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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

What? No Salad???!??!?!

Yes, that's right. If you're dieting this winter, don't eat salad!

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), food is medicine. In TCM theory, all foods have a distinctive energetic nature. Five flavors and five temperatures are taken into consideration when determining the energetic profile of a food. Food can be used to treat a disease and can be the cause of a disease. Generally speaking, you keep your digestion strong by eating cooked foods. The Chinese have been giving this advice for centuries.

The digestive system is sometimes compared to a pot of boiling soup. You have the fire below providing the energy of transformation to the substance inside. When the soup is at the right temperature, you will see steam rising above the pot. This represents the energy we get from our food. If you put in a bag of frozen vegetables in the pot, the temperature will fall very quickly and the steam will not form. It will take more energy to bring the soup up to the right temperature to make steam. Over time, the fire could burn out before the soup has made steam.

It takes energy to transform the food we eat. Eating warm foods saves our energy for the demanding process of digestion. It lightens the load, so to speak, so that we can build a surplus of energy. By preserving the digestive fire, you will keep your metabolism strong. You will transform your food into energy more completely, and you won't have as much bloating and fullness-- this is the biproduct of weak digestion.

Warm foods include not only cooked vegetables, but also specific foods such as the following:
Coriander, chives, onion, leek, green onion, asparagus, sweet peppers, pomegranate, apricot, peach, cherry, raspberry, chestnut, pumpkin, rice, dates, walnut, pine nuts, mussels, eel, lobster, shrimp, chicken, mutton, venison, ham, brown sugar, cumin, clove, fennel, garlic, fresh ginger, dill seed, nutmeg, rosemary, sweet basil, coffee, vinegar, and wine. In addition, fermented foods are a great way to strengthen your digestion.

The best diet food is a hearty stew with lots of vegetables. It will warm you up and keep you full. Try to eat soup every day.

If you simply must have your green juices or smoothies this winter, be sure to add spices from the above list in generous amounts to "warm"up the juice, and drink it at room temperature!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

It’s Summertime! Embracing Summer with Chinese Medicine


It’s Summertime! Embracing Summer with Chinese Medicine
by Mary Claire Dilks, D. Ac.

The summer season, the most yang time of the year, is filled with abundant energy and lots of sunshine. It’s about the fire element, expansion, growth, activity, and creativity. Several thousand years ago, an ancient Chinese medical text, The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Cannon, contained the idea that to live a balanced life we should cultivate Yang energy in the spring and summer, and protect yin in the autumn and winter. Here are some tips to help you promote the yang energy.

Be active: 

The heart is associated with the fire element, and it’s main function is to pump oxygen rich blood to your whole body. Getting your heart pumping will help keep it strong. Summer is an excellent opportunity to be active outside while having fun!

Ancient Chinese physicians advised to awaken early in the morning and go to be later in the evening. Follow the pattern of the sun. A midday rest is a great way to recharge.


Be happy:

In Chinese Medicine, mental processes, memory and emotional well being are all attributed to the heart and fire element. This is the time to live life to the fullest and embrace our potential. Gratitude is great way to nurture joy in our lives. Try starting off each day naming 3 things you’re grateful for.

If our fire element is in balance, we will sleep calmly and our hearts are strong and healthy. If it becomes imbalanced we may have insomnia, rhythmic disturbances in our hearts, depression or mania. 

Modify your diet:

Eat lighter and cooling foods. Summer is the time to eat more vegetables, salads, fish and seafood. Eat with the seasons! Avoid eating a lot of meat and fried foods this time of year since those are warming in nature. Add pungent flavors to your diet such as spices, chili peppers, garlic and onions. Pungent flavors “wake up” the senses. They tend to open the flow of energy in your body and can improve metabolism. As always, eat in moderation.

Live joyfully in the moment, get lots of sunshine, and enjoy Summer!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Giving Thanks

After another inspection related delay, I am so thankful that tomorrow the construction team will be working at my new office space. The latest timeline suggests we will be in January 1st- just in time for a fresh new year. I am looking forward to sharing this new healing space with everyone! Maybe we will have a Chinese New Year party?!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Construction Galore

Construction Galore by Chung Ho Leung
Construction Galore, a photo by Chung Ho Leung on Flickr.

New office construction officially begins tomorrow, 9/20/2012! Guess the date that we'll be open for business in the new space and the person that comes closest will win a $50 gift certificate to Emerging Energy Acupuncture!!! Answer in comments below THIS post!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Art of Patience


Every time I hear hammers or banging while I'm in my office (in 202d) I get butterflies in my stomach. I rush over to 203 only to see darkness or someone throwing some junk computers away.

My new office in 203 is still a dream. We're still waiting for a permit- after 4 months! I was imagining it while describing the layout to a patient last week, and I felt excited like I never had. I could finally see it! It's going to be beautiful, serene, and fresh. I'm going to have fish tank with goldfish. There will be orchids in front of the 8 foot windows in the treatment rooms. I will wash my hands with lavender soap in the sink at the end of the hall. At the end of the day I will close the sliding doors to the treatment space, and light will softly come through the frosted glass panels. I'm going to work on keeping these images in my minds eye and let's see if the power of attraction can make it happen.

In the meantime, I am learning patience and to really be grateful for what I have. I love my office, I have wonderful patients, and I am blessed with and wonderful family and vitality.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

from 1001 ways to relax, #335 Stop at Enough

"Stop at Enough. Do MoreAchieve MoreAcquire More are the most mischievous mantras of the modern world. They represent a constant drive toward more than enough, creating a never-ending spiral of unfulfilled promise. Reject them, and be satisfied with all your assets and your endless potential."