Blog : Seasonal

Strengthen Students’ Health over the Summer

Summer break is an opportunity for college kids to rejuvenate themselves. With all the demands throughout the school year - class schedules, long study periods and full social lives, compounded by being away from families - they often neglect their health until they hit a point of "crash and burn."

A lot of high school students also fall victim to similar stresses on their well-being. They become exhausted and their metnal and emotional health can be affected.

This summer, take the opportunity to help students prepare for the upcoming school year. They're at home and their schedules are more flexible. That makes it a good time to get them in for an appointment at Red Earth Acupuncture.

David Toone noted that many college students often struggle with the transition from living at home to being away to college, and that takes a toll on their health.

"This is a chance to take advantage of their age and resilience," he said. "Young people tend to make good, fast progress. We can get them 'patched up' and strengthen their immune systems to keep them strong through the next term."

He added that he'd had great success working with young adults during their summer breaks. "It's super fun to work with them, see them get healthy and ready to go back to school."

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Survive and Thrive this Summer

Keep your health on track and moving forward through the Fire Season.

Summer is the Fire Season. It's a time of lush growth, brightness and activity. Quite often, it's also a time of unwelcomed extreme heat - particularly in the South.

In nature, extreme heat withers and dries crops. It brings drought and blazing forest fires. We, too, can overheat during the summer months and experience harmful side effects.

Staying safe and comfortable in the hot summer can be a challenge. In the age of air conditioning and iced drinks, you'd think keeping cool would be easier. But how did out ancestors stay cool in the summer long before modern refrigeration?

How the body copes

In summer, while it's hot outside, our body keeps heat near its surface. Why? To allow the heat to vent outward, which prevents us from overheating.

To perform this cooling function, the body increases blood flow to the capillaries at the surface of the skin. The increased blood flow opens the pores of the skin. Water in the form of sweat then releases and evaporates. As this evaporation occurs, the surface of the body cools off.

In the winter, our primary goal is to preserve our heat. When it's cold outside, our body stores as much heat as far from the surface as possible. During the cold season, more of our heat is in the center of our body.

The role of the circulatory and digestive systems

Our warm blood circulating is responsible for heating and cooling the body. The body's heater and air conditioner are controlled by the body's ability to generate heat.

As we pointed out, in the warm months most of the body's heat is at the surface. This means the middle of the body, and especially our digestive system, has less heat. If the digestive loses too much heat it won't operate properly.

In the clinic, we see that people prone to difestive problems are much more likely to have loose bowel movements and bloating in the summer months. The digestive system is an engine. Just like the engine in our car, it must remain at operating temperature to work effciently.

When the digestive engine isn't working well, it can't generate the blood necessary to operate the heating and cooling mechanism. When this happens, the pores close and heat builds up underneath the skin. This causes heat vexation and is very uncomfortable.

How do we deal with this? Ingest more foods that warm the middle and prevent heat building up at the surface.

Top 10 tips to keep your cool during the Fire Season

1. Use spicy, pungent herbs and spices. Food such as hot peppers, fresh ginger and horseradish as well as spices - like cumin, coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, and turmeric - help warm the center and allow the body to bring the heat to the surface. In moderation, these foods disperse heat, but too much and you'll sweat profusely. You want to avoid that. A light sweat will help to cool the body, but heavy sweating creates fluid loss.

2. Water balances Fire. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids during the summer, especially if you sweat a lot. With profuse sweating, you may also need to replace electrolytes. Good sources are coconut water (the unsweetened kind), water with cucumbers or fresh watermelon juice.

3. Eat light and simple. Prepare recipes using a few ingredients rather than heavy meals. Limit thick, heavy, creamy dishes that have an excess of meat, eggs and dairy. Too much of these foods are harder to metabolize in the colder digestive system of summer.

4. Eat seasonally. Visit your local farmers markets to see what is in season. Focus on including those ingredients in your meals. We have great farmers markets in the area, so be sure to check them out. Here are a few:

  • Alō Farms -
  • Peachtree City Farmers Market -
  • Newnan Market Day -
  • Senoia Farmers Market -

5. Choose bright colored vegetables and fruits. Steam or lightly simmer vegetables and go easy on the salt. Remember that raw vegetables are even harder to digest in the summer, so don't overdo it with cold and raw foods. They weaken the digestive system. 

6. Eat cool fresh foods. On hot days, choose foods such as:

  • Sprouts and mung beans.
  • Cucumbers and watermelon to hydrate and moisten.
  • Mushrooms to improve fluid balance and calm the nerves.
  • Celery and lettuces to strengthen nerves and heart tissue. Celery can also help to lower blood pressure.
  • Mulberries, lemons and limes to calm the mind.
  • Greens - the bitter flavors cleanse the heart and arteries and cool an overheated heart. Greens also help to control anxiety.

7. Learn the make summer pickles. Instead of eating so many raw foods, learn to prepare delicious summer veggies the traditional way. Check out "How to Quick Pickle Any Vegetable" at for easy instructions.

8. Don't overdo it on the cold foods. Iced drinks, ice cream and frozen treats can weaken the digestive system. This holds in sweat and heat, which contracts the stomach and inhibits digestion.

9. Limit coffee, alcohol and tobacco. These substances create heat by weakening the blood's ability to turn on the body's cooling system.

10. Rise early. Work, play, travel, grow. Be active during the day and cool down at night. Turn your electronic devices off by late evening. Try getting to bed by 10 p.m. to get a good night's sleep.

Most of all, enjoy all of the life that summer brings!

Fun Facts about the Summer Solstice

  • The 2023 North American summer solstice happens on Wednesday June 21 at 10:58 a.m. EDT
  • Summer solstice is the very moment that the sun stands still at its northernmost point as seen from Earth.
  • It's the day that marks the official beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.
  • It's also the day of the year with the most sunlight, the longest of the the long summer days.
  • It occurs at the same time all over the world.
  • On the day of the June solstice, the Northern Hemisphere receives sunlight at the most direct angle of the year.
  • If you look at your noontime shadow on the day of the solstice, it's your shortest noontime shadow of the year.
  • At the Sun's northernmost point in the sky, it pauses for a brief second at the Tropic of Cancer before it appears to switch direction and head south again.
  • The word solstice comes from the Latin: "solstitium", sol (sun), and "stitium", (to stop).
  • Summer Solstice is the most yang - light, masculine - energy day of the year.
  • It can occur anywhere from June 20 to June 22, but June 22 solstices are rare.
  • It's the only day that all locations inside the Artic Circle experience 24 hours of solid daylight.
  • The summer solstice is traditionally celebrated all over the world with festivals, bonfires, signing and dancing.

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Apple Butter


The arrival of Fall brings chilly morning, warm colors, and cooler evenings. It’s the time of year leaves begin to change. The great debate about pumpkin spice starts up again. And, it’s time to go apple picking!  

The Georgia mountains have some glorious apple orchards with a season that runs from late August to October.  

When you find you have more apples than could possibly be eaten, do like we do, and make some apple butter in your crockpot. Here’s the recipe: 

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2019 Retrospective

As we mark our 11th year effectiveness the clinic opened, I can say that I have never been so grateful and blessed to have the opportunity to work with such wonderful patents. We have patients now that have literally been with us for the entire 11-year journey.


During the Thanksgiving break, I travelled with my son Ethan to visit schools in Japan, where he has decided he wants to study after High School. This trip involved direct parental involvement for the first half and some strategically placed neglect during the second half. After our school tours were done, I left Ethan and his friend to their own devices and headed to Northern Japan to study with my teacher. The goal was to be close — just in case the boys got in trouble — but no so close that they couldn’t get a feel of what it’s like being on one’s own in another country. The trip was a huge success and Ethan came back with a renewed sense of confidence and enthusiasm in his choice to study abroad. Reflecting on the trip, I am reminded of the countless conversations I have had with patients over the years where information, tips nuances and painful parental failures were shared making mental notes as needed. Locked in these moments were countless nuggets of wisdom that formed a library of parenting tips and advice that I have had available to me over the years at those critical parenting moments. To all of you who shared — Thank you!

The second part of my trip marked the first time I had stepped foot in my acupuncture teacher, Iwashina Sensei’s, clinic since I set up shop in Peachtree City in 2008. Though I have continued to study and assist him practically every year during his seminars in Oregon, California and more recently in Texas, there is nothing like observing a master in his own workshop. In 2008, I remember watching him treat and saying to myself “I am not leaving (Japan) until I master such and such a technique.” Ten years and 14,000 plus treatments later, I can honestly say, I am well on the way. As powerful and impactful as the techniques I witnessed were in 2008, it pales in comparison to what I observed this time around. If the last experience was marked by awe of the techniques, this go-around was marked by awe at the complete lack of specific techniques. My teacher was just treating each person at their root, and they were getting better.

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Night of the Living Veggies

The mild-mannered broccoli, cancer-fighting kale, and flavorful cauliflower. All are part of the healthy-sounding group known as Cruciferous Veggies. They sit in many fridge crispers and are the staple of many holiday veggie trays. You may even be about to dip one in ranch as you read this newsletter. Yes, they are in almost every household waiting… FOR REVENGE!!!

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Happy Chinese New Year 2017

Also known as the Spring Festival, Chinese New Year falls on January 28th this year. This is the year of the Yin Fire Rooster which is the Yin to the Yang of the Fire Monkey of 2016. If you recall from last year's Chinese New Year post, the year of the Fire Monkey was predicted to be, well, unpredictable, and it certainly lived up to that.

According to Lillian Pearl Bridges, an internationally recognized Five Element Feng Shui expert, “the Yin nature of the Rooster forecasts a calmer year and should bring a lot of relief from the shock, strain, tension and anxiety of last year. Many of the same issues are still around, but most new events will happen in a milder way. Much of what has to be dealt with will be repercussions from what has already happened. Plus, the consequences of some big decisions made in the Monkey Year will be revealed. One of the Rooster’s main jobs is to crow at the rise of the Sun, waking others up to face the challenges of the day. This Rooster is trying to wake people up to the challenges of the year! ”

What is Chinese New Year anyway? Find out more from from our blog post last year and these 10 interesting facts about Chinese New Year.

Happy New Year!

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5 Tips for a Healthy Fall Transition

In Chinese Medicine, we often look at the seasons to help diagnose and treat imbalances in the body. Of all the seasonal transitions during the year, Summer to Autumn might be the most important to watch. Knowing how our bodies adjust to this seasonal transition will help us prepare for a healthy Fall and Winter.

This period is a pivot from the active yang energy of Spring and Summer to the subdued yin energy of Autumn and Winter. Summer is the season with the most heat. In humid climates like the southern United States, it is also the dampest. We in the South know how humid, heavy, and sticky the air can become.

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The Peace of Wild Things

We frequently suggest getting outside to reconnect with nature as a way to become more grounded and ease emotional upsets.  This poem sums it up beautifully.

Photo credit to Rawls Whittlesey. Copyright 2016 

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Happy Summer Solstice

The 2016 North American summer solstice happens on June 20, 2016 at 6:34 PM EDT. That’s the very moment when the sun stands still at its northernmost point as seen from Earth.

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