In Chinese Medicine winter is the season of the water. It is the time of year to care for the kidneys and bladder. The last few days of the winter before we transition into spring is a good time to think about how we have replenished our resources with rest and what state our water is in. Book an appointment online to see how acupuncture can treat insomnia, fatigue, low back pain, and even tinnitus.
Gua Sha Tools
My favorite tool for gua sha is a Chinese soup spoon. The non porous porcelain edge grips the skin just enough. The shape makes it easy to hold and to work the fascia in many different parts of the body. A stiff neck, shoulder ache, pain in the lower back, and planar fasciitis are no match for this simple tool. Make an appointment to experience what gua sha can do to promote healing.
The Benefits of Gua She
Gua Sha is a technique in which a tool is scrapped across the skin to bring blood flow into an area. It works like cupping. In combination with acupuncture needles it can be just the thing to help that stiff, sore, and over stressed shoulder or back. Book an acupuncture appointment to give it a try.
Some translate the Chinese character 土 tu as earth. It is thought to represent the ground that we stand on which supports our good health. 土 is also the season we are currently entering in Nashville Tennessee as the heat of summer subtly relaxes and things begin to dry out. September is harvest time for squash and apples, foods that can be kept to nourish us throughout the winter.
According to Chinese Medicine principles it is the time to get our digestive system in order so that we can strengthen ourselves before winter. It’s the time for soups and stews that can be easily digested and made into good energy. It’s time to exercise in rhythmic ways that strengthen muscle.
Chinese Medicine (acupuncture, herbs, cupping, gua sha, moxibustion, tui na, qi gong, and exercise and dietary advice) can help our bodies contend with irritable bowels, acid reflux, digestive upset, irregular stools, headaches and other symptoms of poor digestion and an irritated digestive system.
Check out how acupuncture and herbs can enhance your health.
According to the principles of Chinese Medicine spring is the time to focus on exercise and movement. Exercise at this time is particularly beneficial to the liver and gallbladder and helps the body clear toxins and stagnation. Exercise for the wood season incorporates fast paced movement with adjusting and reacting. Hiking a trail, playing some frisbee in the park, soccer, basketball, or dance are great ways to release stagnant qi throughout the body. The wood season is also a great time to be creative in our ideas and rountines. As we attempt to be active, try exercises that incorporate engagement with changing and dynamic movement.
To make the transition to warmer weather easier some simple changes to diet are a great way to assist the liver in it's self cleansing. Many find that shifting to more vegetables and fruits allows for easier digestion. Creating periods when we don’t eat is also beneficial and gives the liver a break. Holding a 12 hour time period between the last meal of the day and breakfast gives the liver a chance to balance the blood sugar and repair. Foods such as lemon, lime, kiwi, dandelion, parsley, leafy greens and daikon clear the liver according to Chinese Medicine. Sour is the flavor that strengthens the liver. Adding lemon or a bit of vinegar to water can be a wonderful spring tonic.
Our liver and gallbladder are two important organs in our body that help us with many daily functions like digestion and hormone regulation. The liver is known for detoxing, holding, and releasing impurities from our bodies. It is best not to overwork our liver by consuming harsh foods and substances. Spring is the perfect time to give the liver a break so that it can restore itself. The gallbladder rests behind the liver and stores bile that helps in the digestion and absorption of food in the small intestines. An acupuncture treatment can give the liver support in its natural cleansing process. There are also wonderful herbal formulas that can also support the restoration of the liver and gallbladder.
Spring is for cleaning and fresh starts. As we transition to longer days and warmer nights it's a great time to clear and restore our bodies. In the colder season we tend to fill ourselves with heavy foods and hunker down with indoor activities. With spring here we can begin to remove those heavy things. In Chinese Medicine spring is the time of the Liver and Gallbladder and there are many things we can do with diet, exercise, herbs, and acupuncture to help our bodies renew.
Unable to sleep? Try Acupuncture
Nashville is known for its lively nightlife, but who wants to stay up all the time? What is more enjoyable than a deep refreshing sleep? Insomnia plagues so many people that it is almost considered normal. Many people’s nervous systems are taxed. Really relaxing and settling into an uninterrupted sleep is rare. Acupuncture can help with many types of insomnia. A qualified practitioner can make a complete diagnosis about the underlying cause of sleeplessness according to Chinese Medicine. One of the ways acupuncture can be most effective is by calling our nervous systems to a calm and quiet state. In addition to regular acupuncture treatment there are a variety of herbal formulas that can help one relax and fall asleep. Come see me in either Nashville or Franklin for a full diagnosis and treatment to help you sleep better.
Mark is a board certified and licensed acupuncturist