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What Can Oriental Medicine Be Used For?

It is often asked, "What can Oriental Medicine Treat?" The answer one of my teachers told me, "What can go wrong with the body?" Here is a partial list which is based on a combination of clinical experience, and an informational brochure put together by the state of California showing the uses of Oriental Medicine, one of the oldest wholistic systems still in use on the planet today:

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The Essence Of Spring

Spring is the time of new growth, budding flowers, and outward expression. It is also the time of year associated with the Wood Element, which incorporates the Liver, Gallbladder, a time to spring clean our bodies, minds, homes and offices. It is a time to start fresh and begin anew, whether with our personal goals, creative projects, or our health.

Spring is the time that the Liver and gallbladder may be more reactive due to pollens, allergens, and an overload of toxins. However, this is also the season that these organs are most accessible and responsive to treatments. If your health is challenged with skin disorders, allergies, headaches, high stress, anger and irritability, depression, being unable to follow through with plans and goals, lacking direction, PMS, or low energy, then your body is communicating that it needs liver support and cleansing.

It’s possible learn so much about the healing and the body by just observing Nature. In the winter, plants die and animals put on their winter coats. Humans also mirror this as we, too, slow down, put on weight, and hibernate more, so to speak. During this time of year, all energies are conserved, turned inwards, and the body attempts to retain energy and weight as a simple response to nature. In the spring, buds emerge little by little, and show their colors to the world. They are tender, yet unstoppable. All the earth jumps from death to life, and moves from its deep center towards the light of Sun. Likewise, we too can sense our energies stirring, wanting to move, wanting to be outside. It is because of this outward, expansive energy movement that spring is a wonderful time of year to cleanse. The body is ready to stir and to move the winter’s heaviness outwards. For humans, this is a perfect time to do two things: Release and Express. Because of the outward moving, expansive energy of the season, we are primed to move stagnant, heavy, un-useful, sluggish ways out of our bodies and lives. Once we do this, we are freed up to start over, grow freshly, heal, create, and share our new blossoms with the world.

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Winter Dietary Suggestions

Foods that support and nourish the Kidneys and adrenals are:
Stews made with meat protein, Micro-algae (we recommend Spirulina),

Lettuce, Watercress, Endive, Turnip, Celery, Alfalpha, Nettles tea

Rye, Oats, Quinoa, Amaranth, Millet, Barley

Seaweeds, Miso, Soy

If your body is more the COLD type: Cloves, Fenugreek, Anise seeds, Ginger, Cinnamon bark, Garlic, Onion, Walnuts, Black beans, Lamb, Trout, Salmon

If your body is more the HOT type, (esp menopausal hot flashes at night):
Millet, Barley, Tofu, String bean, Mung bean, Water chestnut, Blackberry, Seaweeds, Black sesame seeds, Spirulina, Eggs, Sardines, Crab, Pork


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The Essence Of Winter

Winter, according to Chinese medicine, Taoist belief, and many other traditions, is associated with the Water Element. Both Water and Winter are symbolically about discovering the Depths of who we are. It is a quiet and internal time. It is a time to re-charge the battery pack of our adrenal systems and kidneys with rest, relaxation, and inward reflection.

Winter symbolizes a holding. It is a time of holding for our bodies, as we, and all the animals, retain an extra layer to keep warm. This holding also symbolizes the gestation that occurs within our beings as we dive deeper into the communication from our souls. Water can also symbolize the Dark night of Soul,... a time when we are called to step into and embrace the Mystery of Life; to dance with the unknown, and courageously trust that we will again step into Light and certainty. Thus, Winter is the best time of year to dive inward, face our deepest fears, summon our greatest courage, and examine our inner most selves.

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Seen Through the Eyes Of Chinese Medicine

One of the most inspirational aspects of Chinese Medicine is discovering the connection between the seasons and their influence on specific organ systems, emotions, and spiritual qualities. As we begin to understand that the seasonal cycles of the Earth greatly impact our physical and emotional lives, as well as encourage certain aspects of our healing process, we are able to truly grasp the nuances and reflections of how our physical and emotional bodies bring subtle, yet clear communications from our spirit.

Fall is a time of harvest; a time of gathering up in preparation for winter. Seeds are ready for sowing and it is the beginning of a turning inward for reflection. Autumn is associated with the “Metal Element”, which is represented by the Alchemist archetype, as it is the most revolutionary of all of the five elements. It is characterized by expansion, contraction, and transformation on the physical, emotional, and spiritual levels.

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TCM Acupuncture Yin-Yang - Definition

TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), acupuncture (ancient healing art using acupuncture needles) yin – yang (described below)

Yin - Yang – A background:
In ancient oriental philosophy, just like in western philosophy, there is a concept that at some level all of matter is connected. Be it quantum theory or the teachings of Socrates this philosophy is found in all cultures. This is the spiritual plain of oneness that is described in most mystical traditions. As this spiritual connectedness moves towards matter, the next step is “yin – yang” In Christian texts they say in John, “In the beginning was the light.” Even here we must realize that the opposite of light is dark. So in the beginning there were both light and dark, and they are from the same unified force. So “yin – yang” is a phrase that is related to the realization that the world, and universe for that matter is in balance. How they say in physics, “for every action there is an equal and opposite re-action” In yin-yang theory the statement might better be quoted as, “for every everything, there is an equal and opposite.” For example:
Light – Dark
Good – Bad
White – Black
Heavy – Light
Up – Down
Earth – Heaven
Man – Women

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