In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the kidney and urinary bladder channels are most associated with winter. It’s important to keep these channels warm during the fall to prepare for winter. As it starts to get cold there are few things that we need to keep in mind. continue reading
Come find us at the Prana Prenatal & Newborn Expo, Table 11
Even though tickets are complimentary, you must register in advance. There will be no onsite registration to limit touchpoints. To keep crowds manageable, registration will be in timed blocks.
When you’re expecting or newly postpartum, it can be overwhelming figuring out what you need to prepare for your new life as a family. As is the case with a lot of families, you probably just moved from the city or out-of-state and have no idea where to begin. There are so many services out there ready to help you out and many of them are right in your backyard! No need to trek to some huge convention center and get lost in the mix. Our expo is for the local business so you get that personal connection. The vast majority of our vendors are small business owners and moms themselves so you’ll be supporting local entrepreneurs and getting advice from those that have been there! If you’re not local to Westchester, many of our vendors travel to neighboring counties or offer their services virtually so you’ll still benefit from meeting them and learning about how they can help during this precious time.
I’ve lost track of the number of times I have sat down to write something. I am not sure what I wanted to say that wasn’t already said by someone else in my field. I guess I wanted to give some comfort, some advice, some prophetic words of wisdom that would somehow make this time a little easier, let you know that I am thinking of you, uplift someones mood, help someone who might be struggling with either grief, fear, stress, anxiety- all of which can be helped so much with Chinese medicinal herbal formulas. Instead, I found myself not being able to find the words. I found myself struggling and maybe even feeling like a fraud writing words that I haven’t always been able to follow myself. continue reading
Just imagine a time, not too long ago . . . in a rural land where refrigerators didn’t exist and people bought just the right amount of food for the day. Now, I know it is hard to envision a world without Costco, or mega refrigerators, iced water with every meal, late night ice-cream, and smoothies. The thing is, it is not natural for us to ingest such cold drinks and food on a regular basis.
Why, you ask? Well, I am sure that everyone has seen and would recognize the legendary yin yang symbol. Besides for it being an awesome symbol, it is also one of the basic principles of Chinese Medicine. Yin can be seen as the bodies cooling agent, mainly being the fluid substances in our bodies such as water and blood. Yang is considered to be the warming properties of the body, or your metabolism and qi; which many refer to as one’s vital source.
We all know that it takes a great deal of energy to digest food and make it into the proper form in order to provide nutrients to our organs and to maintain proper health. That energy is yang energy. We need a proper balance of yin and yang in order for our digestive system to properly break down the food we eat, transform it into proper nutrients and then transport it throughout the body in the most efficient way. If we ingest foods that are difficult to digest, are too cold in nature, making them overly yin in quality, we disrupt the balance between yin and yang resulting in a slower metabolism.
According to Chinese medicine, the organs responsible for digestion are the spleen and stomach. It is important to remember that when looking at this ancient organ system, the organs do not have the exact role as they do in western medicine. This is because Chinese medicine has a large philosophical component to it and each organ holds emotion, carries out a duty, has a yin/yang partner, and is associated to one of the 5 elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. In this case, the spleen is associated with worry or over thinking, transforms the food and then transports it throughout the body, has the yang counterpart- the stomach which is responsible for grinding down the food initially, and both the spleen and the stomach make up the earth element. Now of course this is a very simplified description of how our digestive system works considering that are numerous texts that just speak about this topic, and there are other crucial factors involved. To stay on topic, I will just add that one of the more important factors in order to complete the mission of digesting is the yang (our metabolism) to break down the food. This yang is like our bodies boiler system and comes from both the spleen and the kidneys.
Ok, so now we know that we need a good balance of yin and yang, and that for proper digestion the yang factor is critical, does it make sense that if we ingest foods that are really cold, especially in the winter we are creating an imbalance in our bodies that causes our digestion to slow down?
So, if for this New Year, one of your resolutions is a juice cleanse and you live in New York during winter storm season, it can really damage your digestion. Fruits and veggies, especially raw, are very yin in nature and can damage the body’s yin yang balance, especially in the winter- being it is the absolute most yin time of the year. It won’t happen right away, even though if you are sensitive you might end up running to the bathroom, but over time it can cause a great deal of damage that your Acupuncturist will have to work very hard to fix. I suggest doing a soup cleanse consisting of cabbage and ginger, which can be just as effective. If you insist on doing a juice cleanse, please supplement it with tons of ginger to warm up the cold nature of the cold and raw fruits and veggies, drink ginger tea throughout the day, and don’t do it for too long. Waiting for the spring to do a juice cleanse might be the better option
This is the beginning of a New Year, and everyone is concerned on how to better their lives, better their health, better their relationships, and actually stick with all of these things. Vision boards are being made, calendars are filled, dreams on paper notes are put in glass jars, and manifestations are written down or made into mantras. But why is it that we start so strong, get up at 6:30 in the morning to workout, start our cleanses, commit to our relationships, and commit to bettering our lives, and then by mid-February we are back in the grind, full of stress, and our resolutions sit in the glass jars and our vision boards become background art on our walls?
Well, maybe this is because we have such high expectations on ourselves. We tend to be so hard on ourselves; treat ourselves with a harsh judgment that we would never dare have on anyone else. What if instead of trying to fulfill a million resolutions all at once, we begin with one? A suggestion can be to write down 10 resolutions to put in a jar, and pick one out at a time. It doesn’t have to be one a month or with any time restriction at all. How about once we accomplish one task, I mean really get into it and make it part of our daily regimen, we move onto the next goal? This way we can go in our own pace, be realistic with ourselves and feel like we are accomplishing a better way of life; this will make us more confident and able to then keep going and do more.
So this year, make realistic commitments, choose to incorporate one change at a time, and make sure that the changes you are making are appropriate for you and where you live so that you don’t feel like a failure when you can’t fulfill your goal. If you haven’t tried Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, or just haven’t gone in a while, this might be a great first goal to accomplish. Acupuncture can get you on the right path so that your other resolutions will be easier to implement into your lives. For example, acupuncture can help digestion and weight loss, restore your immune system so that you have more energy to go to that early morning yoga class, better your sleep so that you have more energy and feel better about yourself, and decrease your pain so that your spirits a lifted in everything you do!
Are you excited? I am! I can’t wait to see how this year unfolds.