1. Socialize as much as possible. Besides enjoying outdoor concerts, camping, and other fun summer activities, you’ll also be nourishing your heart’s energy. When the heart energy is strong, relationships are fulfilling, mind and body are balanced, and there is joy and enthusiasm in life.
2. Drink room temp water. While you might desire an ice cold drink to cool down, that coldness requires your digestive system to work even harder to warm up the liquid. Constantly drinking ice cold water weakens the digestive system, causing it to become less efficient.
3. Eat cooling foods. Cooling foods balance the heat and dryness of summer. Examples include watermelon, fish, egg whites, lettuce, peppermint, cucumbers, peaches, oranges, and barley.
4. Eat bitter foods. The bitter taste has drying, cooling, detoxifying, and anti-inflammatory properties. Examples include cilantro, rye, chicory, sage, tangerine peel, and turmeric.
5. Focus on what you want to achieve. Summer is the season where things can come to fruition in preparation for the autumn harvest. It is a good time to focus on what you want to achieve in life.
For more information, check out Summer in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Summer is a time to nurture and grow what was created in the spring. Flowers are blooming, vegetables are ripening, baby birds are chirping. And hopefully we, too, are thriving.
In traditional Chinese medicine, summer corresponds with the energy of the heart and small intestine. Its energy flares upward, like its element of fire. It is a time for maximum activity; a time for building relationships and moving outward in nature and life.
The main function of the heart is to govern blood circulation throughout the body. In traditional Chinese medicine, the heart is also associated with relationships, mental thought processes, and emotional well-being.
The small intestine represents the ability to process the things we eat, see, hear, or feel. It helps to separate the essential from the inessential. This influences digestion and discernment.
When these organs are balanced, our thinking is clear and we are able to fully experience the joy in summer. If imbalanced, we may lack joy, become easily agitated, experience heartburn, or not sleep soundly.
If your summer is not reaching its full potential, consider receiving an acupuncture treatment to help harmonize with summer’s energy.
If you have decided to receive acupuncture, understanding an acupuncturist’s credentials is an important next step. The following is a list of different types of acupuncturists based on training.
L.Ac.= An individual who has obtained a degree from an ACAOM accredited college and passed the national certification exams administered by the NCCAOM. Training consists of 2700-3500 hours averaging three to four years.
Medical acupuncturist= Typically a physician, osteopath, naturopath, or chiropractor who use acupuncture as an adjunctive therapy. Training consists of a 100-300 hour course for certification.
Detox acupuncturist= Limited to five points on the ear. Certification programs are 100 hours or less.
Trigger point dry needling= This is a style of acupuncture used by physical therapists. Certification of physical therapists in trigger point dry needling is unclear at this time, with most physical therapists having as little as 25 hours of training.
A recent study published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases compared the effectiveness of the thunder god vine (Tripterygium wilfordii) to methotrexate for the short term treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
The study showed the treatment effect of the thunder god vine was not inferior to methotrexate in participants with active RA. The response rates were 55.1% and 46.4%, respectively. What's really interesting is that the combination of methotrexate and the thunder god vine was significantly more effective than methotrexate alone, with a response rate of 76.8%.
Many of the thunder god vine’s anti-inflammatory and immune-regulatory properties relate to the ability of diterpenes to inhibit the production of cytokines, COX-2, and other inflammatory substances.
Please note that the study used a pharmaceutical grade extract of the plant prepared from the peeled root. Other parts of the plant, including skin of the root, leaves, and flowers, are considered toxic.
It is called Taichong, or Great Rushing. Located between the first and second metatarsal bones, it is the source point of the Liver channel. Source points are acupuncture points where energy from deep in the body surfaces and concentrates. These points modulate organ function.
Activating this point helps to improve any stagnation, any time of year. It is extra beneficial during the springtime to address issues like itchy, watery eyes or headaches. Spring Forward Into Health has more info about the Liver and spring connection.
Starting at your toes, run your finger between the metatarsal bones toward your ankle on both feet. The point is located at the pronounced depression before the junction of the metatarsals. Apply pressure in the area until you discover a tender spot. Then, apply firm pressure until it feels a little achy. Repeat until the achiness disappears.
It's Parkinson's Awareness Month!
Nearly one million Americans live with Parkinson’s disease. Up to 85% of people with Parkinson’s report pain as a major complaint. In Parkinson’s, most pain is a result of injured tissue from persistent tremor, muscle rigidity, dystonia, or musculoskeletal injury.
Untreated pain can interfere with daily activities and quality of life. The level of pain a person feels is influenced by emotional factors, how he or she views the pain, and how he or she pays attention to it. Feeling helpless, or reacting to pain with a high level of stress, can worsen pain.
The best pain management choice includes both pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches. Traditional Chinese medicine treatments are one of many options to choose from. Not only can acupuncture and herbal medicine decrease muscle tension, but it also helps with factors that compound pain, such as poor sleep, depression, or anxiety.
Source: Parkinson’s Disease Foundation
Here are five tips to help get you through allergy season this spring.
If these tips don't do the trick, acupuncture and Chinese herbs are excellent at reducing or eliminating seasonal allergies, as well as boosting immunity to prevent a recurrence of symptoms.
While winter was a time to rest and go inward, spring is a time of renewal and regeneration. In traditional Chinese medicine, spring is associated with the liver and its energy is expansive and outward moving.
When liver energy is balanced, we are able to make decisions and follow through with our creative visions, our tendons are flexible, and our eyes are clear and bright. When the liver is out of balance, we may notice foggy thinking, tight tendons, red and itchy eyes, or increased agitation.
Four tips to put some spring in your step:
When spring arises, if you begin to feel out of balance, consider receiving a traditional Chinese medicine treatment. Acupuncture and traditional Chinese herbs can help to improve the health of your liver, as well as harmonize with spring’s energy.
Thoughts and practical tips to protect your health based in the wisdom of Chinese medicine.
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