Routine for the Spleen
Happy August everyone! I hate to say it, but the summer is almost over! (Cue the tears). I hope everyone has had lots of fun and adventure-- or at least some time to get away! Between the vacations, wonky schedules, weddings, naughty eating habits and everything else that’s out of the norm, I would say it’s been a total success. Exactly what a summer should be. Since most of the craziness is over, I’m personally ready for things to slow down and get back to a bit of a routine.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) it all boils down to boosting the spleen’s energy after an action-packed summer. Just for the record, when I talk about the spleen, it has nothing to do with your physical organ, but just the energetics surrounding it, according to our eastern theories. When we talk about healthy spleen qi (or energy), the BEST way to give it a boost is by understanding its function in the body. The spleen is responsible for “transformation and transportation,” so taking the food we give it and separating it into the pure substance we can use for energy and getting rid of the “impure” (or the junk we can’t use). Eating a balanced healthy diet will give the spleen more pure qi to work with.
During the summer, we’re constantly staying up late, traveling, eating inconsistently or differently, and all of those things can bog down the spleen’s ability to function properly. Needless to say, the pizza diet I had going for a while post-wedding was totally trashing my spleen qi. Oops. The same goes for emotionally difficult things. The spleen also sorts the “pure from the impure” in that department as well. So when we’re worrying about stuff, overthinking things, or percolating over work or home situations, it can create a depletion in the spleen’s energy too. You can tell if you’re a little depleted if you have fatigue, brain fog or inability to focus, digestive issues, heaviness in the arms and legs, bloating, or just feeling a little spacey or ungrounded.
The best way to give the spleen a boost is to slow down and set up a routine. That means, getting up at the same time every morning, eating at the same time every day, and going to sleep at the same time every night. Get back to a healthy diet and clean eating while you’re at it. Cutting back on the “inflammatory foods” like sugar, dairy, and processed grains will give the spleen a better chance to recover. Other bonuses: digestion improves, it quiets the mind, you can feel more grounded as we transition into fall, mental acuity sharpens, and it stops the insanity of summer!
If you have questions about the best foods to incorporate for the spleen’s function or other ways to boost your qi, ask me next time you’re in for a tune up!