It is Thanksgiving week and shopping for this holiday season has begun. If you have not bought presents yet, the ideas are starting to develop. Since many of us do not need (or want) more ‘things’, making a donation to a worthy non-profit organization in someone’s name is a gift which benefits many. NGOs you may not know:
Heifer International: founded by a farmer from the American midwest 70 years ago, this organizaton fights to end world hunger and provide basic necessities to communities and families.
Donors Choose: teachers in public schools from all over the country post projects they want funded for their students / classroom. Some are inventive and many are very basic necessities such as books, crayons, markers. etc. Just scrolling through the requests is an education!
Barefoot College: teaches impoverished rural communites to be sustainable and self-sufficient. Empowers people with ripple effect in action. Their approach is inspirational.
Local non-profit organizations which appreciate gifts of time and/or money:
Placer Food Bank they are having a fundraiser run on December 13 in Rocklin.
Humane Society of the Sierra Foothils: animals need help too.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!
Want to feel healthy and lose weight?…..I do.
I recently took a class on weight loss and “body types” based on Traditional Chinese Medicine. The theory behind this approach integrates functional medicine (hormones, metabolism, blood sugar) & TCM. Each of us were born with some organs weaker than others. These weaker organs need to be strengthened to bring the whole into balance. This balancing gets us healthy. The first step in this program is a 2 week detoxification of the liver. Herbs are used to support our individual constitution and weaknesses. The liver is the organ responsible for processing toxins and plays a vital role in blood sugar balance amongst its many other functions. Acupuncture points are used to support and reduce cravings.
After the detoxification process, we are on supportive herbs and food which is specific for each body “type”. For example, some ‘body types’ are best with no snacks between meals and others are best with many small meals all day – has to do with blood sugar balancing and hormone release. Some are better with high intensity exercise daily while others need aerobic exercise like yoga, tai chi, swimming. And there are those which need a combination of both.
The instructor for this class stressed that I, and my colleagues, do the program prior to using it with our patients. However, since this, like many other programs, works best partnering with someone for accountability and support; I thought …a group all doing this together could be the way to go.
Have you noticed the words ‘we’ & ‘our’??? I will be starting this soon ……do you want to join me?
Incentive….if you start with me, I will offer a good package rate for the process.
Lisa Goodstein, L.Ac
The nightly news has been talking about the flu season and how H1N1 is back. Here at Canyon Health we have been seeeing people with colds and flus for months. My latest preventative: 1-2 drops of organic tea tree essential oil in cup of warm water – use as mouthwash and gargle, then spit it out. No, it is not tasty but, not horrible. Don’t swallow – tea tree is not good for the digesitve tract. Also around the office, we have been spraying organic green myrtle essential oil mixed in distilled water.
Both these oils have a clean, sort of medicinal aroma and are disinfectant. Green Myrtle is a strong anti-viral and anti-bacterial, gentle enough for children with infections. Tea Tree is known for its anti-fungal properties but is also anti-viral and anti-bacterial.
The standards for flu prevention of washing hands several times during the day with soap and warm water, avoid touching your face, staying away from sick people if possible, getting rest, taking your supplements….. generally taking care of yourself are all important. A little boost with the oils can’t hurt.
We do have some organic tea tree oil for sale in 1/2 ounce bottles. And if you want some green myrtle spray, we can make you a bottle.
Cold morning? Want to try something different for breakfast? Congee, also known as jook, is worth trying. It’s a rice porridge base that is warm, nourishing, comfort food; variations are endless including adding medicinal herbs. Easiest way to make: in a crockpot (slow cooker). Put in raw ingredients the night before, add garnishes and enjoy in the morning. Most recipes are 1 part rice to 9 parts water, this makes more of a soupy consistancy. I like it thicker, more porridge and reduce the water to 6 or 7 parts.
Some links to recipes: Great vegan brown rice & shitakes: http://http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-brown-rice-congee-with-shiitake-mushrooms-and-greens-recipes-from-the-kitchn-185837. Thanksgiving is coming up and what to do with leftover turkey?…. Throw the cooked turkey in before eating. http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/rice-congee-soup-jook-10000001097027/
More recipes and info: http://www.food.com/recipe/slow-cooker-vietnamese-vegetarian-congee-464918, http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-congee-comfort-food-for-69098
How can essential oils of both basil and angelica relieve headaches? From a Chinese Medicine perspective they enter different meridians (energy channels), and have different properties. Properties include natures (warm, cool); tastes (sweet/bitter/spicy, etc.); emotional effects (calming, stimulating, nurturing, etc.); physical actions (anti-inflammatory, analgesic); and contraindications (basil oil is not safe during pregnancy).
If you are in my office, and annoying/painful headaches is something you want help with, I have many options for treatment. First, I will ask you where on your head you have or get the pain. This is how I learn which meridians are involved. I ask some more questions, feel your pulses, look at your tongue, and make a diagnosis based on Traditional Chinese Medicine. I then create an acupuncture point prescription to remedy your headache and other aspects including your overall constitution. I may needle these points and/or apply appropriate essential oils, or maybe both. I might also send you home with essential oils that you can use on yourself…..yes, I will explain to you where to apply them, when, how much and how often. Of course, a custom created herbal formula is another modality I might use, as well as gua sha, cupping or tuina.
In answer to the question at the top of this blog: basil could be great if your headache is because of sinusitis. Angelica might heal your aching head if the pain is primarily on the sides, you are stressed and have been overeating. I say ‘could’ & ‘might’ because there are other factors I consider: the properrties noted above, your overall constitution, including current physical, emotional & spiritual situations. Essential oils, like acupuncture, work on all these levels.
In a consultation, I can answer your specific questions or concerns.
Lisa Goodstein, L.Ac
Continuing from my last blog: mint vs ginger for nausea….basically the largest differences for this situation: mint enters the meridians (energy channels) of the Lung and Liver and has a cooling nature. Ginger enters the Lung, Spleen, Stomanch & Kidney meridans and is hot in nature.
Chinese Medicine studies food, plants and herbs differently than Western Medicine. We examine the meridians they enter, their nature (think of temperature), part of plant to be used (leaves, flowers, bark, etc.) and of course, its functions & indication….what does it do to what.
Using nausea as the primary symptom, if you are also having heat symptoms, such as feeling warm, irritiable, red eyes, thirst, then mint tea is the one to choose. If you are feeling chilled, have loose stools, cold limbs, ginger tea would be better.
Back to essential oils: for application I have been using spearmint much more than peppermint lately; it’s a current personal preference. And because it is summer, I have not been using ginger essential oil at all. (But, I do continue to like this rhizome in my food).
I have been using essential oils since 1992 and, like most people, learned about them from a Western mindset. While studying Chinese Medicine I began investigating these wonderful substances from an Asian perspective and am incorporating them into my practice of acupuncture. Their abilities are compelling!
Essential Oils – the basics: They are extractions from aromatic plants by distillation or other means using flowers, leaves, rinds, tree /shrub bark and, sometimes the seeds or roots of certain plants. They have amazing healing properties for physical, emotional, spiritual & mental dis-eases. I think of essential oils as the immune system of a plant. The definition of ‘aromatherapy’ is the therapeutic use of essential oils to promote physical & psychological well-being.
An amazing ability of essential oils….apply them on the skin and they are absorbed into our blood! We actually have receptor sites in our bodies for these plant extractions. As they travel around our blood, they get picked up by these receptor sites if needed. If not, they are excreted in our urine. They can trigger certain pharmacological effects such as the example below for relieving nausea, and much more.
Many of the plants which essential oils are extracted from are also used as herbs and teas. An example of this from a Chinese Medicine perspective: You have been feeling nausea and want some relief. Make either a mild organic mint or ginger tea to stop this nausea. If it is your stomach which is giving you the problem, ginger will relieve it. If it is your liver which is the cause, the mint is what you want. You can decide just from smelling both tea bags.
This Wednesday, 2/13/13 at 6PM, Anita Eisenman, NTP, will be discussing holistic nutrition at a free talk at Canyon Health Center. The focus will be on the GAPS diet, nutritional support, and food planning.
February 10th is the Chinese New Year. Yes, the Chinese calender is a bit different than ours because it uses the lunar cycle so, the new year date changes but always falls between January 21st and February 27th.
The Chinese zodiac has 12 years in its cycle, each one represented by an animal; 2013 is the Year of the Snake. Astrologers say that people born in the Year of the Snake are wise but enigmatic. They are very intuitive and size up situations well, but say little. Snakes are refined; they like to dress well and are usually financially secure. They are intense and passionate in relationships, but can become jealous and suspicious. Snakes prefer a calm, stress-free environment.
Recommit to Your New Year’s Resolutions
The Chinese do not traditionally make New Year’s Resolutions like we do in the West, however this is a good time to reflect on the goals you set a month ago. Are you keeping your New Year’s resolutions?
If you’re having trouble, maybe it’s time to take a lesson from the Snakes. Take a quiet moment and reflect on what is stopping you. Do you need to get serious? Do you need additional support? Are your goals genuine – do you want to do them or do you think you should do them? Why haven’t you kept your New Year’s Resolutions?
If your resolutions include improving your health in 2013, we at Canyon Health Center can help you. Give us a call to make an appointment.
Use the Chinese lunar New Year as a do-over. Commit to your New Year’s resolutions.
Community style acupuncture treatments now available, Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. We are focusing on pain, stress, and addictions at a $30 flat rate. We would like to make acupuncture accessible and affordable to the community, so please call to schedule your appointment. Please note that complex conditions require more time and will be at our regular rates.