Welcome to Fall! Stay Healthy…Stay Balanced.

gigi_logo_200x200whiteArt Work by Patrick Vincentine

Yin Yang. What way does it go? I see it all kinds of ways. We’ll this is the way I learned it according to ancient scriptures and Chinese philosophy. The Emperor’s Palace faced South to receive the warm wind.  So, to the East (left) the sun would rise (yang). To the West (right) the sun would set and night would fall (yin). Now yang in this diagram is white, rising, warming. Yin in this diagram is black, falling, cooling, and condensing.

And so here we have the change in seasons as well. Now we are in the West (right) side of this diagram where the yang of all of Spring and Summer is now condensing into Fall, we start to nourish ourselves with all our harvests from the orchards and gardens. So the yang energy of all this bounty is now more tangible and has turned to yin nourishment as we move towards Fall and Winter ( a more yin time of the year).

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This time of year, especially late August and September, is a time for prevention prevention prevention! Keep those lungs moist and open! Herbal immune tonics are fabulous. Pear sauce with ginger and cinnamon is a good idea too. Here are some of my go to prevention strategies for kids and adults. The Deep Immune and Deep Immune Kids by St Francis is an immune tonic to help prevent colds and flus and to help adapt to the change in weather and seasons. It’s a good way to keep your energy up and your spirits bright as we move towards darker and shorter days. The Ear Oil and Children’s Ear Formula is something I always have on hand, for those late night earaches that just break your heart. And of course we have the Oregano Oil for under the tongue when you feel something coming on for adults.

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Keep yourself warm this Fall by adding ginger to just about everything! Choosing more cooked foods and steering away from cold damp foods like ice cream and melons will keep your body’s energies warm and moving.

Regular treatments help keep you “In Health”!

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See you soon!

Gigi Vincentine Dr. TCM

http://www.gigivincentine.ca

250.882.0659

Welcome to Spring…Stay Healthy, Stay Balanced

From the winter stews and soups, you may feel like eating crunchier foods. It is certainly time to start munching on some raw foods, but don’t over do it. Remember we need to protect our stomach fires and not douse them out by eating too many cold foods. You can always “warm up” those salads by adding some ginger to your dressing or fresh lemon juice to aid digestion.

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Canadian, Local, and Personally Made Products…My Own Vapour Rub is Next

Have you been waiting to do a cleanse? Yes, it’s time! We move into the Liver/Gallbladder season and hence we could use a little detoxifying. A simple way to cleanse during this time of year is focusing on more green in our diet. Green being the Liver/Gallbladder color of the 5 element system. What’s green in our surroundings that grow like weeds? WEEDS! i.e. dandelion greens, nettle leaves, cleavers. They grow abundantly all around us. Nettle in particular is well known to help us with our allergies. This is because of the high level of minerals and cleansing properties of this plant. Dandelion greens is a bitter plant and helps flush out the liver and kidneys. Cleavers are a diuretic, lymphatic tonic, and a detoxifier. Acupuncture or massage can be a very helpful adjunct to a cleanse by making sure the toxins are being flushed out through your sweat, bowels or urination. It can also help with irritability and low energy as we go through detoxification.

When you are on a cleanse, give yourself time and space for it. It doesn’t mean you have to quit your job or go on holidays, but you will get more benefit from it if you take time each day to meditate, do more yoga, or take some rest. There are lots of approaches to clearing out the winter cobs webs. Choose one that fits your needs and lifestyle.

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What have I been treating most this spring? Allergies! Is your nose running? Are you sneezing wildly? Don’t itch your eyes, leave them alone. How about your throat and ears? Ahhhh! There is relief! Acupuncture and Tuina massage regularly during allergy season can help relieve a lot of your symptoms.  I also include some herbal formulas that target your eyes, ears, nose and throat. GuaSha and Cupping are also very popular this time of year. Traditionally GuaSha is done within the family home in Taiwan, usually Grandma or Auntie. Here in Canada a lot more Practitioners are using it in their clinics. Give it a try!

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While I’m working on your immunity and your response to spring, I am also working on detoxifying your liver and flushing your lymphatic symstem (often seen as your Spleen in Chinese Medicine). Working on your immunity during the Fall and Winter months can help prevent some of your allergic responses in the Spring. Doing a cleanse in early Spring can also help your body deal with all the allergens in this beautiful floral city.

Like me on Facebook for more tips on wellness and balance.

https://www.facebook.com/gigivincentineacupuncture/

Book  your appointment today with my online booking with Schedulicity.

https://www.schedulicity.com/scheduling/GVD9PP

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Happy Spring!

In Health Gigi Vincentine Dr. TCM

Victoria Professional Building

1120 Yates Street, Suite 406

http://www.gigivincentine.ca

250.882.0659

Welcome to our new healing space!

It’s official! After months of hard work, I am excited to show you my new clinic space!

Victoria Professional Building

1120 Yates Street, Suite# 406

(250) 882-0659

http://www.gigivincentine.ca

gigivincentine@hotmail.com

https://gigivincentine.ca/schedule-now/

https://www.facebook.com/gigivincentineacupuncture/

My online booking with Schedulicity is going really well, I hope everyone is getting the hang of it. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you need to. I can always put you on a cancellation list or squeeze you in if it’s an emergency. I have lots more products to come. Thorn Professional Line came in today with some probiotics, fish oils, digestive aids and lots more. Love it!

Happy Chinese New Year!

hinese astrology fire monkey 2016

Here is the link to schedule your appointment today!

https://gigivincentine.ca/schedule-now/

Article from Forverconscious.com

On February 8, 2016 we will shift out of the year of the nurturing Yin Wood Sheep and into the year of the passionate Yang Fire Monkey.

As the name suggests, the year of the Yang Fire Monkey is all about having fun, taking risks, being proactive and going after what you truly desire.

Yang energy is action based energy, so 2016 will really favour making bold decisions, getting ahead and staying assertive.

When abused however, the Year of the Fire Monkey can leave you financially ruined, left behind or stuck in hot water.

The Fire Monkey knows exactly how to get what it wants and is not afraid to play games in order to get it, so just be mindful over getting sucked into this energy.
Another thing to be mindful of in the year of the Fire Monkey is to avoid getting stuck in a repetitive pattern or cycle.

Sometimes the monkey, as smart as he is, can get stuck in leaping in a circle again and again and wondering why he is not moving forward.

The year of the Fire Monkey can also be unpredictable, so try not to be too rigid in your plans this year as things are likely to surprise you.

It may also be helpful to keep a sense of humor this year, as the cheeky Fire Monkey has a big bag of tricks to use and may send you on a bit of a roller-coaster in order to get you where you need to be.

In matters of love and relationships, the year of the Fire Monkey favours fun social gatherings, meeting new people and forming new friendships. This would definitely be the year to look for love within your own friendship circle.

By nature, the Fire Monkey is flirtatious, passionate and lively. This year may bring a lot of short, passionate romances as well the desire to explore your sexuality.

Long term relationships can be strained under the Fire Monkey due to issues surrounding trust, ego, jealousy and control. However, when channelled positively, this energy can bring excitement, a stronger sense of intimacy and growth.

The Fire Monkey is here to shake up some energy and help us all to see things with a fresh, new perspective.

2016 is expected to be an innovative and powerful year and those who are able to go with the flow, make bold choices and keep their eyes on their target are likely to do well with the energy of the Fire Monkey.

In Chinese Astrology, the year of the Fire Monkey is most fortunate for those born under the sign of the Dragon, Rat, Snake and Monkey.

Source: http://foreverconscious.com/chinese-astrology-2016…

I feel like this article is talking to me! And I’m a rat too!

Remember March 1st is my big day in my new clinic. I will see you there!

https://gigivincentine.ca/schedule-now/

www.gigivincentine.ca

(250) 882-0659

gigivincentine@hotmail.com

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I’m getting there! Stay tuned!

Victoria Professional Building

1120 Yates Street Suite 406

250.882.0659

March 1st, 2016

 

Clinic Location – Victoria Professional Building 1120 Yates Street Suite #406

This article was written almost two years ago! Time flies when you’re having fun!

March 1st, 2016! I am moving into my new clinic!

I am very excited to announce my new clinic space in the Victoria Professional Building at 1120 Yates(Suite #406) near Cook St.  Only 2 blocks away from my former clinic on Fort Street.  Convenient and familiar to most of you. Plenty of 2 hr free parking on Yates and Johnson and a pay for parking lot to the rear of the building ($1.25/hr). Most of you will need 2hr parking.  There is a wheelchair accessible washroom on the main floor (key is in the friendly Cafe) and of course there are washrooms down the hall from my clinic. (Women’s Washrooms are 1/2 a floor up and Men’s Washrooms are 1/2 a floor down, keys will be in my clinic)

I have updated my website to include Online Booking with Schedulicity.  Most of you already know my cell phone number 250.882.0659 and my other points of contact are my email gigivincentine@hotmail.com  and facebook page https://www.facebook.com/gigivincentineacupuncture/ and Like!

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Here it is. I am so excited to show you!

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If you are curious as to what is happening in my old clinic, the whole building is being torn down in the fall of 2016. Simple Remedies was also sold to Mr Tian in the spring of 2015.  So after 12 years of practice at Simple Remedies I was called to move forward and upward! I am going to be carrying some of my favorite product lines over to my new clinic, such as Golden Flower, St. Francis tinctures, Flower Fairies healing salves and oils, Thorn Professional Line, Dream Cream, Simple Remedies Tea Blends and so much more.  Hooray!

Here are some recent Testimonials

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As a medical doctor myself, I am amazed at the therapeutic possibilities of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, especially in the hands of someone as extraordinary as Gigi Vincentine.  
I wouldn’t want people to think that Gigi does miracles, except that she does when all the conditions are right. A. F.

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Migraine and Tension Headaches: Dramatic improvement in both frequency and severity!

My medical Doctor recommended  Gigi Vincentine Dr. TCM, as I have been suffering from chronic headaches/migraines for the past 16 years. The results have been extraordinary! dramatic improvement! Gigi is an amazing healer:  skilled, knowledgeable, nurturing and a fantastic problem solver. Using a variety of healing techniques such as acupuncture, herbs, massage and all working in unison.
I owe you my sanity…..Thank You Gigi!
In Health, Nicola
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After suffering for months with ear infections and three rounds of antibiotics, Dr Gigi Vincentine relieved my pain and discomfort after two weeks of herbs and acupuncture treatments.
Really amazing, thank you    L. Gilbert
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Welcome to Winter: Stay Well…Stay Balanced

Winter is upon us, the darkest time of the year, when our Qi (or Vital Energy) is in the deepest level of our bodies. It’s when we have more time alone with ourselves and with our thoughts. (As compared with summer where there are far more distractions and it’s easy to stay active.) This can lead to loneliness or even depression. In Chinese Medicine, balance is the foundation to its philosophy, a harmony between Yin and Yang. As we approach the darker months, keep this balance in mind. Take time for introspection, nourishment and preserving your vital energy (more yin), and, staying active and connecting with your community through music, dance or exercise… (more yang). Our body tells us to go to bed earlier, eat warm comforting foods, dress warmly, listen! If we don’t , come spring time when our Qi starts to move outward in our bodies, our immunity will be compromised and we will lack the ability to ward off colds and stay healthy.

I have been reading Brodie Welch’s blogs.  She is an acupuncturist in Oregon. Enjoy!

http://brodiewelch.com/what-to-eat-to-nourish-the-body-in-winter/

Welcome to Fall: Stay Well…Stay Balanced

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My winter greens! Something to keep my spirits up during this time of year while everything else is dropping and rotting, the greens are still growing and glowing. It’s Fall, Lung and Large Intestine time.  Our energy is starting to turn inward.  Think of that bear collecting and gathering it’s nourishment for the winter months.  For us we are harvesting our fruits and vegetables and drying, fermenting, canning, and storing our food to keep those 2 batteries (2 kidneys) nourished during the colder months and keeping our Spleen/Stomach in balance. Following the seasons and looking to nature for cues is a great way to stay balanced and keep your immunity strong for all seasons.  So this brings us to the foods we could be eating now to build our immune systems for the colder months. Root vegetables! And lots of them! Beets, Carrots, Potatoes,Yams, Parsnips, Onions, Garlic. Eat them in a soup or grill them in the oven. Adding them to bone broths can help strengthen the digestive system and support good gut flora.

A lot of us didn’t want summer to end, I know. However now that the cooler weather is here, I’m looking forward to hunkering down and getting to “work” on all those things I didn’t get around to on those hot summer days. A few of those things are about getting back to routine and taking care of myself. This starts in my garden. Will I ever get to all those tomatoes, beets, carrots, apples, pears and grapes? Well I got to the grapes and made delicious juice. I used the last of the tomatoes for spaghetti sauce. Next? Apple sauce, apple juice, apple pie, apple sandwiches (That’s from Little Bear stories).

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Don’t forget Rosemary Gladstar’s Fire Cider recipe.

½ cup of onion, garlic, horseradish (chopped up)
¼ cup ginger (chopped up)
¼ teaspoon cayenne
Put in large mason jar (1quart)
Fill to the top with apple cider vinegar
Let sit for 2-4 weeks, drain and add honey to taste

So when I’m feeling cold and run down, this should do the trick to help prevent common colds and flu, increase my circulation, and clear phlegm. For more information visit
http://learningherbs.com/

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The Fall, in Chinese Medicine, relates to the Metal Element which corresponds to the Lung and Large Intestine. It’s important to keep our lungs open and our chest turned outward. Don’t let yourself “cave in”. A simple exercise to do this is to wave your arms from front to back on a horizontal plane and clap or do circles with your arms or simply thump your chest like a gorilla. This all helps promote circulation to the chest and keep viruses, bacteria, and phlegm out. For the Large Intestine (hence digestion), it’s time for more warm and cooked foods. We don’t have the summer heat to help us digest so put more heat in your food ie garlic, onion, cayenne and ginger is my favorite. Raw foods take more energy to digest, so if you are feeling a little low, try and reduce your intake of them. Make apple sauce with ginger instead of eating cold fruit. Make oatmeal with berries and ginger instead of cold cereals and milk.  Add stewed pears to your diet. Pears are an excellent lung tonic, keeping them moist and free of bacteria and phlegm.

The emotion that corresponds to the Metal Element is sadness or grief. In my practice I refer to it as a feeling of “homesickness”. For me that’s the best way to describe it. For others there can be a real sense of sadness or grief for no apparent reason, especially if they have a history of lung issues. Keep that chest open and know that it will pass.

Fall is the perfect time of year to boost your immune system. Gentle tonics include Astragulus and Elder berry. For kids in particular, (because it tastes so good) Elder Berry syrup can be a great way to keep those viruses away. Add some fish oils and chewable probiotics and that’s far fewer colds this season. Shoni-shin and/or Acupuncture can also be helpful for prevention and treatment of upper respiratory illnesses. Children can benefit with fewer treatments than adults, as their energy is more easily influenced.

In my practice, this is the time of year I encourage my patients with Asthma, COPD, or any Chronic Respiratory Illness to come for a series of treatments before the Winter Season is upon us. It’s also a good time of year for a tune up as the change of seasons can be challenging to your immunity and emotional health.

You can visit me at my clinic: Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Victoria Professional Building

1120 Yates Street, Suite 406

(250)882-0659

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This is a fun 2 minute video by Brodie Welch talking about Fall and Chinese Medicine. It takes a few seconds to upload. Enjoy!

https://voice.adobe.com/a/LzzYl/

Welcome to Summer: Stay Well…Stay Balanced!

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Summer time fun!

Summer Hot Fun Joy Abundance…Summer is the Fire Element and it’s time to check in with the Heart and Small Intestine. The heart houses the mind (or Shen) in Chinese medicine and it is the Emperor of all our organ systems. Any imbalance within this organ system can result in sleep disturbances, anxiety, forgetfulness, jumpiness, and or palpitations.

Our appetite for life is seen through our eyes and as a practitioner of TCM, I often look into your eyes to see what’s going on in your life, are you feeling satisfied, over worked, burdened or tired? It’s important to keep our Heart Qi in balance. Play but don’t play too hard, exercise but don’t exercise to hard. Fun and rest are very important in the summer because the heat in the summer can tend to build up and rise in our bodies.

The Small Intestine in Chinese medicine separates the pure from the turbid. There are many ways to interpret this. In its simplest form it’s the absorption of pure nutrients in the small intestine, leaving the turbid to be excreted out the large intestine. Philosophically, it can be your ability to process or filter your own emotions.

A nice cooling tea in the summer is chrysanthemum flowers and goji berries with a little honey. It cools the heart and the liver during hot sunny days. Green teas are also very cooling. I often make ice tea with herbs from the garden and add a little lemonade or white grape juice. It will keep in the fridge for a few days. Melons also clear body heat in the summer. So dig into those watermelons, cantaloupes, and honeydew melons. Cucumber, spinach, watercress and dark leafy greens all keep the body cool over the summer also, and don’t forget those yummy berries.

A nice yoga pose to keep the heart open is to roll up a towel and place it in the small of your back running up your spine while lying down with a pillow under your knees. This will relax your heart and help vent out any heat that has gathered in the body. Summer time is a very active time, trying out new sports, renos to the house, gardening…  Make sure to pace yourself and start slowly.  If you do get injured, take a rest, do some light massage and slowly regain your strength in the muscles you pulled or injured.

My son Mateo was in a Skip-a-thon at school and went right at it. He was so excited to tell me he skipped for 2hrs straight (flat footed jumping 2 feet off the ground) He is now jumping on his toes and all is good.

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At the end of the summer, there is Late Summer (or Indian Summer). This season involves the Spleen and Stomach, the Earth Element. This is the perfect time to work on your immunity or any long standing asthma problems. At this time of the year, there are no acute symptoms to treat, therefore I can address the root causes of your imbalances. Are you someone who does not transition well between seasons? Do you catch colds often? The Earth Element plays an important roll in your immunity and is seen in the middle of the circle within the Five Element System. There are so many things to keep your mind and body in balance but if you are struggling to find the right balance for you, visit me in my clinic at Simple Remedies at our new location around the corner at 1111 Fort St. (free 2hr parking on Meares St.,above Cook)

photogigi2In Health

Gigi Vincentine, Dr. TCM. Dip. My summer holidays will begin on July20th-July31st. I’ll be back in the clinic on August 3rd. Happy Summer!   Lotus FlowerLotus PondLongJing Tea Terraces

Acidic vs Alkaline

lemonIn Chinese Medicine, you will often hear things like “you have too much heat in your body, we have to cool your blood or clear heat from your liver and large intestine.” I’m continually fascinated by how much the Chinese Ancient Sages knew thousands of years ago without microscopes, MRIs, or blood tests. Does heat correspond to acidity? Yes, but not always. Both the Chinese Yin/Yang philosophy and the alkaline/acidic philosophy have one thing in common; Balance! One is not good or bad, they just need to be in balance.
Yin and Yang need to be in balance just like our blood needs to be in balance at a Ph level slightly alkaline or about middle of the ph range 7.35-7.45. Qi and oxygen are produced and transported in our cells properly only if ph levels are within a healthy range. We have heard it before that disease lives in an acidic environment. Inflammation can only exist if we are acidic.  Chinese Herbal Formulas and Acupuncture work to find that balance for you.  Balancing your nervous system, endocrine system and elimination systems to reduce stress in your body and increase energy and well-being.

Here are some quick and easy tips to alkalize your body!

*Reduce your stress levels and breath deeply

*Exercise not too little and not too much. Qi Gong or Tai Chi are perfect example of exercises that calm your nervous system and increase your oxygen carrying capacity.

*Eat more vegetables and fruits (juicing is a great way to restore your alkalinity)

*Drink lemon water first thing in the morning

*Add some herbal teas to your daily routine ie Simple Remedies’ Mineral Tea

*Kelzyme For Life is another great way to increase your alkalizing minerals like calcium and potassium

In my own clinic I often suggest more of an Asian diet for this reason.  There are less acidic forming foods like meats, cheese and sugar, and more alkaline forming foods like vegetables, seaweeds, herbs, seeds and nuts. Remember we can eat some acidic forming foods. Research suggests about a 60% alkaline forming diet, although this depends on your constitution and the climate where you live. More vegetables it is!

I found this great article for more healthy tips on how to return to alkalinity through diet and lifestyle. http://www.eastwindsacupuncture.com/balancing-acidalkaline-foods

This is a detailed list of acidic and alkaline forming foods. http://www.rense.com/1.mpicons/acidalka.htm

blood cellsAn image to show you how alkaline blood really has the space to move around and carry oxygen and other nutrients. They have a negative charge as to repel each other. (not clumping together like the acidic blood)

Sleep Better

Sleep time is restorative time. If you’re not getting enough sleep, and waking up still feeling tired, your body didn’t get a chance to fully recover and heal throughout the night. Short term worry or travel disruptions aren’t usually a problem. It’s the long term sleepless nights, or difficulty falling asleep or easy to wake that cause a disruption in our lives.

Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture can help! There are many patterns/imbalances in the body that can cause insomnia. Your Chinese Medicine Practitioner will be able to assess and diagnose your particular situation. In general though, we say that insomnia is a Shen disorder, or a heart spirit mind disorder. During sleep, we would like our Shen to reside and settle in our heart for a good nights’ sleep. If the heart is deficient and lacking in Qi, blood or yin, the Shen has no where to lie and remains restless and ungrounded.

Some Simple Tips for getting to sleep

Tip #1 Avoid stimulus and eating before bed

Tip #2 Have a routine so the body gets used to winding down

Tip #3 Minerals like Magnesium can help relax the body and bring energy out of your head down into the body

Tips #4 Massage your feet to further promote the energy out to your head down into the body (this one is my favorite)

Tip #5 Use your breath along with a mantra/song or visualization to help your body let go of your day

Happy Sleeping! For more information or help with your sleep imbalances contact Gigi Vincentine Dr. TCM Dip. at Simple Remedies. Her hours in the clinic are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday or visit her website http://www.gigivincentine.ca

Welcome to Spring…Stay Healthy, Stay Balanced

chinese clipartSpring… can you feel it sprouting up inside you? We can certainly see it on the outside, in our gardens and on the trees. We can even hear it in the birdsong. In Chinese Medicine theory our Qi is now starting to commence its journey towards the outer layer of the body. In summer our Qi will be in the outer most layer and in winter it will retract to our inner core. Now it’s time for growth, expansion and spreading our Qi.

The expression, “Don’t spread yourself to thin.” is very applicable in spring time. We all get excited and start doing all the things we couldn’t do throughout the winter. Don’t do everything at once, prioritize! Stay grounded like the roots of a tree while your buds are sprouting out into the fresh air. Remember with spring comes rain and wind. Keep yourself warm and safe from the elements.

From the winter stews and soups, you may feel like eating crunchier foods. It is certainly time to start munching on some raw foods, but don’t over do it. Remember we need to protect our stomach fires and not douse them out by eating too many cold foods. You can always “warm up” those salads by adding some ginger to your dressing or fresh lemon juice to aid digestion.

Have you been waiting to do a cleanse? Yes, it’s time! We move into the Liver/Gallbladder season and hence we could use a little detoxifying. A simple way to cleanse during this time of year is focusing on more green in our diet. Green being the Liver/Gallbladder color of the 5 element system. What’s green in our surroundings that grow like weeds? WEEDS! I.e. dandelion greens, nettle leaves, cleavers. They grow abundantly all around us. Nettle in particular is well known to help us with our allergies. This is because of the high level of minerals and cleansing properties of this plant. Dandelion greens is a bitter plant and helps flush out the liver and kidneys. Cleavers are a diuretic, lymphatic tonic, and a detoxifier. Come into Simple Remedies and explore your options with our well informed staff or if you have some medical concerns make an appointment for a consultation to speak to me in person. Acupuncture or massage can be a very helpful adjunct to a cleanse by making sure the toxins are being flushed out through your sweat, bowels or urination. It can also help with irritability and low energy as we go through detoxification.

When you are on a cleanse, give yourself time and space for it. It doesn’t mean you have to quit your job or go on holiday, but you will get more benefit from it if you take time each day to meditate, do more yoga, or take some rest. There are lots of approaches to clearSONY DSCing out the winter cobs webs. Choose one that fits your needs and lifestyle.

Happy Spring, I couldn’t resist putting this picture in of Alia Blue with the Daffodils. Vancouver Island’s ultimate Spring flower. (this pic was taken 3 yrs ago)
Welcome to longer days and shorter nights and a season of growth and inspiration.
Gigi Vincentine Dr TCM, Dip, R.Ac, R.TCM. P.
http://www.gigivincentine.ca

Read a great article of this year’s forecast-Year of the Yin Wood Sheep http://foreverconscious.com/chinese-astrology-year-of-the-yin-wood-sheep-2015