Winter Meditation

“The 3 months of winter, this is called closing and storage. Water freezes and the earth cracks, without harassment to the yang. Retire early and arise late. One must seek the light of the sun. Make the will as though it is hidden, as if it is concealed, as if one has everything one needs. . .This is winter qi’s correspondence. It is the Dao of cultivating storage. To go against it injures the kidneys, and in the spring engenderment will be diminished.” (“Yellow Emperor’s Internal Classic”)

The art of longevity is an important tradition within Chinese Medicine that calls for paying attention to the seasons and living in harmony with them. In the winter months, this means paying attention to the Dao of cultivating storage. Storage means containing our resources within, as though our desires and hopes are a quiet secret we keep to ourselves. When we properly store in the winter, it strengthens the spring energy of engenderment and growth to be more robust.

In the winter, it’s natural to want to sleep more and be less active. Our tendons and muscles aren’t as limber, so it’s better to practice qi gong and breathing exercises rather than bending, stretching or vigorous exercise.

Winter 2011/2012 Newsletter

Happy New Year!

Dear Friend:

I hope you enjoyed the holiday season and some quality time with family and loved ones. As you may know, Chinese medicine views winter as the season of storage and quiet. I’ll be sharing some wintertime thoughts and delicious recipes with you in this newsletter, but first I’d like to introduce you to Elaina Leifer, who recently joined my practice to offer acupuncture facial rejuvenation treatments.

Elaina apprenticed with me for over 2 years, while studying for her master’s degree in acupuncture. Having mastered facial rejuvenation techniques, I invited Elaina into my practice. Her wonderful, calming presence combined with her intelligence and skills are a welcome addition to the clinic.

To read the whole newsletter, click here.

Weekend’s Reading – January 7th, 2010

Happy New Year Everyone,

Healthy resolutions underway? All of the Good Advice about sticking to a resolution emphasizes the importance of starting small with changes that are do-able and sustainable. So the question to start the new year with is, what are the little things we can do on a regular basis that will help us to keep our momentum going all year long? Here are some unique ideas for new year’s resolutions if you haven’t come up with any sticky ones yet:

  1. Get the formaldehyde out of your closet
  1. Add some Seaweed to your meals once a week. It’s simple, nutritious and delicious.
  2. Research your Water sources? Know what’s in your H2O, and then drink plenty every day.
  3. Eat seasonally. Start with a warm Winter Soup.
  4. Hummm your sinuses clear.
  5. Download some new Uplifting Music to accompany you on a walk.
  6. Join in on a cause you believe in, and see the difference you can make.
  7. Read more! Here is a review of an interesting new book to get you started: The Emotional Calender
  8. Make sure your workout routine is targeting for strong, healthy Bones.
  9. Don’t eliminate deserts, just make healthy ones like these Cake Pops. This recipe is Gluten Free & too much fun not to share

Best of luck in your 2011 endeavors.
Warm Wishes,


A Healthful Vision

The art of longevity involves sleeping well, eating well, and living well day to day. As an acupuncturist my role is to help transform the landscape of a patient’s body so that the environment within the body can function at its best, which allows my patients a better chance at living healthy and disease free. However there are many factors that must be addressed, and the power of my treatment is more potent when patients do their part to create a healthy environment within their own bodies.  This is one of the reasons that I prescribe herbs for my patients. Herbs are medicinal. They bring elements from the natural world into the body to nourish and protect the organs, cells and tissues.

I believe it is important for my patients to understand that one of the fundamental energy sources for the body is The Sun. We receive nourishment through both direct sunlight and from the breakdown of the food that we eat, and of course all of our food sources gather their energy from the sun. The sun is therefore how the cells in our bodies are fed and therefore capable of doing their job. Of course too much of anything, even a good thing like the sun, can be too much. The Confucian Doctrine of the Mean, which advocates for longevity and peace in society, teaches that living moderately is to our advantage. It is interesting to point out here that even moderation can be adhered to in moderation, and that indulging on special occasions is healthy and forthcoming.

Continue reading “A Healthful Vision”

Adele on GOOP – Spring Allergy and Detox Remedies

This is part II in a series of living according to the seasons, which is an ancient Chinese principle for good health. Our lifestyle, activities and eating habits should naturally reflect the energies of each season. We have already discussed Winter, in the Chinese New Year newsletter, and now we come to Spring. Spring is a time of renewal and growth. In the winter months we talked about storage and hibernation, a time to recharge the batteries. Now that spring is upon us, it is time to begin stretching out and becoming more active again, and renewing ourselves.

Each new day has its springtime. Try getting up just before dawn, when the black night sky slowly turns to blue. The sun rises in the East, and the blue color of dawn opens to our eyes and we experience the new day. Spring is like this.

One of the first signs of spring is the maple syrup season. The sap of the trees begins to flow up from the roots of the tree, to the tips of the branches. This happens before the buds begin to show themselves. Only after the sap reaches to the top of the tree do the buds begin to show. Our energy is like this too. Our sap begins to flow in the early spring and our physiology begins to change gears, to welcome the spring season, which is supple and flows like the wind. The following poem is fitting to the season:

“The Spring Wind does not distinguish between high and low, it reaches everywhere. And the flowers and branches of plants and trees, themselves grow longer and shorter.”
— excerpt from The Sutra of Complete Enlightenment

Beethoven’s Violin Sonata #5 in F, opus #24 “Spring” has this same feeling.

The fresh green color of newly sprouted leaves is the color associated with spring and the liver, so eat your greens! The slight bitter taste of fresh young greens activates the liver system. Asparagus is coming into season as are the fresh young onions, leeks and garlic. Ramps can be sautéed; they have a unique flavor, like the mix of fresh spring onions and leeks, they are wild and are more and more popular. For a sweeter taste, strawberries will soon be here.

Many of my patients ask me about doing spring detoxification regimens, and spring is a time that the body naturally cleanses itself and renews itself, just think spring-cleaning! If one eats right, gets proper rest and exercise, the body will actually detox itself naturally. Since the liver is the organ system associated with springtime and it corresponds to the tendons and muscles, stretching or practicing yoga, is good to activate this energy. It also corresponds to the head and neck, and it is easy to get allergies, and stiff necks and headaches in the springtime. One should avoid catching cold especially around the head and neck to prevent stiff necks and headaches.

If you are an allergy sufferer, I recommend avoiding mucus producing foods, such as dairy, wheat, sugar, and cold raw foods and also taking a probiotic. This will help minimize allergy attacks in most people. For further guidance on this subject go to my website and check out the yeast free diet. If you follow it for about 6 weeks, you will lose a little unwanted winter weight, avoid the misery of allergy season and also detox naturally and be ready to bloom in the summer months. This diet cleans out the lymphatic system and calms down the immune system naturally. The neti pot sinus cleanse is also useful for spring allergies. If your symptoms are severe see an acupuncturist and/or a Chinese herbalist. They can also help with the stiff necks and headaches many people experience in the spring season.

The simplest, easiest ways to ensure that your spring is budding is to enjoy it. Get out into the sunshine for some exercise, and enjoy the nature around you.

Here are some other Spring related items I shared in the GOOP Newsletter:

Spring Detox Remedy

Ginger and Scallion Soup

Spring Allergy Essential Oil Remedy

Neti Pot