natural awakenings magazine articles of 2019

"Chinese Medicine Basics" December/2019

The ancient system of Chinese medicine spans over 2,000 years. Its origin is in Taoist philosophy which views an individual as an integrated whole - with the body, mind and spirit working together to influence and balance one another. Additionally, it is based on the premise that each person is a microcosm of the surrounding universe. As such, each individual gains energetic benefits as a result of standing between the natural forces of heaven and earth.

Throughout the centuries, Chinese medicine has provided a safe and effective way to turn imbalance or dis-ease into a state of vibrant health. It is a complete and holistic medical system that focuses on and revolves around the whole person.

"Massage Works" November/2019

Therapeutic massage can be thought of as a way for maintaining a physical body that is filled with free movement along with an ever-present tranquil mind. This is much needed considering the highly stressful world we live in today. Unfortunately, stress is an inescapable part of life. It is important to find modalities such as massage to soften potentially negative impact of high levels of stress and tension within the body, mind and spirit. In fact, research shows that more than 90 percent of illness has its roots in stress. Fortunately, research is substantiating that therapeutic massage provides mental health benefits – including less anxious thoughts and feelings, reduced fight-orflight reactions, increased calm and reduced mental tension. The positive impact that massage has for decreasing physical and emotional stress is indisputable – just ask a massage enthusiast and they will most certainly agree.

"Yang Sheng: Nourishing Life" October/2019

Yang Sheng is an ancient paradigm containing ways for nourishing one’s life with right living habits. Its primary goal is to live in accord with the laws of nature and achieve harmony of mind, body and spirit. It is a paradigm that has been at the core of Taoist tradition and Chinese medicine for centuries. Yang is translated as “nourishing or nurturing,” sheng as “life or health” and together Yang Sheng means “to nurture or nourish life.” Some of the oldest classic works on this subject are found within texts dating back to the 3rd and 2nd centuries BCE. In addition, its precepts are delineated within The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine, which has been the fundamental source for Chinese medicine for more than two thousand years. A key to manifesting Yang Sheng is to maintain balance throughout the physical, mental, psychological, emotional, energetic and spiritual aspects of being.

"All About Cupping" September/2019

The purpose of cupping is to break up and disperse stagnation by drawing congested blood and energy to the skin surface, thereby increasing blood flow to the areas treated. Chinese cupping is thus a therapeutic method for breaking up blockage in order to restore the natural flow of energy throughout the body. This serves to relieve pain based on the well-known Chinese medicine saying: “If there is free flow, there is no pain. If there is no free flow, there is pain.

"The Kidney Energetic Field" August/2019

As provider of root energy to all other organs, the kidney organ system is pivotal to creating overall health. According to the Five Elements, the kidney is associated with the water element. It serves to rule water and provides the foundation for movement and transformation of all bodily fluids. The kidney energy system is also in charge of growth, development, reproduction, and regeneration. And it helps to regulate metabolism, excretion, immunity and sexual potency. Another key function of the kidney involves producing marrow and controlling development and repair of bones. Upon doing so, marrow fills and nourishes the brain and spinal cord leading to strong memory, mental clarity and spinal health. Health of the kidney is further reflected in the ears and on the hair of the head. It also supports the normal breathing process by “grasping qi” from the lungs during inhalation.

"The Elixir Fields" July/2019

The concept of a dantian was first described in a Taoist text devoted to meditation practices during the 3rd century C.E. The dantians were discovered while the Taoist alchemists of ancient China were searching to achieve longevity through purifying their nature and transforming their spirit.
Through experimentation, they realized the existence of energy fields that were storing and circulating qi, which they called dantians. Within the realm of Taoist alchemy, these energetic centers later became known as “ fields of elixir.”
Since this time, dantians have become an integral component of Chinese medicine philosophy and practice, particularly during the practice of tai chi and qigong exercise.

"Men’s Health through the Lens of Chinese Medicine" June/2019

The highest level of health for a man happens when just the right balance of yin and yang is achieved – leading to proper flow of qi and blood. His body is typically more aligned with yang energy. The ultimate goal is for yang energy to be predominant, but not excessive. If yang were to become excessive it manifests as quick loss of temper, loud speaking, red complexion, undue perspiration and the feeling of being too hot ensues. And if yang were to become deficient it results in unusual fatigue, lack of motivation and excessive coldness.
Chinese medicine teaches that balancing yin and yang energy of the kidney organ system is most crucial for establishing a man’s health. This ensures an optimal quality and quantity of qi within his body.

"A Woman's Second Spring" May/2019

Chinese medicine views menopause as a natural transitional process - a powerful rite of passage uniquely distinctive to each woman and described as her “second spring.” It is a change of life dictated by the innate wisdom of a woman’s body and considered to be a homeostatic mechanism for slowing the aging process. There are many things a woman can do to ensure a smooth menopausal transition. Preventative measures are especially helpful in this regard. This includes preservation of qi (vital energy) and blood to sustain maximum nourishment and vitality. It is further essential to maintain balance between the dynamic energies of yin and yang.

"The Power of Patience" April/2019

Having patience provides the ability to cope and endure with an occurrence that would otherwise lead to anger, annoyance or upset. Working toward developing this ability is a process that yields great healing and power. It provides a method for keeping the peace through steadfast boundary setting within oneself and with others. The cultivation of patience has been an integral aspect of the Chinese exercise art of tai chi for 3,000 years. Its martial arts beginning trained individuals to be patient and wait for the exact time to react to an opponent in a centered and calm manner.

"Cultivating the Power of Joy" March/2019

A cornerstone of Chinese medicine treatment encompasses methods directed toward creating heart health to increase one’s emotional, spiritual and physical wellness. It further serves as a preventative measure for establishing a long and healthy life, where treatment protocol includes caring for the whole body. Traditional methods include acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, therapeutic massage, food therapy, lifestyle recommendations and the exercise practices of tai chi and qigong.

"Manifestation Through Mind Intent" February/2019

Chinese medicine texts are filled with metaphors and images that enrich understanding of a variety of energetic components. As such, mind intent practice is based on the principle: “Where the mind goes, the qi will follow.” Directing qi (vital energy or life force) is the primary goal of mind intent practice, which maximizes the body’s natural self-healing power.

Mind intent emerges from a sea of energy known as the upper dantian – more commonly known as “the third eye” and located on the forehead between the eyebrows. Intuitive and psychic ability flourishes, along with ability to stay present in the moment when this area is filled with strong shen substance. Accordingly, one of the first requirements for engaging mind intent is to be centered and integrated within oneself. And the first sign of a strong mind is the feeling of inner calm.

"Acupuncture Resolution for the New Year" January/2019

While acupuncture is best known for treating pain, it is so much more. According to its roots in China more than 2,000 years ago, acupuncture has been used to balance the emotions, strengthen digestion, resolve respiratory conditions, boost immunity, decrease inflammation and maintain vibrant health. Its results are garnered through opening the flow of vital energy (qi / pronounced “chee”) throughout meridian pathways of the body. It is based on the belief that the body holds an innate capability to heal itself. When the body’s energetics are prodded by the insertion of fine needles into acupuncture points along these meridians – profound physical healing takes place. The National Institutes of Health (a major component of the US Department of Health and Human Services) has endorsed acupuncture not only for acute and chronic pain, arthritis and back pain but for post-stroke symptoms as well.