posted by on Elements, Energy, Seasons

Since our lives, beings and bodies reflect the cycles and seasons of nature, we can always find clues to our balance and well being by paying close attention to each  season.

As the Atlanta heat has made quite clear, summer is here!  In Chinese medicine, summer is the element of Fire, which goes hand in hand with connection, joy and friendship. It’s a time of warmth, maturity, relationships and love. In summer, the activities of spring have reached their fullness and flowering. The future has become the present, and hopes and dreams are realized.

Think about what summer vacation was like when you are a kid—hanging out with your friends all day, laughing, playing, enjoying every moment. There’s a carefree attitude and feeling of elation and joy that comes only with summer. Even though we don’t all get summer vacations as adults, it’s important to make a point of letting those joyful summertime feelings in! Why not give it a try right now?

More About Summer and the Fire Element:

Meridians

The meridians and organs associated with summer and the Fire element are the Pericardium and Triple Heater (also called Triple Energizer), the Heart and Small Intestine. They’re involved with warmth of relationships as well as spreading warmth through the body.

Emotions

The emotion associated with Fire is joy. It’s also tied to the ability to express deep feelings for others, passion and compassion. The sound associated with Fire is laughter; the color, red. When Fire is deficient, it can limit the ability to feel joy and have satisfying relationships.

Body

A Fire deficiency may cause physical coldness, low energy, and sexual, urinary, or menstrual dysfunction, as well as problems with digestion or breathing. When Fire is excessive, it can show itself in painful inflammation in the joints, chronic infections, sore throat and sinuses, burning diarrhea, anxiety and sleep disturbances.

Relationships

In summer, the sense of community, freedom and fun, enhance all our relationships. We are able to give and receive equally when the Fire element is in balance.

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posted by on Balance, Energy, Mental Clarity, Stress

When I was growing up, I remember my mom saying to me, quite often, “Jenny, I need some peace and quiet.” At the time, I probably responded by amping things up a few more notches, making things anything but peaceful! Now, though, the idea of craving a little peace and quiet resonates with me on a deep level, and there’s a good reason why.

As a culture, we hardly ever grant ourselves any time for plain, pure peace and quiet. I’m talking about the old-fashioned kind that doesn’t involve TV, internet or cell phones. We rarely enjoy the simple wireless, cordless and noiseless variety of checking out. This inability to truly unwind is costing us our balance and healthy energy flow.

The yin and yang symbol of Chinese philosophy represents half that is external and half that is internal. We’re supposed to have an equal balance between the two. In a 24-hour day, that means about 12 hours of putting ourselves out there and no less than 12 hours of recuperating, rejuvenating, rebuilding, going internal, taking in. Assuming you sleep for 6 to 8 of those hours, that still leaves at least 4 hours of your waking time in which you need to reflect and go inside in some way.

What could you do today to get a bit of peace and quiet? Adding even a few more minutes of downtime to your day will cause a noticeable shift. Give it a try.

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posted by on Birth, Featured, Fertility, Women's Health

Acupuncture Atlanta

Acupuncture during labor and delivery? Yes!

I’m in the midst of a post-graduate program, learning the nuts and bolts of acupuncture in the delivery room. The course is being held at Lutheran Medical Hospital in Brooklyn, where they’re also conducting related research that suggests acupuncture, when administered during labor and delivery, provides for a smoother labor and fewer Cesarean sections.

The medical center has also found that acupuncture treatment during pregnancy benefits both baby and mother. Regular balancing treatments throughout pregnancy — and after delivery — have been found to reduce pain.

“Katie Allison delivered an  8-pound, 4-ounce baby girl without any medication. Instead she chose acupuncture. The mother of three was selected at random to receive free acupuncture during labor. Lutheran’s promising new research suggests acupuncture, when administered during labor and delivery, provides for a smoother labor and fewer Cesarean sections…” Read More…

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posted by on Chinese Herbal Medicine, Energy, Mental Clarity

With all the constant demands on our attention these days (both electronic and interpersonal) it can be difficult to feel focused. Forgetfulness, lack of concentration and general fogginess can become the norm when we’re not devoting time, intention and action to keeping our focus sharp and clear. Chinese medicine techniques, particularly acupuncture and qi gong, can help keep body, energy and mind flowing freely and reacting with wisdom and clarity, while remaining centered and present. Specific techniques for maintaining mental clarity can be found on the site for The YinOva Center, a very informative resource for anyone wanting to learn more about the benefits of Chinese medicine.

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