Posted by: medica...the healing arts, LLC | January 2, 2015

Am I hibernating?

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So many times,  folks feel as if they go into a “slow down” mode during winter.  They can feel it coming on as soon as the sunlight starts to diminish.  It seems  shorter days and longer nights make it very hard to be motivated.
This is all true!
So why are we all running out to the gym on January 1st, and signing up for workout packages?  Why do we think we should be in high gear?
Guilt.  Guilt has a lot to do with it.  And regret.  Regret is sprinkled in there too.
There are many folks who know they should be taking better care of themselves.  They have known this throughout the year.  During Spring, Summer and Fall, we don’t worry about it so much.  It is easy to be caught up in all plans these seasons bring  — vacations, picnics, baseball games, amusement parks, family fun,  and more.  Oh, and let’s not forget the great food that goes along with these seasons.  Then, usually what happens, is we somehow convince ourselves that we will still have time.  We still have time after all the “fun in the sun” to take care of ourselves.
And then we get surprised.
We can’t believe how fast the end of the year comes.  We get caught up in new school schedules and all the holidays between September and December.  This leaves very little time to think about starting a wellness program!
Suddenly, the New Year is staring us right in our face!
We feel slow, congested, bloated and a little cranky. We have too much sugar in our systems, too much weight to carry around, and very little sleep.
To help ourselves feel better about our own self-neglect, we make resolutions, chat about new gym locations, read new fast-fix diets that work for all the celebrities — and quietly wished we had done something all last year.
But many folks just can’t seem to be motivated.  They FEEL like they should be doing something.  They WANT to be doing something.  BUT it just isn’t happening.  Each day slips by with little or no progress.
WHY?
You’re hibernating!  This is the wrong time of the year for us to be jumping into a big wellness program. We are in a slower mode.  Our bodies are craving carbs and sleep.  We are not in the same mind-set as when we were having fun in the sun during July.
So what are we suppose to do?
Come back tomorrow and I’ll give you some tips.

Posted by: medica...the healing arts, LLC | January 1, 2015

In this New Year, how will you START?

start 2015start snail

It all begins again.
New ideas, new commitments, changes to be made, and promises to be kept.  That’s great!
Some folks like to start off with a BANG.  For others, it is better to start off slow and easy.
How each of us begins is a matter of personal preference.  It is very important to know your preference.  Your success at making changes, obtaining goals and focusing on your commitment depends on this self-knowledge.
Too many folks make the mistake of “following the herd”.   They feel they should WANT do what others are doing to incorporate change in their life.  Sometimes folks think they should want to start off BIG and FAST.  Sometimes folks think they should make many changes to everything, so they can get all they desire.
This is especially true on the NEW YEAR.    **** (I’ll tell you why tomorrow)
For some folks, this type of FAST start works.  Almost like cold-turkey on all the negative influences.
But for some folks,  this is too drastic a step.  Therefore, after a short period of time, this type of motivation becomes STRESSFUL.  Under this type of stress, many folks self-sabotage and end their journey to CHANGE.
Which type of person are you?   Fast or slow?  Maybe take some time to think about this,  and then tomorrow visit here again to learn how to make a positive START.
“It doesn’t matter how you start.  It doesn’t matter how you go.  It just matters that you keep going.  That’s what truly matters.  Don’t stop.”
Posted by: medica...the healing arts, LLC | October 9, 2014

Fall Food Intake

wellness.vegetables

Fall food intake is focused on eliminating any further accumulation of Fire energy from Summer and to prepare the Body for the leaner, harsher months of Winter.

This often turns our attention to warm, moist foods that contrast in tastes.  A good example of these are stews, soups, and casseroles.   This food supplies a variety of tastes and textures. The body slows down as it digests this type of food intake.

At this time of the year, we still have access to many vegetables.  The root vegetables, in particular, are more plentiful.  And this is a natural transition for you to make in your dietary intake.  Vegetables grown close to the ground, or in the ground, are the natural selection as we watch Fire energy turn into Earth energy.

Also, root vegetables and close-to-the-ground vegetables are slightly sweeter in taste.  So if you find yourself searching for something sweet, try some beets, carrots or sweet potatoes to help satisfy your changing palette.

As the days and nights are getting cooler, we will want to adjust how we are preparing our food.  During the Summer, when Fire is abundant, it is wise to eat raw vegetables.  This keeps us from adding any additional heat to our bodies. But as the days become cooler, you may want to steam the vegetables or add some spices for a little “heat”.

At this time of the year, you may find yourself looking for a big juicy steak.

That is because animal protein produces heat in the body.  If you are concerned about the amount of animal protein you are ingesting, try nuts, hemp, and botanical proteins.  These provide protein but help to keep the body lighter and will not interfere with a weight management or health  program. Please keep in mind that nuts do have a considerable amount of fats.  They should not be eaten in great quantities.  However, they are usually “good” fats that your body will use to fortify your body.


Tomorrow:  Fall exercise

Posted by: medica...the healing arts, LLC | October 8, 2014

Fall spices

spices

Fall is a great time to incorporate spices into our lives.  Most of us use spices without thinking about their medicinal application or changing them from season to season.  We usually just follow what a recipe says to add.

The are many different spices that have remarkable health-giving benefits.  By adding them to your food, you give yourself a chance to warm and fortify your body.  Spices don’t have to be over-the-top in any of the preparations, because most of them can be used subtly.  They can be used delicately in sweet dishes as well as a savory dish.

Before we look at the various spices please beware of this —

WARNING:  All spices can be considered therapeutic in certain dosages.  You should not over-consume any spice or use any essential oil in excess in the hopes of creating some type of reaction. If abused various spices, whether in cooking or used as an essential oil,  can be toxic to various organs of the body.   Pregnant women and women lactating should not use spices.  Persons in poor health should consult their PCP prior to using various spices in cooking and as essential oils. Various spices may interfere with medication regimes.

These are just a few spices to consider to warm your Body and Mind throughout the Fall:

Cardamon is a delicious scent and taste in many Italian sweets as well as a classic ingredient in curry.  It helps to ease digestion.  Cinnamon is one of the widely used spices.  It is pungent, warm and an excellent choice for Fall. TCM considers cinnamon to be very Yang.  It can ward off colds, congestion, soothe pain and help digest.  Cayenne is very stimulating, very pungent and  affects the whole body.  It stimulates the blood, may create endorphins and create a temporary sense of well being.  Fenugreek is one of the oldest spices used in the world. It is bitter in taste.  It is considered an anti-inflammatory, blood tonic and is used for abdominal pains.  Garlic is absolutely wonderful for your health. Herbalists use garlic for a number of health concerns involving skin, digestion, heart health and more.  It is very pungent in smell and if used in excess can leech out through the skin’s pores. Ginger is another ancient spice that is often overlooked.  Ginger is pungent and acts as a stimulant, an expectorant, is antiseptic and antispasmodic.  Nutmeg is a powerful and useful spice.  It is generally good for digestion as it stimulated the appetite,  It is excellent for diarrhea.  It is used in many recipes to give an extra kick to the taste.   Ayurvedic healers have long used Tumeric for healing just about anything.  This multi-dimensional spice has anti-inflammatory properties, healing for blood disorders. It also has a toning and/or detoxifying effect on the liver.


 

Coming up next:  Fall exercise

 

Posted by: medica...the healing arts, LLC | October 1, 2014

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) teaches us about Fall

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Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) sees Fall as the time when the energy of Earth transforms into Metal.  It considers the time of Indian Summer a separate season.

Indian Summer and Fall are times when Energy is starting to withdraw or recede. TCM sees this as a time when  Energy is condensing or contracting inward.  TCM considers this contraction allows Energy to accumulate, become powerful, and be stored for future lean times.  During Indian Summer and Fall, the Lungs, Intestines, Spleen and Stomach are all governed. This means that this time of year has a huge impact on these organs, and these organs have a huge impact on your Wellness.  These organs “take in” and “let out” for the body.  They store want is necessary for vitality and purge what is unneeded or unwanted.

Naturally, you can see why TCM considers  Indian Summer and Fall a time to store what is necessary and get rid of anything unwanted or unneeded.  This is a time of clarity, of purging both physical and emotional things that no longer have a place in our life.  It is a good time to clean out not our physical environments — both within and without.

According to TCM, if you do not take this time to evaluate, create balance, then store what is necessary and purge all the is unneeded, you will become dis-eased.

If you cling to attachments of old desires or unneeded thoughts you will end up feeling grief, anxiety and a profound sense of melancholy.  In turn, these feelings will affect your physical body — manifesting dis-ease in the organs mentioned above.  The result could be that you would be susceptible to dis-eases such as flu, common cough or cold, bronchitis and other ailments of the above mentioned organs.  If you are deeply entrenched in these attachments, TCM would have you consider that your dis-ease could go even deeper into, and possibly past,  the respiratory and/or digestive systems.  That is why it is a good idea to purge unwanted or unneeded things in the Fall. Sort of lightening your load before the harder Winter months appear.

Several indigenous cultures view Fall as a time to clear away.  Native Americans often gather in early Fall to giveaway, exchange and remember the ways of their culture.  Fall is considered a good time to re-organize your life and to remember what your life is about.

Ayurvedic medicine also speaks of Fall as a time to purge unneeded energies.  Fall is considered a good time to balance the Doshas by toning or heightening the combined three.  It is also considered very important to incorporate breath into this clearing.

Fall is considered the time of dry.  We promote this even more by turning on our air conditioners throughout Summer. Dry, or the loss of humidity is very stressful to our Lungs.  Please consider leaving some time in between using air conditioning and forced heat to allow your skin and lungs to experience some humidity.  It is a good practice to always have a fresh source of Air during the year.  If this is not possible, than consider using an Ionizer and leaving a fresh bowel of Water out for humidity. Throughout the Winter, it is a good practice to still use a fan to move the Air and avoid stagnation.


Tomorrow:  Fall Food Intake

Posted by: medica...the healing arts, LLC | September 29, 2014

Indian Summer seeks balance

indian summer

Before we enter into Fall, there is always this wonderful season known as Indian Summer.  Indian Summer arrives during the first few weeks of Fall.

In ancient healing systems, it is considered a season of its own.

It is known as The Fulcrum of the Year.  It is considered a time of perfect balance, It is when the Fire energy of Summer is burning  down and being transformed into Earth energy.  There is neither Yin nor Yang present at this time of year.  It is held in perfect balance on the scales.

Indian Summer is associated with the stomach, spleen and pancreas meridians.  If your Earth meridians or Earth Self are unbalanced, you will experience digestive problems during this time.  Many gall bladders have flared and been removed during this time of the year. You may want to consider receiving some bodywork, such as acupressure, acupuncture, shiatsu, Gua sha or massage to help balance your meridians or energetic Self

Indian Summer is a transitional time where the entrance of Earth energy allows us — no begs us — to review our thoughts, opinions and feelings.  This is the season where you can begin to live a different way. There are now two paths before you and it will be your choice which one to take. Each path changes the course of your life.  So it is said the Indian Summer begins the course of who we will become in the upcoming year.

As we approach Indian Summer, it is healthy for you to remain balanced in your thoughts, actions and food intake.  Fire into Earth is not an easy time for us.  It sheds light upon our imperfections, obsessiveness, stubbornness, forgetfulness, and refusal to be compassionate.  However, it can illuminate our ability to have acquired patience, love, care and truth.  If you find yourself feeling more tense and distracted, it is advised to take time away from others and be only with your thoughts.  Calm yourself.  Take a walk into Nature and let your  unwanted emotions and thoughts leave you. During the Fire of Summer, we rarely are aware just how much energy we are accumulating.  Everything is fast and hot outside our bodies.  Therefore, we rarely can feel how fast and hot we have become on the inside.

Indian Summer brings cooler days and nights.  This begins to slow your journey down.  We have the opportunity to purge any or all thoughts, feelings and judgements that we acquired during the heat of Summer.  However, Indian Summer also brings several days of heat and sunshine back into our lives.  This flash of heat and sunshine sparks alive any remnants of Summer that we may still be holding on to.  That can bring chaos and mishap into our lives. If you have the chance, please purge yourself of any thoughts, feelings or judgements you would not want to contend with in the dark of Winter.  Indian Summer helps you do this.  Just when you believe you have completely purged all unwanted Summer “heat”, another sunny Indian Summer day comes along.  If you feel peaceful during that day, you are on your way into Earth energy.  If you find that day filled with agitation, chaos, arguments, tension and more, you need to take another long walk by yourself to quiet and rid yourself of these things. By entering into Earth energy with newly acquired peace and calm, you assure yourself of a restful Winter.

Indian Summer is beautiful.  Mother Nature throws her head back in exultation revealing her grandeur.  But it is also a time for you and I to be contemplative.  All energies of the body can be disturbed during this time.  everything hangs in the balance — or lack of balance.   It is best to slowly move our food intake out of raw into cooked.  Making sure we keep balance to our intake. Also, to change into slightly warmer clothes as to keep the body’s temperature even.  The balance of how we dress also becomes a lesson of balance.  Knowing to keep a sweater handy for cool breezes, but not to put away all our light comfortable clothing for mid-day heat. Warm soaks in aromatic oils and massage are recommended to begin warming the body. It has been several months since we have had to consider keeping the body warm and comfortable.  Warm soaks and massage help to accelerate the lymphatic system.  This helps create wellness and warmth for our bodies and mind.


 

Tomorrow:

  • what Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) teaches us about Indian Summer

  • promoting our Fall wellness through TCM practices

Posted by: medica...the healing arts, LLC | September 28, 2014

Fall is the season of the MIND

late summer

Fall is the season that shouts “Wake Up” to our minds.  It is time for us to put down the playful things of Summer and get back to work.  In Spring,  you started to dream about your desires, your plans and what a new beginning would bring.  However, during the Summer, we look to have fun in the Sun.  This diverts our attention to being a more physical Being than a mindful Being, and so our thoughts and plans can be diverted also.

Next to Spring, Fall in the second most active season in our lives.  It begs us to kick our plans into action.  During Fall, many folks can feel as if they are lagging behind in projects or didn’t get everything accomplished during the Summer.  This is very natural.  And at times very true.

Up until now, we have been dealing with our physical Self, our bodies, our emotions and our relationships with others.  In Fall, this all widens and deepens.  We begin to deal with our surroundings and our inner Self.  Fall “wakes up” our mind again.  It whispers with a slight sense of urgency of getting on with our life.  This makes Fall the perfect time of year to reassess what you want out of life.  It is the perfect time to decide what path you would like your life to take and what are the necessary steps needed to move towards that goal.

Fall is the time of year when we make changes.  Often times we are not even aware of our focus on Change. We just instinctively sense that a shift is needed or a change incorporated.  This is because Fall is the season of the Mind, not the Body.  We start to become Mindful in the Fall.  It is no accident that most academic institutions begin instruction in the Fall.  What better time to begin that the season of the Mind?

So rest assured, this is the perfect time of year to get your life into order.  If this shakes your life up a bit — that’s okay.  But let me also state, that you don’t need to change for the sake of change.  If everything is your life seems fine, then don’t seek change.  Also, if this Fall doesn’t feel right for making change, then don’t.

However, if you have been thinking of making changes in your life,  Fall is the perfect time.   There is no need to turn your life upside down just to create change.  It is more along the lines that if you have been seeking to make changes in your life,  (even small changes) than you can use the changing energy of Fall to help you.  It is like you have a helping hand without even knowing.  Fall creates change.  If we move instinctively along the changing lines of Fall, we get ahead quick and easy.


 

Tomorrow:

  • Starting with the basic steps

  • Indian Summer – seeking balance

Posted by: medica...the healing arts, LLC | September 27, 2014

Falling in Love with Fall, 2014

Indian Summer2
We know it the moment we step outside.  The air is somehow different.  The crisp breeze cuts through the trees and we can feel the Shift. The full days of Summer are passing and there is a sharpness to our surroundings.  We may regret the passing of those “lazy, hazy days” of Summer.  But still, there is something very exhilarating about the season of Fall.  It is as if Fall sends out the message for us to pay attention or to look a little closer.  It raises our awareness to our surroundings before the darker months of Winter.

In this series of blogs, we will take a look at living within the season of Fall.   We will explore many topics in short, informative blogs that will only take a few minutes to read each day.  Then we can begin to shape our Self and our environment to appreciate this wonderful season.  This will be a tremendous help as we move through Winter.  If we prepare in Fall, we assure ourselves a fantastic Spring.

Why?  Because we will know how to rest Well in Winter.

So please join us here each day and make the most of Fall!


Our focus we will be directed to:

  • Finding our path through the coming months

  • Creating space for our inner Self

  • Re-visiting what is needed to strengthen our bodies and how this will prepare us for the colder months.

  • Soothing our minds and quieting our thoughts

  • Creating a soothing, restful environment

  • Becoming organized

  • Managing stress levels

  • Food intake and changes

  • Celebrating the season

Posted by: medica...the healing arts, LLC | June 23, 2014

Welcome Summer, 2014

Summer Solstice Daisy

Summer is the most energetic phase of the year. Wood energy burns into the full yang of Fire, which grows and spreads.  This Fire energy is connected to the Heart.  Ancient healing systems teach us that Heart is the seat of emotions. It governs all emotions, but there is a heavy emphasis on love, joy, compassion, generosity, openness, and abundance.

If your Heart Chakra is open, you will enjoy all these positive emotions.  If on the other hand, you have any blockages in the Heart Chakra, you may experience hysteria, hypertension, nervous disorders and problems with circulation.

Summer brings heat. 

We all have been exposed, or possibly over-exposed, to heat. Many of us are well aware of the ill-effects of too much heat.  We search for many ways to “stay cool” or “keep our cool”.  Most ancient teachings see the color for the season of Summer as red — the same color of Fire.  They speak about how emotions are heightened, days seem to pass by quickly, and everyday demands seem to be more poignantly focused.

 

Suggestions on creating a healing space for Summer “Heat”:

  • widen your perceptions

  • become more aware of your feelings

  • understand how you give and receive

  • understanding how you express love

  • look at the whole emotional aspect of your life.

 A good practice for creating a healing space is to meditate.  Take just a few minutes each day, perhaps in the morning and night, to sit quietly with yourSelf.   Breathe.  Let your mind relax into a calmer state.  Release any tension you perceive in your body. Allow yourSelf a few minutes to relax.  Remember: when you begin to meditate, it does not have to be for a long time.  Just a few minutes makes a difference in your mind-body connection.  Also, it doesn’t have to be perfect.  If your mind travels to events of the day or previous night, gently guide yourSelf back your breath.  Settle into yourSelf again while listening to nothing else but your breath.  The flow of inhaling and exhaling is very  peaceful. If you would like, light a candle to gaze upon.  It may help to enhance your experience.

Bodywork and Massage also help you balance your emotions throughout the Summer.  Making sure your circulatory and lymphatic systems are not congested, we recommend a session one per week. 

You can book your next session through this blog:    Click Here

 


 

Posted by: medica...the healing arts, LLC | June 22, 2014

Summer Skin Care

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Summer is the time to be outside.  It is a time to enjoy warm breezes and plenty of sunshine.  We love to soak up Summertime warmth.

Summer is not the time to neglect your skin or damage it with sunburn.

Casual exposure to the sun has a moderate beneficial impact.  This includes the production of vitamin D by the body. However,  excessive exposure to UV rays has detrimental health effects.  These include possible sunburn,   skin cancer,  a depressed immune system function and increased risk of accelerated aging.

If you plan to be in the sun, please consider these health tips.

Please remember to exfoliate your skin prior to sunbathing.  You will develop a more even tan and your skin will be healthier.  Many times,  we do not exfoliate prior to tanning.  Instead, we tan over layers upon layers of dead skin cells.  This makes your tan uneven and dull. You also may not notice how quickly you are burning since the dead cells are not as translucent.

Exfoliating your skin once a week is a good practice throughout the year.  Your skin is the largest organ of your body and equally important when it comes to metabolic processes.

There are many products on the market for exfoliating.

However, you can  make your own at home.  Organic coconut oil with raw brown sugar is the easiest.  Simply mix both parts into a fluid paste.  You will not want the mixture to be too dry, because it will be too harsh to your skin.  You will also not want the mixture to be extremely fluid, because then it will not be caustic enough to remove multiple layers of dead skin.  The mixture should be paste-like, formed,  but still have a sheen from the oil.  Sugar is much less caustic to the skin than dead sea salt, but you will still want to follow immediately with a ph toner spritz and a generous layer of coconut oil to hydrate.

It is very important to repeat this process throughout the Summer.  At times, we do not like to exfoliate while tanning.  However, you are setting yourself up for dry, itchy, flaky, dull skin come September.

To exfoliate while you tan also keeps your immune system healthy.

When we tan our skin, we also kill and harden the first layers of the dermis.  After a short time, this will act like a shell.  Your immune system excretes metabolic toxins through your skin each day.  As you tan and make the skin tougher, your skin becomes less efficient at excreting the toxins.  Therefore, your immune system begins to work harder and harder to diminish the toxins.  By September, your fatigued immune system fails against seasonal viruses.

What can you do to tan and keep healthy?

First, respect the Sun’s affect on your skin.  Whether you are a user of sunscreens, cover your skin for protection or sit under shade — you must always be aware of how much you are over-exposing your skin to harmful UV rays.  I do not promote one protection agenda  over any other.  Use whatever you think best for your health, but please protect your skin from burning.  Sunburn is a serious matter to both young and old.  Skin cancers can be avoided by protecting and caring for your skin while outside. And as discussed earlier, do not over-tan your skin so as to lessen it’s ability to promote your wellness.

Second, exfoliate your skin every week.  I know this is not popular to some because it will diminish your tan.  But in the long run, you will be healthier and your skin will stay younger-looking.  Nothing makes you look older than over-tanned skin.  Over the years, it becomes very hard, leathery and dull in color.  And it should.  That is the skin’s  natural defense to tanning.  It darkens as the melanin rises to protect from the UV rays.  The pores diminish and collapse from dehydration.  This makes your skin lose it elasticity and it looks leather-like in appearance.  The more years you tan, the harder it is to regain a supple skin appearance and it’s ability to maintain a healthy immune system.

Lastly, remember to hydrate.  If you plan to be outside and in the sun, don’t forget water.  Not soda, not alcohol, not caffeine drinks — water.  Water is the only thing that hydrates your skin efficiently.  Not even juice helps as much as water.  So if you plan to be by the pool with a “little umbrella drink” or at a BBQ for some sun in the sun, please remember to drink 8 0z of water for every 4 oz of alcohol or caffeinated beverage.  Coconut water is extremely hydrating , but not very tasty by itself.   You will want to mix it with some berries or fruit pulp for taste.

Recipes for infused water:   http://www.fruitinfusedwater.com/

also with herbs:   http://nutritionstripped.com/simply-infused-water/#.UaIeBdhqPKc

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