Blog : Seasonal
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.
BEHOLD, the Great Fire Chicken!
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!!!
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! ”
Happy New Year!
In Chinese Medicine we often use the seasons to help diagnose and treat imbalances in the body, thus we pay particular attention to the seasons as they relate to the Chinese Almanac called the Tong Shu. Of all the seasonal transitions during the year the one from Summer to Autumn might be the most important one to watch. How our body transitions during this seasonal adjustment will help us prepare for a healthy Fall and Winter.
This period is a pivot in the calendar, from the active yang energy of Spring and Summer to the subdued yin energy of Autumn and Winter. Summer is the most yang, which means it is the season with the most heat, and in humid climates like the Southern United States, the dampest -- and we in the South know how humid, heavy and sticky the air can become. It is this combination of heat and dampness that we need to manage during this time so it does not negatively affect our health in the coming months. The heat can aggravate existing chronic heat conditions like insomnia, heart irregularities and inflammatory conditions such as eczema, dental infections, yeast infections, herpes, skin rashes. If not properly addressed, these conditions can become even more set in.
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.
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.
Summer, the Fire Season, is the most yang of the seasons. It is a time of lush growth, brightness, activity and heat, particularly in the South. In Chinese Medicine, fire is related to the heart, blood vessels, Small Intestine and the emotions (see the February post to learn more about the heart). The heart is in charge of memory, emotions, consciousness, thinking, sleep and speech.
When Fire is imbalanced, we see symptoms such as anxiety, despair, poor circulation, hypertension, heart palpitations, and insomnia. In nature, extreme heat withers and dries crops, creates drought and blazing forest fires, and we too can easily become overheated during the summer months. Here are our top 10 tips to keep your fire in check during the summer.
Chinese New year begins February 8 and we thought it would be fun to share some of the traditions and legends that surround it.
Chinese New Year, as it is called in the West, is known as Spring Festival in China. It originated during the Shang Dynasty (about 17th - 11th century BC) and celebrates family reunion and the hopes for a rich spring. Different regions and different ethnic groups celebrate it in their own unique ways.
Spring Festival is the most important traditional festival and celebration for families in China. In fact, it is an official public holiday and most have the week off from work. It is a time for families to be together and people come home from wherever they are to celebrate the festival with their families. It is by far the busiest travel season of the year in China.
This year Chinese New Year begins on Monday, February 8, the first day of the Chinese lunar calendar. The Chinese Lunar New Year always begins on the second new moon after the winter solstice. The year 2016 is represented by the Monkey, specifically the Red Fire Monkey (more about that later).
Get out your red paper lanterns and firecrackers and celebrate the Chinese New Year with this delicious recipe sure to bring you abundance in 2016 (read why in the Chinese New Year post). If nothing else, it will bring you an abundance of dinner guests once the aromas spread throughout your home!