Yin is most predominant during the winter months, while Yang hides. Qi and blood retreat to the interior in order to protect the vital organs from the harsh environment, and by doing so, they leave the exterior vulnerable to attack by the elements which carry pathogens.
During these cold months the body goes into a hibernation-like mode in order to conserve energy and rest; by doing so, the body will have enough energy saved up for growth during the spring. This is why it’s important to follow a diet according to the season (winter), and eat foods that are warming and nourishing, which supplement Qi, Spleen and Kidney Yang, and nourish blood.
These foods can include: free range, hormone free, and antibiotic free meats (lamb, venison, game, poultry, beef, and shrimp), spices such as: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, star anise, and cloves. Walnuts, pine nuts, and chestnuts are a good source of nourishment in the winter time.
Onions and garlic are warming, and so is pumpkin and squash. Acceptable drinks would be spiced teas or cider and red wine (in moderation). Winter is a great time to make hot and nutritious cereals and porridges like: oat bran, steel cut oatmeal, brown rice and Chinese pearl barley (Yi Yi Ren). The great thing about making hot cereals and porridges is that you can make them any way you like, sweet or savory; just add your favorite ingredients. Below you will find a recipe for a really tasty porridge to start your morning.
Sweet Congee (porridge)
Put everything into a pot and bring to a boil, then simmer for 1 ½ hours. Make sure the beans are done. The consistency should be between soupy and not soupy. Dish up, pour some coconut milk on top and enjoy!
Feel free to add or subtract from the recipe, the idea is to make something you can enjoy while being healthy.
Chinese Nutritional Value:
Brown rice – Sweet, upbearing, supplements Qi and blood, harmonizes the Stomach, strengthens the Spleen, produces and regulates body fluids, and is a diuretic. Carbohydrate, protein, vitamins B1, B2, B3, vitamin E, iron, potassium, and also rich in essential amino acids.
Sweet potato – slightly warm, nourishing, supports the formation of Qi and blood, disperses Qi stagnation, supplements the middle burner, strengthens Kidney Yin. Rich in vitamins A and C, Pantothenic Acid, Magnesium, and potassium.
Black beans – warming, benefits the kidneys, builds blood, and a diuretic. Calcium, iron, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A, B1, B3, Folate, and fiber.
Ginger – warming, upbearing, strengthens the middle burner, settles nausea and vomiting, supports stomach Qi, transforms phlegm, relieves cough and detoxifies, stimulates blood circulation, and promotes secretion of digestive juices. High in essential oils and amino acids, cardio tonic,
Cinnamon – warming, upbearing, strengthens the central burner, dissipates cold, moves blood, loosens stagnation, promotes the secretion of digestive juices, and alleviates bloating.
Toasted black sesame seed – Warming, downbearing, supplements Liver and Kidney, and moistens dryness. Rich in essential fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, phosphorous, vitamin E, calcium, iron, selenium, silicic acid, and lecithin.
Organic Maple syrup – Nourishing. Maganese, iron, and zinc.
Coconut milk – Warm, diuretic, and moistens dryness. Lots of minerals, especially manganese, choline, and protein.
A Drug-Free Solution
for Lowering Cholesterol
When: December 18th, 2013
Time: 7pm - 8pm
This online presentation will cover everything your doctor won't tell you about cholesterol. Learn why you need cholesterol, and why it's NOT good to have a really low Total Cholesterol number; which can lead to serious disease. We will also cover the statin drug scam and how pharmaceutical companies have manipulated the cholesterol guidelines in order to increase sales. Also covered will be the Eastern medicine perspective and treatment protocol for hyperlipidemia; as well as, how you can lower your cholesterol without taking a drug for the rest of your life.
After the presentation there will be an open forum for anyone who has any questions about the material.
Posted by: Scott Stewart, LAc., Dipl.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a common condition experienced by patients between the ages of 30 and 60 who do repetitive tasks with their hands; like working with hand tools or tools that vibrate. What happens is the median nerve in the wrist becomes entrapped by the ligament that crosses over the top of it. Swelling and irritation of the nerve causes symptoms such as: pain at the wrist or hand, pain when extending the elbow, numbness and tingling in the first 3 and ½ digits, clumsiness or the inability to grip objects, poor finger coordination, weak grip, and muscle wasting under the thumb.
The standard protocol in conventional medicine is to prescribe an anti-inflammatory such as an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug); like Ibuprofen or Naproxen. Another course of action would be a corticosteroid injection into the wrist area, but this is only a temporary solution. Also, they may have you wear a splint at night to stabilize the wrist, and give you some hand exercises to do on a daily basis. Unfortunately, I hear too often doctors are telling their patients to get carpal tunnel release surgery, which involves cutting the ligament. This is completely unnecessary and in the majority of cases the problem will reoccur.
In Eastern Medicine CTS is most often caused by Qi and blood deficiency, and the pain is commonly caused by blood stasis in the wrist area. When there isn’t enough Qi and blood to the fingers to nourish the tendons and ligaments this causes the numbness & tingling. Why isn’t enough Qi and blood getting there? This occurs due to taxation due to overwork, ongoing bodily weakness, underlying deficiency, enduring disease, or pregnancy. The blood stasis can be derived from a repetitive micro trauma to the wrist area, a meridian blockage, or a further manifestation of blood deficiency where the there’s not enough blood to nourish the local vessels.
Treatment from an Eastern Medicine practitioner will focus on not only the symptoms, but the root of the problem; in this case the cause of the Qi and blood deficiency or Qi stagnation and blood stasis. We do this through the use of different modalities like acupuncture, herbs, topicals, diet modifications, and exercises for the hands which improve Qi and blood flow. Acupuncture and the other modalities mentioned are non-invasive and have been proven to be more successful than conventional therapies; including surge
Proud to announce that we are now carrying products by Metagenics. Patented nutriceutical formulas and ingredients, and a revolutionary product development process to help make natural approaches even safer and more effective.
For more information on Metagenics, visit their website at www.metagenics.com
Are you a honey lover? Do you use honey as a sugar substitute? Do you think your honey is organic? Well, I have some disappointing news for you. This weekend I was looking for a reputable company to buy royal jelly from, as well as other honey products, and discovered some things I didn’t know. The first thing I learned was that there’s no such thing as organic honey. Even if the beekeeper doesn’t use any pesticides or medicine on the hive, bees have a range of up to 7 miles in which they can pick up all kinds of chemicals and bring them back to the hive. The second thing I learned is that, even if the honey has the USDA certifying seal on the container, it means nothing. That’s right! In order to get that seal, aside from paying the fee, the manufacturer / distributer have to meet minimum standards. Unfortunately, the feds don’t have any minimum standards for the honey industry. The third thing I learned, is many times honey producers will mix lower quality honey from China and other countries in with their own, or they’ll mix other things in like artificial sweeteners, sugars, or antibiotics. The last thing I learned was that you want to buy unfiltered / unheated honey; this type of processing degrades the honey and destroys most of the nutrients.
Always check the label on your honey to make sure the ingredients are what they should be, and what country the honey originated from. From my research I found that Florida is the most proactive about regulating this industry. Canada also seems to be doing more to prevent adulterated honey from hitting the markets. Just remember, be diligent and do your homework.