|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 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
The Tao of Montessori
Last Friday, I was given the honor of speaking to and working with over 60 Montessorians from the Vancouver Island Montessori Association(VIMA). https://www.facebook.com/VancouverIslandMontessoriAssociation/ I was invited to be the key-note speaker for their Professional Development Day. I was very excited to set up my “clinic setting” in the beautiful Omega High School classroom at Maria Montessori Academy. (https://mariamontessoriacademy.net/)
“Preparing the environment” in the classroom is a key component to the Montessori philosophy. We explored the idea of “preparing the environment” within oneself. For the past 20 years, I have been exploring within myself this idea of Living / Healing Through The Seasons, the emotions and the physical patterns that evolve with Mother Nature. Just like a teacher that lives and breathes through the seasons with their students. We discovered together that we are doing the same thing! How beautiful!
It’s Monday today and I’m still feeling the awe and the honor that was bestowed upon me and upon us all. Thank you
I recently came upon this wonderful documentary on the Life of Maria Montessori. Please enjoy!
And we can’t forget Lao Zi, the Father of Taoism
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
In 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
An 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)