Winter Seasonal Newsletter

Dear Community,

Happy New Year 2017! May it bring you insight and healing, may your dreams for your life be bold and begin to come into fruition!

My newsletter will be about the winter season as it is seen through the eyes of Chinese Medicine and will include helpful tips for you, suggestions for optimizing health through connecting with the season, and preparing for what lies ahead.

In Chinese medicine the winter season is really fundamentally about VISIONING and REST – rest, rest, rest. Because our culture is so yang – so focused on productivity and activity, and go go go, it is really important to remember that to be in balance we have to remember the other half – rest, restoration, quiet, contemplation, being still. Did you know you heal when you are sleeping? Literally, biological physiological repair happens when you rest, when you aren’t doing something. So it’s actually productive. This is the most inward time of year. We want our energy to come down, into our pelvic floor, into our feet, into our innermost selves. Cultivate the energy of the seed – not doing much, but so totally filled with potential for what we may do and what we may become. So dream into your essence, your gifts,your creative spirit. The time is ripe to envision what you want to bring into expression in yourself and your life. Springtime will bring an outward movement that facilitates expression, and putting your plans into motion. So wait just a little before you get really busy again.

One of my visions for this next year is a well-paced work schedule that’s maximized. You can help me accomplish this goal by providing me a testimonial on Google using the link below. That will enable people looking for treatment to find me and know what it’s like to work with me. Thank you in advance, for helping me achieve this goal!

The Winter is Associated with the Kidneys and Bladder

Kidneys

To give a brief western physiology review of the kidneys –they are two bean shaped organs situated in the back of the lower abdomen (in front of the lower back). They filter blood and remove wastes to create urine, which is stored in the bladder.

The kidneys in Chinese medicine are actually a very fundamental part of health – so my description will be a little lengthy. The kidneys store our essence. Two kinds of essence are stored in the kidneys: the energetic essence which originates and is passed down from our parents, and the essence which originates from food and physical nourishment of our body. The role of essence includes:

1. Governs our life cycle of growth, reproduction and development – (including pregnancy, child birth, growth, puberty, sex, reproduction, menopause,aging and death)

2. Is the source of kidney chi (energy)

3. Produces marrow – which in Chinese medicine includes not only the concept of bone marrow, but also the spinal cord and brain.

4. The source of our constitutional strength

The kidneys receive energy (especially from the lungs) and help energy to descend in the body keeping us feeling settled. The Kidney is also associated with our ears and hair.

The kidneys contribute along with other organs to water metabolism. Water makes up to 75% of a persons body weight – as the inside of every cell and between cells is filled with fluid. Other important body fluids include lymphatic flow which helps eliminate wastes and is an important part of the immune system, urine, saliva, perspiration, tears, and sexual fluids.

They are the house of will power, determination,single-mindedness and tenacity. The time of day for the kidney is from 5-7pm

Health problems associated with the kidneys:

Health problems directly in the kidneys such as kidney stones, kidney failure, kidney cancer. Reproductive problems such as infertility, uterine prolapse, chronic vaginal discharge, spermatorrhea,erectile dysfunction. Neurological, cognitive, brain related problems such as poor memory, Parkinson, learning disabilities, slow mental development in children, late or incomplete fontanel closure. Also related in Chinese medicine are hearing problems, and problems related to the bones, such as poor skeletal development in children and osteoporosis, brittle bones and non healing bone fractures.

The kidneys are affected by deficiency (lack of energy)rather than excess (too much energy). In Chinese medicine symptoms related to kidney energy that are not included above are: Dizziness, insomnia, sore and weak lower back and knees, dry mouth,afternoon fever, night sweating, thirst, constipation, excessive sexual desire,pallor, cold limbs, fatigue, poor appetite, apathy, loose stools, edema of the legs, premature aging or senility, bad teeth, hair loss or premature graying of hair

Bladder

The bladder receives fluids and excretes urine. Its mental and emotional aspects relate to jealousy, suspicion and long standing grudges.The time of day is afternoon from 3-5pm

Health problems associated with the bladder:

Symptoms including frequent and urgent urination, dribbling urine,incontinence, frequent urination at night, burning pain on urination, turbid urine, blood in the urine, stones in the urine, fever and thirst.

If you or a loved one or acquaintance are experiencing any of these health conditions, now would be an ideal time to be proactive in addressing them. Chinese medicine can help. Feel free to pass this newsletter on to them. I appreciate referrals.

Research Highlights

Chinese herbalmedicine for infertility

In a systematic review of evidence gathered from available studies, pregnancy rates were 60% for Chinese herbal medicine compared with 32%for Western drug therapy, and 50% with Chinese herbal medicine compared with 30% with IVF. Essentially Chinese herbal medicine improved pregnancy rates 2 fold compared with western medical interventions.

Acupuncture for chronic urinary tract infections

In a study about recurrent urinary tract infections (UTI),acupuncture reduced the recurrence among women prone to UTI’s by half compared to untreated women. In addition, in the acupuncture treated group, there was a reduction in residual urine in the bladder following urination.

Having a Good Winter

Winter is a more inward time – we come deeper into ourselves and priorities shift to replenishing, resting, reflecting. Good sleep,relaxation, creativity, and warmth. Conservation of your energy and resources – building yin and using less yang (active energy) in the winter are good winter goals. While not going to the extreme of hoarding, balancing intake and output of your energy from foods, friends, work and feelings, and emphasizing input are the essential key during winter.

It’s a great time of year for retreat – meditation and contemplation. This allows us to become quiet, focused, nourished by our connection to spirit and allows our energy to descend. This can also open us to the creative flow generating a vision for our lives.

Opening to expression of creativity, whether in music, art, movement or writing, is also very favorable. The kidneys being associated with the ears – paying attention to our ability to listen – to really hear what someone is saying, or to track the various different lines of melody in a song, could be fun winter exercises. Listen more, say less.

For exercise –more contemplative forms of exercise,such as qi gong, restorative yoga, walking, breathing and relaxation – exercise with a more relaxed pace – is more restorative and favorable in winter. Feel free to send this email on to anyone you think may enjoy reading it. Wishing you all a restful and creative winter.

Feel free to send this email on to anyone you think may enjoy reading it.

Wishing you all a restful and creative winter.

Johanna Granger Acupuncturist and Herbalist

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