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Posts from the ‘Seasonal Changes’ Category

“It’s still too hot!”

“I look at food and feel nauseous”
“All I do is sweat and all I want to do is sleep all day.”

I feel your pain. It’s late summer again in September and it’s hard to know what to eat or how to get and stay cool without spending the day in the pool, if you have one.

Many of us are eating raw or cold foods, to stay cool or because it’s too hot to cook.  Unfortunately that is putting the stomach fire out; aka: shutting down the gastric cells in the stomach, and adding even more mucus to the stomach. Hence the slightly nauseous feeling or just not wanting to eat at all.

So what to do? It’s about balance. In this East Asian Medicine model too much of one extreme turns into it’s opposite. We try to balance the heat by eating or drinking cold. Yet no matter how much we drink we are still hot. The problem? We are creating cold stagnation in the stomach trying to cool ourselves down and that is making more heat. Stagnation creates heat.

Here are some alternative suggestions, try them and see what works for you:
Add to your salads: arugula, or grated radish [red or Dikon], or cut up basil leaves [digestive aids]
Drink hot tea with meals that are heavy or greasy to help you digest your food, or the grease congeals like butter in the fridge.
Use higher protein carbs like beans or Quinoa rather than wheat or corn pasta.
Eat light soups with lots of vegetables and beans; cabbage, beets, green beans, etc.
Eat more fish.

Most people don’t realize you actually get cooler if you drink something hot rather than cold.  I learned that living in Phoenix. Your body temperature goes down and your digestion improves.

Here’s a salad:
Spinach, red onion, sliced almonds, strawberries, feta cheese, light balsamic dressing

Here is a balanced tea remedy:
Peppermint is a great cooling tea to drink, just add a little basil to keep the digestion strong. FYI: peppermint is not so good for people with reflux because it inhibits the gastric juice cells. The basil will balance that.

Use peppermint tea in a tepid water foot bath to cool down.

You can also check out the “Insomnia & Addictions” page under the menu heading “Coping with Changes” for more heat clearing ideas.

September is also a time for cleansing, our homes, our bodies, our minds. Look at some of the religious holidays around this time of year. It’s a time to evaluate where we are in our lives and choose our habits wisely.
I love to collect, but resist the emptying process. This has been a good time for me to practice cleaning stuff out. Hey it’s a new moon, new beginnings!

Here is a video that will help clear your mind and heart.

Summer Heat

It is the beginning of Summer and we in LA have had our first really hot weather. It is the time of excess and heat, of overeating, and sweating unmercifully. A time of not wanting to eat because it’s too hot, or just not wanting to cook. Of peaches and watermelon, of picnics, BBQs, and salads.
Herbal teas can help.

Now for balancing the energy:
The movement of fire is between awareness and distraction; it is the dance of passion, and finding one’s pace.

Am I overextended? Is my heart in my daily activities? Or is my chest tight, full, and heavy? Do I feel alive and creative? Or am I feeling cut off or shut down.  We all do this dance, at different or difficult times, to different degrees.

In acupuncture, we access the true movement of fire by balancing the energies that feed it or those that regulate it. We seat the mind (awareness) in it’s house (the heart),
and find compassion; first for ourselves, then for others.

Sometimes after a long or hard week, where I have been asked to stretch as much as possible, where my ability to communicate is sorely tested either at home, at work, or on a project, where I am trying too hard at something, trying to push the river – all I want to do is play an online game or escape into the newest sci fi book or Dr Who marathon. My heart is full and I need a distraction.

Drumming helps. It reminds me of my own rhthym. If I can’t find a drum, I’ll use an old water bottle or table. Swimming is excellent because not only does it cool you down in the summer heat, but it helps set a rhythmic pace for breathing, opening and stretching the chest muscles. If I am feeling overwhelmed and can’t find my center, I hold my pinky and breathe. Or put my hands over my heart (right over left) and listen to my breath and my heartbeat. And oddly enough, eating bitter foods or drink.  (See Insomnia and Addictions)

My journey through this dance has included the practice of staying present – the art of being vulnerable – staying open-hearted. Here is a TED talk I found recently. It moved me, perhaps it will do the same for you.