Summer holidays are finally here! Plants grow faster, people act more energetically, and the body’s qi and blood becomes relatively more vigorous than in any other season. We are encouraged by our natural body clock to move outside and become active.
This peaking of yang qi combined with the Christmas season can cause quite the stir internally as we start to feel our stress build.
Staff parties are in full swing and the late valentine babies are celebrating their forgotten birthdays. We are frantically finishing up our work year and preparing for holidays, the kids are coming home from school and there will be way too much food for us to poke a stick at…..
So how do we make our way through this time of year with ease and in good health?
It is good to remind ourselves that excess of anything leads to disharmony, if we look at the Yin and Yang theory, excess and deficiency are mutually dependant upon each other, one waxes as the other wanes. They give into each other; therefore we can act to find balance between the high energy we are naturally exerting and all of the activities we are going to partake in over the summer break. We can act to make time to attend yoga, Tai Chi or Qi Gong classes to clear our minds and meridians and re centre. We can stop, take some mindful breathes or meditate and ask ourselves, what are the most important things? We can remember how centered we feel after acupuncture and get our final tune up for the year and take time to get adequate rest. We can integrate more cooling and pungent foods into our diets and reduce bitter flavors.
The pungent nature in foods will enhance the lung and maintains the normal sweating mechanism. Sweat is the fluid of the heart; so excessive sweating scatters the heart energy and weakens the mind, causing symptoms like restless sleep, irritably and low spirit. Foods with sour and salty flavors will help to ease these symptoms.
Another handy tip, which is mostly unknown, is the problems associated with the use of air-conditioning…
We often see air-conditioning units causing wind cold and heat invasions in summer, which would usually be complaints of the winter. The wind and chill factor of the air-conditioning attacks our protective energy and seeps into our bodies easily because our pores are naturally open in summer to expel heat. It is best to keep the air conditioning to a minimum at this time, especially for our new mothers.
Due to the extreme deficiency mothers experience after birth, it is very important that she is not exposed to the cold wind, which as mentioned above is particularly dangerous in summer because not only are the pores open after birth due to the effort expended, they are also naturally open to disperse heat because it is summer. This, combined with the mother’s deficient state, allows cold air to enter deeply into the body, causing problems later. To remedy this air conditioning should be kept to a minimum and blood building foods such as bone broths or lamb and ginger soup should be consumed after giving birth. The soup will warm the body from the inside and help recovery.
On a different note I wanted to share with you all my most recent trip to Japan where I studied with our Sensei, Master Acupuncturist and author of 25 books, Masakazu Ikeda Sensei.
I feel it is important I share with you how much respect and gratitude I have for Ikeda Sensei. His effort to translate the classical texts and preserve the teachings of Traditional Medicine is superhuman to say the least! Ikeda Sensei is our direct link to the Classical Literature that was written 1000-3000 thousand years ago!
In travelling to Japan to observe and study with a master practitioner not only sharpened my skills but allows me to pay respect to his life’s work. Ikeda Sensei is a true sage and inspiration and to be his presence is extremely humbling. I can’t state how much the practitioners of this particular style of Japanese Acupuncture appreciate the body of knowledge that Ikeda Sensei has tirelessly contributed for us, the modern day practioners of Traditional Medicine.
We study and reference his literature as clinical bibles and bring these practices into everyday clinic. The legacy Ikeda will leave contributes to the medical body of knowledge in such profound ways, and for us to be able to access this knowledge and bring it to you, our clients, is the highest of privileges.
I hope my update finds you in great spirits!!
I wish you the greatest time enjoying all the festive season has to offer with the special people in your life, engage in activity that helps you expel the extra yang qi that summer provides and last but certainly not least Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Shani Isaacson BHSci
Traditional Japanese Acupuncture
Available by appointment Monday to Friday.