chinese medicine

Summer Sun!

Madison Beach beginning of Summer 2015

Madison Beach beginning of Summer 2015

Ahhhhh.... finally after the long darkness we have sunlight until nearly 10pm. We have hours after work that can be spent relaxing outdoors or exercising outdoors or having dinner outside. Every year I am immensely grateful to recognize all the extra life the sun gives. 

With all this extra life I know how easy it is to overdue it. Especially in the beginning of the summer it is the easiest for us to get sunburnt. It is said it takes only 15 minutes of high exposure to burn. The UV index you can find here for your region to give you an idea of what your exposure levels are where you live or where you are traveling. 

But luckily there are easy ways we can avoid it and easy ways to treat yourself if you get overexposed. 

First thing to remember is stay hydrated. You are better able to prevent yourself from overheating and better able to recover if you stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water eat lots of cooling fruits ( watermelon, cantaloupe, honey dew)  If you are drinking alcohol and are out in the sun double your efforts to consume water as you are not only processing the sun but also the alcohol in your body. 

The second thing I always recommend despite the controversy around it is sunscreen. You are better off (in my opinion) dealing with the minor effects of sunscreen than skin damage. Use SPF 30 and apply it liberally. You can purchase little travel kits to keep with you for your impromptu bike rides or stops at the beach. They usually have a carabiner and can clip easily to any bag. Have it and you will also think about more chances you have to get outside. 

sunscreen

The third preventative measure is get into the shade. Put on long sleeved clothing. You can always find thin material that lets you enjoy the sun without putting your skin at risk. 

Okay but say you don't get yourself covered and you get the dreaded sunburn. Keep some aloe in your house. You can apply it liberally to any reddened skin. When your skin starts to peel it can help keep your skin moist and cut down on the itching you will experience.

aloe

For severe burns see your physician. They can get you a properly medicated burn cream to reduce the pain and prevent any infections that may arise from a serious burn. I pray you never experience that kind of burn. 

Get out there enjoy the abundance of summer, run, bike, swim, play badminton, play volleyball, have a drink (responsibly), eat dinner outside, and remember that you live on a planet about 92 million miles away from the sun and that sun is hot. Your skin is the largest organ on your body and it is sensitive. Take care of it. 

Morning Smoothie or midday snack.

If I have the chance my favorite breakfast is Over Medium Eggs, sweet potatoes pan seared, kale-chard-onions-garlic cooked in butter, orange juice and a cup of tea, and fresh arugula.

However when I can't have my breakfast of choice or need a snack for later in the day I make some variation of this shake.

Ingredients:

Ginger- Small nub

Juice of 1 lemon

Frozen Blueberries about 1 cup

1 frozen banana

Kale or Chard 3-4 stalks

Chia Seed soaked in unsweetened almond milk over night

about 1.5 cups of Unsweetened Almond Milk

Almonds 1/4 cup

Powdered Matcha about 1 tsp

4 tablespoons of oil (hemp or olive)

1 tablespoon of flax seed

 

All the ingredients are approximate. Just toss it in the blender and let it become a smoothie.

The ginger acts as a warming agent to prevent the cold from damaging your digestion. The fruit is easy for your digestion to pick up. The oil helps with the absorption of Oil soluble vitamins. The chia seed acts as a blood sugar stabilizer. The matcha has a touch of caffeine to act as a pick me up.

Enjoy this easy shake when you can't have your favorite breakfast or will need a healthy snack in the middle of the day.

Be Well

Ryan

 

 

Ginger Drink

In today’s blog post I wanted to share with you a recipe I use for making a ginger drink. But before I get into that there is a little bit of background information I should share. 

The digestive system in Chinese medicine(this is also true in our biomedical understanding of the body) is the fulcrum for which the rest of the body receives its nourishment. By transforming food into usable resources the digestive system creates the foundation by which your entire body is able to operate. 

We innately know this. When we are hungry we don’t think straight, our limbs feel heavier, and our energy is quickly depleted.

Suffice to say it is important we take care of our digestion. There are entire schools that are focused around this idea that all diseases arise from or are affected by a weakened digestive system. 

There are many things that are common in the ‘American’ diet that are actually very depleting to our digestive force. For example eating ‘cold’ foods, raw foods, or undercooked foods put an extra strain on our system. With cold or undercooked foods our body then has to bring the food up to temperature before it can begin to break it down. In moderation these foods are fine but it is over time that if there is a problem with your digestion you may look to these aspects of your diet to see if there is anything you can change. 

One of my favorite things to tonify a cold digestive system is ginger. Ginger has the ability to settle the stomach as well as open the appetite. It has the wonderful ability to warm us from the interior and get the digestive juices going. So without further adieu 

Ginger Drink Recipe

You will need:

Blender 

Medium Sauce pan

Cheese Grater

Strainer-fine mesh

A container for storage

A way to juice your lemons

Ingredients

1 hunk of ginger

1/4 cup of honey 

3 lemons

A pinch of pepper flakes

6 cups of water

 

  1. Add water to the blender
  2. Finely Chop your ginger add it to the blender
  3. Grate most of the peel from your lemons and add to the blender 
  4. Add the pepper flakes to the blender
  5. Blend until the ginger has been finely macerated.
  6. Juice the grated lemons and set liquid aside
  7. Transfer the blended mixture to the sauce pan and begin to bring to a low boil 10 mins
  8. When the water is hot add the honey and dissolve into the mixture.
  9. When the honey is dissolved and mixed into the liquid 5-10 mins add the lemon juice and remove from heat. 
  10. Strain your liquid and store in a container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. 

I find that the resulting mixer is delicious when diluted later with some hot water or when added to some sparkling water. Drink it before a meal to open your appetite or after a meal to settle your stomach. 

Chia seed

cha-cha-cha-Chia seed is a staple in my house.

It is a staple because I have found it really helps stave off hunger and maintain my blood sugar. When I have a little cup of chia pudding or chia in my morning shake I notice that I can maintain my focus for longer and am not struck mid day but the sudden drop of blood sugar before lunch.

Traditionally chia seed was not used in Chinese Medicine but from what I can tell it nourishes the yin, tonifies the qi, settles the spirit, and cools the stomach.

I have found that because of the high fiber content it helps regulate peoples bowels. Its cooling nature has helped many people calm their stomach pain associated with ulcers. Overall I have found that people regularly consuming chia have higher activity levels, better energy, clearer concentration, and regular bowel movements.

So there are a couple ways I make chia seed

Ingredients

Chia seed about 1/4 cup

1-2 cups of favorite juice or almond milk

 

Directions

Mix together thoroughly cover and store in the fridge. Eat 1/4 cup once a day.

 

Enjoy!

3 Symptoms Acupuncture Can Treat

3 Symptoms Acupuncture Can Treat

Ryan Law M.Ac.O.M. , EAMP, L.Ac

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For over 2000 years Traditional Chinese Medicine was the only organized medical system practiced on the largest part of the worlds population. It has the longest recorded history and was being practiced even before written record. Because of this it has been refined again and again with each successive generation. 


In my personal practice I am constantly turning to the classics to more deeply understand the body, the diseases, and symptoms that arise with it. To understand Chinese Medicine it is helpful to consider that unlike our Western understanding of disease; which is pathogen eradication based, Chinese Medicine is based on supporting the bodies natural abilities to heal.    


Now in our current model pain or nausea usually will bring people to acupuncture. From here they find out the many different symptoms that can be treated with Traditional Chinese Medicine. There is no doubt that acupuncture is a wonderful treatment for pain and nausea. Being that it is so well documented I would like to share a few of these ‘other’ ailments Chinese Medicine can treat and greatly reduce our suffering. 


The top three non pain and nausea concerns Chinese Medicine can help with can be grouped as: 3) Digestive, 2) Women’s Health, and 1) The Common Cold. I will break this down below.  


3) Digestive Concerns:  In antiquity if there was something wrong with your digestion you were going to be unable to work because your strength would quickly diminish. Because of this there are many texts and discussions on how to treat digestive complaints. So whether you are dealing with sheep like bowel movements, ‘soft serve’ sloppy stools, gnawing stomach pain, or just run of the mill acid reflux Traditional Chinese Medicine has a way to treat it. One of my favorite texts on the subject is the Pi Wei Lun (Treatise on the Spleen and Stomach)


2) Women’s Health: I often like to joke that the Chinese population did not become one of the largest by ignoring women’s health. Early on there was close attention paid to the unique situations that arise from being a women. Whether you are are suffering from irregular periods, PMS, post-partum mastitis, or hot flashes in menopause we can assess why you are having these imbalances and address them with acupuncture and herbal medicine. One of my favorite texts on this subject come from the famous chinese  gynecologist Fu Shan who wrote Fu Qing Zhu’s Gynecology


1) The Common Cold: Over 150 million work days are missed annually because of the common cold. The reason that there is so much fuss about the cold is because of the morbidity rate(think of morbidity rate as amount of suffering caused by the cold). What is special about the way Chinese Medicine treats the cold is in the ability to differentiate what kind of cold you have. The differentiation helps us understand what systems are affected and how to correct them. This can be the type of cold that is all sinus congestion, or sore throat, or body aches, or coughing fits, or alternating fever and chills. Colds become broken down into various subtypes and using our understanding of channel system we can prescribe herbal medicines, apply acupuncture, or use Chinese massage techniques that will help your body clear the cold. My all time favorite text on the subject is the Shang Han Lun ( Treatise on Cold Damage).