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.
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.
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
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
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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.
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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).
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/
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!