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Price Increase Starting January 2022
Starting January 1st 2022 prices will rise $5:
I would first like to start by taking a moment to appreciate you and your continued support and business. I know there are other acupuncturists you could choose and I am so grateful that you choose to come see me at Denver Mind Body Essence.
Due to industry inflation I will be raising my prices $5 as of January 1, 2022. I wanted to make sure you have time to prepare for the price increase and if you have any questions, or if this increase will make it so you are unable to receive regular treatments, please reach out!
I always want to be transparent in my pricing so it will be as follows starting January 1st:
Acupuncture follow up: $80
Cupping without acupuncture: $45
Reiki without acupuncture: $45
Auricular acupuncture only: $45
Initial New Patient Acupuncture: $115
Biomat: $1 per minute/ $10 when added on to any treatment (once we are through COVID-19 this service will be available again)
Thank you again for your continued business and support! And please reach out if you have any questions of concerns!
Stress, anxiety, insomnia during social distancing? Try Telemedicine at Denver Mind Body Essence
What is telemedicine?
According to the American Telemedicine Association (ATA), telehealth (or telemedicine) is defined as technology-enabled health and care management that extends beyond capacity and access. In other words, healthcare that can be provided through technology that overcomes certain limitations, like the inability to receive care face-to-face, for example. While telemedicine has been around for a long time, it has recently grown in popularity during the emergence of COVID-19.
How can Denver Mind Body Essence help?
You don’t have to see me in-person to see the benefits of our treatment. I utilize the entirety of Traditional Chinese Medicine, not just acupuncture. I can treat you by providing:
-Long Distance Reiki
-Meridian massage instruction
-Herbal supplement advice and prescriptions
I can help with many conditions via telemedicine. Because of the current state we are in due to COVID-19, you may be experiencing a spike in anxiety, stress, sleeplessness and digestive issues -- these are all things I can help with. Plus, as spring continues to bloom, you may be experiencing allergy, cold and flu symptoms, which I can also help you curb.
If you’re not sure if we can help your symptoms, please call me at 720-593-8218 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
How do you book a telemedicine appointment?
You book a telemedicine appointment through our booking page just like normal. Or if you are booking before May 1st please just call, text or email to book.
What happens during a telemedicine appointment?
For a telemedicine appointment, you will need a computer or smartphone with camera capabilities and internet access. When your appointment is confirmed, you will be given a video chat link that will allow you to connect with me once it’s time for you appointment. If you have any trouble connecting or if it asks you to download anything, please text me and I will send you a different link.
During your appointment, I will listen to your health concerns and possibly look at your area(s) of trouble, just like a normal in-person appointment. And just like in our regular treatments I will look at your tongue. Once I have an idea of what is bothering you, I can provide you with our healing recommendations/treatment.
Since we are not doing any touching or needling during this appointment, you can expect it to be shorter than a normal visit to the clinic. Our telemedicine appointment will be 30 minutes.
Pricing and Payment
I know this is a difficult time for a lot of people right now for a variety of reasons, including financially. I don’t want you to have to choose between your budget and your health, so we are telemedicine appointments at a discounted rate:
30 minutes for $35 plus the cost of herbs if needed
Payment will be taken at the conclusion of your appointment through a square invoice. Please pay promptly after receiving the invoice, just as you would pay immediately following our normal treatment.
Is telemedicine safe?
Yes! Telemedicine is designed to help patients who cannot see a medical care provider in-person for whatever reason. Patients can still receive high-caliber care from their practitioner that will help improve their health. I have also seen it provide relaxation and stress reduction during the treatment just as our regular session do!
If you have any questions about telemedicine or how I can help you through telemedicine, please reach out at 720-593-8218 or email@example.com
For as long as I can remember I have needed glasses or contacts, and for about as long as I have had glasses or contacts I have also always wanted LASIK. I asked for it for my 13th birthday and was told I need to not even think about it again until I turned 20, and then proceeded to have my doctor check at each eye visit from that point on to see if I could qualify.
Finally, this year I learned that my eyes were healthy enough, and stable enough to finally get all the tests done to determine if I was a candidate for LASIK, or if I need to go with PRK. After learning my cornea was just a little shy of the desired thickness and my severe near-sidedness (-6 and -6.5) to boot, the decision was made for me… PRK was my only option.
But regardless I was excited! I knew that the healing process would be a little longer and a little harder, but this is something I had been wanting for over half of my life! The freedom to fall asleep, travel, camp, swim without having to worry about glasses or contacts was a price worth fighting/waiting for!
I was scheduled two weeks after I found out I could receive PRK, so I immediately went into preparation mode! I saw my acupuncturist (yes most acupuncturists have their own acupuncturist!), got some Chinese herbs, Western herbs and vitamins stalked and ready! I came up with a self care acupuncture treatment that I did every other day leading up to the surgery, and started taking all my herbs and supplements to prepare my eyes and body for the procedure!
Originally, my doctor recommended doing one eye at a time so I would have mono vision while one eye healed and would have to wear my contact in the untreated eye. The reason being I have such bad eyesight the healing time for this procedure could take longer than most and he didn’t want me having to rely on people for potentially up to two weeks. Being and acupuncturist and being self employed the idea of having to take 6 days off twice was not ideal. Also, I tend to get headaches and dizzy easily and thought mono vision was a recipe for disaster. I was also confident in all the modalities I was going to use before, during, and after, to help with my healing, so I decided on doing both eyes at once!
Attached is a picture of one of my self acupuncture treatments that I did to start to bring blood and circulation to my eyes before the surgery. I also paired this with Liver 2 and Liver 3 ( in between the web of the big toe) to help the eyes with heat and inflammation.
I started taking the Western herb eye bright, Vitamin C, and Omega 3’s the two weeks prior. Along with three Chinese herbs, Nu Zhen Zi, Ju Hua, and Che Qian Zi. Nu Zhen Zi is a fruit called Ligustrum and it helps to tonify yin, specifically of the Liver and Kidney (both related to the eye) and has the general function of brightening the eyes and benefits dry eyes. Ju Hua is Chrysanthemum Flower and is great for red, painful, teary or dry eyes. Che Qian Zi is Plantage Seeds and it benefits eye problems related to Liver and Kidney deficiency, so it is good for dry eyes, diminished visual acuity, red painful swollen eyes, and light sensitivity.
I took all of these herbal supplements through the first week after the surgery, and now (three weeks after) just take Nu Zhen Zi to help with the dry eyes that are a side effect of the surgery.
PRK is kind of a crazy experience, for those who don’t know what it entails I am going to share a little about my PRK journey with you all. The difference between PRK and LASIK is instead of creating a flap and then using the laser, a small portion of the cornea is removed and then the laser procedure is done. Because of this the healing process takes a little longer, but there is no risk of issues with a flap later on.
During the surgery you are awake and your eye that is being treated is opened with a metal device, so that way there is no risk of you closing your eyes or blinking while the procedure is being done. Each eye takes less than 5 minutes in total, and honestly the most uncomfortable part is they flush your eyes with ice cold drops at the end of each laser. I did go completely blind for a few seconds which was terrifying, and then your vision comes back almost crystal clear.
After the surgery was done I sat up and could clearly see the clock across the room, which completely shocked me, I can’t even read the clock next to my bed without my glasses! But my doctor warned me that this would not stay, that it would progressively get worse as I healed over the next 3-4 days and then it would start coming back again. And that is exactly what it did. I made it home and went straight to bed with my bug eyes they provided to protect me from rubbing my eyes while I slept. I woke up a few hours later and it was already a little blurry, but still much clear than I would have been without my glasses.
To prepare for the surgery I blacked out my house (because you a very light sensitive after the surgery). So I woke up to a pretty dark house, ate some dinner that my husband brought me, took some Advil and my prescribed eye drops and then it was back to bed! Honestly the best part about this surgery was really how much sleep I got! I woke up throughout the night with extremely dry eyes and had to pry off my bug eyes to put my refresh eye drops in every few hours, but I was so exhausted I fell right back to sleep!
Day two was pretty minimal pain wise, I was blurry, and could not look at any screens so I sat and listened to an audio book majority of the day, and my mom came by to make sure I was eating and to give me some company! All I can say though is Siri and Alexa were my two best friends! They played my audio book for me, called my mom when I needed her to come over, and read me my texts throughout the day! Technology really did make the whole recovery process so much easier!
Day three the pain came, which the doctor said would happen, it felt like a piece of glass was in my eye, up until this day I was fine with just two Advil every few hours, but by about 7pm I was over the day and the pain, took my first half of a pain pill that they prescribed and slept the rest of the night! My vision on day three was the worst it had been, but it was still better than I ever was without my glasses before the surgery so that gave me some hope!
Day four the pain subsided, it now felt like there was an eyelash in my eye. But overall I was feeling pretty good, and was seeing much better! My vision was getting clearer and I could read majority of the signs around my house! This is also the first day I attempted to look at any screens. It wasn’t’t great and that night my husband increased the text size on my phone, iPad, and computer to get me ready for normal life that would be starting back up soon. Either way I was feeling pretty impressed with my recovery and thought I was up for a little adventure. It was one of my best friends engagement parties so I thought why not! I left my house in my darkest shades, a huge hat, and equipped with all of my refresh eye drops! About an hour into being out I was exhausted, and my eyes felt completely over stimulated, so we made our exit and headed straight back to the black hole that was our house! I took another half of a pain pill and was in bed by 8pm that night!
Day five I woke up seeing even clearer! And was excited for another day out in the real world. I had an appointment with my biofeedback gal and my acupuncturist that afternoon! I was still not ready to drive because of the light sensitivity and luckily I have a great family who didn’t mind carting me around! And thank goodness for Uber! I ate out for lunch and had to wear my sunglasses indoors, but otherwise I would say it was another successful day! I went to bed again at 8pm, knowing tomorrow would be the moment of truth, I had my eye doctor appointment where they would finally take out the soft contact bandage and see how the healing process was going.
Day six, the best feeling in the world was getting that contact bandage out, I really think that was a huge part of the dryness and irritation! They had me do a little eye test, at first I felt a little disheartened by the line I was able to see 20x40 but when I remembered that one eye was 20x400 before and the other eye was so bad it didn’t even have a number equivalent I felt pretty good! The doctor came in and said that he was pleased with where I was, I guess 20x40 is where he would expect people with better eyesight than me going into the surgery to be, but he expected me to be worse than that! Another win! One that I don’t think would have been possible without all of the tools I used before and after the procedure.
Since then my eyes have progressively gotten better, like I mentioned before I still have a little dry eye starting around 4-5pm and I also have some light sensitivity, and halos around lights especially at night when my eyes get tired. I am not 20x20 yet but I believe I am seeing equivalent to how I saw in my contacts, but not as good as I saw with my glasses yet! The healing process takes up to three months so I am still feeling positive that I can get there! Either way I am so grateful I was able to have the procedure, that I am able to wake up and actually see what time it is on the clock! It really has been a life changing experience, one that I truly think benefited form the preventative actions I took starting two weeks out!
2nd Annual Holiday Healing Happy Hour
It’s that time of year again, where the craziness of the holidays start to take control of our lives! After an amazing event last year we have decided to make our Holiday Healing Happy Hour and annual event! If you missed out last year, this is your chance to slow down, de-stress, and relax during this hectic time of year!
We will be offering mini sessions for all of your favorite services, or all the services you have always wanted to try! The session will be between 15 and 20 minutes and will be discounted between $15 and 20 dollars!!! Since they are quick mini sessions if you just can’t find enough time in your day, you can swing in for one session and then continue on your merry way, or you can book a few and make a whole spa day out of it!
Appointments are recommend, because last year we were basically booked out! So here are the details:
Sunday, December 9th from 10AM to 2pm
At Denver Mind Body Essence
10526 W. Alameda Ave.
Lakewood, CO 80226
The event will also have a free raffle with multiple drawings (for every service you receive, you get one entry), food and drinks, unique gifts and stocking stuffers, and as an added bonus for every gift certificate bought for Denver Mind Body Essence, you will receive a free ear seed treatment!
Acupuncture or Cupping: With Jessie, L.Ac.
20 minutes for $20
Sound Therapy: With Robyn
20 minutes for $15
Aroma Touch: With Debi
15 minutes for $15
BEMER Physical Vascular Therapy: With Mary
20 minutes for $20
Percussor Therapy: With Lana
20 minutes for $20
Detox Footbaths: With Don and Laura
20 minutes for $15
For more information on Acupuncture or Cupping please click on the links to read more!
Vibrational Sound Therapy: combines powerful vibration and tones to induce an immediate relaxed state
Aroma Touch: uses 8 doTERRA essential oils applied to the back & uses several different techniques to create a feeling of relaxation & overall wellness.
BEMER Physical Vascular Therapy: is a bio-physical application that activated the body’s own powers of self-healing. A unique biorhythmic impulse is sent to the body where it stimulates the microcirculation.
Percussor Therapy: is a safe treatment for a variety of soft tissue dysfunctions that is effective on releasing tension and restriction of tough connective tissue called fascia.
Detox Footbaths: is a revolutionary device that combines the life-giving properties of water with a specialized bioelectric charge, which enhances the body’s ability to heal itself.
If you have any questions or would like to book you can contact me through email, or call or text: 720-593-8218!
Cycle living is something that I have recently become more passionate about. After getting off birth control after 10 years of being on it I realized I didn’t know much about my cycle. All I really knew is that women ovulate and have a period, I had never even heard of the other two phases, and I wasn’t even sure what my hormones did for my cycle and when they changed levels. At first, it all seemed so overwhelming, but after really breaking it down into each phase I realized how much power I had if I just payed attention to what my body was trying to tell me. I not only felt different, but also thought different during each week of the month, and instead of thinking and feeling powerless to all of this happening to me, I realized that it actually gave me an even greater control of my life.
By realizing and recognizing which phase I was in during the week I could work out, eat, and plan my social life to better fit me and how I was feeling, which in turn has led to less burn outs and break downs. I am not saying that doesn’t still happen occasionally, but it is no where near the amount I was getting before. Life will still happen in ways you can’t control, but understanding and taking the reins on the parts that you can control has been eye opening to say the least!
I have done a blog post in the past specifically around the Traditional Chinese Medicine ideas of food and the menstural cycle, so you can turn food into medicine, and since then I have gotten more and more questions in my practice about the phases in the cycle and thought this was a great way to break it down even more. There is some overlap in the food section to the previous blog, but I have added more information from a western standpoint of food as well.
***Side note: this is assuming that you have a fairly normal cycle with little to know major complaints. Additional food, herbs, and of course acupuncture can be added to this to help with cramps, late, early, or irregular menses. As well as bloating, acne, back pain and muscle pain/weakness, all of which can be related to certain phases of your cycle!
PHASE ONE: MENSTRUAL
Hormones all decline to their lowest levels. This opens up the greatest communication through the month for your left and right sides of your brain, meaning it’s a great time for your analytical (left) side and your feeling (right) side to think and feel and then create a game plan for how to proceed. It is a great time in the month to journal and reflect.
Your energy is at it’s lowest at the start of your period, so exercise may not be on the top of your list at the start of this phase, listen to your body and let it rest. As the week goes on you can move into lighter more yin exercise, such as walking or yoga.
Nutrients are important during this phase so focus on proteins, healthy fats, as well as veggies and fruits to keep your blood sugar steady. Seafood and kelp can help give you more iron and zinc which is lost during your cycle. From a TCM stand point:
Add: Comfort foods such as stews, casseroles, whole grains, root veggies
Avoid: Dairy, Alcohol, Spicy foods as much as you can
PHASE TWO: FOLLICULAR
All hormones are low and slowly are starting to increase. This increase in hormones brings the mind to a point where is is more creative and open to new things. It is a great time to start a new project and set your intentions for the month ahead. This is a great time to say YES to invites after what can be a little hibernation time during your menses. Go to an outside event or concert, anything where you can be active and on your feet!
As far as exercise goes, its a great time to try some new classes, or take a different hike. You can move more out of the yin style exercise into something a little more stimulating.
For foods eat things that make you feel light and energized. In TCM we are looking for foods that build Yin and Blood, during this phase the endometrium is being built.
The foods listed below are nourishing food for both Yin and Blood
Add: Protein Rich Foods- beans, fish, eggs, meats, cooked leafy greens, shellfish, beets, sweet rice, apricots, cherries, grapes
Avoid: Sugar, Excess salt and processed food, as well as dairy, alcohol, and spicy foods
PHASE THREE: OVULATION
All of your hormone are increasing. FSH rises followed by the rise of LH (luteinizing hormone) which stimulates the follicle to release an egg. Estrogen increases and further thickens the uterine lining. While Testosterone spikes which increases desire. Your verbal and social parts of your brain are heightened, which makes this a great time to speak your mind, your energy is magnetic during this phase. Go to dinner with friends, head out to parties, just get out and be social!
Your energy is at a high during this phase, so you have more then enough energy to burn! High impact or yang exercise is great during this phase of your cycle.
Raw veggies and fruit are great during this part of your cycle, because they are easy to metabolize and helps to get rid of excess estrogen that likes to hang around. From a TCM prospective this is when we switch from Yin into Yang so the focus for your foods during this time is to support that.
Add: Lighter foods- fish, quinoa, salads, cooked beets, whole grains, chicken, ginger, cinnamon, onions
PHASE FOUR: LUTEAL
Estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are all at their peaks, and fall right before cleaning begins. Your brain is wired for task oriented projects. This is the time of the month where I love lists and crossing things off them. Organization comes much easier during this phase. PMS can occur during this phase and is usually cause from too much estrogen in comparison to progesterone.
This phase is between 10-14 days and there is two separate halves during this phase. The first half your still have energy is a good time to be around people and the second half is all about taking care of yourself. It’s ok to say no and set boundaries during the second half of this phase, because without them you may end up more irritated and down. Give yourself permission to really pay attention to your inner voice, it gives you insights into what you really need!
In the first half of this phase you will still have excess entry that works great with strength training or more intense yoga or reformer pilates. But as you move into the second half of this phase start to scale back and move into the more yin activities again.
Focus on foods rich in B vitamins to curve you sugar cravings. Dark leafy greens boost your calcium and magnesium and can also help with fluid retention. And roasted root veggies are great to help get rid of more of that extra estrogen. In TCM the food recommendations are also split into two parts. For the first half you are focused on supporting Yang since all of your hormones are at their peak.
Add: Warming foods, increase proteins, cooked veggies, brown rice, eggplant, beans, seaweed, spicy food, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts
Avoid- cold raw food and dairy
And for the second half it is all about building the Qi that is needed to move the blood during your menses. Without enough Qi there may be spotting, or your cycle may start late.
Add: Oats, rice, potatoes, squash, sweet potatoes, cherries, figs, grapes, beans, beef, chicken
Avoid: milk, cheese, raw foods, coffee, excess sugar
It's Summer time... and the living is easy, when you follow these great TCM Summer tips!
The Summer Solstice isn’t until June 21st, but these 90 degree days are making me feel like Summer is here! For me summer means farmers markets, fresh veggies, warm nights, and BBQ’s with friends and family. As soon as this season hits, you can find me in our backyard on the hammock! This season is a time for growth not just for all of the seeds you planted in spring, for your flowers and gardens, but for yourself! It is a great time for both mental and spiritual personal growth, which we will get to later!
YANG within YANG
Summer is the most Yang season in Traditional Chinese Medicine, which makes since because it is ruled by the element of Fire. It is full of abundance and the outward expansion of energy. The organs related with the Fire element are the Heart and Small Intestine. And thus the heart, mind, and sprit are the focus during this season.
The Heart “holds” the mind in Chinese Medicine. When the Heart is imbalanced we either have “lack of joy” i.e. depression, or we may have an excess in joy, i.e. manic behavior. Some other symptoms that come with and imbalance in the Heart, are nervous exhaustion, agitation, and insomnia. The summer is the time to start the meditation practices that have been getting neglected, or to add in the extra hikes or swims you have been missing in the colder months. Meditation gives the mind time to rest, regroup, and refocus on what is important to your mind, heart, and soul! While adding in a few more activities is a great way to get your blood circulation pumping!
The Heart physically circulates the blood through the body. And in Traditional Chinese Medicine there is a connection between the blood and the “shen” or our emotions. When the blood is deficient, the shen cannot be held, thus making us more agitated, nervous and fearful. But when the blood is abundant and can flow freely, the shen is calm. That is why both mental, spiritual, and physical practices are so important during this season.
As far as meditation goes, I know everyday we don’t feel like we have time to sit and meditate for 20 minutes or more, so I shoot for 5 minutes. I prefer guided meditations and love the app Simple Habits. They provide you with different guided meditations for 5 minutes each day, and of course you can do more then one round in a day if you want! I have found that the commitment of 5 minutes a day feels doable, and not like another task on my already long To-Do list! It gives me time to just sit and be in my body, and since it is on your phone you can do it anywhere! I have done it in my office in between patients, in my bed before I even get up, and even a few times in my car (before I start driving of course)!
So, lets talk about food in the Summer, because I love eating with the seasons! Summer is a great time to hit up your local farmers markets and score great deals on local veggies! If you live in Denver, one of my favorites, which started last weekend, is The Pearl Street Farmers market on Sundays! There you can buy a whole bag of local veggies for $10! I am talking like a whole potato sack of veggies! It is a steal! We usually go every other week and get our bag full, but with a bigger family you can stop by once a week, and it will still be cheaper then the store!
With the Summer heat, in TCM we focus on eating cool or yin foods, so our yang doesn’t go into excess, which is easy to have happen with how hot it gets! Below is a list of some great cooling foods to add to your diet this summer. And also make sure you are drinking lots of water! Adding cucumber to your water makes it even better and cooling for your system!
Here is a list of foods that are beneficial to eat in the summer months:
Allergies got you down? Spring is here and for a lot of people that means allergy season! In Chinese medicine allergies occur because there is a deficiency in a particular organ system, but in all cases Wind is also part of the diagnosis. Wind is able to penetrate and get in because of the weakness in an organ system. Wind can come in many forms wind cold and wind heat is typically seen more in patients with cold and flu symptoms, while wind damp can be seen in seasonal allergies. Wind damp symptoms are typically a sudden onset of symptoms that can come and go (just like wind) including: sneezing, itching of eyes and throat, heavy sensation in head and copious mucus.
The combinations of herbs, acupuncture, and diet can treat the symptoms of acupuncture, but also get to the root of the cause to better support your system to fight off allergies in the future!
DIET For Allergies
Diet plays a huge role in controlling and preventing seasonal allergies. Sweets, dairy, cold, and raw food all increase mucus build up. When the mucus accumulates the allergens are able to stimulate a stronger reaction! So what should you eat to help defend against seasonal allergies? Soups, warmed or steamed veggies, and grains that are easy to digest. We want your digestive system to be as healthy as possible, because with a healthy digestive system there is less likely for mucus build up and the body is better equipped to fight of any invasions! Adding warming ginger and cinnamon to your diet is also helpful! And last eating food in spring that support the Liver in Spring like salmon, scallions, eggplant, broccoli, and dandelion greens will also be beneficial!
ACUPUNCTURE for Allergies
Acupuncture can both relieve the symptoms of allergies, but it can also get to the root of why you are having them! Often in my clinic I see treatment for the symptoms of allergies frequently relieves the symptoms immediately or within the next day! During our treatment I will also determine which organ is deficient, in general for allergies it is either Lung, Kidney, Spleen, or Liver. Each organ deficiency often presents as different allergy symptoms.
For example more issues with sneezing or coughing: your Lung Qi may be deficient. Issues with itchy red eyes: your Live Qi may be deficient. Excess mucus in your nose and throat: your Spleen Qi may be deficient. And Kidney is often involved in all of them, but generally is deficient in people who have experienced chronic allergies most of their lives. In this case the best time to treat the root of your allergies is actually in Winter, which is the season which relates to the Kidneys. Treatment in the winter can actually prevent the allergies from coming in the spring.
To find out if acupuncture is right for you to fight your seasonal allergies, book an appointment or free consultation today!
It’s officially Spring! Although the snow we had on Sunday didn’t feel like it, but I know in the last week or so I have started to feel the changes take place to bring us into one of my favorite seasons!
Spring a time of renewal and cleansing
Spring is the time to get up and moving after hibernating in winter. Spring cleaning is a real thing, not just for our houses, but for our bodies. After the cold months of winter where we were craving rich earthy foods, our appetite in spring eases, and we start to need less food, as there is no longer a need to store energy to stay warm during the cold months of winter. Because of this spring is a great time to reset your body and reach your weight goals. The natural trends of this season of eating less and moving more, supports you in this process.
The organs of Spring: the Wood Season
Why else is spring a great time for cleansing and renewal? Because spring is represented by the Wood Element in TCM, and that includes the Liver and Gallbladder organs. Both of these organs are incredible in their abilities to cleanse and release.
Among the livers many functions in Western Medicine is the formation, cleansing, and filtration of blood to help the body eliminate toxins. And in Eastern Medicine the Livers functions go well beyond the physical function and it includes the spiritual and emotional qualities as well. The Liver is responsible for the smooth flow of Qi in our bodies, its energy moves upward and outward. It is responsible for keeping the flow of blood, energy, and emotions moving to support the body, mind, and spirit.
When Qi cannot move it can become stagnant: causing stress, anger, irritability, and depression. If you do not follow the flow of the seasons, this Qi stagnation is likely to occur. Often within the transition between Winter and Spring I will have patients who come in with many of the emotional symptoms already mentioned. By regulating their bodies with acupuncture, food, and regular moment, their emotions will quickly begin to balance out!
Other problems that are associated with imbalances in the Wood element are: muscle tension, sciatica, headaches, visual issues, menstural irregularities, PMS, digestive issues, and High Blood Pressure. Spring can be a time when these can get aggravated or become worse, but it is also the time to treat and relieve these!
Wind can occur in any season, but is generally strongest in Spring. In TCM wind can penetrate and become internal wind causing symptoms such as: dizziness, cramps, inching, spasms, tremors, pain that comes and goes, twitching, pulsating headaches, and ringing in the ears. The nape of the neck in TCM is called the “wind gate.” It is the place that is most vulnerable to wind and cold, which is why wearing a coat or scarf is so important during this season.
How to Stay Healthy this Spring
Foods For Spring
1. Green Foods: During spring, it is recommended to eat foods green in color and rich in chlorophyll that help accelerate rejuvenation of the liver. This includes things like spirulina, chlorella, parsley, wheat grass, kale, Swiss chard and collard greens.
2. Radishes: Pungent in flavor, radishes are perfect for the spring time. They help move liver Qi and open up the liver meridian.
3. Sour Citrus Fruits: Foods like lemons, limes and grapefruit are all good choices that help cut fats that may have been stored up in the body during the winter months, while also keeping the liver Qi moving smoothly.
4. Bitter Leafy Greens: Spring is the appropriate time for liver cleansing, which is what the bitter flavor does. So adding things like dandelion greens, arugula, radicchio, mustard greens and spinach will help tremendously.
5. Chicken: Ever heard the term “spring chicken”? Well this is the appropriate time of year to enjoy pasture-raised, locally grown chicken. And pairing chicken with some of the aforementioned foods can make for a very healthy and liver happy meal.
Happy Chinese New Year!
Happy Chinese New Year! Also known as the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival. Today February 16th marks the first day of the New Year and officially it lasts until this Sunday, the 18th, but unofficially it will be celebrated over the course of the next two weeks. The dates change each year as it falls around the new moon closest to the beginning of spring, which is in January or February each year.
History of the New Year
The Chinese New Year and the festivities are born around a myth of a beast that would appear every New Year’s Eve and attack, and the legend says that in order to scare the beast, villagers would put up red banners, bang drums, and explode fire works. But the New Year is not just about this, it is a chance for family reunions, and feast, as well a preparing for good fortune and luck in the coming year!
Year of the Dog
This year is the year of the Dog, last year being the year of the Rooster. The birth years assigned to the Year of the Dog are 1934,1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, and 2006. Those born in the year of the Dog are said to be loyal, honest, selfless, cautious, and prudent. They can also be said to have poor communication skills and to be stubborn.
Some famous dogs are: Winston Curchill, Mother Theresa, Elvis Presley, Bill Clinton, Steven Spielberg, Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Justin Bieber.
During the New Year, there are some "Lucky Foods” that are eaten.
Fish for Prosperity: it is meant to bring abundance from the beginning of the year to to the tail
Dumplings and Spring Rolls for Wealth: the legend says that the more dumplings you eat during the New Year cerebrations the more money you will make during the upcoming year. Also as a interesting note the Chinese avoid sauerkraut during this time because it implies a poor and difficult future
Good Fortune Fruits: Oranges, Tangerines and kumquats hold a special significance of abundance, happiness, good luck, prosperity, and family unity
Nian Gao for Success: Is also know as “rice cake” or “New Year cake”, they are served as a wish to be successful, and that every year will be better than the last
Noodles for Longevity and Happiness: noodles represent the hope for a long life
Try this recipe to help you celebrate New Years with your family!
Gong hei fat choy! (wishing you great happiness and prosperity)
It’s February! And since February is all about hearts, I thought what better time to go more in depth into the Heart in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The Heart is considered to be one of the most important organs in TCM and is described and the emperor or ruler.
The main function of the Heart is that it governs blood and houses the mind (shen). The Heart is responsible for the circulation of blood just as it is in Western medicine. So when the Heart is healthy there will be a proper supply of blood to all of the tissues, but when the function is impaired blood circulation will lack and you will see cold hands or feet.
The other extremely important function of the Heart is being the residence of the mind or Shen. Shen is used to indicate the whole sphere of both the mental and spiritual aspects of humans. The aspects are listed below and each aspect although closely related to the Heart also has a second Yin organ it is related to.
-Ethereal Soul (hun)- Liver: refers to self-awareness and self-control, it is most closely related to the Western concept of the soul
-Corporeal Soul (po)- Lung: refers to the basic reactive instincts, when it is active pain and other sensations such as itching can be felt, hearing and sight are also related to this
-Intellect (yi)- Spleen: refers to the ability of thinking, studying, concenteration and learning
-Will-power (Zhi)- Kidney: has the function of memory, mental drive and determination
-Mind (Shen)- Heart: controls and regulates all of the above and has the job of processing all of the incoming sensory and intuitive information
SYMPTOMS OF THE HEART
When the Heart is strong and Blood are abundant the emotions will be balanced, the memory will be strong and sleep will be good. When the Heart is weak and the Blood is deficient there maybe mental-emotional problems such as depression, as well as poor memory, mental restlessness, anxiety and insomnia.
THE HEART AND OUR EMOTIONS
The Heart is connected to all of the emotions because of its connection with Shen, but each of the seven emotions: anger, worry, sadness, fear, joy, grief, apprehension are related to a specific organ. And for the Heart, Joy is the emotion that is related. Of all the emotions joy is the most difficult to explain, mainly because in Chinese medicine emotions when in excess emotions can play a role in disease. You may be thinking how can too much Joy be a bad thing, and truly this was one of the harder concepts to wrap my brain around.
With the right amount of Joy in our life the mind will be peaceful and relaxed. But when Joy is excessive such as carving for excessive excitement, the Heart can be injured. This can happen to people who live in a state of continuous mental stimulation. This can be seen as someone who is in a constant manic state, or someone who will do anything to stay in a place of happiness, whether from drugs or thrilling activities. This cause the Heart to become larger, and leads to excessive stimulation of the Heart. Some symptoms of this could be palpitations, insomnia, restlessness, excessive excitability or talking, and red tongue tip.
Sudden Joy can also cause a shock to the Heart, like hearing great news unexpectedly. When this happens Yang Qi floats quickly which can cause the blood vessels of the Heart to open and dilate too much.
FOODS FOR THE HEART
Some foods that are beneficial to the Heart are many red foods such as:
Tomatoes, Beef, Cherry, Saffron, Red Beans, Watermellon, Red Apple, Beets, Radish, Strawberries, Rhubarb, Red Lentils, Longan Fruit, Red Dates, Chili, Cumin