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Chinese Medicine Living Newsletter

Happy June!

Summer is here! We hope everyone is enjoying the warm weather and staying hydrated! This month we talk about Living with the Seasons - Summer which tells us how to live according to the summer season with Chinese medicine. We also talk about What Qi is, and How Social Behaviour Affects Your Health. We hope you had a great June and we will see you in July!

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Here Are This Months Articles...

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Living with the Seasons - Summer

Living with the Seasons - Summer

By Emma Suttie, D.Ac, AP

There are 5 seasons in TCM, corresponding to the 5 elements (Fire/Earth/Metal/Water/Wood). Summer, Late Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring respectively.

Summer represents the outward expression of energy, expansiveness, movement and activity. It is the most yang of the seasons and is ruled by fire. Life and energies are at their peak. Summer in TCM is the season associated with the heart and the small intestine. The colour is red, the emotion joy, and it is a time for growth, expansion, light, abundance and is the manifestation of all we have been cultivating throughout the spring.

Many look forward to summer all year round. The weather is hot and the sun is out, improving people’s moods and people are drawn outdoors to participate in all the activities they have been longing for all winter. Plants grow quickly, people are full of energy and the body’s qi and vitality are at their peak. It is a time to cultivate the yang energy (fire), while making sure that it does not come to excess. In TCM, the heart, mind and spirit are ruled by the fire element, so priority should be given to these important aspects of ourselves in the summer season.

Rising early in the summer allows us to benefit from the suns nourishing rays. Being up early enables us to get all of the suns nourishing energy which is the most bountiful at this time of year. In summer, our work, play and relationships should be filled with joy and should instill in us a feeling of happiness and delight. We should live our lives and go about our daily activities with joy, passion, and laughter. This is how we know that the heart energy is balanced in us.

Physically, when we are properly balanced, the heart circulates oxygen rich blood throughout the body, and assures proper assimilation in the beginning stages of digestion in the small intestine. In Chinese medicine, mental acuity is associated with the heart therefore memory, thought processes, emotional well being and consciousness are also attributed to the heart and the fire element. This is a time to nourish our spirits, realize our life’s potential, finding joy in hot summer days and warm summer nights.

Read Full Article...

What is Qi?

What is Qi?

By Emma Suttie, D.Ac, AP

Qi is a huge and complex subject, and one that is central to Chinese medicine theory. Qi is a difficult concept to explain because it is difficult to measure, and impossible to see. To the Chinese, it is a given. It is the very force that governs life and all of its processes, but for us in the West, it is a little more difficult to wrap our minds around. In the West, we live in a culture that is largely ruled by science, and science is all about things that we can see and prove. Although science is now able to prove the efficacy of things like acupuncture, the HOW is still largely under debate. Qi is at the core of why all of the modalities in Chinese medicine - AcupunctureChinese herbsgua shatuinamoxibustioncuppingauricular, it is one of the main reasons that they are so effective, and have been for more than 5000 years.

Qi is a subtle energy that can be loosely translated as vital energy or life force. In India it is called Prana. In Japan, Ki. Many of the Eastern cultures know and understand this concept and its role in keeping the body healthy. In Chinese medicine, Qi is the force that animates all living things. Qi flows through energy pathways throughout the body called meridians or channels. There are 12 main meridians that correspond to specific organs and run bilaterally, mirroring each other. There are also extra pathways that run deeper in the body, but all are the channels through which Qi travels. Qi must move freely throughout the body for health to be maintained. A blockage of the Qi in the body usually results in pain (a main symptom of Qi stagnation) and if left untreated can cause a whole host of other, more serious problems. In addition to Qi running through the meridians, each organ also has its own unique Qi. Each organs’ Qi can become deficient, excess, or stuck, or stagnated. A stagnation of Qi starts energetically, but if left untreated, can manifest physically as things like tumors and other masses. This is why it is important to keep Qi flowing freely.

Read full article...

Social Behaviour and Your Health

Social Behaviour & Your Health

By Emma Suttie, D.Ac, AP

Chinese medicine is not only a physical medicine. Although it does treat the physical body, the body is only one small part of a much larger picture. It is a holistic medicine, taking into account all parts of a person, including the environment in which that person lives. Everything that person experiences has an effect on their health, and so all must be examined when diagnosing and treating disease.

Because Chinese medicine takes so much information into account when diagnosing and treating a patient, it makes the task of the TCM practitioner more difficult, and requires more skill. It also makes the medical system extremely effective and is why it has survived for almost 5000 years.

SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

The way we spend our leisure time isn't something most people associate with poor health, but many of the ways that Westerners pass the time when they are relaxing, are actually detrimental to our health on many levels. I personally believe that at least some of the reasons why we choose to engage in activities like drinking, smoking and doing drugs are a way to escape the stresses that living in the modern world places upon us. So lets look at how some of these things affect health in the context of Chinese medicine.

SMOKING

The act of smoking introduces a lot of heat into the body and creates dryness, especially in the lungs. The short term effects are the consumption of lung yin, but over the long term this yin deficiency can spread to the rest of the body and cause all manner of other disharmonies. Another factor with smoking is the effect on the body's qi. The heat from smoking actually acts to move any stagnant qi that may be in the lungs, which explains why many people find that the act of smoking relaxes them. The movement of stagnant qi is short lived though, as the reason for the qi stagnation to occur in the first place has not been addressed. So although there might be a temporary short term benefit, if the cause of the qi stagnation is not addressed, the qi stagnation will return and if left untreated, can lead to more serious disharmonies.

Read full article...

Quote

Quote of the Month

Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you.

~ Rumi

Inspiration

Inspiration

Dutch Teens Ocean-Cleaning Invention to Launch Next Year

Don’t know if you’ve heard, but the Netherlands has an unstoppable deluge of unusual (and kinda amazing) green ideas, infrastructure, and, apparently, youths. Boyan Slat, boy inventor, has been working on a plan to clean up plastic waste in the ocean since 2012. His invention underwent a year-long feasibility study with a team of scientists and engineers. And now, the project is moving forward with a two-year trial off the waters of Japan in 2016.

A boy genius teaming up with a hundred researchers to help save the ocean? I sense a new Disney movie in the making, people! Slat’s idea, The Ocean Cleanup Array, consists of solar-powered spinning booms that act as a floating barrier and use the ocean’s currents to concentrate plastic. The trial version will be 2,000 meters (1.2 miles) long.

The 20-year-old said in a press release that if the project is successful, The Ocean Cleanup would soon begin a series of other deployments. Al Jazeera reports:

Within five years, the organization aims to deploy a 62-mile-long array that will be capable of capturing about half of the trash in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, Slat said. According to a feasibility study conducted by the team of 100 scientists and engineers working with Slat, the giant array will be able to do that over 10 years.

Read Full Article...

Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine in the News

Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine in the News

Father Joins Son's Acupuncture Business

What is Cupping?

Czech Republic & China Sign Cooperation Agreements

Togolese Physician Promotes Use of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Chinese Herb Promotes Brain Cell Proliferation

Chinese Shares Close Higher on Wednesday

How Your Face Reveals Your Inner Health

Physios will be Exempt from Acupuncture Law

Chef and Acupuncturist Idalee DiGregorio Helps People Find their Destiny

Complementary and Alternative Medicine Neglected by Those with Lower Incomes

What is GunnIMS?

Chinese Medicine's Mention in Free Trade Deal "A Tragedy for Australian Science" Critic Warns

First TCM Centre in Central, Eastern Europe Opens in Czech Republic

Acupuncture as Cancer Treatment

Healthcare Upgrade Seen By Public As Key Aspect to Reform Program

Acupuncture as Viable Treatment for Allergic Rhinitis: Study

Chinese Medical Team in Morocco Runs Free Clinic for Local Chinese

What is the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival

Taipei's Urban Renewal Programme Suceeds by Listening to its Citizens

Soothing a Dry Cough with Figs

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If you would like to read about the latest scienntific studies involving Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, please see our "Current Research" page to find all the latest. :)

Recipe of the Month with NourishU

Recipe Of The Month with NourishU

Lily Bulb - for Soothing Lungs & Mind

Lily flower has long been used by many cultures as a symbol of tranquility, peace and prosperity. The Roman Catholic Church used lily flowers to symbolize the Virgin Mary and to represent its own state of independence and prosperity. The Chinese culture uses lily bulb to make desserts for festivities and weddings to symbolize good luck and longevity of marriages.

Chinese medicine classifies the lily plant as bitter in taste, mild in nature, and beneficial to our hearts and lungs. The flowers are dried and used in cooking stews or soups. The more potent scale leaves of the bulb have a whitish surface, sharp at the tip and broad at the base, hard and brittle in nature and with a thin margin. The healing properties of lily include moisturizing the lungs, relieving cough from lung-dryness, clears heart-fire and tranquilizes the mind. Dried lily bulbs are commonly used in herbal formulas for promoting lung health, treating yin-deficiency of the heart which manifests as irritability, insomnia, dreaminess, palpitation and absent-mindedness, and promotes vital fluid and improves skin complexion.

In recent years with the increased availability of fresh lily bulbs, they are appearing more in the menus of Chinese fine cuisine.  The fresh scale leaves can be eaten raw as fruit or sprinkled on top of cold dishes or salad. Using fresh lily bulbs in stir-fry or congee is popular for increasing the health value of the dishes. Since over cooking fresh lily will dissolve most of it, it should only be added at the very last minute. When using lily in soups and desserts, they should not be cooked for more than two minutes.  For treating the very young and old with lily, steaming it for about 10 minutes will turn it into a paste, making them easy to both eat and digest.   

The traditional Chinese wedding dessert uses lotus seeds and lily bulbs for good luck. It is because saying the two ingredients together sounds like saying ‘Hundred Years Good Union’. The recipe is delicious and is better using fresh lily bulbs instead of dried ones. The following is the recipe. It is very simple and easy to make, tasty and healthy for the whole family, therefore is commonly served at home and in family restaurants all year round.

Read full article on Lily Bulb and its amazing healing properties..

Stir Fried Chinese Asparagus Lettuce Stems with King Muchrooms

THERAPUTIC EFFECTS

Promotes blood and improves circulation for better skin and complexion, calming the heart energy for better sleep, promotes vital fluid for soothing lungs, lowers internal heat and promotes yin balance.

INGREDIENTS (4 servings)

      • Red beans – 1 cup
      • Lotus seeds –1 cup
      • Fresh lily bulb (bai he) –  one bag (of 2 or 3)
      • Mandarin orange peel – 1 piece (optional)
      • Organic/natural sugar –  to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Soak beans and lotus seeds for about 2 hours and rinse clean.
  2. Discard outer leaves of lily bulb which are brown and dirty. Cut out brown tips and base of inside leaves, separate them and rinse clean.
  3. Soak orange peel for 30 minutes. Use a small knife to scrape out and discard the white membrane from the back side of the peel (to get rid of the bitter taste). Rinse clean.
  4. Put beans and lotus seeds in a pot with 8 to 9 cups of water. Bring it to a boil and lower heat to medium and cook until the beans and seeds are tender and turn into a thick soup (about 1.5 hours). Add boiling water to the cooking if necessary.
  5. When ready, add sugar to taste and wait until the sugar is dissolved. Add lily and cook for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat and serve.

USAGE

No restrictions.

Read full article on Chinese Lily Bulb and its amazing healing properties..

Chinese Medicine Living

About Chinese Medicine Living

Chinese Medicine Living is a place where Chinese medicine principles are applied to the way we live our lives to improve health on every level. In our articles, interviews and information we strive to teach how the body and the world is seen through the eyes of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) so you can better understand its theories, and how to live a healthy balanced lifestyle according to its principles. How TCM views the body and its connections to emotions, living in harmony with the world around us, and how to achieve the balance synonymous with health are the ways in which we strive to impart the limitless wisdom of Chinese medicine. Welcome.

If you would like to contact us, please email info@chinesemedicineliving.com. We would love to hear from you.

You can visit our blog and the store to learn more about this wonderful medicine. <3

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