Chinese Medicine takes seriously the importance of our relationship to the Earth. It is concerned with our broken connection to the Earth, and how we can re-connect to its natural rhythms. By doing this, we can begin to harmonize our body, breath and mind to capture,cultivate and nourish our in-built self-healing mechanisms.
Older civilisations, such as India and China, have developed naturalistic cultivation practices to maintain, deepen, and draw from our relationship with nature. Recently I have been learning about Ayurveda, which sits alongside Chinese Medicine as the oldest known living medical systems. They both clearly describe this nature-connection and cultivation process.
In Chinese Medicine it is described in the physiology & cultivation of our Pre & Post Natal Essence (Jing) and Qi. The Ayurveda speaks of our Prakriti – our inherent individual nature. It also speaks of the Soma, the Nectar of life and how the wise collect it and drink it in.
Below is the low-down on Jing-Essence, what it is, how and why to treasure it.
Broth Broth Broth Broth.. sick of hearing about it already? Thought you learnt all there is to know about it, starting to think it could be a diet fad to rival green smoothies? Should kale and quinoa get nervous? Things may be blowing up in the media and people touting all sorts of claims, but really, but it’s a very normal part of diets occurring across the globe . It is especially present in cultures where they need to utilise as much as they can from their produce and livestock in an effort to have enough to nourish and strengthen the tribe.
Not only that, it’s easy to make, nutrient dense, easily absorbable by the body, warming and welcome in the colder months and suitable for all ages.
More specifically, adding medicinals to your soup stock is way old grandmothers medicine in China. The synergistic effect of combining both food and medicine in Chinese culture has been understood and utilised for a long time. It has a beneficial effect on vitality, energy, immunity and fertility.
Sometimes I feel so passionate bout Moxa that I feel I could pop.
1. I’m a major chinese med geek
2. Because of the untapped potential of this amazing technique. It’s a true gem.
- easy to use for most people
Lets put it into context.
To start, what is it? Moxibustion is the burning/smouldering of the herb known as Mugwort (botanically known as artemisa agyii,princeps or montanta) that has been dried, processed & aged so that it is a punk (soft downy fluff made from the hairs & oil of the leaves) or rolled into cigar like sticks. (uses more fibrous parts of the plant)
Moxa is burnt on or near acu-points in the body.
Chinese Sports Medicine is a science that athletes, martial artists and their trainers have utilized to their advantage for centuries.
Here’s the ticket, the main difference is in the initial phase of the injury.
I think that Eric Armstong, from Tree of Life explained it best. So to paraphrase;
‘If you imagine a basic injury is like a disaster site where the water pipes have broken and water is flooding the place because it (the swelling) has nowhere to drain. The repair crew (nutrients in the blood) can’t get in to fix things (things=cells) because there is water everywhere. The first step is to minimize the damage.’ (more…)
New Year, New Resolutions. That old chestnut.
In so many ways, the conditions are ripe for it at this time. Often in Jan, we’ve taken a break, mixed up the routine, have satisfied our inner hedonist over Christmas and NYE in celebration over the last year & heralding in the new. We spent all our money, took time off, ate lots of food, drank & more. (Or was that just me??) Afterwards we naturally feel a little austere, it’s quiet now, people are away, business can be slower, school is out. We have the space to contemplate. We may be pumped to start our new regime and that’s great, but why do most, even if they make a strong resolution, tend to not follow through with how they want to change and grow? Why do humans commonly do that? Why can’t we move forward in the ways we want? Why do we find it such an effort, too difficult & eventually give up?
WOOT WOOT! Summer has arrived!
Most of the Cloud Gate detoxers are finishing up their detox program. As the Christmas season approaches, detoxing is the LAST thing that people are thinking about.
Instead, peeps be gearing up to CELEBRATE.
Having a strong-willed inner hedonist myself, I have crafted a summer and Christmas party survival guide (based on experience) so that you can coast through this time, still releasing, connecting and celebrating but not abusing your body along the way.
Stop the glorification of busy
In Chinese Med treatment, we always ask about your stress levels and how they are impacting you. ‘Stress’ is so incredibly prevelant in the inner city modern life that its considered normal.
So often in treatment when people really get some space from and perspective on ‘Stress’ EVERYTHING CHANGES for them. I mean in a good way.
So I ask..
Are you in control of your stress levels or is stress running you ragged?
Do you feel your heart, your head & your feet walking off in separate directions?
Stress is the conundrum of our modern lives and it is the number one underlying factor in so many chronic and potentially life-threatening complaints.
You are not alone, underneath are some helpful habits, which I’ve identified as the five Mindsets of the Chronically Relaxed. Truth is it is in reach for all of us and I can’t wait to see it showing up in clinic.
The seasonal change is upon us yet again. Been out and smelled the flowers lately? Turned your head to bask in the sunlight? We are emerging from those long dark nights. Yang times are approaching. Things are going to pick up. Especially socially. Especially outside.
What does spring mean to you? To me it means luxuriating in the sun without getting too hot or burnt. It means stopping to smell the flowers as my nose picks up new full body milky scents of jasmine, gardenia and daphne. Spring is so damn optimistic, I love it.
It also heralds the beginning of about 3 months of sinus & energy hell for my partner and many of you guys, my patients.
I just returned from a quasi-spontaneous 3-week working holiday in Japan. We went so as my son could meet his grandparents – my Japanese in-laws – for the first time.
Travel has always been one of my greatest teachers. It shifts perspective like nothing else.
It was our first international trip as a family and I knew it would be very different from my life-before-kid travels, that’s for sure (ie NOT snowboard, hot spring, sake, party, repeat). We spent more time in one place, moved slowly and integrated into Japanese family life. This allowed me to understand more aspects of the Japanese culture.
I was happy to discover lots of deeply echoed Chinese Medicine lifestyle advice and health promotion in Japan. Japanese daily life is rich in these guiding principles.
So here are 8 lessons I learnt from my Japanese in-laws during our stay. I hope you find these relevant and helpful.
This weekend is Winter Solstice, which means it’s the longest darkest night of the year. We’ve hit that ultimate yin phase of the year, now is the time to make like the bear and hibernate. What to do when Game of Thrones is already over?
Seasonally winter is the time to take to ground and REST,conserve, build strength, save money. Therapeutically this is the time where it’s going to be the easiest to restore your adrenals, re-balance your stress and sex hormones. Repair what all that flight and fight has done to your system or as Takeshi says (pictured underneath) sharpen your sword.
A great easy way to do that is..