|Welcome to Summer! Summer represents the Element of Fire in Chinese Medicine and it corresponds to the Heart & Small Intestine system. It’s emotions range from love, laughter, enthusiasm, abundance and joy to… anxiety, restlessness, panic, sadness, irrational fears and phobias. The good, the bad and the not so pretty ;)Balance is key ☯️The balance between doing and being. Active Yang and restful Yin. Having presence in our bodies and our minds. Not one or the other, but both. In Chinese Medicine, it’s often referred to as the Heart-Mind connection.|
Some summer heat imbalances are:-restlessness, sleep disturbances, palpitations-skin rashes, hives, inflammation, heat stroke-feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and panicky. Cooling foods, water and more contemplative calming activities will keep the heat at bay. I really noticed during the heat wave the difference it made just by drinking more water. Wow was that hot!
Ok, back to Joy! This time of year happiness and joy are more accessible, so let’s go for it. At Christmas, my family gave me The Book of Joy, Lasting Happiness in a Changing World, by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The take away for me was that they had cultivated such an inner sense of joy, that all other thoughts and feelings could fit inside, like a compassion container. This compassion can be felt several meters away. I remember when I met the Dalai Lama, I could feel his presence before I knew he had arrived. It went through me like a wave and enveloped my whole body. I now go back to that feeling when I call on my compassion part to hold space for some of the tougher emotions that go through me. I tend to learn through my body, and that was a good lesson to learn. Recently, talking with a patient, we both realized that Joy was a little harder to call on this year. There seemed to be more barriers in the way. Like there was more to work through before getting to Joy. My thoughts lately have been, maybe Joy or Compassion or Empathy could be the container to work through the ” hard stuff”. What do you think? Has Joy stayed with you along your journey this year? What are your barriers to Joy? It’s a little tricky, right!? Would love to hear from you.
I’m taking some holiday time in August. I’m going camping from August 10th-19th. I’m back in the clinic on the 20th.
Book yourself in before August 10th. I’d love to see you, or after the 19th. Acupuncture and body work is a great support to help let go and relieve emotional and physical pain. See you soon:)I hope your enjoying your summer. The island is a great refuge.
It’s time to book, I miss you!
Returning to the Body can be our Refuge. The Mind can take us to so many places, yes…but do we feel safe there? (in the past or in the future…in our worries) The Mind and Ego are influenced by fear and isolation. The body can be a safe place to find Refuge. This year I have experienced a lot of deep triggers (fears) and I’ve really relied on my body to come back to peace and safety. Thank goodness. The body knows! The body can be our Compassionate Container for all that we are experiencing. Acupuncture can bring us out of our heads and into the body…ahhh.
In my last Newsletter, I asked the question. What is acupuncture for you?
Here are some to those answers. Thank you
Acupuncture is balancing.
Acupuncture is an inward adventure.
Acupuncture is ancient wisdom, and empirical system of healing.
Acupuncture is a practice. It’s a place of healing my body and mind. It helps me relax and see more clearly what my body is telling me. It’s a ritual I follow once a week that I’ve very much benefited from.
Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend. Non-being is my greatest joy~ Lao Zi
Acupuncture is transformational.
Acupuncture is healing.
Acupuncture is getting connected to your inner healing gift with the support, guidance, wisdom and skills of an excellent acupuncturist like Gigi. (toot toot)
Acupuncture is an opening from the inside out.
Acupuncture is hope.
Acupuncture is a supportive healing technique that assists with unblocking the stagnant energy.
Acupuncture is being open to healing, receiving, and surrendering…
Acupuncture is refreshing, centering, energizing and or relaxing.
Acupuncture is a unique healing process.
What are you waiting for? Come back to the body, your own healing power, your own knowing. How cool is that?!
Thank you for all your contributions.
Hello Everyone, Happy Spring!
Last week, as I was saying goodbye to a patient of mine (who was going through something challenging) was super relaxed, so I said to her. ” Wow you’re really good at this! ” and she responded ” Well I’ve been coming to you for over 10 years.” and then I thought, yes she has lots of practice, practice! That’s it!
Have you ever heard a friend or relative say “Oh I tried acupuncture once and it didn’t work.” Now I know what to say. Yes, acupuncture is a practice. It’s not black or white. It’s not it works, or it doesn’t work.
It’s a practice of breathing, letting go, softening, forgiveness, kindness, compassionate awareness, going inwards, curiosity, connecting to your own healing power, being you’re own best friend…love.
There are a million ways to heal. Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine is one way, there are so many. Hooray for you! Any healing you do is projected out into the world 10 fold…or 100 fold or more! I love walking along side you as we heal together.
What is Acupuncture (or Tuina Massage) for you? Post it on my Facebook page or email me email@example.com
Hope you are feeling well and supported…and having some fun!!!
Here’s a song by Sinead O’connor called the Healing Room. It made sense to me 20 yrs ago and still does. This is where we go!
We’ve entered into Spring, the Liver/Gallbladder Wood Element.
Liver holds a spectrum of emotions and virtues. The trick for me during Spring time is to hold my wood emotions (irritability, anger, rage, aggression, which may naturally arise) with the virtues of wood (benevolence, kindness, creativity). What are my emotions trying to tell me? How can I help? What do I need? Basically allow myself to feel these emotions, sit with them and learn. Cross your fingers, wisdom may come forth!
Allergies are a common springtime occurrence. There are lots of options to help manage and reduce your symptoms to help your body welcome Spring. Give me a shout if you’re wanting some relief.
P.S. I’ve added a Waitlist function to make things easier for you to book if the day/time you’re looking for is booked. Please remember you can text or call if you’d like to get in but the schedule if full. People do cancel/reschedule sometimes, so I can schedule you in. It’s win win for both of us.
Looking forward to seeing you or hearing from you
It’s the end of August…how are you? How am I? How are we?
I read this on my friend’s Facebook newsfeed yesterday;
” Sometimes I just want it to stop. Talk of COVID, protests, looting, brutality. I lose my way. I become convinced that this new normal is real life. Then I meet an 87 year old who talks of living through polio, diphtheria, Vietnam protests and yet is still enchanted with life. He seemed surprised when I said that 2020 must be especially challenging for him. ” No” he said slowly, looking me straight in the eyes. ” I learned a long time ago to not see the world through the printed headlines, I see the world through the people that surround me. I see the world with the realization that we love big. Therefore, I just choose to write my own headlines. Husband loves wife today. Family drops everything to come to Grandma’s bedside. He patted my hand. Old man makes new friend.
What would your headlines read?
I have so many sweet ones. Neighbor asks for help. Sisters connect. Family finds solace in the mountains. Mother sees her child as she is. Brother says I’m sorry. Beans taste good. Mom and Dad love me.
I have noticed I do this a lot. I make up my world from the people around me, and I make up my world from my inner world. I find solace in my body. I connect. Gabor Mate says ” Safety is not the absence of threat, it’s the presence of connection.” Connection to self, connection to others, connection to nature, connection to something greater than myself, connection to…? How do you feel safe?
Elaine Alec writes from her new book Calling My Spirit Back “In order to create a safe space, you need to be a safe space.”
When I let that sink in…what does it mean to be a safe space? Wow for me it means I need to practice and cultivate a lot of self compassion. Being there for myself in conflict, being there for myself when things feel awful or hopeless, or simply being there when I feel jealous, disappointed, sad… or asking for help. Easier said than done, right! I do think and feel that these times require it. There is a lot to digest on the inside as well as on the outside.
Here are a few reminders for the upcoming months to keep strong and vibrant.
There is no end to what we can do to feel confident and healthy in 2020!
Deep Immune is a powerful combination of herbs that increase our immune cell activity, increase our digestive function, down-regulates our nervous system and calms the mind. Hey I want some of that! Marseille’s Thieves Oil is a combination of essential oils famous for warding off the plague in France in 1413. Available in 100% essential oil blend, bees wax salve, and now a hand sanitizer spray.
If you’re needing some guidance with your health and well-being, give me a shout. I’d love to help.
I’m taking my family to the mountains for a few days next week. I’ll be back in my clinic on Aug 31st.
I leave you with this excerpt from Walt Whitman’s poem Song of Myself, 20 given to me by a dear friend and patient for my birthday.
…I know I am August,
I do not trouble my spirit to vindicate itself or be understood,…
I exist as I am, that is enough,
If no other in the world be aware I sit content,
And if each and all be aware I sit content… Walt Whitman
Happy Chinese New Year!
January 28th starts off the year of the Rooster.
Last year was the year of the Fire Monkey, which brought many surprises and good fortune. A lot of people felt pulled in different directions in 2016 but now in 2017, things are going to feel more grounded. (Continue reading by clicking the link below)
March 1st marks my first year anniversary in my new clinic in the Professional Building on Yates. Wow! Thank you for all your referrals and your confidence in me. I am so busy! So I have created Overflow Tuesdays. These are a few appointments not available online to help me deal with emergencies and to shorten the wait time for some of you. So if you can’t find an appointment that works for you. Text/ email or call 250.882.0659
Please note on March 1st, Acupuncture and Tuina Massage will be going up $5.
Happy Year of the Rooster!
Gigi Vincentine Dr. TCM
Art 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).
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.
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”!
See you soon!
Gigi Vincentine Dr. TCM
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, night sweats, anxiety, forgetfulness, jumpiness, and palpitations. Keeping your body cool (not cold) over the summer will help keep you in balance. Here’s how;
Melons, melons, melons… watermelon, honeydew melon, cantelope. Have you ever tried watermelon juice? It blends easily in your blender with a little water (or coconut water to add more minerals). Yum!
Iced Tea Recipe: Jasmine Green Tea with Chrysanthemum Flowers, Goji Berries and honey. 1-Steep the Flowers and Berries for 8-10 minutes
2-Add the Jasmine Teas, steep another 5-8 minutes
3-Remove herbs, add the honey and cool in the fridge
Some other ideas: mint, lemon balm, green tea, white grape juice to sweeten
If you are thinking about something more substantial try chinese radish soup (daikon) with tofu and mushrooms. Yum! The radish will quickly pick up the taste of the broth. In Taiwan this would be served everyday during the summer months. I really didn’t need to learn food therapy, I just needed to eat and pay attention. When the seasons changed so did what was being served. Another example is red aduki beans vs green mung beans. Can you guess which ones are cooling? You guessed it, the green mung beans. You can have them in a soup and in Taiwan I would be served green bean slush! So when winter came, out came the aduki bean soup again.
Hey this summer why not try some Qi Gong! or Meditation! Here is a lovely book I read before I started my practice and I recently lent it out to one of my patients and she was so pleased with it, she convinced me to read it again. Here’s the link. Check it out! A Woman’s QiGong Guide, Empowerment Through Movement, Diet, and Herbs. Love it! by YanLing Lee Johnson
And here’s what else I’m doing this summer, join me! 21 Day Free Meditation with Deepak and Oprah. Register for free at the link below! Starts July 11th.
My last day in the clinic before summer holidays is July 22nd. If you would like some herbs or supplements before your holidays text/call me. I will be back in the clinic August 10th. Have an awesome summer!
July 25th-August 9th I will be on holidays
Like me on Facebook and check out some testimonials, health tips, nice pics, …
Gigi Vincentine Dr TCM Dip
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. 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.
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!
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.
Book your appointment today with my online booking with Schedulicity.
In Health Gigi Vincentine Dr. TCM
Victoria Professional Building
1120 Yates Street, Suite 406
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).
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
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
This is a fun 2 minute video by Brodie Welch talking about Fall and Chinese Medicine. It takes a few seconds to upload. Enjoy!
As of April 1st, 2015, my prices for Acupuncture and Tuina will increase by $5.00
Acupuncture will now be $80 for a 1 hour session
Tuina Massage will now be $75 for a 45 minute session
Thank you for your support. See you in the clinic soon.