Welcome to Spring!
I am happy to announce that two of my colleagues and friends are contributing to the newsletter this month. Vincent Pratchett, martial artist and writer extraordinaire has just completed a new book - The Raven's Warrior. Vincent was my Qi Gong teacher and has been my friend of more than 10 years. Michael Margulis who is an incredible acupuncturist and brings a deep understanding of Chinese medicine theory to his life and practice. Michael and I were classmates in acupuncture school, and we have been friends ever since. I thank them both for their contributions.
There is FREE SHIPPING this month on everything in the Chinese Medicine Living store!
Also, as of next month, I would like to introduce a new segment to the newsletter and the blog called "Ask an Acupuncturist". I receive so many emails with questions about all kinds of Chinese medicine related things that I will now be choosing one of those questions every month and responding to it, so please submit your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. It's all confidential, so feel free to ask me the really crazy stuff. Be creative, I can't wait to see what comes to my inbox this month!
And... you can now follow Chinese Medicine Living on Pinterest! We have loads of TCM charts and infographics, beautiful images and articles that you will surely enjoy. :)
Here Are This Months Articles...
Menopause - A Chinese Medicine Perspective
Menopause is a time when a woman’s life transitions from one stage into another. Ideally, this is done gracefully, and without any problems or health concerns.
In reality, I see women entering menopause with dread and fear. They have been taught that menopause is a disease and that it will be a time for unpleasant symptoms and hormone therapy. Much of our culture supports this, and it is no wonder women feel this way. So why is it that women in the West react this way to a natural life process while their contemporaries in the East do not? In an interesting bit of trivia, the Western thinking on the subject it seems, was fuelled by a physician and a book he wrote on the subject in the 1960’s...
“The current medical wisdom is the product of an industrially manufactured consciousness. In 1966 Searle, Upjohn, and Wyeth-Ayerst pathologized the perception of menopause, transforming it from a transitional life stage into a chronic disease process by hiring a Brooklyn physician named Robert A. Wilson to write a book called Feminine Forever, proclaiming that estrogen would protect a woman's youth and save her from "living decay." The book injected fear by insisting that without estrogen replacement therapy (ERT), bones would dissolve, hearts clog, vaginas shrivel, breasts sag, skin crinkle, and minds deteriorate.”
In China, women do not fear this natural stage of life. It is not part of their culture, or their experience. Menopause is not something that should cause anxiety, as it is seen as a completely natural process and not an illness that needs medicating. It is a time that a woman moves out of the reproductive part of her life and enters deeply inwards, bringing the focus to herself, often after many years of focussing on others. It is a time that is welcomed and honoured.
We are a culture that reveres youth and beauty. The transition into menopause is seen as a permanent loss of both. In China, one’s elders have great importance in both the family and social structure. As we move through life, we are seen to be accumulating something very valuable - WISDOM.
By Michael Margulis, Ac
Just a few words about the spring season according to Chinese medicine.
The spring is a time of upward and expansive movement of creativity, planning a brighter future, vision and perspective; our goal as always, is to harmonize ourselves with the movement of the prevailing season. According to Chinese medicine, the Liver and the Gall-Bladder correspond to the spring and are charged of the smooth flow of energy throughout the body, storing and detoxifying the blood. Our activities should be geared towards creativity, determination and the expression of our inherent mental, emotional and spiritual intelligence. Much in same way that many of us engage in an annual spring cleaning of our external environment, our bodies do the very same thing within our internal environment; physically and emotionally.
We are now nearing the time of year when we will see the newly formed buds on the trees doubling in size daily, this is nature's expression of determination and creativity associated with the spring. Similarly, we too should engage in activities that put our determination, creativity and innate intelligence into motion. In Chinese medicine we always look at nature for insight to the energetic momentum, and strive behave similarly. Just as the buds on trees are sprouting and doubling in size daily we should also be pushing our self imposed boundaries and seek personal development and growth. We should engage in uplifting and creative activity that expands our energy and consciousness, this is why we have been blessed with the spring, the season of creativity, growth and renewal.
The Raven's Warrior - By Vincent Pratchett
The Writing of The Raven’s Warrior—A Novel
Many people have an interest in martial arts. That interest however, is as unique as every individual who has trained and sweated through any art pursued. We bring a modern western perspective to an ancient eastern discipline. For me, the very first time I entered the dojo a new world opened up. The bowing, the white gi and the white belt I tied it with, the foreign names of the martial technique I learned, all took me to a place far different from the neighborhood I grew up in. Almost inevitably, the student at some point will turn their attention to the origins of their endeavor, both personally and historically. It is this understanding that provides the strongest foundation of who we are, and what we do.
At the University of Guelph I took a course in Chinese history, and felt once again that sense of wonder. In the library I poured over volumes of books on the science and technology of ancient China. This vast empire, isolated from the rest of humanity, developed and produced inventions and innovations that made the rest of the known world seem a very primitive place. The European world of A.D. 900 was a harsh environment. Ireland was regularly besieged by Viking raiders. Life in many places was as simple as defend or die. In contrast, China at this time was flourishing.
Confucian, Taoist, and Buddhist doctrine formed the basis of their unified society. The Chinese had weapons of steel, while the rest of the world wielded iron. They had the compass while all others navigated by wind and star. Theirs was a working cosmic understanding of the earth and the universe, while for the rest of humanity the world was still quite flat. Advances in medical theory, arts and literature, paper and printing set them apart. It was here that the discovery of the destructive power of a volatile black powder would change the nature of war for centuries to come.
I have always been a writer. I was born with an Irish soul. Inherent in this culture is a deep love and respect for both the written and spoken word. How these words come together to form stories is really the heart of the magic and the enigmatic beauty of creation. Within my family I was taught that stories surround the tellers silently like the air that they breathe. Their gift is to listen and to record, to bring tales from the ether, and give them voice. As one raised in Canada I was skeptical, but now that The Raven’s Warrior is finished, I don’t think that this explanation is without merit.
The stage was set.
The Science of Acupuncture - BBC Documentary
For thousands of years, what we now think of as Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) was the only medicine; now, traditional cures are being treated with a fresh respect. For BBC TWO, scientist Professor Kathy Sykes from Bristol University Kathy Sykes investigates why science is starting to respond to these centuries-old remedies....
Teach this simple truth to all: a generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.
Wounded in battle, a near dead Celtic warrior is taken by Viken raiders. He is sold into a Mid-East slave market and then dragged further east through the desert, into the ‘Middle Kingdom’ and into the hands of a warrior priest and his daughter.
A new root of Arthurian legend takes hold.
Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture in the News
Recipe Of The Month with Nourish U
Stir-fry Liver with Chives and Goji-berries
INGREDIENTS (2-3 servings)
Chicken or pork liver – 250gm
Chinese chives – one bunch (about 300gm)
Astragalus (huang qi) 黃耆 - 30 gm
Goji-berry / Chinese Wolfberry (gou ji zi) 枸杞子 - 20 gm
Minced or grated ginger – two tablespoons
Soy sauce – one teaspoon
Potato starch – one teaspoon
Cooking wine – 2 tablespoons
Nourishes liver, promotes good eyesight and increases yang energy.
1. Rinse astragalus, cut into short sections and put with 2.5 cups of water in a pot and
2. Rinse chives a few times, strain and cut into bite size sections.
3. Wash liver with salt, rinse, cut liver into thin slices and season with soy sauce, half
4. Soak goji-berries for 10 to 15 minutes with water and rinse a few times. Soak goji-
5. Warm one table spoon of oil in a pan. Add the remaining ginger and stir. Add chive
6. Warm another spoon of oil in the pan and add liver. Let liver cook for one minute
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.
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