Issue 38, September 2014, London

Hello there...

Septembers in London are tricky: will it be an Indian summer or are we going headfirst into a wet autumn? Well, the Girl Scout’s approach (always be prepared) is best, so while I will keep my fingers crossed for just a little more of summer, here’s what to look out for in the next few months.

In Chinese medicine dryness is the governing factor of autumn. Just as the leaves on trees begin to dry and fall, the environment all around us is dry. Your hair becomes more prone to static, and the skin is less plump and vibrant than it was during the summer.
As in nature with trees shedding their leaves, autumn is characterised by a gradual decline in yang qi as it ebbs towards stillness.
When things manifest dryness, wrinkles and lines appear, and in extreme cases cracks open and there is roughness. The moisturiser and lotion you used during the summer may not be enough. Although more layers of clothing are worn, do not forget to moisturise your elbows, knees and heels.
At the beginning of autumn the moistening residue of summer can still be felt, but as we go deeper into autumn and the weather turns cool we start to feel the effects of dry-cold coinciding with flu season. In Chinese medicine the lungs are considered to be most susceptible to dryness. When they lack moisture their functions are impaired and hence there is dry cough or a cough that causes pain in the chest. A warm mug of lemon and honey water every morning during autumn will benefit your system.
After a season of growth the time has come for harvesting. How we prepare during this time helps us during the harsher, colder months. Now is the time for a two-pronged approach: eat to moisten and to warm.
Honey is a marvellous yin tonic and therefore perfect to combat dryness. Be sensible and have only a teaspoon or two at most. Pears and peanuts are also wonderfully moistening. Try pu-erh tea, which can be found in Chinese supermarkets. It’s a dark tea (very dark) and the flavour is strong but still clean and refreshing.
Have your fill of tomatoes before the winter, and include tofu, pine nuts, peanuts and pork. As the weather turns cooler add some warming foods that you had avoided all summer such as leeks, oats, cauliflower, beef and lamb. Deeper into autumn add garlic, cinnamon, chilli, ginger and onions to help stimulate the circulation of qi and bring the defensive energy to the surface which is important during a time when more people are sneezing on the packed underground.
As in all seasons, damp can affect the spleen’s functions, so move away from cold or uncooked food and towards soups and stews. This is a time of nurturing and supporting.
Make sure to have a scarf with you in case the wind picks up. Wrap yourself up well, especially around the occipital, the area at the base of your head and neck. If you get caught in the rain, a nice, hot cup of chai with some honey can be incredibly warming. Have it with a splash of milk.
Enjoy the spectacle of autumn, take in the gorgeous colours of the trees, the red and orange and browns. Soak up the rest of the sunlight during your lunch break. This is the perfect time to start a new activity – health and wellness resolutions are much easier to keep now than in the cold, dark winter months. The start of the shorter days and earlier darkness can affect some people. Try to focus and reflect, and don’t dwell on negative issues. Let go and breathe.
+ Wellness tips for September

+  September is the time to do a body MOT.

An Introduction to Chinese  Medicine

A little something I wrote to describe the concepts of Chinese medicine, which admittedly can be somewhat abstract and confusing.

5 Yoga Poses to Practice First Thing in the Morning

Start your day with these five yoga poses.


If you have been kind enough to refer someone to me – I want to say a big THANK YOU. That is the highest compliment and it’s warmly appreciated every time.

Other News: Introducing Maternity Clinic

I am pleased to introduce Maternity Clinic at Neal’s Yard Remedies, King’s Road every Tuesday. It is a collaboration with Dolly Garton, reflexologist and massage therapist, and one we're very excited about.
The Maternity Clinic offers:
  • Acupuncture
  • Reflexology
  • Moxibustion (Moxa)
  • Massage
The treatments are gentle to support a healthy and mindful pregnancy.
Acupuncture is a wonderful way to support your pregnancy from the first trimester onwards (weeks 0-12) and then reflexology and/or massage are available after week 13 for any symptoms or discomfort.
Sessions cost £75 for 45min acupuncture treatment or one hour reflexology/pregnancy massage. It’s a wonderful way to positively enhance this special and exciting journey. More information here:
Please share this with friends and family. You can contact me directly to book an appointment or call Neal’s Yard Remedies 020 7225 2050.

+ Alternatively maternity acupuncture treatments are also available with me (£95, one hour) at The Hale Clinic 020 7631 0156.

And Finally...

How about this for a quick treat? Melt dark chocolate (70%+), fold in cinnamon or any other spice you like, and drizzle over fresh fruit.

Ka Hang Leoungk
Managing Editor, Pointspace

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