spleen is deficient, which include:

■Sugar
■White flour products
■Raw, cold foods
■Ice-cold drinks
■Fruit juice
■Soy products
■Dairy products

It’s helpful to eat a variety of whole foods at regular times throughout the day in reasonable amounts. The spleen likes naturally sweet things, like carrots and beets and grains.

Regular exercise is important too. If you’ve got a lot of dampness, it may feel like you’re wading through maple syrup at first, but keep at it! A whole new world most definitely awaits you.
Finding a way to stay present in the moment and not ruminate on the past or fear the future is important as well. I think meditation is one of the best ways to cultivate a peaceful presence.

(This is version of a post that I wrote on the spleen and fertility for the Without Child blog.)

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