Chew on This...
The Spleen and Stomach rule the late summer season. That means these organs are now most active, accessible, and unfortunately prone to problems. They are also associated with the “Earth” element. Earth provides support and nourishment for all life. Likewise, these active organs provide the body with nourishment. Food is ingested, digested, transformed, transported, and assimilated into the physical body, creating bone, muscle, energy, and blood. Literally we are what we eat!
The health of these organs is critical to our feeling well. It is said that in the “Five Element theory, the Spleen is located at our center; when the Spleen is sick, the entire body is fundamentally sick.”1
Today many people suffer from digestive troubles. Just walk down to the local drugstore, and note the many products for sale to suppress various symptoms of poor digestive health. The only problem is that they DON’T get at the root cause of the problem(s). They just seem to sedate ill feelings and sensations.
In ancient times, and still today, it is understood that those who follow the laws of nature and a proper diet can be free from disease, and their spirit of life will not be easily exhausted.
Over time, a poor diet coupled with irregular eating habits, over-concentration, worry, excessive studying, or sitting too long can injure our Spleen and Stomach. Adopting a few new eating habits may allow your digestion to function better. In turn, the health of your entire being may improve. Caring for your health, naturally, with acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help get to the root cause(s) of digestive troubles.
Bon Appetite and enjoy this transition into fall!
References:1 Haas, Dr. E., Staying Healthy with the Seasons, 1981, pg 106.
Guidelines to Aid Digestive Health:
1) Don’t over eat. This prevents proper digestion.
2) Avoid eating late at night. This drains and strains digestive functions.
3) Eat a diet that reflects individual body needs. We all have different bodies
and life-styles that require individual nourishment.
4) Don’t eat while standing or on the run.
5) Don’t eat when you are emotionally upset.
6) Chew, Chew, Chew. Digestion begins in the mouth with saliva. The more chewing
that takes place, the easier your body breaks down food and assimilates it.
7) Don’t drink too many liquids with your meal - It dilutes digestive enzymes.
8) In general, eat a moderate amount of sweets. Too many impair the function of the Spleen.
9) Eat whole foods with plenty of fresh veggies, fruits, and grains.ert body text here ...
How is Your Spleen Doing?
Below are a few symptoms that appear when a Spleen/Stomach disharmony is present. If you say yes to a few of these, you may want to schedule an acupuncture tune-up.
Abdominal distention, bloating, aches or pain
Lack of appetite
Flatulence after meals or with stress
Watery, loose stools or diarrhea
Blood or excessive mucus in stools
Nausea or vomiting
Sallow complexion or pale lips
Pale and swollen tongue
Weakness and heaviness in the arms, legs, or muscles
Fatigue, lethargy, or low energy
Dizziness or history of anemia
Susceptibility to colds and flu
Cold hands and feetYour Super SpleenYour Spleen is about half the size of your hand. It is located under the left rib cage, just below your stomachYour Spleen According to Western Medicine
Stores, filters, and cleans the blood.
Eliminates and destroys worn-out red blood cells and recycles them into iron for hemoglobin and bile production.
Supports the immune system by producing lymphocytes, monocytes, and plasma cells that create antibodies to fight infections.Your Spleen According to Eastern Medicine
Rules the transformation and transportation of food and fluids.
Governs blood by keeping it circulating in the vessels.
Transports energy and blood to your muscles, flesh, and limbs.
Raises the body’s Qi by producing a “lifting” effect along the midline of the body, keeping the internal organs in place so they don’t sag or prolapse.
Governs and influences our capacity for thinking.
S.A.D. Times Ahead?!
The shorter days and changes in weather may throw many of us off balance, affecting our mood and behavior. In fact, ten percent of us may be diagnosed with a common problem called Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.).
People suffering from S.A.D. may have a few, or all symptoms present; changes in appetite, weight gain, cravings for sweet and starchy foods, a tendency to oversleep and have difficulty in waking, fatigue, low energy, decreased libido, aches, pains, and difficulty focusing.
These symptoms can be severe enough that our lives will be completely disrupted. We may even try to avoid social situations and become a recluse this time of year.
Traditional treatments involve mood altering drugs. While they may be effective, drugs can also have severe side-effects. Instead, many people choose to use natural remedies to combat S.A.D. such as exercise, herbs and light therapy. Light therapy involves sitting in front of a light unit equipped with specially designed bulbs. These bulbs duplicate the normal light spectrum of the sun on a cloud-free spring day. Since lack of sunlight is a factor in S.A.D., this therapy works quite well.
Light therapy requires an exposure to these special bulbs for at least 30 minutes a day. But, be cautioned, just like the sun, you can’t look directly into the light. There are many resources on the internet for this.
Another approach is to keep body and mind balanced with acupuncture care. Bodies can be easily thrown off balance with just about everything we do in life. The seasons have a direct influence upon the health of our mind and body. Acupuncture treatments can rebalance body systems, calming the mind, lifting the spirit and turning on our internal light switch!
Just another reason to keep your body, mind and meridian system in tip top shape!
Germ Theory: 101
Why do some people always catch a cold, and others don’t?
Viruses, germs and bacteria are everywhere. They are in the food we eat,
the air we breathe, and the water we drink. According to Chinese medicine,
they do not cause disease. When a certain organ system is already weak and
unable to resist outside invasion, it is therefore prone to attack by germs,
such as viruses and bacteria. Illness and disease can only result when our
body provides a hospitable environment.
For example, let's say you inhaled influenza virus. Just because these germs
are present, does not mean you will get the flu. There are several factors
involved such as the health of your lungs, the vitality of your immune system, and your overall health.
Germs gather and thrive only in weakened parts of the body. When there is an imbalance of Qi, the normal functions of your body will ultimately be affected. This can change the normal immune system response and lead to illness.
A disease requires both a pathogen and a host. These nasty critters can only survive and flourish if circumstances are ripe. When the germs are strong, but the environment of the host (you) is stronger, the disease will be resisted. If the host is weak, however, then your environment can become a hospitable refuge for viruses, germs, bacteria and other microbes to set up shop.
Your Meridian channels control the flow of healing energy throughout your entire body, including your organs. The function (health) of your lungs, and the strength of your immune system all depend upon the quality, quantity and balance of Qi which flows within your meridian channels. The "true cure" of disease is simply NOT to kill germs, but to reestablish and build up the body's amount of healing Qi. This will ultimately provide the adequate amount of Qi in order to restore the integrity of your meridian and organ system. Germs simply cannot attack a strong and healthy body.
Kiss Sick Goodbye
Along with frequent acupuncture treatments, here is another way to boost your
immunity in order to stay well through spring.You can begin by taking astragalus
throughout the winter. This is an herb that is revered for its first-class immune
support. It is also useful if you feel tired, weak, or apathetic.Modern research
suggests that astragalus is a “biological response modifier,” increasing the
function of the adrenal cortex, helping us adapt to stress easier, and increase the
production of white blood cells.1 If you have been around folks who are sneezing
and coughing, try using maitake. This little mushroom can also help to stimulate
the immune response. You can use this regularly, after being exposed to some
nasty bug.If you have already caught a cold, you can try echinacea. This herb can
help to shorten the duration of a cold. Start using it as soon as you feel under the
weather and then stop use as soon as you feel well again.Herbs are a powerful
medicine. It is helpful to consult with an herbalist to make sure you are getting the right type of herbs.
References1 Between Heaven and Earth, Harriet Beinfield and Efrem Kornngold, 1991.© Copyright Acupuncture Media Works/AcuDownloads, All Rights Reserved. The information contained within the Acu News newsletter is only used to educate and inform. This newsletter is not a substitute for the advice of a licensed and registered health care provider. Seek prompt attention for emergencies. Consult a health care provider for specific health concerns, and before starting a diet, cleanse or exercise routine.
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Acupuncture Alexandria LLC - Sarah Shupe Hung L.Ac., FABORM