Natural Health, Uncategorized

Blizzard Medicine

 

images

There’s a super storm heading out East. Ironically, up here in Maine we won’t get any snow, but the mid-Atlantic states sure will. But for many people, every day is blizzard day in the winter. Many of us are bitterly cold all the time, even in mild temperatures. And others of us have freezing hands and/or feet all the time. So here are some tips for warming the body’s yang, it’s “hot” energy, to help you enjoy winter more, and to help keep you healthy and more able to fight off colds and flu.

There are two main types of Qi, or energy, in the body: the yin and the yang. You see them often displayed in the yin/yang symbol. images

The symbol shows how they are interconnected, they can not exist without each other. The yin energy is the cool, quiet, still, night, feminine energy. The yang is the hot, moving, active, day, male energy. For those of us with yang deficiency, winter is miserable because we are always cold. But there are several things you can do to boost your natural yang, your inner furnace. They include using a hot water bottle on your low abdomen or low back (unless you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, or you have a health issue where heat is contraindicated). You can also soak your feet in very warm water, adding epsom salts is even better. This puts warmth right into the Kidney channel, which has many important points on the feet. The Kidney Yang is like the furnace that feeds the body so this is a great way to boost warmth. You can also eliminate “cold” foods from your diet. No raw foods, including salads, in the cold months. Cook everything, even if just for a few moments. Avoid ice in your drinks and any frozen foods – save ice cream for July! And add warming foods and spices such as onion, garlic, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, pepper and any warm flavors such as curry, salsa, etc.

Also, after going outside and getting very cold, don’t take a hot bath or shower right away. In Chinese Medicine this just forces the cold into the interior of the body. You must warm the body from the inside out. Hot tea or soup lets the body kick the cold out, rather than forcing it further inward where it can lead to illness.

These simple tricks can help you warm your body, stay healthy and be fired up to enjoy this beautiful time of year!

 

 

Advertisements
Natural Health, Uncategorized

Fall: The Time To Gather Seeds. And Ideas, and Intentions and Dreams…

IMG_6792Fall is here. The summer lovers are sad about this, but I am thrilled, I love the fall. The crisp air, changing leaves, the holidays beginning…to some this time of year is about endings. And it is, as is each season in its way. But really this season is about the earliest stages of beginning to. In Chinese thoughts of yin and yang, deep within the deepest part of the yin is the seed of the yang. And deep within the deepest part of the yang is the seed of the yin. So in deepest winter, we begin to turn toward sun and warmth. In hottest summer, there is the seed of winter within. And so in the fall, there is the ending, the reaping of the harvest, and the dying of the plants. But it is also a time to gather seeds and plans and ideas to store over the winter.

The big expansive active energy of summer has faded, and as we enter the months that are about IMG_6795rest, rejuvenation,quiet and stillness, and planning, we start by collecting the fruits of our labors over the summer. From all the plans that came to fruition, and even the ones that didn’t, there are wonderful seeds to be harvested – lessons learned, new ideas, new inspirations. So gather the seeds now to collect and store and ponder over the long winter. These are the seeds that contain your next project, your next move, your next career change, relationship, lifestyle shift, or just continuation on a path you chose to stay on. The summer is ending, but the spring planting of new things starts right now. The seeds are in your garden, and in your mind and body. Be conscious of which ones you chose to carry into the next year, and which ones you chose to leave behind and not re-sow. Your great joys and achievements are simply the results of choosing carefully which seeds to grow with your time, energy and love.

IMG_6794 IMG_6796