Issue 68, March 2017, London

Spring is in the air

Although the spring equinox doesn't start officially till 20 March, it does feel like spring is in the air. There is more light, the plants are starting to unwrap themselves after a long winter and it's time for us too to welcome in the new season.

The spring weather in the UK is a perfect example of how to be prepared: Should you bring a coat, jacket or light cardigan? Umbrella or no umbrella? Whatever the weather, always remember your scarf. A light one is now sufficient, since it's no longer protecting you from the cold but rather from the wind, and what a blustery wind that is.

If you're still a little worn down from winter – prepare yourself for the last of the seasonal coughs and colds still hanging around. At the first sign of a tickly throat or congestion, hit it with propolis tincture, elderberry syrup or elderflower herbal tea. Raw garlic is too much for me but you can always add it to your cooking.

The stews and casseroles that have been sustaining you through the few months will still figure for some weeks yet. Enjoy the root vegetables while you can before they get overshadowed by other spring delights like asparagus. Lighten your meals with some fresh leaves – use lettuce instead of wraps, throw some rocket on a cooked dish. Or try a dollop of Greek yogurt with a heartening lentil dish. No damp to worry about your Spleen function here, you're balancing cold foods with warming ones.
In Greece we have a holiday called "Clean Monday", which signals the beginning of Lent in the Greek Orthodox tradition, and also culturally marks the first day of spring. On Clean Monday, Greeks go to the open spaces outside of the city and fly heavy, hexagonal kites – no matter how we tried, my father and I could never get that kite to lift off. We would give up after a while, declaring it's a silly sport but every spring we would be there again.
Running like fools in the Greek spring air is how I always imagine the new season ahead, no matter what city I'm in. It's a time to brush the cobwebs away and bring clarity to the mind. As we shed the layers that have protected us so well, it's time to feel lighter and let the sun shine on your face.

+ Spring and Chinese medicine


How "heaty" and "cooling" made it to the Oxford English Dictionary

Last month I wrote about the nature of food-types in Chinese medicine (in case you missed it), and apparently the concept is becoming more mainstream than I thought: the terms “heaty” and “cooling” were included in the December 2016 update of the Oxford English Dictionary. Read more about it here.



No drugs for back pain say new guidelines in US

At a time when NICE has removed acupuncture from list of recommended treatments for low back pain, despite the research, over in the US, it's the opposite - the American College of Physicians have just added it. Acupuncture, along with other natural and alternative forms of physiological therapies, should be used instead of painkillers to help manage back pain they say.




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: 

Have a seasonal tune-up to help you shake off the mental cobwebs. To book an appointment email or text me directly, or call:
Tuesday: Neal's Yard Remedies, KING’S ROAD, 020 7225 2050
Wednesday: Neal's Yard Therapy Rooms, COVENT GARDEN, 020 7379 7662

And finally...

For a light but totally satisfying meal – try sweet potato and hummus mash with broad beans (or edamame) for bite. Thanks to Vicky for this great suggestion!

Ka Hang Leoungk
Managing Editor, Pointspace

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