Happy 2016!

http://Happy New Year 2016 Animated gif

Happy New Year! Happy new beginnings! To everyone who  supported the practice, asked questions because they wanted to know more about traditional Asian medicine, got acupuncture, took their Chinese herbal formula, told someone about acupuncture, practiced their qi gong or tai chi, tried to implement something new into their health routine or faithfully visited the blog (a sincere thanks here because I know with the practice getting so busy the blog entries are more haphazard) here is a sincere

THANK YOU!

and see you next year!

 

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

An Excellent Resource For All Things Acupuncture

Acupuncture Silliness

acupuncture_1376025Hmmm…

Well, definitely an improvement over the traditional process and the bull does look relaxed.

August Is Spleen…AKA Pancreas (Somewhat)…AKA Digestive Energy Month

2279397714_8c3897ce73ByBill Kennedy

I love this picture! I have no idea what the owners of the cafe were thinking when they chose this name but it makes COMPLETE sense when thinking in a Chinese medicine way.  Here’s the reason why: In TCM (traditional Chinese medicine), your spleen is directly involved in digestion. (Digestion as in food, as in what you get at a cafe. Neat huh?) Digestion, you might ask, yes, let me explain.  In most cases, the Mandarin translation of an organ’s name corresponds to the English word and understanding, for example, lung translates as lung, heart as heart, gall bladder as gall bladder and so on. Where all this naming becomes interesting is when acupuncturists talk about your spleen. There is the organ we call the spleen (which you can read about here) and then there is part of your digestive energy that Chinese medicine calls your spleen. Your “Chinese spleen” corresponds mostly to your physical pancreas but also includes some of what western medicine says is the responsibility of your small intestine and your stomach. Translation: your “Chinese spleen” is an important  part of your digestive energy and August is the month you can do something terrific for this most interesting energetic system.

Together with your stomach, the spleen creates what is called the central balance of the body. Stomach qi goes down. Spleen qi ascends. When this reverses, a body can experience nausea, vomiting, hiccuping- when it’s a reversal of stomach qi and diarrhea, gas and undigested food in stools when it’s a reversal of spleen qi. The stomach likes a moist environment while the spleen likes a dry environment. Many of the common foods of a mainstream American diet create a damp environment for the spleen. Alcohol, fried foods, high glycemic foods, dairy and sugar all create damp so keeping these foods to a minimum, especially if your spleen is already weak, is one of the best things you can do for it. Also, not eating too many raw fruits and vegetables can be helpful. I already hear the gasps of horror over this comment. Although there are MANY wonderful things about raw fruits and veggies, the body has to expend alot of energy to warm up and digest these high-fiber foods and if your spleen is compromised in any way, you want to make digestion and absorption easier not more difficult. Does that mean that TCM wants you to cook your veggies until they are limp and gray? Of course not! Wok-ing is a great way to have flavorful veggies without losing nutritional value.

Here’s a great formula for keeping your cooked food nutrient rich and also easier to digest:

Time x Temperature x Water= Decreased nutrition

It’s an inverse relationship. The longer the time, the higher the temperature, the greater the amount of water- any or all of these will lead to decreased nutrition. Wok-ing food means little time. It means slightly high temperature but with little to no water. Your veggies retain a slight crunch and their vibrant colors. Check out this cooking method to do something kind for your spleen.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg (lettuce or otherwise). Call the office if you are looking for more spleen tips!

Check out the other months and their organs here.

What A First Talk About Acupuncture Often Sounds Like

This Will Put You In The Mood For A Good Laugh…

Laughing Together by Jim Epler
Laughing Together, a photo by Jim Epler on Flickr.

Check out this article on Laughing and qi gong here.

A Mini Body Vacation

breathe by abchick
breathe, a photo by abchick on Flickr.

Whatever task you are doing right now, stop if you can. Put your hands on your belly at the belly button or just below it. Take a moment to check if you feel equally balanced between the left side of your body and the right. Take in a slow breath through your nose for a 4 count. Breathe that breath all the way down to your hands while your belly expands to hold that breath. When you complete your inhale your belly should be rounded out like a basketball. When you exhale to a 4 or 5 count, release the breath through your nose (or your mouth if you really need to release) while the basketball deflates.
Repeat as many times as you like as long as you don’t become dizzy for an excellent mini body vacation!

How Long Has It Been Since You Visited Your Local Farmers’ Market?

Hopefully, these very not-professional pictures will still inspire you to get to your farmers’ market while the getting is still good!

Jumping On The Pumpkin Bandwagon…

Well, since Starbucks and everyone else has brought up the topic of pumpkin, I thought I would jump on the bandwagon and talk a little about pumpkin too.

Do you ever eat the real thing? It’s super full of super good nutrition. If you haven’t tried it yet, Japanese pumpkin is particularly delicious.

Here’s what 1 cup or approximately 245 grams of boiled without salt pumpkin delivers:

0 saturated fat
0 cholesterol

A good source of-
vitamin E
thiamin
niacin
B6
folate
magnesium
phosphorus
riboflavin
potassium
copper
manganese

It gives you:
3 grams of fiber
8% of the DV of iron
4% of the DV of calcium
19% of the DV of vitamin C
245% of the DV of vitamin A

Pumpkin is mildly anti-inflammatory. On a scale of 0-250, pumpkin has an estimated glycemic load of 3 (very, very low). It has a 5/5 rate for weight loss, a 5/5 rate for optimum health and only a 1.5/5 rate for weight gain. Lastly, it provides good amounts of 6 out of the 9 essential amino acids.

An excellent food? Most definitely yes! And it’s now starring at your local farmer’s market and supermarket.

Salmon…Is There Something Fishy About It?

Salmon migration by elaiphoto
Salmon migration, a photo by elaiphoto on Flickr.

Not at all! but here’s a nifty link to the Monterey Bay aquarium’s Seafood Watch guide to help you choose the right fish for you.

Check it out here