What Your Naturopath Didn’t Tell You About Adrenal Fatigue

 

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.

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Chinese Herbs for Your Bone Broth To Take It Next Level.

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.

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Why I’m a Moxibustion Freak and I Think You Should Be Too

moxa 3

 

Sometimes I feel so passionate bout Moxa that I feel I could pop.

Why? Well
1. I’m a major chinese med geek
2. Because of the untapped potential of this amazing technique. It’s a true gem.

It’s

  • effective
  • cheap
  • easy to use for most people
  • portable

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.

 

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How to Recover Fast from Injury with Chinese Sports Medicine Techniques

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.’

In the West we have been taught to use the R.I.C.E formula ; ie rest,ice,compression and elevation for the first 24 hours. After which, we are supposed to rest and heat.  The ice and elevation stops the swelling and then the heat is to encourage the circulation back to allow for repair.

The Eastern approach is to get new blood to the cells as quickly as possible so that the repair crew can do its work.  But what about the flooding? The idea is to put in water pumps to take it away and put it somewhere else.

These water pumps come in 3 forms:

If  you can’t get to treatment in the acute phase – Hello most likely! Then:

  1. Massage with a Liniment.  This is  can be applied by anyone.  TCM sports therapists  suggest to massage the sprained or strained area as immediately and as vigorously as possible.  If possible with liniment.

In a treatment a practitioner would use:

  1. Heated Cups. These would be placed on either side of the injury so blood is drawn away from the injury site. The swelling and inflammation of the injured area is immediately reduced and space becomes available which is then allows fresh oxygenated blood to get to the injury, carrying with it all the essential nutrients and factors needed for repair.
  2.  Acupuncture. Depending on the placement of the needle, the resulting vasodilation,vasoconstriction and general muscle twitching stimulates drainage and blood flow.  It also directs Qi to the area, the Blood then follows.

What is liniment?  This is what to cotton on to! -It’s miraculous stuff.  Basically it’s an alcohol based tincture that has been made by distilling potent healing herbs that reduce swelling, inflammation, pain and promote healing.   There are many common, easily-found and effective liniments around.

My personal favorites are; Zheng Gu Shui, Zen, Tiger Balm. I also use Fisiocreme.

Chinese herbal liniments, patches and moxibustion for rapid healing

Powerful and effective home care techniques for rapid injury recovery

 

So the steps are:

  1. You get hurt.
  2. Straight away douse the area with your liniment of choice
  3. Rub it in to tender spots.
  4. Mobilize (gently move with your hands) the joint or area, this can be a bit painful so breathe, stay mindful and calm.  Gently manipulate the joint the opposite way that it’s been affected.  IE if you rolled your ankle, slowly and gently roll it with your hands in the opposite diection.
  5. Loosely strap the area and keep it warm.
  6. Repeat steps 2.3 and 4. Every 1-2 hours in the first 12-24 hours.

Great, well done. You’ve gotten through the acute phase, with technique thats going to set you up for the best longer term recovery.

The most important factor to really understand is keep the circulation going.  Injuries can become chronic if stagnant blood is not removed.  Over time the local area becomes deprived of nourishment which can cause permanent weakness and potential for repeated injury to the area.

More tools that keep the circulation and thereby the nourishment going are:

Moxabustion.  This is a powerful tool for healing. It’s also pain free and inexpensive.

For take home care, we will give you a stick of moxa, in which you light and hold over the site of injury or nearby acu-points (if known) for 5-10 mins at a time. Until you feel the heat saturate the area.  Do this everyday for about 2 weeks after the acute phase has passed.

Herbal Patches.  The quickest and easiest way to keep the area infused with healing herbs. No witchy poo apocatheray skills required. They come fully prepared.  They are a stick-on plaster which you apply to the affected area.  They infuse the skin and then blood with similar healing herbs that are in the liniments. They usually last for 7-12 hours and are very inexpensive.

What else? Self Massage, stretching, mobilization ,  heat, heat, heat  and liniment, liniment, liniment.

So there you have it. All the tools and tips you need to look after yourself and bounce back from any injury. So, stock up your first aid kit with these inexpensive  and effective tools and you’ll be the star of  any outdoor adventure or sporting event.

Products are available at Cloud Gate Therapeutics, China Books, online, many Asian grocery store and the occasional chemist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 1 Thing We Need To Get To Make Change Easy.

brick-wall-grow-moss

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?

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A Survivalist Guide to the Christmas Party Season.

Spring is over!, that crazy back and forth weather (I may regret saying that!) wind & HAY FEVER has finished. WOOT WOOT! Summer has arrived! Most of the Cloud Gate detoxers are finishing up their program and as the Christmas season approaches detox is the LAST thing that people are thinking about. Instead peops be gearing up to CELEBRATE. Having a strong willed inner hedonist myself, I have crafted a summer party survival guide, based on experience, so that you can coast through this time, still releasing, connecting & celebrating but not abusing your body along the way.

party season survival
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The Mindset of the Chronically Relaxed

relaxed

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.

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3 Tips to Beat the Hayfever Grind

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.

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8 Lessons I Learnt From My Japanese In-Laws

Japanese life lessons - temple in Japana

 

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.
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The 1 Thing You Must Do This Winter

The Yin Bear

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..
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