Heat is an essential component of the therapeutic recommendations of Chinese Medicine. In order for our bodies to function optimally, we need warmth and proper circulation. Without it, cold sets in and circulation becomes sluggish. Whenever I meet a patient with signs of internal cold, I recommend a variety of ways they can build heat (also called yang energy) to feel better. Read more
Posts Tagged: Seasonal Health
What is Seed Cycling?
I remember first hearing about seed cycling over 10 years ago as a new acupuncturist. The idea of seed cycling is that you can eat different seeds at different parts of your cycle to optimize your hormone balance. Which seed depends on the unique micronutrients in each one, with certain seeds thought to balance estrogen in the follicular phase (before ovulation) and balance progesterone levels in the luteal phase (after ovulation). The concept of being able to truly use your food as medicine and take control of your own health is really appealing of course! Who wouldn’t want a DIY answer to things like irregular cycles, painful periods, or other hormonal symptoms like premenstrual bloating and acne? Not to mention a little help with fertility?
Seed cycling seems to have surged in popularity on social media, so I wanted to take some time to really dig into the research to see if this is worth doing. Also, as a practitioner of East Asian Medicine (TCM), I am excited to discuss our medicine’s view of seeds and how they’re used, as well as some information on how our medicine would approach hormonal health at different phases of the cycle. Read more
Each of the 5 elements in Traditional Chinese Medicine has an associated season, organ, color, flavor and even emotion. You can live in greater harmony with the natural world by learning a little about each season, and it becomes easier to notice the connections between what you’re feeling and what’s going on in nature.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Wood element is associated with the Liver and Gallbladder organs and springtime.
Wood possesses qualities of movement and growth, new ideas, creativity and inspiration.
Signs your Wood Element is balanced:
– You are feeling creative, inspired and excited to start new projects and do a little planning for the future
– Your muscles feel relaxed and you’re feeling loose and flexible. Emotionally, you’re also relaxed and flexible, and the little things aren’t irritating you Read more
Knowing a little about Late Summer and its associated Earth element can help you to optimize your health this time of year and ensure you’re in harmony with the season. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, there are actually 5 seasons and 5 elements:
- Autumn (metal)
- Winter (water)
- Spring (wood)
- Summer (fire)
- Late Summer (earth)
Qualities of Late Summer and the Earth Element:
Patients frequently ask me how they can increase their immunity this time of year. Everyone knows to wash their hands more frequently, so I won’t bore you with that lecture!
In Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, our bodies have a type of Qi, or energy called “Wei Qi”. Wei Qi is our protective Qi and is located on the surface of the body. You can think of Wei Qi as the immune system- its job is to keep out invaders such as harmful viruses and bacteria. Here are a few things you can do that you may not have realized can improve your immune system…