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Practical Chinese Medicine

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This book is an introduction to Traditional Chinese Medicine from the perspective of Tuina Chinese Medical Acupressure. It guides the student through the theories and cultural philosophies of this exceptional medical discipline. It is an excellent first year student textbook that is written in the same down to earth, easy to understand sentences that the ancient Chinese practitioners used to teach their students. It covers everything in the necessary foundation to begin your lifelong study of this outstanding medical discipline.

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James O’Sullivan from Galway is a credible and engaging speaker, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving his patients, his students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is a respected author and has appeared on many public media.


Disclaimer

This article is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is not to be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.


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Treating Yang Deficiency

You may suffer one of more of the above. If in doubt see a practitioner.


Ancient Chinese people were greatly interested in the relationships and patterns that occurred in nature. Instead of studying situations and things in isolation, they viewed the world as a harmonious and holistic entity. In their eyes, no single being or form could exist unless it was seen in relation to its surrounding environment. By simplifying these relationships, they tried to explain complicated phenomena in the universe.

Yang is the energy that is responsible for warming and activating bodily functions. When Yang is in decline or deficient you feel cold and your body begins to slow down, displaying signs of under activity. There are a number of simple methods to tonify Yang.

Clinical pIcture: Deficient Yang syndrome is manifested as aversion to cold, cold extremities, soreness and weakness or cold pain in the lower back and knees, impotence, spermatorrhea, sterility, watery leukorrhea, enuresis, pale, wet and swollen tongue coating, deep slow, weak, pulse, wheezing and diarrhea (without odour).

Foods that benefit Yang, with the greatest tonics in bold:

Animal protein: Lamb, Venison, Kidneys (both beef and lamb), Chicken,
Lobster, Mussel, Prawn, Shrimp, Trout, Anchovy,
Grains: Quinoa, sweet (glutinous) rice, wheat germ
Vegetables: Leek, mustard greens, onion, radish, scallion, squash, sweet potato, turnip, watercress
Fruits: Raspberry, Cherry, Lychee, Logan berry, Peach, Strawberry
Nuts and seeds: ChestnutsPistachio nuts, Walnuts, Pine Nuts,
Herbs/other: Basil, Clove, Black pepper, Chive seed, Rosemary, Fennel seed, Fenugreek seed, Horseradish, Caper, Cayenne, Cinnamon bark, Dill seed, Garlic, Ginger, Nutmeg, Peppermint, Sage, Savory, Spearmint, Star anise, Turmeric, Thyme, White Pepper
Beverages: Jasmine tea, Chai tea,

Every day western foods examples that can be used to Tonify Yang

  • Mussels cooked with a little garlic
  • Roast chicken with sage and thyme
  • Roasted vegetables with and rosemary
  • Rice porridge with cinnamon, nutmeg and a little brown sugar
  • Leek and potato soup with black pepper
  • Or by adding any of the many spices as listed above to dishes when cooking.

Foods to avoid. If you are experiencing Yang deficiency then it is important to avoid foods that will further deplete your body’s Yang energy. Cold food and liquids fall into this category. Here ‘cold foods’ refers not only to those directly taken from the fridge but also to raw foods, as these require extra energy for digestion compared to pre-cooked foods. This may mean choosing a pasta salad over a green salad or switching from muesli to oat porridge for breakfast.

It is important to remember that we can change the “nature” of food to warming foods by cooking or warming them. This will preserve their energetic and nutrient value, while increasing their Yang nature, therefore soups, porridge and slow roasted foods show become the dishes of choice for those with a Yang deficiency. The herbs and spices mentioned above are warming and as such in small amounts encourage digestion and circulation throughout the body. While it may seem reasonable to achieve an improved warming effect by using the stronger spices such as black pepper liberally, care needs to be taken as these can be used to excess, inducing sweating which in fact actually has a cooling drying effect on the body.

Herbs That Tonify Yang

In general, herbs that tonify Yang are warm and dry in nature.  They can injure Yin and give rise to fire, so they are contraindicated for a person with deficient Yin and excessive fire syndrome.

Recipes that Tonify Yang

 

Incomplete – Come back for more later………..



James O’Sullivan from Galway is a credible and engaging speaker, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving his patients, his students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is a respected author and has appeared on many public media.


Disclaimer

This article is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is not to be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.


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Eating according to the Seasons


Balance your energy by eating in harmony with the Yin Yang of the season and this will have a massive effect on your health.

The ancient theory of Yin and Yang, tells us that your Qi, known as the essence of life flows through the body and that half of certain organs and meridians are considered Yin, while the other half are Yang. When Yin and Yang are balanced there is optimum health and vitality however when they are out of balance, disharmony caused he body to experience illness, sometimes vague symptoms, that allow you into work (but only just!) but you also may experience more serious disharmony or disease. We believe that nutritional or dietary choices play a hug part in achieving optimum health.

Each new season is a time of growth, rebirth and new beginnings, and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) says that eating in accordance with the season will help you gain massive reap health benefits.

Lets look at how TCM advises us to eat according to the seasons.

Spring

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Traditional Chinese Medicine says that Spring is a time of renewal, growth and rebirth. The organs most influenced during this season are the Liver and the Gallbladder, meaning that you should eat a diet that supports these two organs during springtime.

The rational here, is that when the Liver functions effortlessly, physical and emotional activity throughout the body also runs smoothly, which lend itself to optimum health. The liver also is responsible for detoxification within the body, so incorporating foods that support this process is ideal.

Nutritional Advice for Spring (Liver and Gallbladder):

  • Leafy green vegetables like kale and chard
  • Bitter greens like dandelion, endives and parsley
  • Milk thistle tea for its cleansing properties
  • Sour foods like lemon, lime and grapefruit supports the liver’s naturally sour flavour
  • Radishes as they help to move Qi around the body
  • Sprouts like alfalfa, mung bean and sunflower make delicious, nutritious additions to every meal

Summer

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Traditional Chinese Medicine says that the summer, where we experience most heat during the year is the season of upmost Yang, and this can quickly lead to imbalances if not treated sensibly. Because of the hot, drying weather, the best foods for summer are cooling, sweet, hydrating and neutral.

Nutritional Advice for Summer (Heart and Small Intestine):

  • Neutral foods can help to counterbalance the heat, so things like rice, sweet potatoes, mushrooms and salmon can make healthy choices during summer
  • Hydrating foods like cucumber, strawberries, lettuce, celery, and pears really help to temper excess yang in the body and are especially good in dry heat
  • Sweet foods like sweet corn, carrots, sweet potatoes and cooked grains
  • Light broths and soups to keep portions smaller than during other seasons
  • Cooling foods like coconut, apples, tomatoes and chilli are great in hot, humid environments

Autumn

Traditional Chinese Medicine says that Autumn is a season of distinct transition from the hot Yang summer to Yin influenced winter. Warming, pungent foods are the best picks and methods like slow-cooking or braising make for delicious meals that will support your emotional and physical health and focus on the Lungs and Large Intestine which are associated with Autumn.

Nutritional Advice for Autumn (Lungs and Large Intestine):

  • Seasonal fruits and vegetables like pears, figs, pumpkin, apples and brussel sprouts
  • Onions, peppers and cabbage are great to incorporate during autumn or prepare and preserve for oncoming winter
  • Ginger, leeks, cinnamon, coriander, turnips, mushrooms, garlic and radishes will all help to nourish the lungs
  • Quinoa, rice and oats are the perfect grains for this transitional season

Winter

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Traditional Chinese Medicine recognizes that winter is associated with increased levels of Yin where rain, cold, snow and ice energy influence the Kidneys and Urinary Bladder. The TCM Kidneys are the root of our deepest constitution, when damaged can be very difficult to bring back into harmony.

So foods that have a warming nature, cooked foods are advised to nourish your Kidneys in Winter.

Nutritional Advice for Winter (Kidneys and Urinary Bladder):

  • Spices, spices, spices! Warming ones like cardamom, cinnamon and ginger will help to stimulate digestion
  • Black beans and lentils reinforce kidney energy
  • Ginger tea will nourish body and soul
  • Potatoes, pumpkin, Brussel sprouts, beets, parsnips and turnips are great for roasting or including in slow-cooked soups and stews
  • Dark leafy greens like kale, spinach and other collard greens

 

Have a look at these suggestions and remember to eat according to the seasons, according to local produce and don’t forget to always smile and enjoy the food that nature provides.



James O’Sullivan from Galway is a credible and engaging speaker, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving his patients, his students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is a respected author and has appeared on many public media.


Disclaimer

This article is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is not to be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.


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Yin Deficiency



What is Yin?

Yin is the opposite and yet complimentary partner Yang. The theory of Yin Yang is a very important concept in Chinese medicine. When we look at the classic Yin Yang or Tai Ji symbol, it depicts a balance between Black and White. Yin, represented by black, includes the characteristics of night, shadows, anything damp or wet, it is dense and cold. Yang represented by white, includes the characteristics of sunlight, daytime, warmth, dryness, energetic substances. It is at one understanding very simple yet at another interpretation, one of the most complex academic theories in Chinese medicine. Yin and yang are complementary and cannot exist without each other. They are constantly changing into each other.

Generally speaking, in our bodies, Yin is the deepest aspect of our body. Yin is considered the foundation of blood or deeper body substance that creates blood. All of the organs are separated into Yin and Yang organs. Our Yin organs are the more dense, solid organs, such as the liver, kidneys, heart, lungs, spleen. The Yang organs are considered hollow; such as the small intestine, large intestine, bladder, and gallbladder. Yin is influenced by time of day, with twilight and night time being considered a Yin time. Sleep is a yin activity.

When the Yin of your body is healthy, your energy cycles are in perfect balance throughout the day. Your sleep is peaceful, for approximately eight hours a night. You will have adequate energy to complete your work. The Yin, like your blood, will help anchor your emotions, and it will be easy to manage stressful environments, demanding jobs, etc without feeling triggered into a stress response.

Signs and Symptoms of Yin Deficiency

  • Spontaneous afternoon sweats
  • Night sweats
  • Hot flashes (Flushes)–especially in the afternoon and evening
  • Five palm Heat— meaning the palms of your hands, soles of your feet, or all of the above will feel hot periodically throughout the day. You may feel yourself having to kick your feet out from under the blankets throughout the night when this happens.
  • Difficulty staying asleep or frequent waking throughout the night
  • Dry hair, dry skin, dry mucus membranes
  • Fatigue — deeper than the blood deficiency fatigue
  • Frequent urination during the day
  • Frequent nocturnal urination

What causes Yin Deficiency?

Yin deficiency can occur for a wide variety of reasons. Living in a dry climate can slowly deplete Yin. Excessive sweating and exercise, stress, living in an extremely noisy environment, long periods of worry, and overconsumption of hot spices, caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes, other drugs, and refined foods, will also drain Yin.

Most chronic illnesses, autoimmune disorders, and wasting diseases will either start out with a Yin deficiency clinical picture or will develop Yin deficiency in conjunction with other symptoms. These cases are inherently more complicated and need supervision of a trained health care provider.

Yin represents the energy that is responsible for moistening and cooling bodily functions. When this energy is depleted your body begins to show signs of “heating up”. This is not a true heat but rather a lack of the moistening and cooling functions that are necessary to maintain a healthy balance. Foods to tonify Yin include;


Meat: Beef, duck, goose, pork, pork kidney, rabbit
Fish: Fish in general but especially clam, fresh water clam, crab, cuttlefish, oyster, octopus, sardine.
Grains:  Barley, millet
Legumes: Adzuki, black beans, black soya, kidney, lima, mung, Tofu
Vegetables:  Alfalfa sprout, artichoke, asparagus, kelp, mung bean sprout, pea, potato, seaweed, string bean, sweet potato, tomato, water chestnut, yam, zucchini
Fruits: Apple, apricot, avocado, banana, lemon, lime, mango, mulberry, pear, persimmon, pineapple, pomegranate, watermelon
Nuts and seeds: Coconut milk, sesame seed, black sesame seed, walnut
Dairy: Cheese, chicken egg, cows milk, duck egg
Oils: Honey, malt,
Herbs/other: Marjoram, nettle

Supplements: American ginseng, royal jelly


Foods especially useful to tonify Kidney Yin Deficiency.

Meat: Duck, pork kidney
Fish: Fresh water clam, oyster
Vegetables:  Alfalfa sprouts, asparagus, kelp, potato, seaweed, string bean, sweet potato, yam
Fruits: Lemon, lime, mulberry
Nuts and seeds: Black sesame seed
Dairy: Chicken egg

Examples of every day western foods that can be used to build yin

  • Fruit smoothies with honey and banana
  • Fruit salad made with the fruits listed above
  • Fish dishes with coconut milk
  • Omelettes with cheese
  • Asparagus and egg salads with sesame seeds
  • Tacos made with Kidney beans and topped with a small amount of cheese
  • Baked Potato stuffed with tofu with soya sauce and sesame seeds.
  • Pork and apple dishes
  • Miso soup with tofu and seaweed

Foods to avoid

It is important to ensure that stimulating foods are not being consumed, as these will only further depleate yin. Caffeine, alcohol, sugar and strong heating/ pungent spices all belong in this category. Note. Yin building foods like yin tonifing herbs have a tendency to be congest the spleen and promote stagnation if large amounts are consumed.

It is therefore important to consume small quantities frequently rather than large helpings irregularly.

Smiling Body recommendations:

You may enhance your daily health by taking our Chinese Herbal Homeopathic Remedy “Woman’s Precious”.



James O’Sullivan from Galway is a credible and engaging speaker, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving his patients, his students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is a respected author and has appeared on many public media.


Disclaimer

This article is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is not to be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.


Please share! Help the word get out. Pin the graphic too.