A Chinese medicine look at men's health PLUS where do we feel our emotions?
Ka Hang Leoungk | pointspace

Hello there...


Men’s Health Week 2014 (June 9 – 15) is an international campaign to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment among men and boys. This week gives health care providers, policymakers, the media, and individuals an opportunity to encourage men and boys to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury. It doesn’t have to be about checking for prostate cancer, although you should do that too. Use this month (why limit it to just one week?) to support you’re the men in your life, treat them to a spa break, a golf game or just a lovely one-on-one Skype chat.

Men's Health in Chinese Medicine

In the yin and yang world of Chinese medicine, there isn’t a particular aspect that is especially masculine or feminine. However, one area we can always focus on to strengthen men’s health is the Kidney’s function.

Those of you who know me may have heard me refer to the Kidney* as the fireplace of the home. It is the area where warmth radiates from and where friends and family congregate around. Architecturally it is often the focal point of a room. The Kidney is very much the VIP in the Chinese medicine organ system.
When the VIP is unhappy or unwell all kinds of problems can arise, including low back pain or knee pain or hair loss. A person with strong Kidney qi, whether they are young or old, will look and feel good. They are those people who bounce back from injuries much easier. They are the ones with vigour who never “look their age”. Mentally and physically they are alert and present, with less aches and pains. Their hair may be white but the hair is strong.
In Chinese medicine we refer to the Kidney as the place that stores the “essence of life”, a collective term to describe the congenital essence (essentially what the ancient Chinese called genes and hereditary characteristics as we know it today) and acquired essence, basically the nutrients we absorb from our food. This is an important point because it means that the start you had in life can be impacted by your choices later on. A poorly baby can be described as having “weak congenital essence” but grow up to be healthy and strong. A healthy teenager may go on to have type II diabetes due to a poor diet.
Since human growth and development are imperative in both men and women, then surely everyone would benefit from strengthening their Kidney functions. This is true but men can be affected by a weak Kidney in a very singularly obvious way, and that is sexual health.
All manners of private sexual male dysfunction (such as premature ejaculation, nocturia, impotence) can be due to impaired Kidney function. Traditionally it would be due to an overly active sexual life (every time there is an ejaculation the body needs time to recuperate from the loss of “essence”). However in today’s society it can be any combination of stress, overwork, lifestyle, relationships and diet that can wreck havoc on the Kidney.
But self-care can be very effective. Besides having acupuncture and Chinese medicine either as treatment or a preventative measure, nutrition should be your main port of call. Eat well, keep your mind and body happy and your Kidney can enjoy the party. On the other hand, excessive work, excessive exercise, sex, drugs, alcohol, excessive caffeine, anxiety, and stress will deplete kidney essence before its time.

Winter is the season of the kidney, a time when the body naturally seeks warmth and nourishment. So enjoy the summer and soak in the rays to give yourself a good head start.
*Important: The Kidney in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) means more than the actual human organ. It is rather a group of functions, such as the regulation of water metabolism, storage of energy, and providing nourishment for bodily growth. If in doubt always get clarification from your acupuncturist or Chinese medicine practitioner.

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If you enjoyed this, then be sure to visit the blog The Happy Acupuncturist to read more articles, tips and health news.

6 Lessons We Can Learn From Chinese Medicine

Harvard trained doctor, Leana Wen wrote in Psychology Today:
"While my study is primarily on its Western medical system, I was so fascinated by what I learned of Eastern medicine that I spent many free evenings observing TCM practitioners. There is so much I didn’t know. As a discipline, TCM is far too complex for me to understand in my short observation, but there are some very important “lessons from the East” that are applicable to our Western medical practice." Read the article here.

We Feel Different Emotions in Different Parts of Our Body

Are we a product of our environment or our biological makeup? An interesting study showed that when it comes to happiness, our bodies experience it similarly across the cultures. Researchers found that we experience different emotions in different areas of the body (imagine the pounding vein in the temple or butterflies in the stomach) but happiness is the only emotion that fills the entire body.

Arch of Sunshine

Nature has a wonderful way of rebalancing in a constant cycle, and nothing describes it better than the Laburnum Arch at Bodnant Gardens. You wait in anticipation all year for it to bloom in late May and then it will only last no more than three weeks. It went into a brilliant bloom of sunshine last Wednesday, have a look and smile. Nothing is permanent but everything is constant.

Read past issues from the Pointspace newsletter archive.

And finally...

Asparagus is in season – have it as part of a warm “salad” with stir-fried greens and carrot ribbons, topped with a poached egg, smoked salmon is optional. A light, clean dish that’s perfect for the lighter months.

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That's all for this month... 

I hope you've enjoyed this newsletter and do share this with friends and family.

Have a fantastic month!
Ka Hang



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