This seasonal node is called "The Great Cold" (which this year, is unseasonably warm and snowy but what are you going to do.) Usually, this is the coldest time of year; Minnesotans tend to think of February as the month where it's too cold to snow. The yang that was reborn at the Winter Solstice is getting stronger as the days are getting longer. People are starting to get restless and depending on their pattern diagnosis, their seasonal affective disorder is kicking up a notch. Living seasonally for these last two weeks of winter can go a long way to alleviating that increased anxiety and restlessness and set you up for success for the coming year.

Gearing up for the Great Cold Seasonal Node

This seasonal node is called “The Great Cold” (which this year, is unseasonably warm and snowy but what are you going to do.) Usually, this is the coldest time of year; Minnesotans tend to think of February as the month where it’s too cold to snow.

The yang that was reborn at the Winter Solstice is getting stronger as the days are getting longer. People are starting to get restless and depending on their pattern diagnosis, their seasonal affective disorder is kicking up a notch.

Living seasonally for these last two weeks of winter can go a long way to alleviating that increased anxiety and restlessness and set you up for success for the coming year.

It may not feel like this is a small amount of cold. But then you remember that last year the Great Cold seasonal node was blessed with a -60 F windchill last year. It was cold enough that even we Minnesotans decided that we could stay home. My grocery store closed. It was very strange. Compared to that, the cold at the beginning of the year seems small indeed. The Small Cold seasonal node lasts from January 5th to January 19th.

The Wee Hours of Winter: The Small Cold Seasonal Node

It may not feel like this is a small amount of cold. But then you remember that last year the Great Cold seasonal node was blessed with a -60 F windchill last year. It was cold enough that even we Minnesotans decided that we could stay home. My grocery store closed. It was very strange.

Compared to that, the cold at the beginning of the year seems small indeed. The Small Cold seasonal node lasts from January 5th to January 19th.

Last week we introduced the concept of seasonal nodes and how tweaking your lifestyle and diet every couple of weeks can not only preserve your health but improve it. Since the focus of this seasonal node is preserving yang qi by supporting the spleen I thought it would be an ideal time to share a yang tonifying recipe. Be warned: the recipe is pretty bland (it’s mostly rice and water) but if you eat it as is or with some tasty root veggies or eggs, I think you’ll find that you’ll feel warm from your fingers to your toes in no time.

Nourishing Winter Congee

Last week we introduced the concept of seasonal nodes and how tweaking your lifestyle and diet every couple of weeks can not only preserve your health but improve it.

Since the focus of this seasonal node is preserving yang qi by supporting the spleen I thought it would be an ideal time to share a yang tonifying recipe.

Be warned: the recipe is pretty bland (it’s mostly rice and water) but if you eat it as is or with some tasty root veggies or eggs, I think you’ll find that you’ll feel warm from your fingers to your toes in no time.

Staying warm after the Winter Solstice

Wow, friends. It’s definitely winter. I do like seasonal change but sub-zero temps can be a little much for even me.
How did you survive? Hot cocoa? Sauna? Hibernating under a blanket? (No really, I want to know so leave a comment below.)

I opted for hibernating. ‘Tis the season, after all. And it was while I was sitting on my couch with my mug of coffee I had a thought: we’ve already covered the basics of seasonal living. We’ve touched on every season. But do you know what we haven’t done? The seasonal nodes.

What are the seasonal nodes? Read on to find out.

Just like you can preserve your health and vitality by living seasonal, you can fine-tune that practice by using the seasonal nodes. So, if you’re on board with winter living and you’re ready for the next step, let’s get cracking!
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Guest Post: Why you should consider a postpartum doula

This week I’m excited to share a guest post from one of my favorite birth workers in the Twin Cities. Lindsey Fontaine is a postpartum doula. She supports families as they transition into life with a newborn, helping them thrive and not just survive.

While many people have heard of birth doulas, postpartum doulas are a vital part of recovery and redefinition. I have a lot to say on the matter, but I am going to leave it to the postpartum doula expert:

This week I'm excited to share a guest post from one of my favorite birth workers in the Twin Cities. Lindsey Fontaine is a postpartum doula. She supports families  as they transition into life with a newborn, helping them thrive and not just survive. 

While many people have heard of birth doulas, postpartum doulas are a vital part of recovery and redefinition. I have a lot to say on the matter, but I am going to leave it to the postpartum doula expert.
(more…)

Sunday Round-Up 5: Winter is here

November is upon us and the first snows have fallen!

I am currently sitting here this Sunday morning with a cup of coffee and my favorite sweater and fleece lined leggings (and a bit of French silk pie because I am an awful example for healthy breakfasts).

This week breastfeeding became legal in all 50 states which is a huge, if incredibly delayed) win! Check out this and other things I found on the wide and scary internet in this week’s Sunday round up!

The End of Harvest Season

One month ago, Reverie was a different clinic that it is now.

I had a small, community acupuncture practice in the yoga studio of Health Foundations Birth Center in St Paul, Minnesota, where I treated patients twice a week.

It was amazing. It still is (because community acupuncture treatments are continuing) but Reverie is getting bigger. One month ago, I decided to expand my practice to the Naturally Well space in White Bear Lake and that started a cascade of things that has kept me from regular updates. But now that things are settling down once again, I figured it was time for a recap.

Check out these blogtober posts to understand more about how I approach women's health, acupuncture, doula work (and other birth work), herbalism and more!

The First Month Postpartum

Postpartum care and the attitude towards postpartum recovery in this country is terrible. Part of the reason for our absolutely atrocious maternal mortality rate is that once a patient is sent home, that’s typically the end of their care. There might be a postpartum checkup a couple of weeks later but that’s the last time a patient will see their care provider until their next annual exam.

Screening for postpartum depression happens at your child’s pediatric visits and that screen ends at six weeks, well before most symptoms of PPD or PPA arise.

We have to do something about this. But instead of looking forward, many natural care practitioners are looking back. The traditions that are still alive in many other countries can be used here to support new parents during this time of transition.

I’m going to cover the first month of postpartum care from a Chinese medicine perspective, but don’t limit yourself to my view! So many other cultures have rich and supportive traditions for families that could be beneficial and all are definitely worth considering.