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Healthy Foods for Fall

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traditional chinese medicine foods for fall

The season of fall brings cooler weather and shorter days. As with any season, the world adjusts accordingly. Plants begin to go dormant, animals begin scrounging for food to store to get them through the upcoming winter months and humans start winterizing everything.

As fall descends on the land, it reminds us we need to start cutting back on the numerous cooling foods that are consumed during the summer months. Things like raw foods, salads, juices and fruits should be decreased because they can create too much cold in the body, according to traditional Chinese medicine. continue reading »

Five Reasons to Get Acupuncture for Low Back Pain

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Statistics show eight out of 10 people will experience low back pain at some point during their life. Seeking medical treatment for back pain is very common. Typically back pain is fleeting and can be easily resolved with rest, heat and an occasional anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen. However, once the damage is done, the recurrence of back pain can be as high as 50 percent. Part of this is because as we age, things like muscles and tendons become less flexible and pliable. It is also very well known in the United States, people are too sedentary and this leads to excess weight gain that can create added pressure on the body, especially the low back. continue reading »

Menopause and Acupuncture? Yes!

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How can Research Completely Conflict ? 

As I work towards my Doctoral degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, I have developed a strong interest in treating women that struggle with emotional issues tied to PMS, Peri-Menopause, Menopause.

In order to delve deeper into the connection between hormones and emotional states, I have been learning how to sift through research. It isn’t nearly as fun as it sounds! Yet, as intense as research can be, some elements of it are fascinating. I tear apart faulty studies, that are often used to shape treatment plans. I see nearly perfect research proposals get thrown out the window due to lack of funding.

I began writing this review of different studies on Acupuncture in the treatment of Hot Flashes and had the idea to share it with all of you. Not only to show that there has been a bunch of research to show that it works… But also to show that we can not jump to any conclusions by reading a small blurb about a small study in a Consumer Reports magazine!!!

There is a wealth of information out there. And I urge you all to research and be your own advocates. But, please don’t jump on Web MD and expect to find the ultimate answers to all of your health problems. That site will take you from a hangnail to near death in 24 minutes!

This is just the beginning of a very long journey. But I wanted to share with you, what you can learn in just one hour on PubMed. If you have any interest in following along while I explore the connection of hormonal impact on emotions more deeply, please send me an email. I will also be happy to answer any questions you may have along your journey!

Sara Poldmae, L.Ac., MSTOM, Doctoral Fellow.

spoldmae@meadowhillwellness.com

 

Acupuncture for Hot Flashes, Menopause Reviewed

In 2016, a randomized trial, Acupuncture for Menopausal Hot Flashes, concluded that Acupuncture is no better that sham Acupuncture in treating menopausal hot flashes.

This study caused many patients to question the efficacy of our treatments.

Unfortunately, our patients do not know whether the study utilized sound research methods. For instance, all of the patients included in the study were diagnosed with Kidney yin deficiency. Who diagnosed the participants with this pattern? Would patients that aren’t yin deficient, yet are having hot flashes, benefit from Acupuncture? Rather than dispute the study’s methodologies, I will instead discuss not only a singe, randomized trial that suggests opposite findings, but also, a meta-analysis of many studies, suggesting the findings in the above study may not be correct.

The single, randomized trial I chose to look at, Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine for hot flushes in menopause, was interesting because it also included self-care techniques in addition to Acupuncture. 100 menopausal women were divided into two groups. While all women participated in self-massage and dietary changes, only one group received Acupuncture treatments. After 4 weeks, the group receiving Acupuncture experienced significantly more relief of menopausal symptoms than the group that did not receive Acupuncture treatment.

In a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials titled “Effects of acupuncture on menopause-related symptoms and quality of life in women in natural menopause” we see 12 studies with 869 participants being collectively analyzed. The authors of this meta-analysis selected the 12 studies as being most relevant, out of 104 that could have been included. This meta-analysis concluded that acupuncture improves not only hot flash frequency and severity, but also other menopause-related symptoms.

This meta- analysis would seem by many to be more useful in determining whether Acupuncture is a legitimate treatment for menopausal symptoms than the singular studies.. Two of the reasons that stand out for me are the following. First, the authors of the meta- analysis were extremely selective about the studies that they chose to include, making sure that those studies that were included were of sound research, good sample size and relevant. The large number of participants being analyzed, 869, is also an extremely valuable measure compared to smaller studies which often include less than 50 participants. .

One significant way that this type of research can help in clinic, would be to help negate the negative press that one research study can bring to a profession. By being able to say to my patients that although this research study may cast doubts toward Acupuncture for hot flashes, there is a systematic review of 12 other studies with 869 women that shows significant improvement through Acupuncture treatment.

 

Chiu HY1, Pan CH, Shyu YK, Han BC, Tsai PS. (2015) Effects of acupuncture on menopause-related symptoms and quality of life in women in natural menopause: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Menopause, 22(2), 234-44.

Baccetti S, Da Frè M, Becorpi A, Faedda M, Guerrera A, Monechi MV, Munizzi RM, Parazzini F. (2014) Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine for hot flushes in menopause: a randomized trial. J Altern Complement Med. 20 (7), 550-7.

Ee C, Xue C, Chondros P, Myers SP, French SD, Teede H, Pirotta M. (2016) Acupuncture for Menopausal Hot Flashes: A Randomized Trial. Ann Intern Med., 164 (3), 146-54.stress-06092014-282x300.jpg

 

 

Acupuncture for kids. by Molly Hutto, L.Ac.

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HAVE YOU CONSIDERED PEDIATRIC ACUPUNCTURE?

A lot of parents I speak to are really shocked when I tell them acupuncture is not only a safe form of treatment for their children, but a highly effective one too.  Many assume their children will be afraid of the needles, and so they do not even consider using Oriental Medicine to help their children.  However, most of the kiddos I work with quickly get over their fear of acupuncture once they realize it is not painful, and for those who really are scared of the acupuncture needles, we use a wide breadth of modalities, so oftentimes, needles are not even necessary in our pediatric cases.
A mother myself, I do understand how valid a parent’s concern is about any medical treatments and their potential side effects on their children.  The good news is that for adults and children alike, acupuncture yields extremely low risk of side effects, and often potent results, as the body seems to take or leave suggestions acupuncture offers; there are no unpredictable or harmful side effects, as is often common when one uses a medication.  Furthermore, children are miraculously sensitive, so very few needles are necessary to achieve great results with them, and if needles are used, they are inserted into the body more shallowly and for shorter periods of time.
For some children, instead of using needles, gentle medical massage is administered using a tiny toolkit, called “Shonishin.”  Shonishin is a Japanese technique that is relaxing and in many instances, just as or more effective than acupuncture needles.  As each child is different, we interpret which modality is most appropriate case by case, and we never force children to try something that is terrifying to them; more often than not, they quickly warm up to the idea of receiving acupuncture, because it can be a fun experience and it makes them feel better.
In addition to acupuncture, Chinese herbalism is another modality that is oftentimes extremely effective at helping pediatric ailments.  Pediatric herbs are predesigned and formulated to be safe for children.  While there are many ways to administer herbs, most children take their herbs via a tincture which can be mixed in applesauce or other food, and they won’t even notice they are taking medicine.  While herbal medicine is more complex than acupuncture, it is still less invasive than most Western modalities and medications.
I have had the great joy of exposing many children to the benefits of this ancient medicine, including my own child.  I have seen children manage emotional overload, stomach issues, allergies and fevers using pediatric acupuncture.  I have seen children overcome anxiety, bed wetting and adverse hyperactivity with this soothing medicine.  As with anything we introduce our children to, I would encourage you to talk to your acupuncturist and attempt to have all of your questions answered so that you too, feel comfortable before taking your child for acupuncture; most parents’ concerns are quickly assuaged once they see for themselves how non-invasive and truly effective it is for their children.  Our children deserve the best we have to offer, and this medicine has endured the test of time, because it really works.

Allergies in Annapolis, by Molly Hutto. L.Ac.

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Well Annapolis, it is finally Spring, and in no time at all, we will be privy to the quintessential Annapolitan experience of sails on the bay, Cherry blossoms, and outdoor dining. There is nothing that can put a damper on this seasonal shift though, like Spring allergies. It’s harder to exercise, food tastes blander, and your energy levels are bound to be lower if you can’t breathe well. In fact, despite being one of our region’s most beautiful times of the year, it’s difficult to enjoy pretty much anything if you don’t feel well enough to get out and be a part of it all.

Many people resort to a prescription of heavy allergy medications that often come with undesired drowsiness and dryness, but acupuncture works wonders for allergies without side effects, addressing a broad range of allergy symptoms including dry and itchy eyes, watery eyes, nasal congestion, post nasal discharge, headaches, rashes, congested ears, cough, fatigue and more. Further, acupuncture confronts symptoms of illness within the context of your personal constitution, thereby addressing other struggles you may be dealing with. You may leave capable of obtaining greater sleep, having less pain, and feeling more energized, in addition to allergy-free.

I have had many patients ask me how and why acupuncture works. It is sometimes referred to as the 4,000 year old project, because it is a medicine that is constantly expanding from its ancient roots, and it has endured literally millennia of progress and development, always improving. One would think the emergence of Western medicine would overshadow the ancient practice of acupuncture, but rather, Western medicine complements it, providing a different explanation for how our bodies function; I often say about different modalities, “we are all having the same conversation, but in different languages.”

For allergies, acupuncture functions much like a street sweeper on a busy city street, clearing out blockages that obstruct the free-flow of traffic. In your body, passages that are obstructed by congestion are opened, clearing a way for your breathing, healing irritation, and conserving your body’s energy so that it can be more productive in other ways. It never ceases to delight me to see the pleasant surprise on a patient’s face when their congestion suddenly clears, or their sore throat suddenly stops hurting.

Of course, if you are struggling with allergies, in addition to acupuncture, there are some actions you can take in your daily life to aid your healing, such as consuming less dairy and sugar, moderate exercise (enough to increase your circulation which clears blockages, but not so much that your body is too worn down to fight pathogens), and utilizing a stress reduction method, such as meditation, since stress leads to bodily constriction, which obstructs free flow in the body, which leads to illness and pain. Utilizing acupuncture either to address symptoms such as allergies, or as preventative medicine for your general well-being will ensure you get out this season to take in the best our beautiful Annapolis has to offer.

Acupuncture, you don’t need to believe in it for it to work! by Molly Hutto

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Since becoming an acupuncturist, I’ve sometimes heard people say about acupuncture and other forms of alternative medicine that, “it works if you believe in it.” While a good affirmation certainly won’t hurt any situation, I’d like to set the record straight about acupuncture and why it works. You do not need to believe in acupuncture’s benefits for it to work; we see patients frequently who come to us as a last resort, not necessarily believing in our medicine having not tried it, but having nowhere else to turn to and reaching a point of desperation in their pain, to the point they are willing to try anything. My favorite patient to treat may be the patient who does not come to me already believing in the potential of acupuncture helping their issues, because I get to watch somebody’s entire perspective of the healing power of their body open up before them.

Most acupuncture treatments will utilize needles on 8-12 acupuncture points. Most of these points lie on specific collections of points that form pathways throughout the body. A good analogy may be that of interstates and highways, backroads and even city streets; each collection of acupuncture points that stream through the body have unique properties that define the nature of the points that are on them, and the role they play in an acupuncture treatment. Furthermore, the acupuncture channels share certain characteristics and behaviors at defining points. For example, if you access the farthest end of a channel, which ends on the tips of fingers or toes, this generally “opens the channel,” which has an analgesic effect, meaning it relieves pain along that channel pathway. This is one reason that your acupuncturist may not always use needles specifically on the area you are feeling pain, because the interconnectedness of your body can be influenced in many ways.

I enjoy telling people about acupuncture in comparison to other forms of medicine, that we are all having the same conversation, but in different languages. Due to its existence of four millennia, the terminology that is used by acupuncturists can be very poetic and may seem theoretical and abstract to somebody who is usually reassured by the empirical language of a Western doctor. The thing is, Oriental medicine is genuinely methodical and is research-based both in modern and historic times, and more than any medical field in existence today, we can say that Chinese medicine has withstood the test of time, as no other medical practice on Earth has survived quite as long.

Though its poeticism may not bolster somebody’s opinion of its medical competence, to the trained eye, this very trait demonstrates its adeptness at guiding the body towards deep healing. While certain Western medical approaches may force alterations in order to achieve desired results, acupuncture allows your body to conserve its own authority, as it accepts the facilitation it needs, and merely passes over that which it does not, bypassing undesired side-effects. Many acupuncture patients also enjoy the added benefits of better sleep, decreased stress and blood pressure, and greater alertness.

Weight loss. The whole picture. by Molly Harbour Hutto

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We see a huge variety of patients at Meadow Hill Wellness. Most come to us through referrals for aches and pains and women’s health, but as the word gets out about how effective acupuncture is at treating so many different ailments, our patients frequently inquire as to how our treatments can help with other problems, such as weight loss, since it is such a pervasive issue in our country. Many people have heard that there is an ear acupuncture protocol for weight management, and they want to know more.

The big question is, “can acupuncture help me lose weight?” The short answer is yes, acupuncture can help. The longer answer emphasizes the word help and I would love to tell you about the other tactics practitioners of Chinese medicine can use in addition to acupuncture to help you achieve the weight loss and fuller life you so desperately want.

The crucial point is that both weight management and weight loss do take work. There is no secret regimen that works for every body, and we could put needles in your ear every day, and even though it may help curb your appetite, it would never be enough to entirely reverse lifelong habits. Weight loss requires the merging of several separate components, and if just one of those pieces is missing, one’s chances of succeeding are diminished.

When patients tell me they have difficulty losing weight, several thoughts run through my head right off the bat to be addressed, and I’m going to lay a few of those out right now.

The first is what I call “the bottom line,” and in so many words, it equates to having a game plan and the willpower to stick to it. Willpower is easier to maintain if you set yourself up for success by removing triggers (such as the cookies in your pantry) and letting people in your immediate circle know that you need and want their support, and letting them know what it means to support you.

The second thought I have, is I wonder about a patient’s current diet. This is tricky, because everybody’s diets are vastly different. Do you eat your food primarily out of a box? In restaurants? Does somebody else do the shopping and cook for you? Are you eating whole vegetables and high quality meat? This sort of nutritional consultation can take a long time, because it needs to be extremely thorough, and also because it needs to be personally tailored for you.

The third thought I have is in regards to a patient’s lifestyle, beyond how they eat. Are you active or sedentary? Do you struggle with depression? How is your sleep? Do you have injuries that further prevent your progress? Again, within this single thought are an infinite amount of possibilities that will help us distinguish why weight is a struggle in the first place, and in which ways you need our team to intervene and facilitate your progress.

And lastly, another thought I have is about motivation; it too is all about will power. How can we motivate you to first commit, and then stay committed, even when it gets really hard? One question I ask most of my patients is in what ways they are not living their lives that they wish they were. Are you unable to run around with your kids or grandkids? Did you give up a beloved athletic activity because you can’t keep up? Are you lacking confidence because you feel like you weigh more than you should? I think it’s a shame that most weight loss products seem to focus on making you feel as though you aren’t socially acceptable unless you lose weight. Shouldn’t we choose to lose weight because we know it is good for our hearts, and because we want to enjoy long lives with our families, doing exciting things? Shouldn’t we choose to lose weight because we miss the way it feels to ride a bike or swim in the summer or hike up a mountain? Whatever the motivator is, the single greatest wish a patient has, that is the piece of information that clicks and makes weight loss a more tangible possibility.

Once we have gathered all of the information, acupuncture and Chinese herbs do two things; first, they provide a foundation from which to work, supporting your constitution and stabilizing your mind, body and spirit as it deals with the stress of letting go of attachment to certain ways of living. Second, it aids your body at clearing out toxins. As you lose weight, certain toxins that were stored in your fat cells will be released into your bloodstream. It is extremely important to drink a lot of water and engage in activities that increase your heart rate so that your blood can clear these toxins out efficiently. Acupuncture, by its very nature circulates your blood and relaxes you, so it really is the perfect adjunct to a weight loss regimen!

You can take any myriad of pills or diet shakes, but in the end, there is no escaping your body’s chemistry and profound need for movement, real nourishment, and the knowledge that you deserve this in order to lose weight. An acupuncturist can offer you guidance that will be valid for a lifetime, and your commitment to implement these very warranted changes could set you off on the next phase of your life that is full of happier memories and awareness of the infinite healing ability of your body.

Molly Harbour Hutto, Licensed Acupuncturist.

What does it mean to eat with the seasons? by Molly Hutto, L.Ac.

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What does it mean “to eat with the seasons?” I often tell my patients to change their diets to be more in-tune with the time of year, but that is a request that may have different meanings for everybody. I suppose for most people, this equates to eating whichever produce happens to be in season at the moment, and while that is a huge component of this theory and a pretty smart standard to follow in general, as a practitioner of Oriental Medicine, I actually mean to imply much more than mere ingredients.

The entirety of our medicine is founded on the basis of “yin and yang” (pronounced “yahng”). This theory really is not about black and white as the notorious yin-yang symbol might have you believe, but rather it regards the shadows and tones of gray along the spectrum between two opposites. While yin is dark and yang is light, one leans in where the other retracts. For example, the time of evening twilight is yang (light) giving in to yin (darkness), and as the sun begins to rise the following day, the yin wanes as the yang then becomes more prominent. Neither one ever exists entirely without the other, but they are everlasting partners in an eternal and quintessential dance. All things, including the rhythm of our bodies, can be viewed through the lenses of this theory.

From a traditional Chinese medicine perspective, Winter is the most yin time of year, and Summer the most yang. A parallel could be drawn between Autumn and twilight, as this is the season when the yang of Summer is declining in order to make way for the depth of the yin half of the year. Indeed, the fire of Summer is now but embers in a fire pit, no longer hot enough to boil a pot of water. And there you have it; the brightness of summer-yang energy is strong enough to cook your food for you. Our bodies function in-tune with the seasons, which is why eating salads and juicing is so appealing for many people in the summertime, but as the brightness of Summer-yang dies down, so does its digestive power, and these uncooked foods suddenly become harsh for our bodies, and they require extra digestive energy to extract the nutrients.

The general rule of thumb with eating is that in order to properly digest what we consume, the nutrients in our food cannot be accessed unless the cellular structure of our food is compromised. Heating your food, even just lightly will break down its cellular structure, making its nutrients accessible for nourishment. In the middle of the summer-yang months, your internal digestive fire is at its peak, and for most people, that means that eating a salad is no big deal; your body can adequately “cook” the food for you in order to extract the needed nutrients. Every step in digestion, including this one, requires precious energy. For somebody who is already worn down, the extra step of “internally cooking” their food could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, especially in the colder yin months of the year when this digestive energy is no longer so prominent. Patients who do not have enough digestive energy exhibit symptoms such as loose stools, foggy headedness, poor memory, irregular menses, poor appetite, bloating, depression and weight gain.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it would be extra wise of you to commit to properly preparing your food for the entirety of the yin seasons. This means cooking foods well and avoiding raw as much as possible. The temperature of the foods and beverages you consume is important; try drinking warm water with lemon or herbal tea, instead of ice water or other flavored drinks. Eating foods that are cold in temperature requires energy from your body to heat it up in order to maintain homeostasis. Consider giving your body a break whenever possible and eating nutrient-dense warm meals.

With our nation’s most celebrated holidays around the corner, we begin to hear a lot about dieting beforehand to look trim for season, and we hear it even more afterwards as the pressure is laid down to lose the excess holiday weight. Eating a clean diet year-round truly is the best way to look and feel your best. There are no pills or infallible diets that don’t take a toll on your health. Of course, a safe cleanse now and then clears the body of unwanted toxins and often has the added benefit of weight loss, but the best time of year for a detox is the summertime, when our bodies have extra energy stores to access while we cut back. While it’s tempting to detox in order to lose weight after the holidays, doing so may actually be counterintuitive, as many detoxes result in a deficit of very important nutrients, which in turn damages your metabolism.

We incorrectly use the word “metabolism” to describe how efficiently one digests food and keeps off unwanted weight, but really, metabolism refers to every cellular function in your body, and therefor a good metabolism really alludes to optimum health, far beyond one’s ability to burn calories. However, it is fair to say that if one has a great metabolism, their organs more than likely are receiving the specialized nutrients they need to carry out their individual functions, and if your organs are receiving the support they need for optimum function, then chances are your food is being adequately digested too, and therefor, calories efficiently burned. You see, Chinese nutrition discerns the difference between a health hack and authentic health. Eating in-tune with the seasons in one of the best ways to increase your metabolism, meaning increasing your digestive fire; in other words, eating with the seasons will optimize all of your body’s varied functions and help you stave off illness and keep up your energy level through the darker seasons.

Sometimes, eating properly is not enough, or we simply are not able to keep up with eating the ways we know are most advantageous. In this case, the wonderful energy-building forces of acupuncture and Chinese herbs are best utilized. Of course, routine visits to your acupuncturist are wonderful preventative medicine, but the preeminent prevention lies in your nutrition and the rest of your lifestyle. Here’s to optimum health year-round!

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Spring has Sprung!

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Spring brings with it warmer weather and renewed physical and mental energy. For many people, however, the transition from winter to spring isn‘t always easy. The cold winter months are a natural time for rest and introspection so it can be a challenge to get moving again.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) tells us that settling into spring can be even more difficult if there is an imbalance in the Liver, which is responsible for the flow of Qi (Life Energy) throughout the body. An imbalance or lack of Qi can cause a whole range of emotional and physical symptoms such as anger, depression, mood swings, abdominal pain, menstrual problems, and even allergies. If you suffer from any of these symptoms, then you are aware that they can be barriers to moving forward and living in harmony with the seasons.

The good news is that you can take charge of your health and kick-start your spring. First, talk to me about how to address any underlying imbalances that might be affecting your energy levels. I’ll have some suggestions for you, and may even talk about dietary changes, supplements, herbs or exercises that can help.
Next, decide how to tackle any stressors at work or home that might be keeping you from feeling your best. Consider acupuncture, acupressure, meditation, yoga, massage, or talk therapy to help you handle stress and keep from becoming overwhelmed.
Lastly, plan to get moving. Exercise is an important way to boost your energy and keep your Qi flowing. Keep these tips in mind:

Take it slow, especially if you haven’t exercised over the winter. Use common sense to avoid overdoing it and injuring yourself.
Set small goals for yourself such as walking for 15 minutes each day. Set new goals as your fitness level improves.
Warm up before exercising and always remember to stretch.
Do something you enjoy, so your workout doesn’t feel like work.
With a little planning and some assistance from TCM you can shake off those winter blahs and enjoy all the wonderful benefits of spring.

References:
Ready, Set, Grow, Connors, C., Body & Brain magazine. Spring 2005.
The Liver and Liver Qi Stagnation, Acufinder Magazine. http://www.acufinder.com

Spring is a happy time

Spring is a happy time.  Bunnies hop about.  Flowers emerge in long forgotten corners of your garden.  The birds return and sing so loudly they wake you in the morning.

This is not a time to be angry.

But according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, being angry is exactly what you can expect if you don’t balance your wood element.

In TCM, spring is represented by the element wood.  Wood represents birth and newness, the time for fresh ideas and new starts.  Unsurprisingly, its color is green like the fresh growth of spring.

Wood governs your spine, joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons.  A wood imbalance can lead to spinal problems, poor flexibility or arthritis.  Wood also governs your eyes.

But most important for your mood, wood governs your liver.  Your liver is responsible for the smooth flow of Qi (energy) and smooth flowing Qi means health and vitality.  The emotion associated with your liver is anger.  If your liver is imbalanced your Qi will be disrupted and you’ll be angry.

Healthy (and happy) spring acupuncture practices mean balancing your wood element and caring for your liver.

Healthy Spring Acupuncture Practices

Try these spring acupuncture recommendations, to keep your wood balanced and your liver healthy.

  • Cleanse.  Cleaning your colon releases accumulated toxins, undigested food, parasites and fungi.  With a clean colon your digestion is more efficient and your body is healthier.
  • Detox your liver.  Reduce or eliminate alcohol or drugs that are toxic to your liver.  Consider a detox that specifically targets your liver.  Call me if you need suggestions.
  • Stretch.  Start or recommit to a healthy stretching routine.  Try yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, or other exercises that move, loosen and flex your joints.
  • Exercise your eyes.  Massage your face, especially around your eyes.  Roll your eyes and move them in figure 8s.  Practice focusing on distant objects and then focusing on close objects in quick succession.  Put time limits on your computer sessions.  These exercises strengthen your eyes and can improve your eyesight.
  • Control your anger.  Create a healthy anger management plan.  Journal, meditate or get counseling.  Put limits on stressful situations.  Find activities that refocus your anger in healthy ways.

Healthy Spring Acupuncture Diet

Follow these tips for a healthy spring diet that supports your liver.

  • Eat light.  Overeating taxes your liver.
  • Eat greens.  Sprouts, wheatgrass, spinach, kale and dandelions are particularly good foods in the spring.
  • Eat sour?  Sour is the flavor associated with spring, however sour flavors are only recommended for certain constitutions.  Instead of dousing your greens with vinegar or lemon juice dressings, consult with me to find out what flavors are best for you.
  • Drink milk thistle tea.  Milk thistle detoxes your liver.
  • Season your food.  Pungent spices like basil, fennel, marjoram, rosemary, caraway, dill and bay leaf are excellent for spring cooking—and they taste good.

By keeping your wood balanced and your liver healthy you will be happy.  You’ll feel vital, flexible and clear.  If you have questions about healthy spring acupuncture practices feel free to call me for recommendations.