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EVERYDAY WELLNESS TIPS

Dry Skin? Try These Natural Remedies

Dry Skin? Try These Natural Remedies

With this year's extreme cold winter we have had in Toronto, you may have turned up the heat on full blast just to keep temperatures moderate indoors. As a result, you may have noticed drier skin. You might even be waking with a dry mouth and nose.

The worst part is your hands and feet are like a desert! No amount of lotion or Vaseline seems to keep them from drying up again. 

In this blog I'm going to share with you a few simple solutions to re-hydrate your body from the inside out. In doing so, you won't have to apply as much lotion continuously, and your mouth and nose should not be as dry when you wake up in the mornings. 

First let's dive into why this is happening. With dryness, there's actually 2 factors going on. 1. External dryness, 2. Internal heat. Dryness can be moistened with foods that help generate more fluid in the body. Here's a few that can help:

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1. Honey

Honey has so many healing properties. Moistening dryness is just one!

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2. Kiwis & Bananas

Great for relieving thirst. Bananas also have moistening properties that are good for regular bowel movements and help dry skin.

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3. Oatmeal

Any kind of porridge is good for restoring fluids. In asian culture congee is one made with rice and water in a ratio of 1:6.

Heat on the other hand doesn't disappear by moistening it. You actually have to clear it out of your system. 

But where is this heat coming from? It's the middle of winter, so if it's not externally generated, it must be coming from within.

"What generates heat internally though?" you might wonder. And the answer is stress.

That could be tight deadlines, or having to multi-task non-stop. You can think about a computer overheating, when it has too much to process, or hasn't been shut off in a while. Our brains need the same "TIME OFF". Otherwise, we crash and burn.

Add more meditation, or go for a weekend getaway. This is great for bringing down stress levels. In addition, here are some foods you can add to your diet to clear the heat/inflammation from your body:

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1. Peppermint

Great for clearing heat, emotional frustration, and ‘chilling you out’.

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2. Pears

Pears are a 2-in-1 combo. Not only do they clear heat, but they also moisten dryness. This is the go-to for feelings of thirst, especially if you have been eating spicy lately, or fried foods. The heat clearing properties will get you feeling refreshed and thirst quenched.


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3. Watermelon

Great for clearing heat from your system. In fact watermelon is something we typically crave during the intense summer heat. However, due to its cooling nature, it should be eaten in moderation.



I hope you enjoyed these tips. Feel free to book an acupuncture & food therapy session to dive deeper into your health concerns.

3 Tips For Energy That Lasts

3 Tips For Energy That Lasts

Here are 3 ways to help you wake up with more energy, get you through those mid-day slumps, and feeling like you CAN do anything you set your mind to.

ADAPT TO YOUR LIFE'S SEASON

ADAPT TO YOUR LIFE'S SEASON

As you attempt to adapt to the changing seasons, life can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. Learn how to manage your resources, or better yet, improve your health to better able to handle the ups and downs of life using acupuncture & food therapy.

3 Tips To Boost Your Immunity This Fall

3 Tips To Boost Your Immunity This Fall

It can be EXHAUSTING keeping up with yourself sometimes. Your body knows it, but do you?

As we enter fall, temperatures begin to drop, trees begin to lose their leaves, marking a time when things slow down in nature. We too ought to slow down in life. Most of us, however, are still working harder than ever in a competitive workplace, trying to keep up with our demanding lifestyles, and still trying to cram in more into our already busy schedules. 

If you already caught a cold, have a bit of runny nose, or a sore throat, this is your body signalling that you need to SLOW DOWN. 

It's a clear sign you're operating on overdrive as you lack the resources to manage your body's immune system. To prevent things from getting worse HERE ARE SOME TIPS:

1. Hit Pause

Ever feel that "stress-mode" come on, as if you're in a panic, as if you don't have enough time to get through the amount of work that needs to be done? Once we get into this mode, our minds get ahead of ourselves, thinking about the next 10 possible scenarios that could happen. We begin to lose track of what we need - TIME, SPACE, FOOD, and REST.

The next time you catch yourself feeling the pressure of stress, give yourself 1-2 minutes to just sit down, breathe deep and slow, and allow your mind to pause for a moment so your body can catch up with you. You'll feel your energy come back again, and your stress levels drop significantly, which will make you more effective to the people you're trying to serve.

2. Chai Tea

With warming spices like ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom this tea can help boost the body's immune system, and balance off fall's cooler climate. The next time you feel cold in the office, or at home after a long day, warm up with a nice cup of chai.

3. Let Go Of The Unnecessary

Trees let go of their leaves during fall. Fall is also a time when the large intestine is more active, the main organ for elimination of waste from your body. A problem in this department can be a sign that you have a hard time letting go of things.

Some of you have a tendency to hang on to your busy schedules. Not realising that many of the things you do, you either don't really want, or need to. Let's practice letting them go.

Take a look at your schedule, and ask yourself which things do you actually want to do, or absolutely HAVE to do. Then eliminate everything else. This will clear your schedule, clear your stress, and give yourself the time and rest you need to slow things down in your life. Then you can hopefully schedule in some self-care, like acupuncture.

You can also apply this to "Things" in your home. Clothes, electronics, books, paperwork. If you haven't used or looked at it in the past 3 years, chances are you can let it go now.

Have a wonderful fall season, and enjoy the cooler climates by going for walks in the park, and breathing in the fresh crisp air. Don't forget to wear a scarf.


If you're interested in booking some self-care acupuncture time, feel free to book online. We focus on creating the change your body needs to heal through pain, chronic conditions, or mental emotional blockages using acupuncture & food therapy. Our acupuncture clinics are located downtown Toronto, and Forest Hill. Our practitioners are registered acupuncturists, and we provide a receipt for insurance purposes.

'Tis the season to restore, rejuvenate ... & avoid burnout

'Tis the season to restore, rejuvenate ... & avoid burnout

Do you feel tired, even if you get a full 8 hours of sleep? Coffee doesn’t seem to be as effective anymore does it? It’s year end, and your lack of energy is making you drop the ball when it matters MOST! You want to end the year with a bang! but it’s feeling like it might end with a thunk.

 

You could be suffering from burnout.

 

You’ve worked hard all year long, and now’s the time to finally crush those year end goals whether they are business goals, projects around the house, or even starting 2018 a few pounds lighter. If you’re like most people in Toronto, the demands of your daily life are as high as ever, but you’re lacking an inner resourcefulness to energetically complete everything. The holidays are an added stress, especially when all you want to do is sit on the couch, turn on Netflix and pass out for a couple of hours.

 

Don’t worry, I have a special recipe for bouncing out of burnout I’m going to share with you. But first, let’s understand what is burnout?

 

When burnout sets in, most people turn to drinking more and more coffee. Coffee taps into your adrenal glands which give you the adrenaline rush you think you need to push through, feel awake, and keep chugging along throughout the day. Too much coffee, and the adrenal glands begin to run out of resources - which means, you actually burn out FASTER.

 

The adrenal glands sit atop the kidneys, and in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) symptoms of overwork or exhaustion can be corrected by boosting your body’s powerhouse - The Kidneys. Here I’m going to share with you a personal favourite for restoring your kidneys so you can accomplish those year end goals, get back to feeling 100% again, and hopefully give you that extra boost you need to HAVE FUN and enjoy this holiday season!

 

Goji Walnut Energy Ball

Low Energy Exhaustion Adrenal Fatigue

 


For the past few months, I’ve been putting together my favorite healing recipes. If you’re struggling with back pain, digestive issues, low energy, or cold hands and feet, there is a whole-food nourishing recipe in this cookbook for YOU! Heal your body from the inside out….and enjoy some tasty morsels while you do it! Nourish your body and soul with Mindful Kitchen. Right now I’m offering an end-of-year special. Save 40% by clicking here. Right now Mindful Kitchen is only $5.99!

 

Grab it today and start feeling better.

3 ways to stop freezing hands & feet!

3 ways to stop freezing hands & feet!

You're the first person to wear sweaters in the office when fall arrives. No this is not something you have to live with. Here's 3 ways...

5 Tips To Improve Your Sleep

5 Tips To Improve Your Sleep

Feeling restless at night? Unable to turn off your mind? or waking up at the same odd hour each night? Sleep is crucial to your overall well-being. Here are some tips to help you get your beauty rest.

3 Amazing Benefits Of Acupuncture

3 Amazing Benefits Of Acupuncture

Did you know acupuncture can relieve more than just pain? Here, we'll discuss acupuncture's benefits in relieving you of seasonal allergies, digestive complaints, and insomnia.

5 Ways to Warm Up!

5 Ways to Warm Up!

As the cold winter approaches, it's important we understand how to stay balanced during this season. Winter is the time our energy hides in the deeper layers of our body, making us more susceptible to catching colds. For those who have poor circulation, cold temperatures can slows things down even more, reducing blood flow to your extremities. You may experience cold hands and feet, or become more prone to pain in your body as blood stagnation occurs. Here's what you can do to offset these imbalances.

1. Add Some Spice

Star anise, fennel, and cloves not only spice up your meals, but have very strong warming properties that can tonify your Yang (warming) energy according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Add them to soup, or marinate meat with these warming spices. 

2. Eat Venison/Lamb

This brings me to my next point. Meat can have a negative connotation in our modern society especially with factory farming practices. Sometimes we forget the beneficial properties of meat. I always recommend eating organic when possible, and consuming meat in moderation. Lamb and venison can warm the body up, relieving your from cold extremities, feeling cold all the time, or even low libido as these meats strengthen the Kidneys as well. They are often marinated with rosemary - another warming herb that can help you stay balanced during the cold, frigid winter months.

3. Drink Alcohol

You're probably are starting to question this article - but believe it or not, moderate alcohol consumption was recommended during the Ming Dynasty to help regulate blood flow, improve circulation, and warm the body. All good things in moderation.

4. Acupuncture

Acupuncture

Acupuncture

TCM is all about balancing Yin and Yang. For those with a deficiency in Yang, they tend to feel cold more often, lack energy, and may even experience low libido, or loose stools. Yang represents warmth, and along the back of your spine lies the Du Channel "Sea of Yang". By choosing points along this channel, acupuncture can boost the body's warming energy to relieve the sensation of cold. If you haven't tried it yet, book your session today at www.acusoul.com.

5. Sit By The Fire

This time of year it is quite difficult to get more sun, but there are other options. Layer up at the office, plug in a portable heater, or sit by a fire if you get the chance. External heat is just as important as warming the body up from the inside out. As you plan your holiday season, try to spend some time near a fire, whether that's at home as you cozy up next to the fireplace, at a cabin resort, or the inside of a chalet.

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Four Key Recipes For Fall

Four Key Recipes For Fall

Looking for ways to stay balanced this fall? Listed below are four recipes that taste great AND boost your body's immune system during this cool & dry season

What's The Right Tea For You?

What's The Right Tea For You?

In Chinese Medicine, the goal is to bring harmony and balance to the body, mind, and soul. We can accomplish this through acupuncture, food therapy, or even choosing the right teas. Your body's imbalances speak loudly in many ways, and if we are attuned to how we feel we can choose the right tea to re-balance ourselves. Green tea has become quite popular nowadays with all the research indicating green tea has high antioxidant qualities. However, green tea is considered cooling in Chinese Medicine and may not be right for everyone.

1. Peppermint Tea

If you feel cold all the time, or generally low in energy, green tea may not be the healthiest choice for you. If, however, you tend to feel hot easily, get nose bleeds, mouth sores, or are suffering from a sore throat, peppermint tea could make you feel better.Peppermint has cooling qualities that clear heat and soothe the liver, an organ which can get quite heated in a high stress environment. This makes peppermint a perfect way to rebalance after a heated discussing, or a stressful day at the office. 

 

2. Black Tea

On the other hand, black tea's high caffeine content, and energizing properties might be the right choice if you feel sluggish, tired, or just need a boost of energy. In fact, a common tradition which is still carried out today is to drink black tea at Dim Sum. This is because alot of food served at Dim Sum can be quite greasy, and cause some of us to feel tired, and heavy after the meal. Pu-Erh tea, served at Dim Sum, is used to help cut the grease, boost energy, and wake you up again. This tea gets its name from Pu'Er, a city in Yunnan province, China where the tea is fermented, and aged. 

3. Rose Tea & Chai Tea

Feeling cold at the office? this may be due to a lack of circulation, or a lack of warmth in the body. I have two options for you - rose tea and chai tea. More than just a romantic gesture, roses, when consumed as tea are good for gently warming the body, while promoting circulation. Its invigorating qualities help to remove stagnation, which builds up when we're constantly doing something we don't want to do. It also has medicinal properties which nourish the skin, and promote digestion. In Chinese medicine, it is occasionally used for people that have irregular menstruation, blood clots, or painful periods. Chai tea on the other hand, has its origins in India, and blends black tea with a mixture of aromatic Indian  spices and herbs. With strong invigorating, and warming properties, this makes it a great choice in the winter time if you're feeling a runny nose, or the beginning stages of a cold. It will not only warm your body up from the inside out, but could potentially cause you to break a sweat, preventing exterior pathogens from invading your body. 

4. Matcha Tea

Feeling anxious, panicky or just not well grounded? Matcha tea is known as an anticancer tea, having 137 times more antioxidants compared to regular green tea. It's interesting to note Matcha tea's cultivation, and production are closely related to the effects it has on the body. Grown in a shaded environment for up to 3 weeks, this makes Matcha tea a more cooling, and calming tea. Once picked, it is stone-ground into a fine powder - having the ability to ground your mind at times of anxiety and fear. In fact, traditionally at Japanese and Chinese ceremonies, matcha tea was prepared and served as a way of embodying a meditative spirit. A great tea to have at the end of a long work week, when you are looking to wind down, quiet the thoughts of the mind, and focus on yourself. 

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5 Reasons To Try Acupuncture

5 Reasons To Try Acupuncture

1. Reconnect With Yourself

Acupuncture is a way for you to take time out of your busy life, and tend to your body's needs, which may or may not have been neglected for weeks, months, or years. By taking an hour out of your day to re-balance the body through acupuncture, this allows you to leave your anxiety, stress, and tension behind and really focus on you. Bringing you back into the present moment and reconnecting your mind and body.

2. Get To The Root Cause

Acupuncture gets right down to the root of your health imbalances. By inspecting the tongue, and palpating the wrist pulse, your practitioner can see and feel any imbalances in your life, whether chronic or acute. The tongue's qualities such as colour, moisture, and size reveal the overall health of each organ. Using a system of points which are mapped out throughout your body, acupuncturists are able to promote healing from the root.

3. Experience Positive Side Effects

The side effects of acupuncture are many, yet all positive. After an acupuncture treatment you may notice an overall improvement in your sleep, digestion, and stress levels.

4. Find Out Your Imbalances

Many of us visit the doctor only to find that there's "nothing wrong". We may not be dieing of a chronic disease, however, many of us still feel something is "off". These are the types of problems you want to bring to your acupuncturist. They specialize in taking into consideration all aspects of your health history, including current signs and symptoms you may be experiencing, and are able to explain to you what they all mean from a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective.

5. Tried, Tested & True

Acupuncture has been around for over 2000 years. It is one of the oldest forms of Traditional Chinese Medicine and in fact predates the use of herbal medicine. If it were not an effective form of treatment, why has it continued to survive throughout the ages? The clinical experience of patients and practitioners over thousands of years offers clear evidence that acupuncture works.

For a list of illnesses acupuncture has been proven to treat according to the World Health Organization(WHO) click here.

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Soup For Preventive Health

Soup For Preventive Health

Soup is one of the traditions that have survived throughout Chinese culture as a way of maintaining good health, and is probably one of the ways that Asians remain looking so young even as they age. In fact, many homemade soups share similar herbal ingredients to those used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). I recall growing up as a child, and my mother would make soup once a week. In our family, this was a form of preventive medicine we used to keep our bodies nourished and healthy. My mother would always tell me to drink the soup, and she placed such a high importance on it, I think this is one of the reasons I find it easy to accept Chinese Medicine as a lifestyle.

The ingredients would be different depending on the season, but in general there is usually meat with bone as a base. Pork bone, or chicken bone is commonly combined with herbs, and vegetables. The bone is very nourishing according to TCM and should not be omitted in making soup. As you boil bone, it releases vital nutrients and minerals our bodies can use to build blood, bone, and connective tissue. This can be beneficial for people suffering from blood deficiency anemia, osteoporosis, and arthritis - or even as a way to prevent these illnesses altogether. In addition to this, the bone marrow within bone is said to be produced by the kidneys in TCM, which are the root of our bodies. Consuming soup containing bone marrow can supplement our bodies and nourish our kidneys - an organ that may need boosting in infertility cases.

There was always a noticeable difference in how I felt after drinking soup. When your body has everything it needs, your energy level goes up, you become less irritable, more calm, and yet focused. In making soup, all the nutrients from the ingredients are extracted into the broth and the hot temperature of soup makes it easier for your digestive system to absorb everything. Soup is a great way to nourish our bodies, moisten dryness, and stay in harmony with the seasons.

In the winter, it makes sense to consume soups with warming properties as this keeps our immune system strong, ensuring we are able to ward off colds during the frigid winter months. Examples of foods with warming qualities include ginger, cinnamon, chicken, lamb, onions, and coconut meat.

As for the summer months, we spend a lot of time in the sun, either working on the garden, sitting on the beach, or BBQ'ing which adds an element of fire to the food we eat. This can cause us to lose our body fluids through sweating, while creating excess heat in the body leading to irritability, thirst which cannot be quenched by water, restlessness, fever, mouth sores, and constipation. A good soup to balance the body during the summer is watercress soup. A simple recipe involves boiling watercress, and adding salt. Watercress contains heat clearing and fluid nourishing qualities to replenish our bodies. If you want to take it a step further try adding pork bone, and herbs like barley, lotus root, dried shiitake mushrooms, and lotus seeds.

Feel free to search through the "Food As Medicine" page for more summer cooling foods.

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Acupuncture: A Lifestyle

Acupuncture: A Lifestyle

Many of us tend to wait until we are completely burnt out before focusing on our health and what we need. Acupuncture is a great way to rejuvenate your body from the inside out.