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SEASONAL

Spring - Living in Season!

Spring - Living in Season!

Spring Living In Season Acupuncture Clinic TCM Toronto

SPRING is a time of GROWTH as new plants sprout up from the earth. This season relates to the Liver in Chinese medicine - whose job is to filter toxins from blood (western perspective). Here are some foods to help support your liver's detoxing functions:

Food Therapy:

Kale

Spinach

Bok choi

Lettuce

Cilantro

Celery

Watercress

Peppermint tea

Chrysanthemum tea

Peppermint and chrysanthemum are great for relieving stress and frustration. Avoid alcohol, or greasy and fried foods, as these can weigh you down making you feel sluggish, and irritated. 

LIFESTYLE CHOICES

Explore Life

Emotionally and physically spring sparks within us the need for change, exploration, and movement - expressions of a healthy Liver in Chinese medicine. Failing to do so can leave us feeling frustrated, stressed, and depressed. Now is the time to travel - satisfying our need to explore. That doesn't have to be somewhere far, and expensive, but just someplace different than what you're used to. A change of environment helps to inspire us, and spark creativity when we're stuck.

Spring also marks a time of growth. Putting your energy towards personal goals, or projects is optimal this season. Spring gives the Liver more energy to perform its role of having a clear vision, setting goals, and planning ahead. Remember to plan with the resources you currently have. Overcommitting yourself to many goals can lead to many incomplete tasks, and possibly depression.

EXERCISES

Stretching

Now that the weather is getting warmer, enjoy a walk in the park. This combines movement with reconnecting to nature. The Liver also enjoys stretching, which can help ease frustration and stress. The Liver Channel runs through the inner thighs, and calves. Make sure to spend more time stretching these muscles and ligaments before and after workouts. 

If you're looking for a quick tune-up this Spring, feel free to book an acupuncture appointment to nourish & awaken your body.

 

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Happy 2017!

Happy 2017!

Looking for ways to achieve your health goals this year? Here's a few tips.

1. Do something for you

Acupuncture acupressure treatment acusoul

Before this year gets busy or out of control, take the time to regularly do something for yourself. It could be as simple as treating yourself to a massage, or acupuncture treatment at the end of a long week. Acupuncture is a way of re-balancing the body back to an optimal state of health. Studies have shown that acupuncture can reduce stress by boosting endorphins, and regulating stress hormones that cause a "fight or flight" response. If you find that you're getting overwhelmed easily, this is a sign that your stress response may need a reset.

2. Look at your tongue

acupuncture diagnosis tongue and pulse acusoul

Before committing yourself to any diet, take a look at your tongue in the mirror first. It can tell you a few simple things about your body, and help you choose foods to re-balance your health.  First look at the size, is it swollen? Or have teeth mark ridges on the sides? This is an indication your body lacks energy. You may be overdoing it - mentally or physically. Take time to eat foods slowly in a calm environment to ensure your body extracts everything it needs. You can find foods that boost energy on the food section of my site. Next look at the coating, is it thick? You may need foods that clear away excess waste from the body such as beans, legumes, and sweet potatoes. If there's no coating at all, or it shows cracks, this could indicate you need to replenish body fluids by eating more fruit, or drinking vegetable soups. If you have any questions at all, feel free to bring it up in your next session.

3. Set yourself up for success, not failure

Success mindset wellness mindfulness acusoul

Setting goals or resolutions at the beginning of the year is a great idea. Don't beat yourself up if you slip up every now and then. We tend to set resolutions like they are strict rules in our life. Know that you may not be able to consistently "go to the gym everyday" because after all, you are human. Life itself has seasons just like in nature. At certain times of the year, you may become more busy, or your wants and desires for comfort take a higher priority over your new years resolutions. At those times, allow yourself to just be you. There are always different parts of our personality we need to nourish. Comfort is not a sign of weakness, it is simply a way of showing self-love. And that should never be considered a failure, but rather a way of expressing different qualities of who you are.

Hope these recommendations help you on your journey in life. Enjoy this year and what it has to offer.

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3 Mindful Tips For Fall

3 Mindful Tips For Fall

1. Slow down & Enjoy the moment

A fall tree begins to lose its leaves and change colour, reflecting a time to slow down as energy becomes scarce during this season. Likewise, we should do the same. Focus more on slow exercises that calm the mind like yoga, tai chi, and meditation. These exercises are great as they build up our internal energies. Intense sport activities, excess work, stress, and anxiety should be reduced during this time of year as they over consume us. Remember, life is all about balance, without building up our internal energy, how can we meet the demands of life? 

2. Refine Yourself

Knowing that you have less energy during this time of year, it is important to become more efficient in the things you do. Fall is a season that resonates in nature with "Metal" - refined rocks, diamonds, gems, etc. Like a gem, through the process of refinement, one can bring out the best qualities in themselves. Learn to refine your processes at work, or at home so that they become less draining on you. Let go of things that aren't working or have a low return on investment. Metal also reflects structure, prioritize your list of things to do based on importance, not urgency. By becoming organized and efficient with your time spent, you conserve energy, life becomes clearer, and you become your best self.

3. Tidy Up

One of the organs associated with Fall is the large intestine - whose job is to eliminate waste, or let go of the unnecessary. When there's clutter in your home, this represents clutter in your mind, that you live with day in and day out. By tidying up your desk, closet, or home, you go through the process of eliminating waste. This will make you feel like you have more space, and can finally breathe again! Breathing is the main function of the Lungs - the other organ associated with fall, responsible for bringing in clean pure air into our bodies. Once you let go of the old, and eliminate waste, this gives your body the opportunity to bring in something new, and positive into your life.

If you find it difficult to accomplish these tasks, acupuncture can re-balance the body physically to make way for an improved mindset. Feel free to book an acupuncture session today!

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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

5 Habits For a Healthy Summer

5 Habits For a Healthy Summer

Summer is the season of joy, movement, energy, and activity! Staying in harmony with the seasons is an age old tradition according to Chinese Medicine. Follow these tips to stay balanced this summer.

1. Get Outdoors

Enjoy this nice weather while we have it. For those of us that tend to spend all day in an office, hidden from the sun, it's important we get outdoors when we can to stay balanced this season. The sun offers us a good dose of vitamin D, which is important to prevent depression, and ensure good kidney function. If you're the type of person that feels cold all the time, getting more sun is one of the easiest and most natural ways to warm your body up. Just set a reminder on your phone every 2 hours to go outside and get some fresh air. It will not only keep you balanced this summer, but you may find you're more productive too!

2. Socialize 

For many of us this can can be as simple as enjoying drinks with friends, camping, having a BBQ, or a day at the beach. The one thing these activities all have in common is - more time spent with the people you love. The season of summer resonates with Fire, the elemental nature of the Heart organ, which is nurtured by the emotion of Joy in Chinese Medicine. During the summer, you will want to nourish your Heart by socializing, and experiencing more joy with the people you love. Camping is great for this, because we tend to gather in groups around a campfire - indirectly nourishing your Heart and Fire element.

3. Eat Fruit

Fruit is naturally "in-season" during the summer months. Of course in North America we can get fruit all year around but Summer offers fruit which has been picked ripe, and grown locally, improving the health of the fruit and its benefits to our bodies. Summer in general is the season when the amount of energy we receive from the sun is strongest, warming our bodies up, and boosting our energy as we experience more daytime. Given this increase in warmth in our bodies, this makes eating raw fruit a viable option as our bodies have more warming "Yang" energy to transform the raw fruit into vital nutrients. It's also a great way to stay hydrated if you're spending much of your time outdoors. BBQ tends to create toxic heat in the body. You may experience more nose bleeds this time of the year, mild afternoon fever, sweating more easily, or a desire for cold drinks. These are all signs that there could be excess heat in the body. Good fruit options for clearing heat are pears, cantaloupe, watermelon, and bananas. Caution to those who are pregnant, and individuals who feel cold all the time, or have a weak digestive system as these foods may be contraindicated.

4. Exercise

It's important that we exercise throughout the year, but Summer is the season we should be most active according to Chinese Medicine. If you're finding it difficult to exercise at the end of a long day, try waking up earlier to go for a quick run. The sun rises earlier this time of year, which shortens our natural sleeping patterns, and makes it easier to be an early bird.

5. Realize Your Potential 

Summer being the most expansive, and energetic of all, is the season when our goals, visions, and dreams should be realized. Whatever dreams you've been holding onto for the past year, or visions you have for your life's potential, don't hold them back anymore, put them into action. The joy and satisfaction from making your vision or dream a reality, will boost your spirit and nourish your Heart. Ultimately, making you realize that any dream you have, big or small, can come true. Summer is the season to live your life with joy, happiness, and love. Go out, and do that which satisfies you deep within your heart. Make your dreams a reality this summer.

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