With a vast drop in temperature, darker skies and rainy days, winter is the most yin of all the seasons. It is associated with the kidney and bladder organs, the color black, the element water, the emotion fear, and salty and bitter flavors.
From pumpkins and spooky Halloween decorations to Hanukkah candles, Christmas lights and hot cocoa, the holiday season is a lively time of year. Traditionally this is the time to spend with loved ones, give thanks for all that you have and indulge in comfort food. As a child, my excitement came from watching holiday cartoons and anticipating the arrival of Santa and presents.
Carrots are one of the oldest cultivated vegetables. A staple in most cuisines, the white, yellow and purple varieties were first cultivated in Afghanistan around 3000BC. The modern, sweeter and bright yellow and orange varieties were created in the Netherlands around the 16th century.
As we move deeper into the autumn season, the foundation of our diet should be foods that are bountiful, local and ripe. Just as we rotate our wardrobe for the seasons, we should be rotating our diet as well. Most of us wouldn’t wear shorts and a tank top in the snowy winter, nor would we wear a heavy coat on a hot summer day. As such, we should reserve cold and raw foods for the warmer months, and eat warmer and cooked foods during the colder months.
I hear it all the time from my patients. It’s a very predictable story. A patient goes in to see their MD because they have this annoying ailment that won’t go away. Their MD prescribes medication and tells them to come back in a month. For whatever reason, the patient doesn’t want to take the medication, they prefer to try a more natural approach to heal their ailment.
Now that I got your attention I am going to tell you that there is no magic pill for weight loss. Believe me, I would have found it by now if there was one. There is no magic diet, no magic exercise routine, nor a magic surgery. I wish I could tell you that acupuncture is the magical missing link but alas, it is not the answer either.
A lot of people ask me if acupuncture can help treat depression. The short answer is yes but each individual has a unique set of symptoms that are clues into to the root cause of those symptoms. Here is a general description of how Chinese Medicine works for depression.
Suffering from dry skin? How about an itchy dry throat? The recent weather changes in Southern California have been a great conversation starter but have left me (and I’m sure some of you) with dry and irritated skin. In Chinese Medicine Fall is the time of the metal element which rules the Lung and Large Intestine meridians.