As summer draws to a close, there is a shift from the expansive energies of summer to the inward, more introspective energies of fall. The days become shorter and we begin to feel a chill in the air that signals us to put away summer clothes and get out warmer clothing for the coming weather. Fall is associated with the lungs and the energy is letting go, so it is a good time to let go of any old feelings or experiences we may have been hanging on to and make room for new ones that will allow us to learn and grow in the coming year and beyond.
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Here Are This Months Articles...
Living With The Seasons - Autumn / Fall
By Emma Suttie, D.Ac, AP
Autumn is the season where the hot summer days gradually become shorter, and the leaves begin to change, presenting us with their beautiful colours before they fall off the trees to prepare for the coming winter. There is a cold in the air that signals us to start putting away our summer clothes and get out warmer clothing for the coming cold weather. We also begin to harvest and gather the brightly coloured foods that grow at this time of year like pumpkins and squashes, so they can be put away for winter. It is the time of year that we go from the relaxed and carefree attitudes of summer to the more serious and introspective energies associated with autumn.
In Chinese medicine, autumn is associated with metal and the lungs. This season governs organization, setting limits and protecting boundaries. In autumn we move from the external, expansive nature of summer to the internal, contractive nature of autumn. It is a good idea to finish up any projects you started in spring or summer and enjoy the results of all your hard work. It is also a good time to begin new projects that focus more on the internal – cultivating body and mind and becoming more introspective. The energy of the lungs is “letting go”, so autumn is a good time to be mindful to let go of anything we may be holding on to so we can make room for new experiences that will help us to learn and grow.
Autumn Associations in Chinese Medicine
Element - Metal
Grief, The Emotion of the Lung
In Chinese medicine, every organ is associated with an emotion, and the emotion of the lungs is sadness and grief. The lungs are associated with clear thinking and communication, openness to new ideas, positive self image, and the ability to relax, let go and be happy. When the lungs are out of balance or you are dealing with excessive grief, you will have difficulty coping with loss and change, a sense of alienation, and experience a prolonged sense of sadness that does not dissipate. The lungs are also associated with attachment, so if you have a hard time letting go of people, objects, experiences or spend a lot of time reliving the past, this can point to a deficiency of the lungs. If the energy (or qi) of the lungs is weak, you may experience an overwhelming, constant state of grief that does not ease. This deficiency, if prolonged, can lead to depression and other issues.
In contrast, grief that is expressed fully and resolved is strengthening both physically and psychologically. Therefore it is not avoiding grief, but rather dealing with it in a healthy way that is the key to being happy and maintaining balance in all aspects of life. For a more detailed description of how sadness and grief affects the lungs, you can read - Grief - A Chinese Medicine Perspective.
Antibiotics. The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
By Emma Suttie, D.Ac, AP
The term antibiotics literally means "against life." In this case, against microbes. When most people think of antibiotics they think of antibacterial drugs, used to treat bacterial infections, but antibiotics actually covers a much larger group of medications including antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antiparasitic drugs.
A Brief History
Treating wounds and infections with moulds goes far back into ancient history, long before the discovery of penicillin by Sir Alexander Fleming, the Scottish biologist, in 1928.
The discovery of penicillin from the fungus Penicillium notatum perfected the treatment of bacterial infections such as syphilis, gangrene and tuberculosis. Alexander Fleming also contributed immensely towards medical sciences with his writings on the subjects of bacteriology, immunology and chemotherapy.
One sometimes finds what one is not looking for.
The discovery of antibiotics, made by a succession of cultures and people throughout the ages and perfected by a handful of scientists spanning from 1640 to 1932 was one of the most significant discoveries in Western medical history. Antibiotics have led to the eradication of many infectious diseases in the developed world and saved countless lives.
Treating Spider Bites with Chinese Medicine
By Emma Suttie, D.Ac, AP
**Disclaimer - the images below are graphic and portray the progression of three separate spider bites through courses of acupuncture treatment. They are not being shown to be shocking, only to illustrate how serious (and gnarly) spider bites can be and how effectively they can be treated with acupuncture and other natural remedies. Be warned.
Every place you live there are going to be certain things that you tend to deal with a lot. The conditions I treated in Toronto varied enormously from the things I treated in Panama and now, in Florida there are different things that I tend to see a lot of. There are of course, the things you will treat everywhere, like pain, digestive problems and menstrual concerns, but each place will have its unique conditions that you will tend to see over and over again.
Over the past couple of months I have been seeing a patient who has been plagued with spider bites. He has suffered through not one, not two, but three consecutive spider bites. When you scroll down and see the photos, you will see why this is significant. Most people I suspect, have had a spider bite. They can vary in size and intensity, and we often don't know that we have one until after the fact, and they usually resolve quite well on their own. There are, however, certain kinds of spiders that have particularly nasty bites that can be very serious and require medical intervention, and these fall into that category.
There are 29+ species of spiders living in Florida, and of those, only two are venomous. They are the widow spiders and the recluse spiders. Of the widow spiders, there are 4 species that are found in Florida. The recluses have three species that are found in Florida. Bites from these spiders can be serious, and depending on where you get bitten and your general health these bites can range from minor irritations to epic and slightly frightening wounds that can leave permanent scars.
If you want to be able to treat spider bites naturally, there are ways to do it. This patient, for example, used essential oils on his own at home and came in for acupuncture treatments where we did acupuncture and moxibustion to help increase circulation to the area, boost his immune system and speed up the healing process, and they worked like a charm. You can see the horrible progression below.
Quote of the Month
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
~ Margaret Mead
Anuradha Koirala - Human Angel
This is a real hero.
Watch this video and please support Anuradha Koirala's wonderful organization, Maiti Nepal so she can continue her wonderful work and free the world of human trafficking forever. <3
Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine in the News
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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
Insomnia Cure - Lotus Seeds, Longan Fruit and Egg Yolk
Insomnia can be caused by many psychiatric and medical conditions and has become a very common health challenge to many people in modern societies. To fix insomnia, finding the exact cause is very important in winning the battle.
In Chinese Medicine, insomnia can be due to unsettled gut, unsettled liver or unsettled mind. To deal with unsettled gut, one has to fix digestive issues first, and then eat a healthy and easy to digest diet and adhere to healthy eating habits. To balance liver energy, it is important to promote liver yin and lower liver heat. To calm an unsettled mind, Chinese Medicine believes that by enforcing kidney functions, it can keep the over excited mind energy in check.
Personally, I have found much success using lotus seeds, longan fruit and egg yolk to calm the over active mind at night. There is substantial evidence proving that egg yolk is not harmful but healthy for us. Egg yolks are home to tons of essential but hard-to-get nutrients, including choline, which is linked to lower rates of breast cancer (one yolk supplies 25% of your daily need) and antioxidants that may help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts. The belief that egg yolks cause high cholesterol is now found to be untrue. Chinese Medicine finds egg yolks to be great for promoting blood and yin; lotus seeds for strengthening spleen, benefiting the kidney to preserve essence, and keeping the heart-fire and the kidney water in balance; and longan fruit for invigorating the heart and spleen, nourishing blood and calming the mind.
The following is the recipe. It is a very delicious dessert recipe with no adverse side effect and can be taken by people with no problem sleeping. I will strongly recommend anyone who has problems with shutting their eyes at night to give this recipe a try. It is very inexpensive and easy to make. For convenience, you can cook a batch together to be served for a few days. Please explore our website www.noursihu.com for recipes treating other causes of insomnia.
Lotus Seed, Dried Longan Fruit and Egg Yolk Dessert
Insomnia due to imbalance of kidney and heart energy.
Keeps heart fire and kidney water in balance, nourishes heart and tranquilizes the mind, nourishes blood, and tonifies yin.
INGREDIENTS (4 servings)
Eat one hour before bed. Take continuously for 7 days as one course of treatment.
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Vicky Chan of NourishU writes these informative articles about Chinese medicine nutrition and shares her delicious recipes. You can see more about the healing properties of foods and recipes at her website www.NourishU.com
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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