Living in season can be beneficial to your overall health. Winter is the season of “reserve and recharge”. In Chinese medicine, winter correlates with the water element, kidneys, black, salty and is also where things flow downwards. Remember, this is a time where we need to be more aware of our body and to care for ourselves. We need to “recharge” for the next season to come. In addition, we need to incorporate more warm, cooked and nourishing foods and avoid cold, greasy, raw and damp producing foods. Our kidneys are like our heat source. We like to keep them warm and happy.
The kidneys are vital and are the reservoir for our jing qi. Our prenatal jing qi is passed down by our parents. It’s important to preserve it as much as possible. An abundance of it shows that you are healthy, resilient, vital, and you have longevity. If it’s decreased, there’s degeneration, aging and you may become more susceptible to diseases. Depletion is typically through over-working, over-exercising, stress, too much sex, diseases, inflammation, blood/bodily fluid loss, etc. Preservation requires balance/moderation. For example – stress: it’s important to identify the cause of it and manage it properly. If there’s a health condition, then make sure that the disease is being managed and the cause is being treated. Post-natal jing qi comes from the functions of our spleen and stomach. It’s like our nutrients that we get from food therefore, it’s important that we nourish ourselves with food that’s good for our body!
There’s an energetic aspect to each food and moderation is key. Dark colored foods are great during the winter. Some Kidney foods include: black chicken, black sesame seeds, black beans, black/dark colored rice, yam, sweet potato, oats, lotus seed, Chinese chives, tomato, asparagus, wheat, grapes, chestnut, and cabbage. Salty foods dissipate accumulations, soften hardness like masses, cysts and nodules, nourish our blood and lubricate intestines inducing bowel movements. They move inward and downward helping improve cough, acid reflux, vomiting and hiccupping. The key is balance and moderation! Some salty foods to consider this winter includes: millet, barley, kelp, sea clams, sea shrimps, oyster, seaweed, pork, pig’s bone marrow and pig’s blood. Other guidelines to eating: eat until you are 80% full, take your time to chew, be present with your food, and balance your meals between different foods and between tastes.
With chronic stress, your adrenal glands will suffer. However, it is typically one of the strongest organs to allow dysfunction to happen to it before giving up. When your body is out of balance, your adrenals will do all that it can to support it and bring it back into harmony. The adrenals produce many hormones that helps to regulate your bodily functions. One of those hormones is cortisol. Cortisol can be released in higher levels by your adrenal glands when your body perceives the presence of a stressor. High levels of cortisol for long periods of time is not healthy. Eventually, your adrenal glands will become compromised and you’ll experience what’s called Adrenal fatigue. Symptoms of adrenal fatigue can include low blood pressure, allergies, exhaustion, low immune system, weight gain and so much more.
Did you know that cortisol also helps to regulate secretory IgA in your intestinal tract? Secretory IgA is your defense mechanism of your immune system in your gut. This means that cortisol has a crucial part in controlling the immune system in your gut. Therefore, when we’re stressed, our immune response in our gut is affected. The balance of good bacteria decreases giving way for the bad bacteria to grow. This can begin the cascade towards food intolerance. Please stay tuned to learn more about food allergies and food intolerance in our upcoming blog.
Cortisol secretion follows our natural circadian rhythm. Cortisol begins to rise at about 6 AM and peaks at about 8 AM. Throughout the day, our cortisol levels will fluctuate and begin to taper at night time with its lowest levels occurring when we’re asleep. When we go throughout the day without eating for long periods of time, our body will release more cortisol and adrenaline to continue our body’s normal functions. Knowing this piece of information will help us better understand when we should eat to support our adrenals.
In general: eat larger meals earlier in the day & eat smaller and lighter meals during the evening.
You’re here today because you have been thinking about how and if acupuncture can help your child. Well, you’re in the right spot!
The acupuncture needles that I use on kids are much thinner than the ones I use in a typical adult session. It’s as thin as a strand of your hair. They may or may not feel anything when I use them. Kids have so much Qi in them that they don’t typically need a session that is as long as an adult would need. In addition, when I speak with kids, I use the phrase “Acu Taps.” This phrase immediately lets them know that it’s just taps. Acu Taps are only used if your child gives me permission to use it. I am on your child’s TEAM. Therefore, if you child says that he/she doesn’t want any needles. It’s okay. I have other techniques that I could use that can be just as effective as using Acu Taps such as tui na (Chinese massage), acupressure, gua sha, moxibustion, and pointer plus. In addition, I can make recommendations outside of their in office treatment to further optimize their health.
Below is a short list of some of the health challenges that Acupuncture has helped many kids with:
Dr Amy, ND, LAc
At my clinic it's all about helping you achieve health and wellness with the upmost best care. I enjoy providing consultations to encourage and support your innate self healing process by utilizing natural therapies with the least harm. I believe that education is such an important aspect of improving one's health. The more you learn, the more you become more conscious of yourself and the changes that happen in your body.