To The Point
Summer, 2009 #9
In this issue:
- Acupuncture Blog Chicago
- Summer and Traditional Chinese Medicine
- Chinese Face Reading - President Obama
- 5 Easy Ways to Reclaim Balance in Your Life
Summer is the time of year that is most yang. High yang means heat, maximum activity, and moving outward with our lives and into nature.
In TCM, the element associated with summer is fire which includes: the color red, the emotion of joy, bitter tasting foods, and the body organs of heart and small intestine and it relates to the tongue. When the fire element is in balance, your heart is strong and healthy, your mind is calm and your sleep is sound. On the other hand, when the fire element is not balanced, you may either lack joy (depression) or have an excess of joy (mania).
Because summer is the hottest season, to balance the heat, you need a diet that is cooling. Fresh fruits and vegetables are great choices. Examples of cooling foods include watermelon, asparagus, sprouts, corn, cucumber, spinach, and mint. Summer is a poor time to overdo spicy foods, alcohol, or caffeine because all of these foods provide heat rather than cool.
Chinese Physiognomy, commonly known as Face Reading, has a 3000 year history. Practitioners of Chinese Medicine have used it to diagnose their patients' imbalances. Today, many people use Face Reading to learn more about themsebglves and others.
First, let's look at President Obama's entire face. It is a very well balanced face; his features are matched and no single feature is excessively prominent or outstanding. This indicates a balanced person. Looking at Obama's individual features, we see a large upper lip which means he is a giving person. Contrast this with former Governor Blagojevich's lack of an upper lip. (to read more about the former Governor's face, click here.)
President Obama has an interesting square hairline, slightly receding, which signifies determination. His deep philtrum, the indentation above the upper lip, indicates healthy kidneys and reproductive/sexual interest. Obama's thick eyebrows suggest that he is more of a big picture guy than a man involved with details. Finally, his large ears stick out and that feature signifies that he is a person who tells you what he thinks. Also, the top of his ears are higher than his eyebrow line which indicates his intelligence, especially in academics.
To read Chinese Face Reading: Jen Aniston vs. Angelina Jolie click here.
In February, I began writing for a new web site called Hopefulparents.
This site is dedicated to offering support for parents of children with special needs. However, this post applies to everyone. We could all use a little more balance in our lives.
Today I want to talk about balance, one of the most fundamental concepts in Eastern Philosophy and Chinese Medicine. Striving for balance is the search for harmony or equilibrium in our lives. This idea is often pictured as the Yin Yang symbol. There are many examples of yin and yang in our every day lives (To read more about yin and yang click here). Your more active energy is considered Yang in nature and Yin is your calm energy. You feel best when Yin and Yang work together, for example, if you get good nights sleep (sleeping/nighttime is yin), you wake up refreshed and are able to have an active and fulfilling day (running around with kids/daytime is yang). This is an example of how the concept of yin and yang helps you to create balance in you life.
In my practice I often see parents, especially mothers, who are out of balance because they lack yin energy. This calming yin energy is depleted because so many parents, especially those who have children with special needs, are required to be always active and alert. So, if you have only a few moments to capture some calm,
Here are 5 quick ways (most take fewer than 5 minutes) to nourish your yin.
- Place one hand on your lower abdomen and breathe deeply until you feel your stomach rise. Exhale slowly and repeat 10 times. When you are stressed, you breathe into your chest and that increases anxiety but these slow and deep breaths will help you regain your calm.
- Eat a handful of Goji berries. They are great snack and they nourish your yin (to read more about goji berries click here) or try almonds before you go to bed. Almonds contain tryptophan, an amino acid that helps induce sleep and relaxation
- Use lavender essential oil in your bedroom on your bed sheets, in your bath, or as a perfume.Lavender's scent is relaxing.
- Take 5 minutes of silence every day, away from children, spouse, TV, Blackberry, cell phone, everything. Silence is the balance to all life's unavoidable stimulation
- Remember one thing for which you are grateful. Write it on a post-it note; carry it with you if you need too. Being grateful helps balance out the difficult periods.
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Stay happy and healthy,