FSM: What is it, and Why it Matters

Introduction
Frequency specific microcurrent, or FSM, is a very gentle electrical stimulation modality developed by Carol McMakin, a Washington State chiropractor utilizing specific frequencies and microcurrent to change the state of injured or diseased tissues, which effectively treats a variety of physical and emotional conditions. It does so by using specific frequencies and a type of electrical current called microcurrent. Microcurrent is one millionth of an amp, an amount so minute our nerves are unable to feel it. Additionally, microcurrent has been found to increase adenosine triphosphate (ATP) the molecule which serves as the major source of energy for all chemical reactions up to 500%. This is extremely beneficial because injured or dysfunctional cells require increased level of ATP to return to normal and to restore their function to normal. This is in comparison to the thousandth of an amp delivered by a TENS unit which has been found to decrease ATP production.

What is FSM?
The frequency specific aspect refers to the use of pairs of specific frequencies relating to conditions and tissues. Conditions such as inflammation, congestion, increasing vitality etc., and tissues such as nerves, bone, tendons, etc. all have a specific frequencies which are then paired according to the type of dysfunction and/or damage in the tissues. For example, if a nerve is inflamed, the frequency for inflammation will be paired with the frequency for nerves which neutralizes the inflammation in the nerve.

Mechanism of Action
How FSM works is not exactly understood, however, it is thought that one mechanism is through its ability to increase ATP production which is something desperately needed during recovery. Another model is the way in which the frequencies alter cellular signaling. When a cell is damaged through injury, disease, or environmental factors, its ability to function normally is compromised due to DNA damage. The frequencies alter the cellular signaling thus altering DNA transcription and normalizing cellular functioning.

What FSM Treats
FSM can treat a variety of physical and emotional complaints. Examples are fibromyalgia, weight loss, concussion, PTSD, depression, stress, and much more. Nerve pain which is extremely difficult to treat with mainstream medicine is easily and affectively treated with FSM.

What is a Treatment Like?
Unlike traditional electrical stimulation or TENS, which has a biting, stinging sensation, FSM is painless. Due to the current being at a level which is below the nerves ability to feel it, nothing is felt. Patients often feel very relaxed and some even fall asleep.

FSM + Acupuncture = Better Results
While FSM and acupuncture are excellent stand-alone treatments when combined I have found it to further increase the effectiveness of each modality. It is believed this is due to acupuncture and FSM’s abilty to modulate and regulate the body’s natural electrical system.

FSM Patient Success Stories:

Shoulder Replacement Avoided!

A patient came into Raja Wellness who was scheduled for total shoulder replacement. The reason for the surgery was pain and extremely limited and painful range of motion. She wanted to avoid surgery for multiple reasons with the biggest being she is only in her mid-50s, especially considering that most joint replacements will need to be re-done within 10-15 years. She received treatment with acupuncture and FSM 2 times a week for 5 weeks, to increase circulation, promote tissue healing, and decrease scarring and adhesions. This resulted in her regaining 95% of her range of motion and is pain free.

Professional Athlete Returns to the Field Amazingly Fast with Acupuncture and FSM

Over the summer, a professional athlete came to Raja Wellness with a torn thigh muscle - an injury he sustained during a game. His leg was quite swollen and severely bruised. So much, that in parts the leg had a blackish-purplish hue. Walking was extremely difficult; he could barely tolerate bearing weight on the injured leg. He also said that moving was very painful especially getting in and out of a car almost impossible for him to do. Even though the injury was quite severe in three weeks with a total of six treatments, this athlete returned to the field and won MVP for the first game of his return. Pretty amazing, yet this is the power of acupuncture and frequency specific microcurrent (FSM). Each of his treatments consisted of acupuncture and FSM to promote increased circulation and tissue healing. After the first treatment, the bruising decreased by 75%. After the second treatment the patient was able to resume light exercise. By the third his gait had normalized without a limp and he was able to get in and out of a car with ease. After the sixth treatment he returned to play as if nothing had ever happened winning the game’s MVP after three weeks of being sidelined.

Nanopuncture is an acupuncture system developed by acupuncturist Dr. Clayton Shui. It is based on a system of acupuncture he learned in China while studying for his PhD.

The system, called Xing Nao Kai Qiao, which translates “awaken the spirit and open the orifices” was developed over the last 50 years by Dr. Dr. Shi Xue Min of Tianjin hospital, Tianjin China for the treatment of stroke. This hospital treats approximately 10,000 stroke patients a day and is featured in the documentary “9,000 Needles”, a film that followed the treatment of Devin Dearth a 39-year-old stroke patient from Central City KY.

After being hospitalized until he was stable, Devon was sent for physical rehabilitation where he made good progress considering the extensive, life-threatening nature of the stroke he sustained. Even though he was making excellent progress, he was discharged from the rehab hospital due to insurance issues.

At this point he was still unable to walk and required extensive 24-hour care. With Devin’s wife struggling to care for him at home, his family began searching for other treatment methods that would help him regain some of his function and increase his independence. It was during this time when Devin’s brother Doug discovered the cutting-edge stroke treatment at Tianjin Hospital.

He found that people from around the world were going to Tianjin hospital and were obtaining excellent results. It was then that Devon and his family knew this was something that they needed to try. After months of preparation Devin, his wife, and his brother Doug (who is also is a documentarian) set off for Tianjian. Devin spent the next three months receiving intensive treatment which included acupuncture, herbal medicine, and physical rehabilitation.

Upon arriving, Devon was wheelchair bound, unable to move the side of his body effected by the stroke, had moderate speech difficulties, and dependent upon assistance to perform even the most basic of tasks. At the end of his time at Tianjin, Devon was able to walk with limited assistance, he had movement of his effected side, required minimal assistance to perform basic tasks, and his speech was substantially improved.

Based on his study under the supervision of Dr. Shi Xue Min, Dr. Clayton Shui (as mentioned above) developed and systematized a new acupuncture technique that applies essential elements of stroke acupuncture protocol to orthopedic and sports medical treatments for injury rehabilitation and prevention.

The result is a new, highly efficient system that can used to analyze the nervous system to determine where the its circulation and function is inhibited and will directly reset and reboot the patient’s nervous system in various parts of the body. This offers the patient significant neurovascular circulation benefits. Nanopuncture does this by using specific point protocols and needling techniques to activate the local nerve plexus, transmitting nerve impulses to the injured tissue, and increasing circulation. This increases range of motion, strength, relaxes tissues, and improves nerve firing.

Nanopuncture has been able to effectively treat neurological conditions such as:

  • Hemiplegia, head injuries, concussions, Parkinson’s disease
  • Poor balance
  • Different forms of neuropathy
  • Dysphagia (inability to swallow)
  • Vocal paresis
  • Vertigo
  • Tinnitus
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Orthopedic conditions and sport injuries
  • Bell’s palsy
  • Chronic pain
  • And much more

Robert Cecil, one of our acupuncturists here at Raja Wellness, has received advanced training in this treatment technique and has been successfully implementing Nanopuncture with excellent results. While results are frequently seen after the first treatment, a treatment frequency of 3 times a week for 4 weeks is recommended. After this, a reassessment is performed and need for further treatment is then determined.

2021 is here - New Year’s will always be a time for record sales of gym memberships, diet plans and sports equipment. And yet, the vast majority of people who set out with grand resolutions will find themselves falling short, often before the end of the month. Why is this? Are we destined to fail?

None of that is true. It is because we fail to understand the nature of ourselves and what we really need to do in order to successfully implement the changes we want to see.

Resolutions often represent big changes and those big changes rely on motivation - which while powerful, is very difficult to maintain for any length of time. To be successful in making changes, we need to have not only a goal - that resolution - but also a plan to help us get there using not just small steps, but breaking them up into tiny, incredibly easy steps.

We also need to recognize the importance of celebrating our successes along the way. That means recruiting others not just to be accountability partners, but celebration partners as well. This can be a partner, friend, or family member.

It is the celebration of those tiny wins that helps us build the habits we need to achieve those lofty resolutions. And celebration isn’t always a party or a present - it can be a happy dance in the hallway, an exchange of celebration GIFs with a friend or even just a “WooHoo!! I did it!” in your head.

We also need to look at our current habits - where can we add in those behaviors we need to complete those tiny steps and be successful? For example - if your goal is to meditate 30 minutes each morning, but you pick your phone up and start scrolling social media after it wakes you up with your alarm - how likely will that new habit stick? What obstacles are you creating with your bedtime routine of “set the alarm on your phone and plug it in by your bed”? Perhaps you need a new routine after you buy an old fashioned alarm clock - “plug in the phone in the kitchen” followed by “set the alarm clock by the bed”. Now when it wakes you up you have a choice - sit up and do 1 minute of meditation before you go to the kitchen to check your phone and celebrate your step towards your goal....or walk all the way to the kitchen and check your phone, get sucked into social media and then rush to get ready for the day without meditating. You may have to be a bit of a detective to figure out not only what new habits you need, but where to add them throughout your day.

Another reason people fail in resolutions is they pick something they think they should do instead of something they really want to do. For example - I commonly hear “I want to lose XX pounds”, what can you do to help me? Often very little can be done on my end, because being a certain weight by itself has very little meaning and doesn’t give you anything to measure - except your weight. Ask yourself: Why do you want to lose that weight? Is it to be able to play with your kids? For better heart health? To be able to fly in a plane and be comfortable in the seats? Using the example of the “Big Rocks” - those things that are really fundamental to your happiness - what is your why? From there, you can start to build the how - instead of lose 20lbs this year or 3lbs per month - maybe your goals become: walk ½ mile or play 20 min outside (without stopping) with my kids 3x per week - without a why, it’s hard to stick with any of the changes that you need to make.

My suggestion for the New Year’s resolutions is - pick just one, and plan it out. What are the baby steps, what are the obstacles, what can you do to be more successful in achieving those steps. By focusing on a single area of change, you have a better chance of being successful in making that change. Alternatively, instead of big sweeping changes over the new year - what are the little things you can do right now? Instead of “giving up soda” maybe just drink 2 more glasses of water every day. Instead of “run a marathon” maybe just walk 15 min every day. Even little changes add up - that one more serving of veggies each day, 5 min of meditation, or even just starting each day with the thought that “today is going to be a great day!” can cascade into longer lasting changes that really can change your life for the better.

What is your favorite way to implement changes in your life?

For more detailed information on these concepts I recommend the following books:
7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg

This flu season is giving everyone a lot to worry about. In addition to the usual concerns over the flu, there is that other virus flaring...yup, you know the one. The good news is the same protective measures apply for both viruses, and in fact, other viral bugs as well.

First and foremost, be vigilant about washing your hands with soap and water for at least 30 seconds and drying them using a towel whenever possible. Try to avoid touching your eyes or mouth unless your hands have been recently washed. Cover coughs with a tissue and dispose of it immediately. Hand sanitizers are not nearly as effective as soap and water - so do not exclusively rely on them for protection.

For those of you that have access to good quality herbal products like those we carry in house, including Mediherb, Gaia, and our Chinese medicine suppliers, there are some herbal remedies that may help build resistance to viruses. For children or those with more sensitive constitutions, Elderberry syrup is a good place to start.

For prevention, I recommend elderberry OR echinacea OR andrographis complex (better if you have ragweed allergies than echinacea). NOTE: if taking Andrographis, be sure to supplement zinc as well. Mediherb has an outstanding Echinacea extract which works very well when taken daily before you get sick. They also carry Andrographis Complex with a combination of immune boosting herbs. Yu Ping Feng San (aka Jade Windscreen Decoction) can be very helpful for those that have weak immune systems. Herbal formulas like Microgard which regulate the microbiome in the gut may help improve immune function as well.

These formulas are available in our online store, as well as in-office.

For those who don't have access to quality herbs or if you want to add an extra layer of protection you can also include Vitamin C, D and zinc. Foods like hibiscus and rose hips can be helpful as sources of vitamin C. I also recommend Lysine to boost the immune system against viruses. Lysine can also be very effective at shortening the duration of cold sores that may emerge this time of year. Supplemental vitamin D can be helpful and we recommend a liquid form from Metagenics that's easy to take and readily absorbed by the body. If you are sick, you definitely need to be sure you are supplementing C, D, and zinc to replace what your body is using.

***If you take any prescription medications, it is important to check with your healthcare provider before adding any herbal remedies or supplements to your routine.***

My preferred protocol if I’m feeling under the weather or think I’ve been exposed is:

  • Liquid Zinc from Pure Encapsulations (15mcg/day)
  • Cataplex C, Cataplex F and Calcium Lactate from Standard Process (taken as directed on the bottle)
  • Metagenic Liquid D - 2 drops (2000 IU) 2x per day
  • Lysine (1000mg) 2x per day
  • Plus the appropriate herbal formula - Gan Mao Ling Wan, V- Defense 2 or Release Pearls are all good general anti-viral blends, but, if you don’t see relief within 24 hrs of taking it, contact the office for a more precise herbal formulation for your needs. It is ok to take a 1 ½ times the recommended dose for severe symptoms.

Lastly, nasal rinsing with buffered saline solution can rinse out any viruses before they have a chance to pass through the mucous membranes (remember NEVER use plain tap water to rinse nasal cavities). This is also a helpful practice during allergy season to keep pollen and dust out of your nasal passages. We recommend the Nasopure bottles for ease of use and safety.

In Summary:

For Prevention: Echinacea (it should make your tongue tingle or it’s not the real stuff) ORElderberry ORAndrographis ComplexPlus: Vitamin C, D and zinc

If Actively Sick:

  1. Stop the echinacea or elderberry or andrographis complex and
  2. add Gan Mao Ling Wan OR Release Pearls OR V-Defense 2 at 1 1/2 x the recommended dose. Contact us if you have not improved within 24 hrs.
  3. Optional: Add calcium lactate, Cataplex F and Lysine to inhibit viral reproduction.

***With Chinese herbal formulas, it's important to check with an experienced herbalist before taking them. ***

We offer free 15 min consults to help make sure you get the most appropriate formula for your needs. Book an appointment today!

The sunny and long days of summer are quickly giving way to the cooler, shorter days of fall. Sept 22nd was the high point of the transition to fall, which according to the Chinese seasons, will shift from the first frosts of late fall at the end of October into the early stages of winter on Nov 8, 2020.

This is a time for focusing on what is most important to us; the days get shorter, reminding us that time is not unlimited. It is also the season aligned with the lungs and large Intestine - both of which are integral to a healthy immune system in the East Asian Medical Model. We can support these organs by understanding their role in our body and incorporating foods and habits to support them. This is also a great time to review our focus in life and let go of habits and practices that don’t take us closer to our goals. As the trees shed their leaves, we can take stock of what no longer serves us and let those things go.

The energy of fall moves us to embrace more comforting and warm foods. Here on our website rajawellness.com, you will find a list of foods that help to support health in the fall. Soups and warm teas are great this time of year - as fall gets more dry, it’s important to stay hydrated. Using buffered saline to rinse nasal passages will help minimize allergies and colds naturally. As the days get shorter, ensuring you are getting enough Vitamin D is essential.

The primary element of fall is Wind, classically known as the “first of the 1000 evils” in traditional East Asian Medical texts. As Wind begins to emerge, protecting ourselves from the wind is important to staying healthy. That “old wives” tale about wearing a scarf to keep healthy is actually backed by science - exposing the back of the neck to a cold wind can measurably depress immune system function for up to 48 hours. Simply sitting under an AC vent can do this, so make sure to wear a scarf. Getting quality sleep is also an important part of staying healthy during the fall and winter. Going to bed before 11pm allows your body to rest during the critical time from 11pm to 5am, where the Wei Qi (essentially our immune system) is replenished and strengthened.

Breathing correctly is also key. The lungs are the organ most strongly connected with our Wei Qi and they benefit from appropriate breathwork and relaxation. The large intestine should not be overlooked either. In the East Asian Medical Model, this is the organ of elimination. It must be functioning well so we can not only “let go” of the physical waste from our body, but also any emotions, thoughts, and habits that keep us “bound up” instead of moving smoothly through life. Again, hydration and adequate fiber are key. In East Asian Medicine, we don’t advocate strong purges, but rather healthy habits for a smooth, even flow. Getting adequate rest, eating well, and scheduling some acupuncture sessions will help boost your immune system and help your body embrace fall with health and energy.

Healthy Fall Foods:

Garlic ~ Sweet Potato ~ Ginger ~ Onion ~ Cabbage ~ Pears ~ Walnuts ~ Black Pepper ~ Radish ~ Rice ~ Leeks ~ Miso ~ Cardamom ~ Cinnamon ~ Chili ~ Navy Beans ~ Soy Beans ~ Almonds ~ Broccoli ~ Celery ~ Mustard Greens ~ Apricot ~ Banana ~ Eggs ~ Sourdough Bread ~ Sauerkraut ~ Olives ~ Pickles ~ Vinegar ~ Yogurt ~ Lemons ~ Limes ~ Grapefruit ~ Apples ~ Plums ~ Grapes ~ Chicken ~ Pork

Just how good is our burn cream? 

Red says it's good enough to eat! And while we don't recommend eating it this all natural blend of oils and healing herbs soothes minor cuts, scrapes and burns and it's safe enough to accidentally get a little bit in the mouths of horses, humans and dogs. It's actually a favorite lip balm in our office during the dry winter months. You can order it online here or pick it up in the office. It's a great addition to any first aid kit. Here's some of the reviews: 

“I burnt my finger on an industrial iron and it was close to the bone. Because of my allergies the emergency room wasn't able to prescribe much and it was extraordinarily painful. Not only did this take the pain away it healed very quickly and without a scar.”  

“I scalded my hand with boiling water. The burn cream took the pain away quickly and by the next day you couldn't tell I had even done it.”  

“I love this because I know it's safe to use around my kids and animals. Those little nicks and cracks we come up in the winter time on your hands, the painful ones that just don't go away? They don't stand a chance against this stuff”  

Red loves it!

There are several brands of burn creams to choose from that are made with traditional Chinese herbs and ingredients. Our favorites have very similar ingredients containing these key herbs:

Dang Gui (Angelica Sinesis)

The root of this plant is a powerhouse in Traditional Chinese Herbalism - especially for women. Not only do we find it in a wide range of oral formulas it also has noted abilities to “regenerate flesh” and may help to promote healthy healing of skin.

Zi Cao Gen (Lithospermum spp.)

Another powerful healing root, commonly known as “purple root” this is a powerful herb for a variety of internal formulas that is also well known for it’s topical properties for soothing skin and antibacterial properties. It’s found in many formulas for eczema, carbuncles, boils and burns - especially where there is discoloration of the skin.

Huang Lian (Coptis Rhizoma)

This root is found in many formulas for both internal and external disorders. It has broad antimicrobial properties and in some studies has been shown to be more effective than sulfa-based antibiotics due to the high concentration of berberine in it. It is frequently used topically to soothe itching or burning skin, and can even be used as a single herb for these purposes.

Sesame Oil

Yes, this serves as a base for extracting the herbs and an emollient, but did you know sesame seed oil is also bacteriostatic? This means it doesn’t kill bacteria, but it does prevent them from reproducing, helping to safely reduce the risk of infection in damaged skin.

Beeswax

A thickening agent with protective properties beeswax helps provide a barrier against contamination that is naturally anti-inflammatory and won’t block pores. It’s also high in naturally occurring Vitamin A to promote healthy skin.

Some formulations have additional herbs and providers tend to have their own favorites - but most will contain these key ingredients.

益母草 yì mǔ cǎo

Motherwort

Latin name: Leonurus heterophyllus

This bountiful herb produces rings of beautiful purple and white flowers above a thistle-like knob. Up close, the tiny flowers are quite lovely, but the plants will quickly grow to 4+ feet tall. All of the aerial parts are used and traditionally harvested when in bloom with the flowers and all generally around the time of the summer solstice.

In Chinese Medicine terms, this herb enters the Heart, Liver and Bladder, and acts to promote circulation, dispel blood stasis, regulate the menses, reduce masses, promote urination and relieves swelling and edema. The central stalks are hollow and tube-like following the doctrine of signatures in which plants with that kind of shape are often associated with increased urination. Because of the blood moving action and how it stimulates oxytocin production, this herb is generally contraindicated during pregnancy, but it is used in several formulas for postpartum conditions including abdominal pain after childbirth, delayed menses, and helping to clear the uterus postpartum.

Its action in the heart is reflected in its effects on calming heart rhythm, increasing circulation to the coronary artery, and decreasing blood viscosity and platelet aggregation rates. It can help lower blood pressure, relieve muscle spasms and neuralgias through the ability to increase blood flow through peripheral tissues and allow for better nourishment of the muscles.

It can be safely used as a single herb for tonic purposes and is traditionally combined with Dang Gui to help with postpartum recovery. The flavor is mild, and I recently combined some of the fresh aerial parts with mint, Jiao Gu Lian (a tonic and adaptogenic herb) with a little honey to make a lovely stress-buster tea that was both tasty and effective. I like to think of this tea as my own personal potion for recovery after a stressful day.

What would you call a potion to drink after a day spent slaying dragons? (or a mountain of paperwork at the office!)

As a single herb extract, it can be helpful for headaches, insomnia, vertigo and circulatory paresthesias. Sounds like a great potion for clearing the mind after exposure to evil spells by dark wizards (or that long commute that left you frazzled!).

We will have a dried version of this tea available for sale along with some of the single herb extract. I am looking forward to seeing what other formulas we can incorporate this lovely herb into!

The seeds are also used but considered more astringent and cooling for excessive uterine bleeding or red, painful, swollen eyes. More about those at a later time, so stay tuned...

Hi, Jenny-Marie here at Raja Wellness and today I’m going to address a question we hear frequently in our clinic: “What vitamins should I take to keep my immune system healthy?”

Now like anything else that pertains to nutrition and herbal medicine, the answer is, “That depends”. There really isn’t a one-size fits all vitamin because we are all unique bodies with a number of factors that will influence our needs. Age, gender, exercise habits, stress-levels, type of work, and where you live can greatly influence what your body needs. However, there are a couple of key vitamins that are generally going to be safe for most people and help your immune system to function at its best.

One product that I recommend to most people is something called Catalyn by Standard Process. This product was developed to offset the nutritional gaps in most people’s diets that started to happen when eating organ meats - like liver and kidneys - fell out of favor in our culture. Liver and kidney are full of Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, Riboflavin, Folate, heme iron (the kind you body can easily use), copper and choline. All of these contribute to your health and B6 in particular has many important functions in supporting the immune system. The best option would be to include liver in your diet and I have a surprisingly tasty recipe from my Grandmother that you can find here. For those people who don’t want to do that, Catalyn is a great option. It does contain animal products and is not appropriate for anyone with an alpha gal allergy or those who don’t want to consume animal products- for them, a product called Floradix is a plant-based liquid supplement that is a good alternative.

Depending on where you live, vitamin D may be in short supply - those of us at higher latitudes have less time during the year when the sun is high enough in the sky for us to get adequate sunlight to trigger our bodies’ production of vitamin D. Others may not be as efficient at producing it; things like stress and diet may actually deplete your natural levels of vitamin D. This is an easy test to get via bloodwork from your physician to check your levels and be sure you aren’t getting too much or too little. If you do need a little extra, I prefer the liquid forms of vitamin D for ease of absorption. Metagenics makes a great liquid D with 1000 IU’s in each drop and has a refreshing subtle minty taste. Again, this is not going to be a good supplement for any one with an alpha gal allergy, or who is avoiding products derived from animal sources. However, we do carry a liquid vitamin D that is derived from lichen (which is a symbiotic association of algae and fungi) by Pure Encapsulations.

Next is Vitamin C, which if you eat plenty of dark leafy greens, bell peppers and citrus - you should get enough from your diet. However, in times of stress, your body may need more of this than you can easily get from food, and there is some evidence that higher doses may help your body fight off invaders. Vitamin C has a short half-life in the body and if you get too much of it can cause diarrhea as the body dumps the excess. I like using lower doses of pure ascorbic acid in a loose form myself so I can take more frequent, smaller doses when needed. However, a 500mg capsule gives good dosing options to people. There are buffered forms of ascorbic acid available and these work better for some people than the pure ascorbic acid. Buffered forms of vitamin C work by binding ascorbic acid with minerals to reduce stomach upset. As long as the capsules are vegetarian - Vitamin C is generally safe for those with alpha gal allergies or who avoid animal products.

Lastly is calcium, which we all know is good for the bones - but it also plays an important role in our immune system and defending against viruses in particular. For this purpose, I like Calcium Lactate from Standard Process which comes in a form your body can use very, very quickly. Again, not suitable for those with alpha gal allergies or who avoid animal products - but Pure Encapsulations has a vegan Calcium-D-Glucarate that is a good alternative option. Tofu is also an excellent vegan source of calcium and p lants high in calcium include black-eyed peas and dark leafy greens.

So as always, these are general recommendations and we welcome any questions and can offer virtual consults if needed to address your specific concerns. Be sure to review any changes in your supplements with your doctor.

Today marks the Spring Equinox - equal hours of day and night as we begin moving towards the long days of summer. In East Asian Medicine, this brings us the vibrant energy of the Liver and Gallbladder. Some of you have already felt those effects as the slow, slumbering energy of Winter has been giving way to spring. In an area like ours with seasonal changes, that may mean more energy, but it can also mean a seasonal increase in blood pressure. That natural trend is going to be amplified by the stresses we are all experiencing in the face of this global pandemic of COVID-19. So what does this mean? We need to be mindful of our blood pressure, take extra steps to wean ourselves off of stimulants like caffeine and nicotine. This is a great time to start increasing your activity levels with gentle movement and weight-bearing exercises. Like the world around us, this can also be a time to begin to bring to life our creative vision for the year.

We can also begin to incorporate more fresh foods into our diet - late winter citrus, early spring greens and cool weather crops like radishes. Now is the time to nourish our bodies with fresh foods, plenty of fluids, and gently cooked grains. The Liver and Gallbladder are associated with the flavor of sour. A nice mung bean soup with onion, celery, carrot, mushrooms, leek with cilantro and lemon served as a garnish would be a great dish to add to your menu. Or consider takeout from your favorite pho restaurant. And yes, you can still get mung beans at your local Asian market. Liver is also a great food to nourish your own Liver.

The Liver and Gallbladder are associated with the health of our tendons and muscles, and as in many concepts in East Asian Medicine, exercise using these parts of our bodies is beneficial for these organs as well. The Liver is often referred to as “The General” in East Asian Medicine, directing the actions of the body and the flow of Qi & Blood. If the Liver is unbalanced, anger may become too dominant, if the Gallbladder is weak, it is hard to make decisions. So in this critical time of stress and uncertainty, we must strive to focus on the opportunity, to manage our stress and nourish our bodies, and preserve our strength and decision-making.

In addition to meditation for at least 30 minutes per day, I recommend incorporating some Qi Gong and Tai Chi into your daily routine. Stay tuned for upcoming free videos you can follow on our YouTube Channel.

Mind / Body / Healing
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