When I first heard about Dr. Claudia Welch’s Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life, Ihappy to read a book that marries the practices of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Ayurveda. The book was an excellent source of knowledge for the newcomer to any form of Eastern medicine, TCM or Ayurveda. Dr. Welch begins by explaining the most important concept of yin and yang, which is the foundational principal of TCM. With this basic knowledge, the rest of the book uses the principals of yin and yang to describe hormonal balance (and imbalances) within the body. She then continues going through specific hormonal problems that affect women throughout their lifetime, such as osteoporosis and heart disease. [Read more…]
In the age of food allergies, Sandra Beasley’s Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from An Allergic Life is a fascinating read for those of us who cannot imagine living with such food restrictions. Beasley tells her life story of dealing with severe food allergies and how she has learned to adapt her life around her extreme food sensitivities. Her food allergies are so severe that she rejected her mother’s breast milk as an infant. Over many years, doctors were able to determine that she is allergic to dairy (including goat’s milk), egg, soy, beef, shrimp, pine nuts, cucumbers, cantaloupe, honeydew, mango, macadamias, pistachios, cashews, swordfish and mustard; she is also allergic to mold, dust, grass, tree pollen, cigarette smoke, dogs, rabbits, horses, and wool. (Can you imagine?) However, the discovery of her allergies also involved countless anaphylactic shock episodes and trips to the emergency room before the correct offender could be identified. [Read more…]
Beans are an excellent source of vegetarian protein. The proteins from beans (legumes) can help regulate water and sugar metabolism and should be eaten as part of a healthy diet. Some people are afraid of eating beans due to flatulence or digestive upset, however these symptoms are usually due to improper preparation and cooking techniques. Make sure to soak your beans overnight in cold water before cooking. [Read more…]
Diet is just as important as acupuncture and herbs when it comes to treating the body from a traditional Chinese medical perspective. Making appropriate food choices is key in maintaing good balance. Individual foods, like Chinese herbs, have specific healing properties and this is the basis of Eastern nutritional theory. For example, certain foods have warming properties and should therefore be eaten more frequently during the winter months. These foods include cinnamon, clove, ginger and lamb. Likewise, there are foods that have more cooling properties such as cucumber, watermelon, lettuce and cabbage. [Read more…]
The struggle to conceive can be a very emotional and taxing journey. In conjunction with conventional medical treatments, there are several aspects of health and well-being that can be addressed through complementary techniques. These techniques include diet, exercise, acupuncture, herbs, supplements and coping skills that are imperative in surviving the emotional rollercoaster.
This group provides the opportunity for women to come together and learn about the Chinese medical approach to fertility, as well as other holistic approaches to prepare the body for pregnancy. Most importantly, this group provides the opportunity for women to share their experience with other women who are going through the same struggle and know that no one is alone.
Acupuncture Healthcare Associates of Michigan
As we begin the new year, many people are hoping to make dietary changes. I have found a lot of confusion among people as to which dietary path to choose: Vegetarian? Organic? More grains? Less grains?
Whenever I find myself confused about dietary choices, I always think of the basic TCM dietary principals:
Especially at this time of year, its always best to have warm, cooked foods. Instead of choosing salad, have soup instead. When food is already warm, your body does not have to expend as much qi to digest the food properly. This concept also applies to fruit. In general, fruits should be limited (relative to vegetables) at this time of the year but when eaten, fruits should be at least at room temperature.
When it comes to grains, whole grains is the only way to go. During the winter months, more warming and nourishing grains are preferable. These grains include basmati rice, wheat, oats, quinoa and well-cooked barley.
Finally, Chinese medicine supports the consumption of animal protein. (In moderation, of course). This category emphasizes the consumption of eggs, chicken, pork and fish. Consumption of beef and lamb are also acceptable. (Dairy should be limited or completely avoided, as it creates dampness within the body)
Remember, it’s all about balance! Make sure to eat a variety of different grains, vegetables, fruits and protein. Finally, listen to your body! If you find that eating a certain food causes digestive upset or discomfort, please avoid that food.