Align Your Diet with Spring

We are what we eat, and most Chinese dietary guidelines follow on from nature.  According to Chinese Medicine philosophies, if we eat seasonal foods that are similar in nature to the external environment, we remain in harmony with the environment, adapt better to changes in season and stay healthy.

During Spring, we want to reduce the intake of sour flavors and increase sweet and pungent flavors because this facilitates the liver to regulate the energy throughout the body.  Think Spring green.   Examples of recommended foods for the spring include onions, leeks, mustard greens, Chinese yam, wheat, dates, cilantro, mushrooms, spinach and bamboo shoots. Fresh spring greens and leafy vegetables should also be included in meals and sprouts from seeds are also a great addition.  Raw, frozen and fried foods should only be taken in moderation since these are harmful to the spleen and stomach if consumed in large amounts.  If you’ve overeaten during the cold winter months you may develop a heat imbalance in the spring, which leads to dry throats, bad breath, constipation, thick tongue coating and yellowish urine.  Foods like bananas, pears, water chestnuts, sugar cane, celery and cucumber help to clear the excessive heat.

In wintertime we tend to bake our food to more deeply warm our bodies,  however in the Spring steaming and stir-frying is more appropriate.  As always, I recommend to eat what is locally grown and in season, as much as possible.  Visit the local farmers market to get the freshest seasonal items.   I was just at the Peachtree City Farmers Market over the weekend and got fresh onions, greens, broccoli, sweet potatoes, sprouts and carrots.    See what you can find this Spring.    Be sure to try the Pan Crisped Greens with Eggs and Sweet Potato recipe for an easy healthy way to include these suggestions into your diet.

Spring Cleaning for Your Body and Mind

Our goal in Spring, as with other seasons, is to align ourselves with the movement of the prevailing season. Spring is a time of upward, expansive movement, and a time of creativity and new beginnings. According to Chinese Medicine, Spring is aligned with the Liver and Gallbladder which are responsible for the smooth flow of energy throughout the body and the storage and detoxifying of the blood. In the same way that many of us engage in spring cleaning during this time of the year, our bodies do the same thing physically and emotionally. Now is the time we see the buds on plants and trees begin to swell, ready to burst forth with strong determination of new growth and beauty. Our activities should also focus on moving forward with strong determination and creativity. If you skipped the January New Year’s resolutions, now is a great time to take those steps toward making this the best year ever.  Spring is the perfect time to stop procrastinating and face the challenges that can impede our forward movement and creative nature.

Now is a good time to let go of stimulants like coffee and alcohol, tobacco and recreational drugs. The movement of Spring gives us that boost naturally. Take advantage of this natural boost of energy to begin or renew your exercise program, to shake off the cobwebs and feel alive and refreshed. Movement helps to get the blood and lymph flowing and allows us to sweat out toxins that have accumulated during the dormant winter. This is spring cleaning for our body.

How do you know if you need acupuncture at this time of year? Continue reading

Open House This Friday 12:00 – 6:00

Join me to celebrate the opening of Balanced Energy Wellness, and Chinese New Year.   I’ll be hosting short talks about How Acupuncture Works during the day.

  • Pain Management at 1:00,
  • Digestive Issues at 2:30,
  • Women’s Health at 4:00

Invite your family and friends, and bring your questions.  I’ll have refreshments, special offers and a free gift for those attending.  Drop by anytime between 12 and 6.

See you there!

 

Happy Chinese New Year!

Also known as the Spring Festival, Chinese New Year falls on February 16th this year. This is the first day of the Chinese lunar calendar. The year 2018 is represented by the Yang Yellow Earth Dog. Sounds like a playful golden retriever to me.

Spring Festival originated during the Shang Dynasty (about 17th – 11th century BC) and celebrates family reunion and the hopes for a rich spring. Spring Festival is probably the most important traditional festival and celebration for families in China. In fact, it is even a public holiday and many people have the week off from work. Families join together from near and far.

Spring Festival Traditions

To prepare for the holiday, homes are thoroughly cleaned to rid them of bad luck, which might have collected during the old year. Scrolls printed with lucky messages are posted on gates to ones home and firecrackers are set off to frighten evil spirits away. These traditions are meant to bring good luck and long life to the family.

It is a Spring festival tradition to include the exchange of gifts and the famous dragon dances. Red, which is considered an auspicious color is the main color of the festival and there are red lanterns decorating the streets everywhere. Businesses combine red with images of prosperity to show their hope for the new year. And because 2018 is the year of dog, red decorations will be joined by dog images and statues.

According to Lillian Bridges who is a noted Feng Shui expert and forecaster, “this will be a much calmer year and may sometimes even seem boring.  But there is a Chinese saying that “Boredom is good luck, because you have choices! There will be a palpable feeling of relief from the tensions of the previous years, especially as we get deeper into the year. Life should get easier and more relaxed.”  Thank goodness!

She goes on to say “The Dog is considered a lucky animal to the Chinese and when one comes to your house, it brings good luck to the occupants. Therefore, anyone who loves and cares for dogs this year will get a little extra luck for honoring them.”  So love on your dog and your neighbors dog.

If you want to read more about Lillian’s predictions for this year, you can read the full forecast here.   I always think they are fun to read and then re-read the next year to see what came true.

Friendships and community are also very important in the Dog Year. People will be drawn to gatherings and reunions of old friends with a shared past and with newly discovered, like-minded others. With that in mind, I am hosting an Open House at my new clinic to celebrate Chinese New Year.

Happy New Year!

How Acupuncture Works

For many, Acupuncture is mysterious.  Perhaps you’ve heard from someone that it works great for them, or maybe you’ve heard that it works for this or that, but you may not really understand how it works.  We know from extensive clinical experience and scientific research that Acupuncture works to restore health in several ways:

  1. It improves circulation by vasodilating tissues so blood can flow better and reducing blood pressure.
  2. It modulates the neuro-endocrine system causing our natural pain killer hormones to be released that lower inflammation, reduce pain and get us out of “fight or flight” mode.
  3. It causes an immune system response to create new tissue to replace diseased tissue.
  4. It reduces inflammation that impairs nerve conduction to the brain. Pain can be a result of nerve signals not getting through.

You can see how Acupuncture can therefore help with a number of conditions including things like neuropathy, high blood pressure, pain, anxiety, acute and chronic injuries, infertility, and much more.

Welcome to the new Balanced Energy Wellness!

Welcome to Balanced Energy Wellness!   My new clinic is now open in Peachtree City, Georgia where I offer Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine and Nutrition Consulting to the Fayette and Coweta communities.   We have two beautiful treatment spaces (photos to come soon) and are ready to help you feel your best.  My website has been updated to allow you to easily book your appointments online.   Check it out at bewellptc.com.

Oak Manor smallThe clinic is located in the Oak Manor Office Park on Highway 74 North in Peachtree City.  If you are going north from the intersection of Hwy 54 and 74, look for the golf cart/bicycle bridge over Hwy 74 and we are on the right just past it.   Once in the office park, we are the 2nd building on the right, Suite 2.

One way to keep up with the latest clinic news is to “like” our Facebook page.   I’ll also be sending a monthly newsletter with information about Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine and Nutrition including some favorite recipes.

If I can help you with any health concerns, please reach out.  I look forward to seeing you soon.

Rawls