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Welcome Autumn

Welcome to the Jean Donati Acupuncture Autumn newsletter.

Inside you will find interesting information about the season of autumn, the element of metal, the lung and large intestine (the organs associated with metal), how metal shows up in all of us, and ways to strengthen your body, mind, and spirit in this season.  Enjoy!

Welcome Autumn

We are now truly into the autumn season.  The leaves are changing, the air is crisp, and daylight is decreasing.  In Chinese medicine, the autumn is the season of the metal element.  It is a time of winding down, clearing out, and of gathering reserves for winter.  The movement of autumn is inward and downward, taking us from the buzzing fullness of late summer into the deep stillness of winter.  The energy of autumn, the metal element, moves us to eliminate what we no longer need, and reveals to us again, what is most precious in our lives.

The organs associated with the metal element are the lung and large intestine. The function of the lung in Chinese medicine is to receive inspiration. The lung takes in the pure and lets go of what is no longer needed.  If the lung is not functioning well, waste builds up and we are unable to take in what is pure.  Instead of tranquility, inspiration and freshness, we have symptoms such as bronchitis, shortness of breath, cough, allergy, asthma, congestion, colds and flu, constipation, spastic colon, and diarrhea.  In terms of the mind and spirit, depression and stubbornness or an inability to let go may occur if the lung is not functioning well.

The function of the large intestine is to let go of what is toxic from the body, but not just on the physical level.  Think of how much rubbish is sent our way every day, which affects our mind and spirit as well.  We need to be able to eliminate the mental and spiritual rubbish or our minds become toxic and constipated, unable to experience or take in the beauty around us.  A well functioning colon allows us to do this effectively.

 

In an individual, the metal element represents internal resolve and strength, self worth, self-esteem, vitality, and endurance as well as the ability to let go of emotional upsets and grudges.  A person with well-balanced metal is organized, self disciplined, conscientious, precise, meticulous, and logical.  They are straightforward.  Metal qi bestows a deep inner strength.  A person with unbalanced metal is disorganized, overly critical, unable to sense their value, and often lacks inspiration.  They may seek respect and recognition from the outside because they feel a lack of worth on the inside.  They have difficulty letting go of things because they identify their worth with those things.

As we move into the cold damp and windy weather of autumn, we need to nourish our yang energy.  One way to do this is by eating foods prepared by long, slow baking, roasting, or stewing.  Use warming herbs and spices such as ginger, garlic, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and pepper.  Foods prepared in this way warm the body.

Foods that reflect the quality of autumn are heartier in flavor and more astringent.  Foods like turnips, ginger, garlic, and horseradish are thought to assist in cleansing grief (the emotion associated with the metal element).  Roots like carrots and turnips and winter squash help ground us and increase our ability to focus.

Foods to incorporate

To Clear Phlegm:  Almonds, baked pear, garlic, onion, black tea, peppermint, thyme, and mustard

To moisten dryness:  Baked peaches, apples, pears, tofu, butter, and eggs

To generally strengthen the lungs:  Lung chi enhancing foods include pungent spices, ginger, garlic, rice, oats, carrots, mustard greens, sweet potato, yam, molasses, and almonds.

Foods to Avoid:  Dairy products (introduce phlegm and create mucus), orange and tomato juice, beer, wheat flour pork and rich meats, peanuts, sugar, bananas

Autumn Recipe

Oven Roasted Vegetables  (Recipes for Self Healing, Meridian Press)

Choose 4-5 root vegetables (carrots, turnips, winter squash, pumpkin)

Chop into bite sized pieces and place in oven safe dish

Mix toasted sesame oil with sea salt and black pepper and pour over vegetables

Sprinkle with sesame seeds, rosemary and thyme

Bake at 400 for 1 hour

The Cold/Flu/Virus Season is upon Us

Autumn is the best season of the year to pay attention to the health of our lungs. 

Some suggestions on how to strengthen our lungs are as follows:

*Keep your immune system up, and cover your neck whenever outside.

*Stay out of drafts, and avoid air-conditioning. Dress appropriately.

*Increase rest and go to bed earlier.

*Avoid smoke and environmental toxins.  If you smoke, autumn is a wonderful time to  Quit!

*Do deep abdominal breathing exercises.  Yoga or Tai Chi

*Have a cup of ginger tea -it is pungent and tonifies (strengthens) the lungs.

*Have a good cry.  Holding grief in, or refusing to recognize it, is very damaging to the metal element.

*Brush the skin and hair (The Skin is the associated organ of the Lungs)  To help strengthen the Immune System, use a loofa to slough off old cells and invigorate the akin.

*Acupuncture treatment can strengthen lung energy to ward off colds, and flu illnesses.

Consider what you need to do to make ready for the letting go of autumn.
Holding your harvest in mind, ask what is overgrown or unneeded. What distracts you from your dearest concerns?  What might you wish to simplify in yourself or in your life?

Welcome Autumn

Suggestions for living in harmony with the autumn season:

*Go through your closet, desk, garage, medicine cabinet – any cluttered storage area- and discard what you no longer need. Then donate, sell, or otherwise circulate what might be of value to others.

*Do a mental inventory: Examine attitudes (prejudices, envies, hatreds, jealousies, resentments) stored within your psyche. When possible, contact those with whom you harbor old “stuff.” Attempt to resolve the hurtful old issues, and then let them go.

*For issues you cannot resolve directly with others, or for old issues with yourself, write them on paper, being as specific as possible. Then burn the paper, symbolically…releasing the content.

Take time each day to breathe slowly and deeply. As you inhale the clean autumn air, feel yourself energized and purified. Feel the old negativity, impurity, and pain leave your body and psyche. Then contemplate briefly who you are without these qualities.

 

For more information about Chinese Medicine, and Acupuncture, please visit my web site www.East2WestMedicine.com or call Jean at 410-984-3700.

Welcome to Earth Element in 5 Element Acupuncture.

There are 5 elements or Seasons of energy in Acupuncture.  Each is associated with time, color, sound, odor, foods and other associations.  These 5 Elements are s follows.

Earth (Late Summer) Holding energy, nourishing, supporting

Metal (Autumn) Descending movement, letting go, loss

Water (Winter) Stillness, persistence movement, power, regenerating

Wood (Spring) Uprising movement, birth, growth

Summer (Fire) Dancing energy, playfulness, blossoming

 

Late Summer & The Earth Element

Late Summer is a nurturing time of the year. We have a surplus of fruits and vegetables, gifts from the growth and busyness of the Spring and Summer seasons.

In Late Summer, the activities of Summer start to slow down while harvest time kicks into gear. The plants and trees offer their bounty of fruit and vegetables. Food is available for all animals before fall approaches and preparation for winter begins. Late summer reminds us that Mother Earth gives us all that we need without asking anything in return.

So how does this the energetic movement of Earth and Late Summer show up in us? 

Emotionally, the Earth Element shows up as the emotions of sympathy, empathy, and compassion. Our ability to give and receive caring feelings and mothering energy.

Physically, the Earth Element shows up as our Digestive System.  The Stomach, Spleen, and Pancreas are the organs that break down, digest, and helps to transport nourishment to the body.

Spiritually, the Earth Element gives us the ability to feel an inner nourishment through stability, security, and abundance. When we overflow with this energy, we are able to share our bounty with others.

When the Earth Element is in balance we have the gifts of nurturing, thoughtfulness, nourishment, taste, sympathy, and stability to give to others.

When the Earth Element is out of balance, we may feel obsessive worry or sympathy, self-centered or insecure, not be able to give or receive help or care from others. We can feel a lack of abundance, what we have is not enough. Physically, muscle pain, digestive problems, ulcers, or headaches can occur. Issues with the relationship with food and body image can arise as well.

If your Earth Element Qi is feeling stuck here are 4 practices that can help:

  1. GIVE…Lend a helping hand to a neighbor in need; give a random gift to someone in your life; volunteer your time at a homeless shelter or food kitchen; Give out hugs; Literally, feed your partner or friend.
  2. GRATITUDE…Keep a daily gratitude journal; Give thanks to the Earth and her creatures for providing nourishment; When you say “Thank You” look the person in the eye and mean it from your heart.
  3. RECEIVE…Consciously accept the thank you, gifts, and offerings of others; Be aware of the processes of taking in food, chewing and digesting.
  4. ACUPUNCTURE… If you have been receiving seasonal acupuncture treatments, between now and October is the perfect time to come in for your Late Summer session. It can help bring Nourishment to your body, mind, and soul! If you are new to acupuncture, massage, nutrition, or energy medicine, now is the perfect time to start acupuncture treatments! Give Jean Donati Acupuncture a Call at 410-984-3700.

Acupuncture Treatment of Pain

When Are you going to treat my pain???

Over the past few days, I have had several patients ask me …”I am coming in for neck pain or back pain or shoulder pain…where are you going to put the needles”?  Or if I have been seeing the patient I am asked “when are you going to treat my pain… why don’t you just put the needles where my pain is?”

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the flow of energy or Qi, moves in specific pathways called meridians.  There are 14 major pathways, and these pathways interact with each other.  Initially, when I first see a patient, I like to make sure that the overall energy is clear, so I do a few “clearing treatments” before I focus on shifting any energy in a specific pathway.

Your energy is like a garden.   I want flowers or crops to grow, so I need to make sure the ground is ready for planting.  This means removing any unnecessary weeds, or rocks or debris.  This is what the clearing treatments do.  They make the energy channels clear and ready for shifts in energy.  The clearing treatments are generally on the front, or back of the body and can consist of 2-4 treatments if necessary.  This is to ensure that the energy is moving in the proper direction, not being contaminated.  It is like removing a kink form a hose so you can let the water flow.

There is another important thing to note.  Say you come in for wrist pain, there are 6 pathways that encompass the wrist area.  These include the heart, small intestine, triple heater, pericardium, lung and large intestine pathways of energy.  They all start at the fingertips and go up the wrist, to the forearm.  Some of these pathways diverge to the chest, face and back.  So, needles may not be placed in the wrist for wrist pain if there is a blockage of energy along a pathway is say the small intestine at the level of the scapula or shoulder blade.

Traditional Chinese medicine takes all of this into account.  So, when I am asked “When are you going to treat my pain?”  My answer is… I already am…I started with the first session.   Sometimes clearing the general energy blocks (which can include internal and external factors such as emotions, heat, cold, wind, damp, excess or deficiency, side to side energy pathway balance) can make a profound change in the symptoms you came in with and others you were not aware of such as sleep, mood, digestion and concentration.

 

My treatment protocol consists of the following…

Clear general energy blocks -Internal Dragons, External Dragons, Aggressive Energy, Alkabane (side to side balance).  1-4 treatments if needed.

Clear local pathway energy blocks form one pathway to another (Entry/exit blocks) if needed

Treat meridian root cause with local and distal points at each treatment after the clearing treatments

Ashi points or painful points not specifically on an energy pathway.

Treat Constitutionally.

As a team, we are teaching your energy how to stay open and clear, but sometimes life gets in the way, and blockages can reoccur.  Each part of this protocol may need to be done, or just one part, or perhaps several at the same time to shift the energy when it needs to shift.  Each treatment builds on the one before, so it is important to have regular and frequent treatments early in your treatment course.  As your symptom resolves, the length of time between treatments can be increased as long as you remain symptom free.  Once we get to this point, I generally like to have my patients come back monthly for a tune up so that we can continue to keep their energy clear and keep them symptom free.

 

Health Benefits of Acupuncture and Yoga

The Health Benefits of Acupuncture and Yoga

Acupuncture is an ancient healing technique originating in China over 5000 years ago.  It is the process of moving qi (chee) or energy, in the body to decrease pain, facilitate health, wellness, and allow the body to heal itself.  Disruption of qi energy is responsible for pain and illness in the body.  By using certain acupuncture points, this energy is allowed to move freely and decrease pain and improve health.

The practice of yoga can be traced back to Northern India 5000 years ago.  It incorporates body postures, meditation, breathing and relaxation techniques all dedicated to moving prana or energy.

Acupuncture and yoga share the philosophy of connecting the body, mind, and spirit.  Through the practice of acupuncture and yoga, you can experience many health benefits.

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine the benefits of acupuncture and yoga include….

*Pain relief, in particular, improving back pain.

*Easing arthritis symptoms.

*Benefiting heart health

*Relaxation for improved sleep

*Increased energy, brighter moods and mental clarity.

*Stress relief

Both and acupuncture and yoga benefit the whole person by enhancing health of multiple body systems and increasing the sense of well-being.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes acupuncture to be helpful for many conditions affecting the body, mind, and spirit.  These include pain, stress, nausea and vomiting, headache and sciatica, plus many more medical conditions.

Come enjoy Acupuncture with Jean Donati Acupuncture in Towson, MD., and Yoga with Janet.  Your body will thank you for it.

Schedule an acupuncture appointment with Jean Donati Acupuncture in Towson, MD here  https://www.East2WestMedicine.com

Schedule a virtual yoga class with Yoga with Janet here   https://www.yogawithjanet.yoga/

 

Notes:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/286745

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/9-benefits-of-yoga

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/acupuncture#:~:text=Acupuncture%20points%20are%20believed%20to,physical%20and%20emotional%20well%2Dbeing.

https://holistic-health.org.uk/acupuncture-evidence-project-deeper-look/

https://holistic-health.org.uk/world-health-organisation-recommends-acupuncture-100-conditions/#:~:text=And%20based%20on%20their%20research,of%20all%20our%20world’s%20citizens

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/156488#what-is-acupuncture

 

 

The Benefits of Acupuncture for Chronic Fatigue

The Benefits of Acupuncture for Chronic Fatigue towson maryland jean donati

The Mayo Clinic describes Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) as a “complicated disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that lasts for at least six months and that can’t be fully explained by an underlying medical condition. The fatigue worsens with physical or mental activity, but doesn’t improve with rest.” It’s estimated that there are more than 200,000 cases of CFS in the U.S. and research has proven that acupuncture, combined with other treatments can help to alleviate the symptoms that come with CFS. continue reading »

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