Living with the Seasons in Chinese Medicine

Is Daily Sweating Important for Health?

Posted by on May 19, 2017

Someone asked me the other day, “Why is daily sweating important for health?” My response was, “Is it?” I don’t think there is any scientific evidence that sweating is especially beneficial for health. I have seen claims made, but I have not seen hard core research.  But sweating is certainly used in some cultures, and to a small extent in Ayurvedic Panchakarma therapy for SOME doshas. Some folk sweat more easily than others when its hot or when they exercise, some folks sweat with anxiety, especially in the arm pits and hands, but even all over, some folk don’t...

Read More

Summer in Chinese Medicine

Posted by on Jul 14, 2016

The discussion of Summer in Chinese Medicine  begins with a book written in somewhere between 400 and 200 B.C.E., called the Huang Di Nei Jing, called The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic of Medicine. This is the Old Testament of Classical Chinese Medicine, our oldest text, studied and learned from by the physicians of Chinese Medicine without a break to the current era. The ideas below are primarily from this text, so when I refer to Chinese medicine I am referring to the teachings of the Nei Jing that those of us who practice Classical Chinese medicine still adhere to....

Read More

Winter and Sleep in Chinese Medicine: Kidney Qi

Posted by on Dec 22, 2015

Winter and Sleep in Chinese Medicine: Kidney Qi Winter and Sleep In the Classics of Chinese Medicine Its Winter. Classical Chinese Medicine has this to say about it. “Go to sleep early, but get up LATE, after the sun has risen.” Makes total sense because as an animal you don’t want to waste your valuable energy heating your body up against the cold morning, when you can wait for the sun to do its job first. Its also about respecting the biorhythms of the biological clock. Kidney Qi in Chinese Medicine: Metaphor for the Deepest Levels of Vitality Winter...

Read More

Circadian Rhythms, Chinese Medicine, and Smart Phones

Posted by on Aug 19, 2015

The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic /Huangdi neijing, written in the 3rd millennium BCE, is one of the two foundational texts of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, and the first to discuss what are now known as circadian rhythms. It contains much of the essential Chinese Medical theory that all later texts reference, and that forms the essential mind-set of classical Chinese Medical practice. One of the most basic notions of the Nei Jing is something found in most traditional cultures, even in the South of France, to this day; namely, that as the seasons change, so to should our lifestyles and...

Read More

Bone Marrow Soup in Winter: Part 1

Posted by on Dec 17, 2014

Bone broth, or what we call bone marrow soup in Chinese Medicine is just the rage right now, and for good reason. Extracting the essence of solid things, like bones and root vegetables, into liquid, or bone marrow soup, is the fastest way to nourish our own deepest essence, called Jing in Chinese medicine.  In Ayurveda this is called nourishing the deepest level of the tissues, or dhatus.  Like builds like in Chinese medicine and Ayurveda, so that the minerals and building blocks locked into the deepest recesses of an animal, its bones, and a plant, its roots, are said...

Read More

Autumn in the Nei Jing Su Wen Chinese Medical Classic

Posted by on Oct 22, 2013

Autumn in the Nei Jing Su Wen Chinese Medical Classic The essence of Chinese Medical Philosophy, which underpins the practice of Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine, is the need to live in harmony with nature, what the classics call “heaven and earth.” Heaven, because the sun and moon and weather all come from the sky (ndeed, when we think of each of our four seasons we think as much about what the sky looks and smells like–from the cold crisp nights of winter when the smell of snow is in the air, to the moist balmy days of spring, to...

Read More

Autumn in Chinese Medicine

Posted by on Oct 22, 2013

Autumn Fall Autumn in Chinese Medicine is the time of falling, hence its secondary name. Spring up, Fall down.  In fact we even use the word autumn to describe a period in the human life span, the autumnal years, a period of beautiful maturity that is also verging on decline. In Autumn the celestial Qi, which is another way of describing the effects of the sun, moon, stars, and of course the weather (that in turn is a function of the effects of the sun in terms of the seasons), recedes in Autumn from its full bloom of summer....

Read More

Allergies and Sinusitis in Autumn

Posted by on Oct 17, 2013

People suffering from allergies and sinus conditions in the Autumn in San Diego dread the dry heat that wafts in from the desert during the “Santa Ana” conditions. This movement of air from the east brings with it dust, pollen and other un-pleasantries like agrarian pollutants from the Imperial Valley. At its best the Santa Anas are simply dry, at their worst, dry, windy and very hot. Allergies and sinus conditions are worsened by this weather. What can you do? Acupuncture My first line of treatment for allergies is acupuncture and cupping. Acupuncture can help nip respiratory allergies (allergic...

Read More

Springtime Tea from Somalia with Cardamom and Mint

Posted by on May 3, 2013

Food and drink like language and music spreads between cultures without rules. But within any given tradition, within any given culture, its as if there are unspoken rules that govern change; creativity is allowed, but to a point. In the world of food or music, for example, once you change a thing enough it is no longer what it started out to be. This can lead to certain kinds of conformity.  For example, in my grandmother’s Russian Jewish culture there were two kinds of gefilte fish–sweet without garlic, but with sugar, and spicy, without sugar, but with black pepper...

Read More

Daikon Radish: Detoxify and Promote Digestion

Posted by on Feb 23, 2013

Daikon Radish is a great soup or salad vegetable. It is spicy, and acts as a digestive by stimulating digestive fire, just as the small radishes that Mexicanos eat with corn and meat do, but it is more aromatic, especially when boiled, than the small radishes and not as hot. Daikon is used in Chinese Medicine Nutritional therapy to balance heavier foods that are high in harder to digest animal protein and fat, like beef or pork. Beef and pork, which are are also neutral and cool in natural temperature, easily produce toxic dampness when eaten in excess, because...

Read More

Come in from the Cold Ayurveda Winter Tea

Posted by on Jan 12, 2013

Tonight it was quite cold for San Diego and I walked to my friend’s house and then we went out again, so when we came back in I made an Ayurveda winter tea.  We put on a small kettle and I placed in the tea pot: Fresh Ginger Slices, 5 Cloves 4 Cassia Twig 1 inch, broken Ginger Powder, 1 tsp Cinnamon Powder ½ tsp Cumin ¾ tsp Thyme ½ tsp Black Peppercorn 5 and then poured in about 2 cups of water just off the boil. Now Thyme is an excellent herb for winter for the lungs, it...

Read More

The Way of Heaven at the Winter Solstice: Practical Idealism

Posted by on Dec 19, 2012

It has forever struck me as odd, if not delusional, that anyone would think the  human mammalian body is magically not subject to the cycles of solar, lunar, and terrestrial energies that cause trees to drop down their leaves in  Fall; that cause our cousins the bears to hibernate and be still across long winter, or to purge their intestines of accumulated gases by first eating the plant called “skunk cabbage” on waking in spring; that cause the crocus to be the first to shoot up flowers in late February, and that lead to the ultimate explosion of blue...

Read More

Winter Wisdom: Chinese Medicine

Posted by on Nov 1, 2012

Winter Wisdom of Chinese Medicine The Nei Jing/Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, which presents the cutting edge medical wisdom of its time, is full of brilliant advice for both prevention and cure.  Chapter 2 describe how to adjust our lifestyles to match the natural rhythm of the  seasons.   Winter is the season for “storage” in Chinese Medicine.  It is the storage of winter that allows for the “bursting forth” of Spring. As in nature so in humankind. Storage of what?  Storage of Qi, Blood, Yin, and Yang.  How? To store means to hold on to what you...

Read More

Healthy Living for Vata in Autumn: Tips/Template

Posted by on Oct 15, 2012

Health Tips for Vatta   The core of health in Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine are Lifestyle and Diet. You cannot cure with a drug or herb what you have created with a lifestyle. You must correct what is wrong and use the herbs. Here is a template for a health lifestyle for Vatta. In real life, we are all bi-doshic, (some few are tridoshic) so this must be adjusted by your Ayurvedic consultant to accomodate your primary and secondary doshas….   *establish a regular routine of food, exercise, rest, and sleep *do an Ayurvedic self-massage with warm sesame oil...

Read More

Anchor the Yang: Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture and Moxabustion Therapies for Summer Solstice

Posted by on Jun 25, 2012

The Chinese and Indian View: Life is a Passage Through Cycles   In Chinese Medicine (as also Ayurveda)  a fundamental concept is to prepare for what is ahead. This is not just generalized prevention as in eating a healthy diet or sleeping well, but is specific to how we relate to the passage of time.   Chinese Medicine sees life as cyclical: a  series of transitions, changes, phases,  and cycles; as a continuous movement between the forces of yang and yin, rather than as a linear progression of fixed events. The hard thing about living is dealing  with change. Cycles...

Read More

Pin It on Pinterest