Transitioning to Autumn
With autumn approaching and the beginning of the yin cycle, the energy of plants is moving down into their roots, helping the body become aware of the energy of the season. This season is a time for the body to begin gathering energy for the colder months to come.
The lungs and large intestine are the organs associated with fall. The lungs are responsible for the circulation of Qi (the body’s natural flow and circulation), and are also very susceptible to cold and illness. For this reason, it is important to stay healthy and warm during the season. If the Qi circulation is weakened, muscles will not be able to warm the body properly.
Vegetables of autumn like carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach and kale can help purify and protect your body against free radicals. These color-rich vegetables are packed with beta-carotene, which then turns into vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for our immune system, especially as the cold and flu season rolls in. These vegetables can also strengthen your lungs and large intestine to fight illness.
Vegetables to cook with:
Sour/pungent foods to cook with:
Some find it hard to let go of summer, with the longer days and warm air transitioning into the crisp and shorter days of fall. Acupuncture not only helps the body physically, but mentally as well. Fall is a great time to see an acupuncturist as your body and mind adapt to the changing of the season.
Give your acupuncturist a visit to prepare for the new season ahead and to stay in good health!
“Practical Chinese Medicine” Penelope Ody
5 Steps to Improve Your Hearing
Many of us have already experienced or will experience some amount of hearing loss. This can be due to aging or noise-induced factors. Exposure to loud sound over time can permanently damage the ears and result in hearing loss.
If you find yourself struggling with hearing and feeling the need to turn up the TV or your music louder, you may be experiencing hearing loss. Here are five steps to improve your hearing and prevent further damage.
1. Wear protection
If you know you will be around loud noise and won’t be able to avoid it, like at a large event or while using power tools, wear ear plugs. You can find ear plugs at most grocery stores and they can severely protect your ears from damaging loud noise.
To keep volumes at a moderate level on devices or stereos, consider adding a volume limit. Most devices have a feature where you can set a maximum volume. This way, you won’t be able to turn your volume up to the actual maximum.
3. Give yourself a break
Research has shown that being in a quieter setting can train your ears to better focus on the quiet sounds and increase overall hearing. Try to take even just ten minutes a day and go somewhere secluded where there is not a lot of external noise and disruption.
Ah, my favorite! Food truly is medicine even when it comes to hearing health, and these foods have been shown to improve hearing and prevent hearing loss.
Salmon and other fish: The omega 3 fats and Vitamin D found in Salmon and other like foods have been shown to strengthen the blood vessels in the ear’s sensory system, which then can improve hearing. Research has shown that adults who eat fish twice a week reduced their risk of age-related hearing loss by 42 percent.
Spinach, asparagus, beans, broccoli: These foods are high in antioxidants and folic acid. Antioxidants can help lower the risk of hearing loss by reducing free radicals in your body that can damage the nerve tissue in the ears.
Dark chocolate, oysters, cashews: Foods high in zinc like dark chocolate, oysters and nuts can improve your body’s resistance to age-related hearing loss.
A study conducted by the College of Oriental Medicine in South Korea measured the effects of acupuncture on patients with sudden sensorineural hearing loss and found that half of the patients showed improvement in hearing after acupuncture treatment.
Acupuncture points can stimulate the strength in the auditory cortex to the brain, thus increasing the brain’s ability to react to auditory stimuli.
Learn how to be aware of the symptoms of hearing loss including difficulty understanding what people say, having to raise the volume higher and muffled sounds. If you think you are suffering from hearing loss, try these tips and contact an acupuncturist today.
5 Tips to Help with TMJ
Commonly known as TMJ, temporomandibular joint pain affects over 10 million Americans and can involve difficulty chewing, jaw muscle stiffness and painful popping or clicking, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
Although for some people the pain of TMJ goes away on its own, others develop long-term problems and need treatment to help their pain.
Here are five tips you can practice at home to help your TMJ symptoms.
1. Jaw Exercises
Stress and anxiety are very common inducers of TMJ. Some people tend to clench their jaw when feeling stressed or anxious, which results in TMJ symptoms.
3. Vitamins and Minerals
Deficiencies in calcium and magnesium are found to be common in people suffering from TMJ. The International Dental Association conducted a study on 50 TMJ sufferers who added calcium and magnesium supplements to their routine and found pain relief in 70 percent of the participants.
4. Herbal Remedies
Acupuncture has proven to be effective in treating TMJ in a number of ways. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, TMJ often represents an imbalance in the liver and gallbladder meridians which traverse the areas usually associated with TMJ pain. Acupuncture points focused on these areas can stimulate the healing process, and return the meridians and the body back to balance, improving your TMJ symptoms.
Do you ever feel like your body doesn't track well with the seasons? Like your body just doesn't like it when the weather gets too hot or too cold even though it may not have been that way when you were young?
Chinese Medicine is a medicine of the seasons and in TCM we believe that as the transition from one season to the next begins, changes start to happen externally as well as internally. The days become shorter and the air gets cooler; our bodies change to adapt as well. Here are three ways to prepare for the fall season ahead along with the beginning of the yin cycle.
1. Let go of negativity
The autumn season represents the time when the lungs and large intestine are of the utmost importance. This season is especially an important time to let of negative energy in your life.
Negativity doesn’t just affect your psychological health but your physical health as well. You can help get rid toxicity in your life by being aware of the causes and surrounding yourself with positive energy and people who make you happy.
2. Spend time outside
Because fall is focused on the lungs, spending more time outside can help strengthen this organ and increase your immune system as cold and flu season starts to emerge.
Spend time in nature away from city pollution where you can breathe clean, cool air. Autumn time is the perfect opportunity to do this and refresh and strengthen the lungs.
Acupuncture treatment can help you physically as well as mentally prepare for the change in seasons.
Some find it difficult to let go of the summer season and transition to shorter, cooler days. Acupuncture can ease this transition and make sure your body and energy are flowing properly. I always recommend that all my patients come in at least once a quarter so that I can help their bodies transition with the seasons. Please consider coming in yourself for a seasonal tune up!
Rebecca M H Kitzerow is a Licensed Acupuncturist practicing in La Center, Washington. With over a decade of experience she has won 10 Nattie consumer choice awards from Natural Awakenings Magazine since 2014.