TCM Health According to Season Spring

TCM Health According to Season Spring
TCM Health According to Season Spring

Weather changes like an infants face – dress accordingly (layers) Eat pungent (spicy), sweet, & lightly warm foods to prepare body for summer Exercise & activity should be gentle and smooth styles, i.e. breathing, stretching, Qigong, yoga, light weights, walking, meditation, light cardio, – these simulate an animal coming out of hibernation
Liver Qi is active & stronger – soothe & regulate the liver function, if there is stagnation it may lead to depressive or anger related states (i.e impatience, frustration, sadness, resentment, loneliness, violence, belligerence, rudeness, edginess, arrogance, stubbornness, aggression, impulsiveness & explosive outbursts, & mood swings). The appetite should be slightly lower – eat less in spring as to ease the liver function, outside air helps liver Qi flow. If liver is hyperactive, spring may aggravate the symptoms so it is best to treat this condition in late winter.
Soothe liver Qi with the proper foods (pungent, sweet, cool or slightly warm):

First of all avoid all processed & denatured foods (i.e. refined flours & sugars), high fat foods (i.e. meats, fatty oils & spreads, eggs, milk, cheese, & nuts), chemicals, & intoxicants, these foods are heavy and clog the liver resulting in disease susceptibility.
Eat less in quantity and avoid late meals as to not interfere with liver & gallbladder times of the night (11pm to 3am).
Green is the color of the liver & of spring time so consume plentiful young plants, fresh greens, sprouts, & immature cereal grasses (if tendency is towards coldness lightly cook foods or steam at high temperatures for short periods of time)
Basil, fennel, marjoram, rosemary, caraway, dill, & bayleaf are pungent cooking spices desirable for spring.
Most complex carbohydrates such as grains, legumes, & seeds are sweet in flavour that increases with sprouting, these are good in spring.
Young starchy vegetables thinned from the early garden are also good.
Foods that relieve liver stagnation:
watercress, onion family, mustard greens, turmeric, cumin, dill, ginger, black pepper, horseradish, rosemary, mints, lemon balm, beets, taro root, sweet rice, strawberry, peach, cherry, chestnut, pine nut, cabbage, turnip root, kohlrabi, caulifower, broccoli, & Brussels sprouts, sprouted grains, beans, & seafoods.
Foods that harmonize the liver:
grains, vegetables, legumes & other complex carbohydrates, honey used sparingly, apple cider vinegar, stevia, unrefined cane juice, whole sugar cane, licorice root, barley malt, date sugar, molasses, & rice syrup.
Foods that calm liver excess:
high quality vinegars (i.e. apple cider, brown rice, rice wine), honey, lemon, lime, grapefruit, rye, romaine, lettuce, asparagus, amaranth, quinoa, alfalfa, radish leaves, citrus peels, mints, lemon balm, & dandelion
Foods that cool & detoxify the liver:
mung beans, celery, seaweeds, lettuce, cucumber, watercress, tofu, millet, plum, chlorophyll rich foods (wheat & barley grass, spirulina, blue-green algae, chlorella), mushrooms, rhubarb root or stem, radish, & daikon radish.
Foods that tonify liver Yin & blood:
mung beans, chlorophyll rich foods, cucumber, tofu, millet, seaweed, watercress, plum, flax, borage, evening primrose, &/or black current oils, plentiful water intake, aloe vera, dark grapes, blackberries, huckleberries, raspberries, blackstrap molasses, & organic animal liver.
Foods that calm liver Wind:
celery, basil, sage, fennel, dried or fresh ginger, anise, oats, black soybeans, black sesame seeds, kudzu, pine nuts, coconut, flax oil, & shrimp. Foods that worsen this condition are: eggs, goose, crab, buckwheat, hot peppers, curries, & beef.
People who were not breast-fed: these people are more likely to develop immune deficient related problems, allergies, & other liver related disorders. The use regular use of chlorophyll rich foods & GLA fatty acids greatly enhances the overall body strength & liver function.
Spring is the windy season and the weather starts to warm up, therefore Wind & Heat disorders may arise, i.e. respiratory disease.
If a person suffers from chronic pain too much sour flavour goes directly to the nerves & can hurt the liver.
Similar rules apply to the recommended sweet & pungent (spicy) foods, excess is bad.
Helpful ideas to keep healthy in spring:
The Food guide Pyramid is not a rigid prescription but a general guide that lets you choose a healthful diet that’s right for you.

The Pyramid calls for eating a variety of foods to get the nutrients you need and at the same time the right amount of calories to maintain healthy weight.

What Counts as One Serving?
Be sure to eat at least the lowest number of servings from the five major food groups listed below. You need them for the vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and protein they provide. Just try to pick the lowest fat choices from the food groups. no specific serving size is given for the fats, oils, and sweets group because the message is USE SPARINGLY.

The amount of food that counts as one serving is listed below. If you eat a larger portion, count it as more than 1 serving. For example, a dinner portion of spaghetti would count as 2 or 3 servings of pasta.

Chinese medicine

Chinese medicine
Chinese medicine

Try to eat local and in season, follow your body type needs and listen to what your body tells you about what you are eating.
Have skin disease, don’t eat onion, or other things that are pungent.
If you use your tendons that are hard on the tendons you should eat to support the liver, stay away from to much pungent food (dry tendons). If you have weak Spleen and Stomach (puffy tongue, loose stools, poor appetite, bloating), do not eat foods that are too cold in the morning (orange juice, banana, cold yogurt, fruit smoothies, etc). This type of breakfast is more suitable for the person that shows Heat signs.
Women have more taste than men. Men more use the nose (smell).
Boil bitter melon just briefly, then store for 24 hours in the fridge before eating.
Qiang Chai vegetable cooked (stir fried in water) then left in the fridge for one day produces alcohol (green vegetable)
At different times of the day foods effect you differently, just like we know not to drink coffee just before we go to bed!
Any Bi syndrome, avoid tomatoes, they are cold and sour. Vitamin A goes to the Liver for the eyes. Celery is bitter cold, proof that it slows sperm (essence), good to drain Damp/Heat.
Listen to what your body wants, eat it (within reason), connect the mind and body, the body will tell you what it likes and what it needs, all you have to do is listen. Understand that what your body needs can change from time to time (after illness, season, time of day, etc), find techniques to listen regularly, i.e. daily meditation, silence, yoga, qigong.
Be sure to not give people blanket statements about what to eat and what not to eat, as said above, things change.
Alcohol have different energies (not all damp/heat), the different herbs they are made with adjust their properties, i.e. brandy is made with Chen Pi, gin is made with juniper berries, peppermint schnapps, etc.
Do not give research your soul, it can only find physical elements within the food, experiment with foods and listen to what your body tells you about it.

Tonify the Blood: carrots (liver, Spleen), beets, cherries, spinach, dark grapes, marrow, easily digestable grains, raspberries
Tonify Kidney Qi: animal kidneys, lobster, lamb, seeds, dry nuts, rosehips, beans, turnip, raspberry, sprouts, blueberry

In spring, should you eat more sour? Depends on the person. Normal situation, we should eat more sweet because it’s energy is rising, if too much it will overact on the Spleen so eat sweet to protect it.
In Summer, eat less bitter, slightly more pungent food to protect the lungs.
In fall, less pungent and eat some sour too keep it from overacting on the liver. Also things that nourish the lung are beneficial, i.e. pears (if the person is of cold constitution can steam with cinnamon and maple syrup)
In late summer, one can eat a little more salty in preparation for winter for the kidney.
Although you must see if there is excess or deficiency:
If there is Liver Fire (energy going upward and outward): eat more sour cold
Qi and Yang deficiency should eat more warm foods, avoid a lot of cold energy foods or try to change their properties if people do not want to avoid certain things SOMERS – “You know, we eat blindly in America,” Arthur Shattuck said on Saturday morning. We eat foods because we like them, he said. “Well, that’s what my 4-year-old tells me,” he said. That means we’re not making conscious decisions, he said, and that was what he was out to change. Shattuck, a practitioner of Oriental medicine in Racine, was at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside on this particular morning for a mini workshop about food as a cure for illness. His audience was 36 women and one man.

Physicians will tell you that anything you put in your body to cure a symptom can be viewed as a drug – whether it be a drug or an herb. In China, Shattuck said, there are hospitals which specialize in treating illnesses only with diet. The man who taught him food therapy, Shattuck said, and who also knew acupuncture and herbal remedies, first tried to cure people’s ills with food.

“And he said everything’s a Band-Aid unless you eat right,” he said. Only if food therapy doesn’t work does this Chinese doctor resort to acupuncture, herbs, or surgery, he said. “And not everybody has to eat the same way,” he said.

It was to eat better that Jo Lueck, 48, of Kenosha, came to the workshop. “I’ve been doing acupuncture – having acupuncture done – for 15 years now, and it works real well for me,” she said. “It fascinates me that the right food for the right body type … will make things work better. And I would like to incorporate that into my life and then use acupuncture as a Band-Aid when I need it.”

“I’m a shiatsu therapist,” said Cyndee Mateja, 27, a resident of Kenosha, where she owns the Zen Den and practices the Japanese finger-pressure therapy. She came to learn more about Chinese food theory for herself and her clients.

The Chinese start from the idea that illness occurs because the body is out of balance, Shattuck said. “You don’t get sick because a germ entered your body, but because your body wasn’t strong enough to fight it off,” he said. And because people don’t live perfectly, they need tonics to keep their bodies healthy, he said. When Chinese medicine was developed 5,000 years ago, there was no germ theory, no microscope, no molecular biology to explore the insides of cells, he said. Dissection of human bodies was forbidden, he said, so Chinese physicians had to invent explanations for what happened inside the body between the time that food went in and waste came out.

They looked at nature, and because they believed the human body was a reflection of nature, they developed an analogy to a covered pot of stew, he said. Food enters the stomach and is heated by fire from the kidneys. Some steam escapes the stomach and that becomes chi (pronounced chee), a concept that has no Western equivalent but means roughly energy. Some of the steam condenses and that becomes urine.

If the kidney fire is suppressed by eating the wrong foods, over time dampness builds up, leading to illness, he said. So Chinese doctors say that Westerners have so many phlegm-based diseases because they eat too much cold food. And that’s why you don’t get ice water or cold salads in traditional Chinese meals, Shattuck said. The five tastes of the Chinese system – sweet, bitter, salty, pungent (for example, goat cheese or mint), and sour – are all linked to different organs and emotions, he said.

All this sounds odd to Western minds, used to modern biology and the quest to understand the details of everything. But, Shattuck said, the Chinese don’t necessarily question why something works, nor does the lack of a rigorous explanation of their medical system prevent it from working. Not everything about Chinese food therapy sounds strange, he said. “And you already know a lot of this information,” he said. You know, for example, that if you eat too much salt you’ll retain water and your blood pressure may increase.

Chinese medicine goes further, specifying that certain foods are best eaten at certain times of the day, and that the tonic properties of foods are most effective at certain times of the year. So in this system, people who suffer from bronchitis in January should drink mint tea during December, he said. In the Chinese system this will help strengthen their lungs, Shattuck said. “People who are asthmatics love minty things,” he said. Chinese medicine intersects with Western ideas, too. Grains, advocated by dietitians as the basis for our diets, are said by Chinese doctors to eliminate the dampness that causes illness, Shattuck said. After he learned food therapy, he said, he set himself a goal of changing his diet over the course of a year. His own breakfast now is a small piece of sweet potato and a porridge, called congee, made from whole grain. “And, oh, by the way, end of the year I lost 30 pounds, cholesterol went down,” Shattuck said.

Psychosomatic Disorders

Psychosomatic Disorders
Psychosomatic Disorders

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The display of emotional problems through physical disorders is known as Xin Shen (heart and body) in Chinese. It is usually caused by Yu (stagnation) of either Qi, phlegm, blood, food, fire or dampness or a combination of these. The stagnation will injure the zang fu organs causing excessive conditions. Chronic Yu will injure the middle jiao Qi creating Qi deficiency due to the disruption of post haven Qi.

Psychosomatic disorders are heart spirit disorders which attacks other organs creating deficiency throughout the body. The principle of treatment with psychosomatic disorders is to treat with herbs, acupuncture, massage as well as psychological methods of treatment (ie Qigong, Yoga, Hypnosis).

Curious? Want to see some Acupuncture pictures!

acupuncture pictures

Maximizing health, relieving pain. Your body is a dynamic environment of interrelating and interconnecting networks. Some of these networks are obvious and others are more subtle. Western science has focused it’s attention on the obvious networks such as the nervous, circulatory, endocrine, and lymphatic systems.

In contrast, Traditional Chinese Medicine has, over the centuries, mapped out the subtle networks and interrelationships that reveal our bodies to be dynamic cellular ecosystems.

By using a systems approach to health care, early Oriental practitioners discovered Acupuncture point. They found that upon stimulating these points a cascade of positive changes occur in the body.

Computer imaging of the brain during an acupuncture treatment shows dynamic activity occuring in many regions and structures within the brain. This modern research has shown that stimulating an Acupuncture point causes an increase in the production of endorphins and simultaneously activates the immune and endocrine systems.
Your acupuncturist can choose the most effective treatment plan to help you obtain your desired health outcome. Acupuncture point will be chosen to relieve pain and stress, and to increase vitality.

Each acupuncturist uses fine high grade surgical steel needles to stimulate the Acupuncture point on your body. These pre-sterilized and disposable needles are used ‘only once’.

Traditional Chinese Medicine includes many modalities. Ask your practitioner about alternatives to needles.

Millions of patients have enjoyed the benefits of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. They report the elimination or reduction of pain, and increase in function, and a greater sense of vitality and well-being.

Acupuncture point treatment has evolved over thousands of years. It is called empirical science when Acupuncture point have been systematically tried and observed for functions and treatment efficacy. This art was started by the use of what the Chinese call ‘ashi’ points, or points where there is pain. Bones, sharpened stones, or bamboo were inserted into these ‘ashi Acupuncture point’ and it was found to give relief. Over the next few centuries, Qigong practitioners, doctors, and shamans began to see and map out the system of energetic meridians that course throughout our body. To date this is still being refined. Acupuncture point are specific points on the body which give particular access to this energetic system, performing different functions depending on their locations and the patterns of disease disharmony involved.

The needles are usually retained in the body for 10 minutes to one hour. While the patient is relaxed, the Acupuncture practitioner may choose to manipulate particular needles at particular Acupuncture point to give desired effects. This action is to either tonify, nourish, or strengthen, or conversely, to drain or subdue.

Electrical stimulation is also sometimes indicated. This is performed by placing small alligator clips onto the needles and passing a very mild battery generated electrical current through the it.

It should be known that many conditions can take many months of treatments to obtain desired results. For instance, Chronic low back pain that has been nagging someone for 10 years may see some very quick results, although, any substantial lasting effects would actually take months or even years of regular treatments. The acupuncture practitioner will find out all they can about the particular condition and judge how frequent and how long treatment is indicated according to the severity and duration.

The sensations people claim to receive from Acupuncture point treatment are: dull aching pain, tingling sensation at the points or along the course of a meridian, mild electrical shock, heaviness of the treated limb(s), and many more that get quite original to the individuals. Although, if pain seems to persist and is unbearable, inform your acupuncturist, he may extract the particular needle or back it off until the pain subsides.

As with any medical field, the patient should use caution and instinct in carefully choosing their practitioner. It should be someone they feel very comfortable with so a trusting relationship may be formed. The practitioner themselves should be healthy, as they are coming in very intimate contact with your subtle inner energies.