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Qi Gong Helps You Achieve A Healthier Disposition Physically And Mentally

What makes Qigong unique amongst all the stress-relieving exercises? In the English language, Qigong literally means spirit achievement. It is an all natural simple technique that is designed to strengthen the mind and body. Because of its stress-busting exercises and meditation, Qigong has grown to be a very popular form of therapy in the West. With regular practice, you can alleviate stress and help preserve a balanced disposition in your life.

Certain individuals tend to shrug away stress as if it disappears on its own. Some people believe that stress is something that dissipates with time. But the truth is all the stressors of a person tend to build up in the mind and body, which over time, makes things worse. The dangers of stress may lead to adverse emotional, mental, and psychological effects. Some of these debacles may lead to common physical issues such as lack of sleep or loss of appetite. In Qigong, you can bring the imbalances of life to its simplest form. Stress often arises when one loses control of his inner core and Qigong is one ancient Chinese practice that can eliminate stress and restore balance in your body.

A natural technique that advocates the simplicity of life, Qi gong is one of the best forms of stress relieving exercises that can be integrated into one’s daily life. Getting the sufficient amount of sleep each night helps you achieve a healthier disposition physically and mentally. This is one reason a lot of people are searching for ways to enhance their sleep. Qigong makes possible better cell regeneration that results in a brighter physical aura during the day.

Focused Intention

When talking about focus, Qigong espouses the various philosophical and spiritual traditions that promote self-cultivation. The philosophies of this ancient art are all about a positive mantra that reverberates to the aura of a person. Its adherents concentrate on bliss and serenity by sustaining a healthy way of life based on sound decisions.

Breathing Techniques

Breathing techniques combined with the repetitive movements, result in better physical conditions and a deeper meditation. This satisfies the philosophical objective of Qi gong which is self illumination grounded on the philosophies of Confucianism and Buddhism.

Physical Posture

Qigong teaches a number of repetitive motions that align muscular formations and bones all to bring about better flow of blood in the body. Its coordinated movements are considered a form of Chinese martial art in which the endurance and alignment of the muscles are the primary objectives.

Each individual, regardless of race, creed, gender or age is welcome to engage in this natural technique. The central value of this age-old medical method is to bring harmony within the inner self of a person so they themselves can be better people to others as well. In addition, Qigong promotes a better community where harmony and peace is encouraged and better sleeping habits are obtained.

Thrive Wellness Center
1244 S Federal Hwy
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
Phone: (954) 713-6118
http://thrivewellnesscenter.com

The Various Forms And Benefits Of Meditation

Americans are among the most overworked people in the industrialized world. They also take fewer vacations, which is no wonder that they are one of the most over stressed people on Earth. Unfortunately, they also have an improper way of dealing with the anxiety and pressure they encounter in their daily lives. They also drink too much and eat too much and pretend they’re in control. But nothing could be further from the truth.

A Drugged-Out Society

More and more Americans are relying on prescription medications in an effort to deal with unease and agitation. Drugs such as Cymbalta, Paxil, and Zoloft have become household words, with the US each year, spending tens of billions of dollars on medications designed to address depression and anxiety. But as with all prescription drugs, these highly touted mood-altering medications come with a laundry list of harmful side effects, from insomnia and nausea to sexual dysfunction and fatigue. There ought to be a better way.

Meditation

Amidst this doom and gloom, a recent rediscovery has been made of a multi-millennial type of stress relief. Meditation has been an essential part of human history for ages regardless if it’s used for emotional healing or spiritual enlightenment. While its roots have been traced back to Asia, meditation has been found to be a universal type of activity that cultures the world over has been practicing for ages. Having said that, this practice is unfortunately not widely used in the West, where it has been struggling to gain acceptance mainstream… that is, until recently.

According to a U.S. Census Bureau survey in 2007, some type of meditation is being practiced by almost ten percent of American adults, this increased from just eight percent in 2002. Because of this, the number of medical centers and yoga schools that have opened their doors to the over 20-plus million Americans who practice meditation on a regular basis have steadily grown.

Research findings

While Western medicine has been debating the benefits of meditation for quite a while, in recent years, it has been forced to reevaluate its position as empirical proof of the usefulness of meditation has come to light. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University performed a study that found meditation to be effective in alleviating moderate depression, pain, and anxiety in some patients. A different study observed a 10 to 20 percent positive change in depression symptoms for people who meditated on a regular basis. These numbers are the same as the positive effects of antidepressants albeit with significantly less side effects!

Meditation – What is it?

People in the West, have only an unclear notion what meditation is all about. They may understand that in order to enhance awareness of the current moment entails intense concentration of a movement, object, sound, etc. Some people think that meditation is simply made up of shutting the world out and clearing the mind. Actually both these viewpoints are correct. Meditation may also entail almost no thinking at all or profound thinking. To meditate, people commonly use the following techniques:

Mindfulness Meditation

Instead of endeavoring to free ourselves from our current situation or even from ourselves, this kind of meditation technique allows is to raise our consciousness by living in the moment. One focuses on what they experience during a session of mindfulness meditation. This focus can be on their emotions, passing thoughts, or their breathing. However, instead of lingering on the details of the object they’re focusing on, they allow them to pass without judgment.

Guided Meditation

This technique is also known as guided imagery or visualization. Guided meditation is a popular meditation method that entails meditating on relaxing mental images of situations and places. Practitioners include as many of their senses as they can, including textures, sounds, aromas, and sights of relaxing environments and objects. Since it takes time to conjure up a relaxing mental image, beginners may require expert instruction from a guide or instructor.

Tai chi

To attain relaxation via meditation, perhaps the most active way is through tai chi. This technique is a Chinese martial art that’s delicate and gentle and made up of a set of graceful slow motions that are done whilst performing deep breathing methods. It is also widely known as moving meditation and fosters both mental and physical relaxation. This very popular Chinese pastime has also been proven to improve focus and concentration for people suffering from anxiety disorders.

Yoga

While in most techniques and exercises of yoga, meditation may not be the focus of the discipline, it still is an important component in yoga. Students and yogis use meditation in their breathing exercises as well as in their poses and stretches to develop calm minds and more flexible bodies. Concentration and balance is attained when we shut out the world and focus on the moment for awhile. For those very reasons, people who have mastered simple meditation techniques often more rapidly move forward in their yoga training.

Common features

Meditation is basically is an umbrella term that denotes any form of focused activity that helps generate a state of profound relaxation. And although there are different ways of getting there, all forms of meditation possess the following aspects:

Deep breathing

Just by simply taking slow deep breaths from your stomach can be the most effective and simplest ways to relax. It lessens the movement of your upper chest, shoulder, and neck by shifting your breathing to the diaphragm, where it rightly belongs. This form of deep breathing allows the lungs take in more oxygen, causing a relaxing effect on the mind and body.

Focused attention

An essential part of meditation, focusing your mind on an activity, image, or sound can aid in clearing your mind. This can lead to a profound state of relaxation.

A comfortable position

Certain forms of meditation are a bit strict about body positioning, while others are more casual. Adopt a comfortable position when practicing by yourself. This will help you get the most out of your meditation.

A quiet environment

It helps to be in a silent setting with few distractions if your main objective is to quiet the mind. We highly recommend, for obvious reasons, to set aside your electronic devices (including TVs, computers, cell phones, etc.) from these areas.

The benefits of meditation

You can attain inner peace by doing any of those aforementioned techniques. This state of repose and calm has beneficial effects that go far beyond anxiety and stress relief. People who meditate on a regular basis experience these various health benefits:

• Lesser minor illnesses and colds
• Enhanced memory
• Increase in energy
• Lesser muscle tension
• Better sleep
• Enhanced mental focus and concentration
• Improved stress management skills
• Reduced feelings of anxiety and fear
• Decrease of negative emotions
• Lower blood pressure

Daily meditation

One of meditation most appealing aspects is that you can practice it anywhere – on the road, at work, or at home. But in order to derive the best possible results, we advise you to perform it every day to improve your emotional and physical wellbeing. Having said that, the following are some basic ways one can perform meditation on their own.

Breathing – Inhaling and exhaling in a controlled and slow manner whether it lasts 10 minutes or two hours, can foster healthy sleep and help alleviate anxiety and stress.

Walk and meditate – An effective and healthy way to relax and cleanse the body and clear the mind at the same time is to combine meditation with walking. One simple way to do this is to concentrate on the movements of your body rather than on the destination. To get the most out of your everyday constitutional, breathe deeply and slow the pace a bit as you step.

Repeat a mantra – One time-tested technique to relax that crosses various healing disciplines, religions, and cultures is to focus on the sound of your voice as you repeat a certain phrase or word. You can select a popular mantra such as transcendent meditation or from any established form of mantra meditation or you can come up with a mantra of your own.

Progressive muscle relaxation – This technique is a bit more advanced and entails focusing one’s attention on specific parts of one’s body, especially on tense or sore feet or hands and other body parts areas, to gain relief. This technique has an impressive track record when performed with deep breathing.

Conclusion

To conclude, there are infinite ways in how to meditate. No single system, form, or style is set in stone, but instead can be modified based on one’s needs. In meditation, keep in mind that there is no right or wrong way to do it. The most important thing is that the type of meditation you use really works for you, which is the reason we exhort you to experiment as early and as often as possible.

Acupuncture Health Center
1303 Astor St #101
Bellingham, WA 98225
(360) 715-1824
http://www.bellinghamacupuncturecenter.com/

Overcoming Addiction By Practicing Falun Dafa

I know a drummer who has played many years for a few but well known rock bands. He told me that there was just a single thing that kept him from being trapped into alcohol and drug addiction.

For anyone who has been addicted to a substance, it is a very difficult process to break free of the addiction. Realizing that you have a dependency on one or more chemicals can be a disheartening awareness and the shock can be so powerful that some individuals are likely to go into denial about having the habit.

Trying to prevent your relatives and friends from finding the truth can lead to a lot of deception both for the people you love and for yourself. This is quite a heavy burden to carry. Any individual with this problem will be scared of the truth and wouldn’t want others to know as well. They may fear being judged or how they will treated by their friends or family after learning of the problem.

Then there’s also the need to deal with the physical component of your addiction. Chemically, the brain may find it very hard to cope with an addiction. As the substance tends to unnaturally raise the levels of certain chemicals, the brain needs to adjust by producing less of those chemicals. Then, when the effects of the substance weakens, the brain is stuck with less of the substance present than before it was introduced artificially. This results in a flat, down state.

The contradiction between the lows and highs, the downs and ups can be amazing and raises further the drug’s desirability within the thoughts and mind of the addicted individual. The brain may require even more of it to feel the same way it felt as the initial exposure the next time the drug is taken.

This causes the brain to manufacture naturally even less of the chemical, generating an even deeper low. This cycle is maintained goes on until the addicted individual realizes that he cannot function or live without the drug.

It’s is easy to be aware of the difficulty of the situation facing the addicted person. The deeper becomes the addiction, the harder and harder it is to escape.

Going back to our rock star friend, he discovered a way out. It was Falun Dafa, an Oriental healing practice designed to improve the character and meditation practice. Lots of people have discovered it to be a very powerful way to improve and/or maintain the health of the mind and body.

I recommend reading an interesting book about the healing powers of Falun Gong. This book is entitled Falun Gong Stories – The Journey to Ultimate Health. There is a volume of subjective evidences about peoples’ experiences with Falun Gong.

Because of Falun Dafa, our hero drummer now lives an alcohol or drug free life.

Thrive Wellness Center
2499 Glades Rd #305a
Boca Raton, FL 33431
Phone: (561) 416-4391
http://thrivewellnesscenter.com/acupuncture-boca-raton/

Anmo Gong And Self-Acupressure To Maintain Health And Cultivate Oneself

Very few people have ever heard of anmo gong, which is a shame, as it’s one of the best ways to maintain health and cultivate oneself.

In Chinese, the word ‘Anmo’ traditionally means massage, although today, the Chinese now use the term tuina to describe massage. The word ‘gong’ roughly means something ‘practice’ or ‘work.’ Hence Anmo Gong means the practice or work of self-massage.

Anmo gong is sometimes called ‘do-in’ in Japan although it tends to be based on quite basic physical techniques without involving too much qi or internal work.

You can compare Anmo Gong as some type of Qi Gong that uses self massage and acupressure methods. Actually, most Qi Gong and Tai Chi styles contain some forms of self-acupressure albeit in a limited amount; in Anmo Gong however, one specifically uses acupressure as a major component of the technique.

This has several advantages and can be like being able to give yourself a regular tune-up where and when needed. Most acupuncturists teach acupressure to their clients to bolster the benefits of their therapy. For the maintenance of well-being and health, it can also be performed as a regular practice.

An Anmo Gong set of exercises in its most basic form consists of acupressure on just two or three pressure points. More involved routines would likely be comprised of stretches, breathing techniques, or basic ‘qi gong’ like motions. The exercises may involve more spontaneous elements in which you allow yourself to be guided to do whatever you feel needed at that moment or they can be very structured.

This type of activity can normalize and strengthen your energy, balance your emotions, and bolster your immune system. Based on the selection of points and the type of routine, it can be relaxing or invigorating, long or short, gentle or strong. Actually, in terms of what you do, the choice is infinite, and one can customize their practice based on the specific preferences and needs.

Talking to a qualified Chinese medicine practitioner in Tarzana or reading a good acupressure book for some specific advice is the simplest way to start. Just by using basic acupressure techniques for a minute or two on a single point every day can generate great benefits even if you don’t have time for anything else. You could, for example, utilize the Stomach 36 point (St 36, sometimes called the ‘wonder point’) located on the lower leg to attain profound health-boosting benefits. This indeed is a fabulous way to start exploring anmo gong and self-acupressure.

Developing And Tapping The Power Of Chi Through Nei Kung

Nei kung or Chinese ‘soft’ martial arts or internal martial arts, is a self-defense system that focuses on developing and tapping the power of the internal energy known as ‘chi’ instead of the traditional muscle power of purportedly hard or external styles.

In the West, the best known system of Nei Kung is Tai Chi. Other systems include Liuhe Bafa Chuan, Dacheng Chuan, Hsing Yi Quan, and Bagua Shang. Interestingly, many systems of Chinese kung fu posses a certain internal element despite the fact they are mainly external. One instance of a kung fu system or style with a specifically powerful internal aspect is the kung fu system of Shaolin White Crane.

Certain individuals would state that all Chinese combat schools and styles are both external and internal. Based on this perspective, Tai Chi and other internal styles start with learning and developing chi and progress to embodying this as advanced levels of external muscle strength, whereas Wing Chun and other external styles of kung fu start by studying the physical external forms and utilizing them with external muscle power, and then progress to studying an advanced level of chi. Both would result in the achievement of balance of the external and internal.

When people practice internal martial arts, they achieve a realization of chi by experiencing it, instead of understanding it at an intellectual level. Chi, in essence, is seen as the vital life energy, which is more or less similar to Indian yoga’s Prana. Some of today’s practitioners depict chi as some kind of magnetic phenomenon, which is the same as the depictions of the soul’s ‘astral light’ as noted by Levi, Mesmer, and other esoteric Western philosophers.

Internal martial arts originated from an ancient Chinese system called qi gong or chi kung. The origin of Qi gong can be traced as far back as the instructions of Boddhidharma and to the earliest history of the Shaolin temple. It is made up of a series of exercises meant to help one develop and direct the power of chi, in order to heal disease, boost vitality and health, beef up the body, and eventually to achieve illumination. Qi gong is designed to totally rebuild the body. Two of the most popular documents pertaining to qi gong are the Classic of Bone Marrow Washing and the Sinew Metamorphosis.

Internal martial arts are made up of martial arts forms and qi gong. This is the reason internal martial arts are used both for healing illnesses, improving vitality and health and self-defense. Both internal martial arts and qi gong are seen as a moving, energetic type of meditation.

Between the practices and styles forms of an external system of fighting and an internal martial arts class, the greatest difference that a practitioner would observe is that internal martial arts espouse the importance of keeping the body ‘soft’ and relaxed and to harmonize the movements and them flowing. A body that’s relaxed body gives the chi a chance circulate through the limbs. The Schools of Nei Kung also reiterate the control of one’s breathing and the coordination of movement and breath in order for the entire body and all its functions to work harmoniously allowing you to tap into a greater degree of effortless energy for your techniques.

In addition, Nei Kung arts integrate forms of Chinese philosophies like Taoism and traditional Chinese medicine in Boynton Beach. For instance, Hsing Yi Chuan, great depends on the five elements theory, while Bagua Shang reiterates the I Ching philosophy, particularly, the eight trigrams. If you really wish to gain mastery of an internal martial art, you need to be a fighter as well as a philosopher, and should develop your physical skill and strength as well as your and mental skill and moral strength.

The Eight Mansion Directions Of Feng Shui

In Chinese, Feng Shui literally means Wind and Water. It is a technique designed to bring in harmony and balance and harmony between our environment and us. Feng Shui, just like the forces of Yin and Yang, is all about balance. Where there is darkness, there is also light; where there is water, there is also fire; where there is darkness, there will also be darkness; etc..

Feng Shui tells us that each person interfaces in a different way to their environment. At times, a specific environment – such as an office or house – is so appropriate for you so much so you notice that everything in your life is well and good. However, it is highly possible that between your environment and yourself there is some kind of imbalance or discord if you are burdened by financial woes or problematic relationships manifesting in your everyday life.

By finely altering your environment, you’ll be able to bring back this balance that will eventually improve your life. This changing of your environment can be as easy as changing the position or angle of your work table, or by purchasing mandarin ducks and other Feng Shui items and putting them in appropriate locations in your office or home.

Genuine traditional Feng Shui has several systems. This article will only talk about one system, the Hsuan Kong system. Hsuan Kong (literally translated as “Mysterious Void” in Chinese) is a comprehensive system made up of convoluted formulae to determine an environment’s optimal composition and positioning.

FengShui School of Pa-Kua (Eight Mansion)

Within the Hsuan Kong system, there are a few sub-schools, including the well-known school of Flying Stars. The depictions in this work are derived from the Eight Mansion or Pa-Kua school. In the Eight Mansion technique, the compass is split into eight directions, with each direction detailed by a trigram. Each of these directions has their own corresponding significance. One of the Eight Mansion directions, for instance, is the relationship or personal direction, which for a person with problematic relationship will be of great interest. The importance of each direction is different for every person depending on what they need in their lives at that moment.

To know how each Eight Mansion direction personally affects you, you’ll need to determine your Kua Number.

Your Kua Number will be determined by the calculator, and more importantly, what each Eight Mansion direction means to you. In other words, four of those directions will have negative overtones and the other four will be favorable or positive to you.

One can briefly summarize the eight Mansion directions this way:

1. Total Loss (Chueh Ming) – This is your death and loss direction. In order to lessen physical death and loss around you, you need to focus on this direction.

2. Six Killings (Liu Sha) – This is an “evil” direction. To defend yourself against evil in your environment, you need to focus on this direction.

3. Five Ghosts (Wu Gwei) – To prevent financial woes and theft, this direction is the one you need to focus on since it is the financial loss direction.

4. Misfortunes (Ho Hai) – if you want to minimize unforeseen loss or accidents, this is the direction you need to focus on. The Ho Hai is the first negative Eight Mansion direction and is your mishap or accident direction.

5. Stability (Fu Wei) – Turn your attention to this direction if you want to attain knowledge and tranquility. This is your direction for knowledge and stability.

6. Relationships (Nien Yin) – If you want to improve your marriage or love life or are in a troubled relationship, you need to focus on this direction which is your relationships direction.

7. Heavenly Doctor (Tien Yi) – If you are interested in physical and health matters this is the direction you need to focus on as it is your health direction.

8. Life Generating (Sheng Chi) – This Eight Mansion direction is your wealth and prosperity direction. If you are interested in financial strength, this is the direction you need to focus on.

Thrive Wellness Center is an acupuncture clinic in Boca Raton, FL providing Chinese medicine treatments for many health conditions.

Selecting The Right Foods When Ordering In Chinese Restaurants

You may not know this but eating at a Chinese restaurant can offer you various ways to maintain good health; although it can also provide you many ways to ruin it. Correct choices can result in a guilt-free, nutritious dining experience. Improper choices that you may find with typical Chinese fare are not as worse as that of standard Western dishes, but nevertheless, can still adversely affect your health.

Benefits

One of the greatest benefits of eating Chinese food is that it’s low in trans fat and saturated fat. Foods that are high in these unhealthy fats elevates blood cholesterol, which, according to the American Heart Association, can lead to heart disease. Chinese dishes are low in unhealthy fats because they have no cheese, are cooked on vegetable oil, and often contain vegetables, poultry, and seafood.

Disadvantages

According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the unhealthiest thing about Chinese food is that it is usually filled with packed with calories and sodium. The culpable ingredients typically used in Chinese foods are deep-fried breading oil, salty sauces, and fried cooked noodles.

Examples

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has revealed General Tso’s chicken served in some Chinese restaurants as one of the worst Chinese foods served to the public. General Tso’s chicken is fried chicken basically with a dash of vegetables. A usual dinner meal has 3.200 grams of sodium and 1,300 calories. Fried rice contains 2.7 grams of sodium and 1,500 calories while orange beef has about 3.1 grams of sodium and 1,500 calories.

Impacts

If you eat Chinese food too often, the surfeit calories can lead to weight gain. A typical human being requires just 2,000 calories a day to live, although requirements differ. According to the Stanford Hospital and Clinics, obesity results in dangerously unhealthy side effects like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. The American Heart Association advices people to limit their sodium intake to 1.5 grams a day, thus, a single Chinese food meal can easily have two days’ worth of sodium. This association has stated that diets filled with sodium lead to high blood pressure which increases the risk of stroke and heart disease.

Advices

The Committee for Science in the Public Interest recommends that instead of ordering deep-fried items when eating in Chinese restaurants, select tofu or seafood items, and chicken instead that is lightly stir-fried. A much better recommendation is to order less meat and more vegetables. Avoid the following sauces:

 Soy sauce – One tablespoon of sodium contains one gram of sodium

 Hoisin sauce – One tablespoon of this sauce contains 250 mg of sodium

 Duck sauce – One tablespoon of duck sauce contains 100 mg of sodium

Ni Nan Healing Art Center
2579 Merrick Rd
Bellmore, NY 11710
(516) 442-7408
http://www.ninanhealing.com

Auricular Acupuncture For Treating Digestive Conditions, Insomnia, Pain And Others

One of the most sensitive nerve-filled parts of your body is your outer ear. These nerves are directly connected to your brain, and so when they’re properly stimulated, it can reach any part of your body through the. Mankind has developed, through diligent research, the techniques to utilize your ear as a means of healing your whole body. Ear acupuncture in Cleveland, also called auricular acupuncture, is often used on patients searching for a way to treat digestive conditions, insomnia, pain, to lose weight, and to quit smoking among many others.

Used in China for thousands of years, auricular acupuncture was further refined in the 1950’s by French neurologist Paul Nogier. This type of treatment requires the sticking of small acupuncture needles on specific acupoints of the auricle or outer to stimulate acupoints. In auricular acupuncture, the practitioner inserts a 0.18mm thick, 0.5-inch, needle on your ear rather than the standard 0.22mm thick 1-inch that’s used on your body. This reduces the sensation of needling on your ear, as well as gives your practitioner more ease in utilizing using different acupoints on your ear, which usually is small and difficult to manipulate.

The needles may also include or be replaced by using the small seeds of the vaccaria plant that can also help address stagnation and strengthen the blood. The practitioner may also use healing magnets to either complement the treatment or in lieu of the auricular acupuncture needles. According to traditional Chinese medicine, the ear is a miniature representation of the entire human body. This means that stimulating certain acupoints on your ear can help treat any disorder that otherwise could be resolved with the acupoints located on your body. In truth, the shape of the ear looks like an inverted fetus with its feet and hands directed towards the top of your ear and with its head located on your lobe. Intriguingly, a lot of auricular acupoints match with this general pattern. Shoulder acupoints, for example, are located where the shoulder of the fetus would be.

Oftentimes, auricular acupuncture is administered along with acupoints on specific parts of your body. A practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) usually utilizes acupoints on the body as well as acupoints on the ear, and then after treatment, tapes ear seeds on similar or the same acupoints of your ear. The magnets or seeds are taped with a bandage-like adhesive material. The matching acupoints can then be stimulated a few times a day by the patient, until they fall off by themselves naturally, which is usually about three or four days later. Over the next few days, this extra stimulation boosts the effectiveness of your acupuncture treatment.

While mapping the acupoints on your ear is easy, we do not recommend using them to treat another person or yourself. It is important that you receive auricular acupuncture only from a licensed qualified TCM Practitioner, who has been trained in all forms of Chinese medicine modalities, and knows the best way of diagnosing you effectively and correctly.

Chinese Nutritional Therapy’s Answer To Weak Digestion

There is heated debate as to what’s healthier to eat: cooked foods or raw foods. In Chinese nutritional therapy, it is essential that foods must be cooked. This is directly the opposite of the view of the West which claims that cooking destroys raw enzymes and ‘denatures’ food. However, there are people who cannot tolerate raw foods. In people with weak digestive systems, eating raw foods can result in too much flatulence and/or stomach aches.

Other topics of debate are about fasting and vegetarianism. Despite the nearness of China to India and the exchange of ideas that have been going on between these two countries for centuries, there still remain certain fundamental differences between diet and eating habits. In ancient Indian healing system, abstaining from food for a short while (fasting) is encouraged in order to detoxify the body and rest the digestive system. In Chinese nutritional therapy, however, fasting is not promoted because it is suspected to weaken the digestive system. What are recommended for illness are the consumption of herbal teas as well as plain, simple, and easily digestible foods. In India, practicing vegetarianism is commonplace but it is seldom practiced in mainland China.

In general, the Chinese are not vegetarians except for the monks and Taoists. Meat tonifies both the yin and yang of the body and is considered an important part of a healthy diet. Mealtimes, in Chinese culture, usually involve a combination of noodles or rice, fish, meats, and vegetables.

This doesn’t mean that the Chinese are right and the Indians wrong and vice versa. Both ways of eating bring about disadvantages and benefits to these people. What this implies is that when it comes to eating habits and food there are no fast and hard rules.

Another more critical factor to consider is that good digestion is based not merely on the quality of food consumed, but also on the body’s ability to digest it. If a person suffers from weak digestion, he may not be able to fully absorb the nutrients from the foods. In Chinese medicine, the Stomach and Spleen energy channels govern digestion. So if these channels are weak, then the person may experience symptoms of tiredness or bloating after eating, food intolerances, stomach aches, diarrhea, or rumblings in the intestines and may suffer from low energy. The improper absorption of food may result in a thin body and low energy. Conversely, food absorbed extremely well but is inefficiently converted into energy will lead to tiredness (again) and weight gain.

We can eat the world’s best food and it will go to waste in this manner. People with strong digestion can consume an order of large fries and big mac and benefit from it. But if they suffer from a weak digestion they can consume a Jamie Oliver meal and derive minimal benefits from it.

Sometimes your digestion can be weakened from an illness. When this occurs, Chinese nutritional therapy would recommend eating easily digestible and very simple foods. Each culture has some form of this. The Japanese and Chinese have rice porridge or congee – a very simple meal that is served in Chinese restaurants. The recipe for congee is as follows:

Ingredients:

 One teaspoonful salt
 Nine cups of water
 Three quarters long grain rice

How to Prepare Congee:

Put rice and water in a large pot and boil.

When the rice starts to boil, reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot with a lid and tilt it to let steam escape.

With the heat set to low, stir the pot periodically until the rice has a porridge-like texture – creamy and thick. Cook for about one to two hours then serve. For taste, add a little soya, garnishes, seasonings, and/or salt.

For a more nutritious congee, instead of white rice you can use wholegrain brown rice although this may increase cooking time for about three to four hours. You can also opt to cook your congee using a pressure cooker. This will only take about an hour to cook.

Dr. Marco Dibonaventura – Board Certified Acupuncturist and Herbalist in King of Prussia, PA

How Food Impacts The Body In Various Ways Based On TCM

Perhaps, one of the most contradictory and complex discussions pertaining health is the relationship of health to food. So many diverging dietary plans, perspectives, and theories as well as several industrial and corporate entities have turned what should have been a simple discussion into a seriously convoluted topic.

For instance, a Western scientific ‘dietician’, bases a healthy diet on the consumption of sufficient amounts of RDA (recommended daily allowance) of minerals, vitamins, fiber, proteins, and carbohydrates. It is irrelevant whether the vitamins and carbohydrates come from sweet potatoes or from fortified sugary cereal. There are several schools of ‘Nutritionist’ that are customarily more imaginative with diets and may advocate a diet more natural nutritionally based diet that emphasizes the taking of various supplements and on the consumption of lean meats, whole grains, pulses, and vegetables. Then, we have the highly specialized naturopaths or nutritionists who may advocate specific styles of eating emphasizing certain food groups like Candida diets, low carb diets, high fiber diets, raw food diets, food combining, or fasting. And who can’t forget the weight loss diets, which obviously are designed to make us lose weight? In developing countries, these diets are unknown or are not promoted.

In the Eastern medical system known as TCM or Traditional Chinese Medicine, food is based on its specific energetic qualities. Some foods are considered cooling foods in that they cool the body, some foods are heating foods because they warm or heat the body. Some foods are damp causing foods as they trigger the production of mucus or phlegm, or increase weight. There are foods that nourish the yin of the body and foods that increase yang. There are foods that are neutral. All foods essentially possess energetic qualities that impact the body in certain ways.

Sugar, oil, and dairy are considered damp forming foods. Raw fish, egg plant, cucumber are cooling foods. Lamb, red meat, and spices are heat generating foods.

There are foods that either weaken or tonify the organs of the body. Sweet tasting foods, for example, impacts the abdomen and spleen, which controls the digestive system. Brown and white grains and other naturally sweet foods tonify the abdomen and spleen. But cakes, candies, refined sugar and other excessively sweet foods can weaken these organs.

Classifying foods based on yin and yang can have several aspects and can be quite complicated. One way of distinguishing yin foods is their ability to increase the flesh and blood and other yin aspects of the body. Hence, fish and meat and other proteins build tissues and so are seen as yin. Yang foods such as refined sugar and alcohol are foods that quickly elevate energy. However, classifying yin and yang foods can also be relative. For instance, although meat can be seen as yin, red meats are categorized more as yang while fish and white meats are seen as yin.

Based on the Five Elements theory of TCM, foods can be classified based on their color. White colored foods, for instance, is believed to vibrate with the element of metal and the organs of the large intestine and the lungs. This implies that foods having a white color like white rice or cauliflower may be good for the lungs. Green tonifies the element of wood as well as the liver, and therefore green leafy veggies are good for the liver.

Foods can also be classified based on their shape. In TCM, since the kidney bean is shaped like the human kidney, it is believed to tonify the kidneys. The walnuts tonify the brain as they look like brains.

Like repairs like and so offal meat such as the animal intestines, kidney, and liver are believed to nurture their comparable human counterparts. Human blood can be nourished by pig blood.

Foods can also be classified based on their action. So, spicy foods, for instance promote sweating and perspiration. If your chi or energy is stagnant which manifests as being overweight or poor circulation, they can be addressed by eating spicy foods that open the pores and encourage circulation although, they are just quick fixes that don’s address the root problem. Eating a lot of yang or spicy foods eventually may result in excess yin (weight gain, phlegm, and mucus) that undermines the balance of yin and yang in the body.

Foods that cause damp are foods that promote the production of mucus or phlegm. Some individuals who can’t tolerate wheat or dairy may find phlegm building up in their throat or feces when they eat damp foods.

The way foods are cooked can impact their energetic attributes. For instance grilled, barbecued, and fried foods have a searing effect on the food and entail the use of more intense heat within a shorter period of time. Compared to steaming or boiling which soften the food and is deemed to be a yin way of cooking, grilled, barbecued, and fried foods are deemed to be yang. Frying, especially deep frying has both a damp forming and yang heating effect on food because it combines the use of oil (a damp food) and heat.

Deep fried fat foods can be very difficult to digest for people with frail digestive systems. In TCM, too much eating of this type of food can lead to damp heat within the body. This root condition, damp heat, points to any kind of painful inflammation or pus-filled inflammation in the body. This condition can usually be seen among fast food adolescent workers who consume for lunch free fries and hamburgers daily and eventually develop cystic acne.

Damp heat can also be seen among middle aged people who consume fried chicken, ribs, steaks, and rump everyday and develop swollen joints. Gout is one historical manifestation of damp heat. It is an arthritic condition affecting the foot and is quite painful. It was known as “the rich man’s disease” or “the disease of kings”. The portly King Henry the Eighth struggled from gout when he wasn’t busy beheading wives and destroying the church. He was a notorious alcoholic and often ate a lot of rich foods.

In TCM, another principle applies in which – a small amount of a flavor can strengthen a body function or an organ. Hence, eating a small amount of grains (sweet) can tonify the abdomen and spleen. A small amount of salt tonifies the kidneys, a small amount of sour foods tonifies the liver, a small amount of pungent foods tonifies the lungs, and a small amount of bitter tonifies the heart.

Conversely, eating too much of a flavor can weaken the same body function or organ. Too much curry (pungent) can impair the lungs and too much refined sugar (sugar) impairs digestion. After consuming strong curry, certain individuals may develop lots of phlegm or mucus later on in their throat.

Eastern Healing Solutions, LLC
10875 Grandview St #2200
Overland Park, KS 66210
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http://www.overlandparkacupuncturist.com