Seasonal Advice for the Summer
These summer days are among us and it is important to maintain our cool. Not only physically, but energetically. The extreme heat can take a toll on our bodies, as well as our mental and emotional states.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the summer heat has a tremendous impact on our bodies producing symptoms that can resemble a heat stroke. These include fatigue, dizziness, high pulse rate, the feeling of being overly flushed, and dehydration. Extreme cases could require medical attention.
Global stress and anxiety have heightened during the recent events. The feelings of anxiety, irritability, frustration, and nervousness are linked to an increase of heat within the body. With this in mind, we must be even more cautious of the summer heat so that we can remain cool, calm and collected.
There are quite a few natural ways to keep cool and calm throughout the hottest and most stressful days. Staying hydrated is key. Drinking plenty of water is important to maintaining the body’s temperature. Choose energetically cooling food and drinks rather than cold temperature as these tend to suppress our digestive systems. Some foods that are energetically cooling include; cucumber, melon, strawberry, grapes, figs, greens like spinach or swiss chard, seaweed, tofu and soy beans, mint tea or green tea, pears and apples, eggplant, avocado, mung beans, kidney beans. If you begin feeling overheated, avoid fatty, greasy, and sugary foods and drinks.
Seek shade under trees in nature. While we promote wearing a mask to protect ourselves and our community, make some time outdoors either in solitude or with your family to get a lot of fresh air. Wearing a lightweight hat or sleeves can also help to protect from the strong Sun. In Chinese Medicine, the summer season is of the Fire element. It is helpful to balance the fiery heat with the opposing season of winter, or Water element. Swimming in the ocean, or a private pool can help to harmonize the body’s temperature. Sitting near cool water, taking a cool bath or shower can be equally beneficial.
We can also regulate our body temperature as we regulate our breathing. Practicing Tai Chi, Qi Gong or Pranayama is highly beneficial to maintain connection with the rhythm of our breathe. Here is a link to a simple Pranayama exercise that promotes the cooling.
At Prosperity Health Center, we are available for treatment of many conditions. Integrated treatments can help maintain a healthy body, mind and soul. Dr. Jeng K. Kuan is also available for Herbal consultations that can enhance overall health and wellness, including combatting the summer heat.
Seasonal Advice for The Winter
Winter in full swing and this years warm weather allowing some trees to keep their leaves, it’s no surprise that we’re seeing more and more folks with miserable colds. But we’ve also been getting calls about patients wanting to reschedule their appointments because they’re sick and don’t want to sneeze on anyone.
But did you know that acupuncture and herbal therapy are actually effective ways to treat and prevent the common cold?
By inserting needles into specific points along the meridians in the body, acupuncture works to activate and boost the immune system as well as reliving those aches commonly associated with the common cold. By lowering body temperature and blood pressure, restoring balance to the respiratory system and stimulating blood flow to our organs, acupuncture restores balance to the body.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are proven, effective treatment for the cure and prevention of the common cold; do your body a favor and book your appointment today.
Seasonal Advice for The Spring
The energy of Spring is expansive and outward moving. It is time to start exercising and sweating more. Begin cooking and eating lighter meals. In wintertime we would tend to bake our food to more deeply warm our bodies. In the Spring steaming and stir-frying is more appropriate. It is beneficial to eat more leafy greens (kale, dandelion, collards, mint).
The sour flavor incorporated into the diet will help to balance the liver energy. Try to be conscious to include good oils into your meals (flax oil, sesame oil, olive oil). It is best to add these oils to already cooked food to preserve the quality. Eat what is locally grown and in season, as much as possible. It is important to be emotionally calm when eating, as well as to breathe deeply and thoroughly chewing our food. Drink lots of fluids (lemon can be added to water). The Spring is a great time of year to receive bodywork or acupuncture, in order to facilitate the body in opening and relaxing.
Do your best to avoid toxicity in your foods and environment. Some things to avoid are: chemicals, drugs and alcohol; as well as refined sugars, processed foods, caffeine, large portions of meat, greasy and rich foods. Avoid stress! All of these are toxicities can impact and congest the liver.
Seasonal Advice for the Fall
Recently, the rain has brought down the temperature and I am sure many of you have already stopped using air conditioner. The good news is next electricity bill should be lower than the previous one. For those who love the season of Fall must be in a cheerful mood. However, for those who have seasonal allergy will feel opposite.
You might ask why there is frequent lack of appetite, weak limbs and sleepy moments in the Fall? It can be explained this way: when it was hot in the summer, there was profuse sweating and that caused imbalance of the minerals within; also, the heat caused the digestive function not at its best and there was more burden to the cardiovascular system so the body could be in an exhausted state after a long summer; Once the cool weather is here, those hidden conditions caused by the heat will surface. Thus, there is apparent lack of appetite, drowsy, sleepy and weak limbs. In addition, the air is dryer in the Fall and the dryness is not friendly to the lungs so there might be dry throat, thirst, cough with sputum, puffiness in the body, difficulty of urination.
In the Fall, it is cool in the morning and evening, but there is still high temperature with humidity during the day. So, there is a saying in Chinese “Autumn heat is ferocious like a tiger”. What it is implying is damp heat (humidity plus heat) plus dryness can cause bronchitis worse or recurrence. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, when part of the digestive system gets stagnant in handling transformation and transportation of the energy then there is feeling of drowsiness or sleepiness and low energy.
Here is the list of recommendation for healthy living in the season of Fall:
1. Make best effort to have abundant of good quality sleep, especially avoid staying up later than midnight. Ideally, go to bed before 11 PM to provide needed time for the body to complete all of the phases of muscle repair, release of hormone which regulate growth and appetite.
2. Meditate and practice breathing exercise like abdominal breathing. Breathing exercise can help parasympathetic never system and slow down the brain waves. Meditation and breathing exercise can also help to regulate autonomic nerve system which can increase oxygen level in the body, relax tight muscles and helps falling asleep easier in the night.
3. Drink plenty of water to reduce dryness. In addition, eat more food that can increase fluid and reduce dryness. The following is ideal to eat in Fall: Pear, banana, lotus root, white wood ear - Tremella fuciformis which can help to clear heat in the lungs and also has anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor effect. Also, include food that is rich in Vitamin B, C and E which can help immune system, muscle repairs and skin. Reduce intake of ginger, green onions, garlic, chives, and spicy food.
4. Many Chinese herbs can be included in your diet. For example, Bai He (lily bulb) is good for heart and lungs; Huang Jing (Solomon’s Seal) which can improve immune system and has anti-stress, anti-fungal and antibiotics functions.
5. Here is a recipe that can nourish the lungs and reduce dryness:
Persimmon 1 piece
Black bean 50 g
Rice 50 g
Wash and clean black beans and rice and cook them and simmer until they are well cooked and soft. Then put them in the blender with the persimmon and 300 ml of water. Add some cane sugar to the amount you wish. Once it is blended well, you have a drink that is perfect for Fall.