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- Jean Donati Acupuncture604 E. Joppa RD
Towson, MD 21286410-984-3700
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Happy Chinese New Year– The year of the Dragon.
You might think breathing is second nature, right? You’re doing it right now as you are reading this. But did you know that there are different kinds of breathing and that what is called deep breathing can have important health benefits? Read on to learn just three of the most important reasons you should add deep breathing to your daily routine. continue reading
Meditation has a reputation for several health benefits but here are the top eight reasons establishing a regular meditation routine can improve your overall health and wellbeing. But first, what is meditation? It is defined as the regular process of training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts. continue reading
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!
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
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?
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.