The best detox diet is the most simple one of all - whole foods. A cleanse or a detox can set you further back on your health journey. Click to read more.

Why Your Pinterest Cleanse Won’t Work

The Complementary Care Police are probably going to come and take my holistic health practitioner card away for saying this, but: I really don’t like detoxes.

I know that they’re all the rage and for good reason – the good ones, when done right, are great! But there are a ton of bad ones out there, and they’re usually done incorrectly or at a time that’s harmful to patients. It’s time that we, as a holistic community, have a chat about that.

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Menopause is a rite all menstruating women go through, but it can be an easy journey

Menopause: The Time of the Wise Woman

Spring carries the energy of the maiden – the prepubescent girl with her whole life ahead over her. Summer is the young mother, pregnant or having just given birth. Autumn is the experienced mother, still guiding her children, but watching them make their own decisions.

Winter is the time of the crone.

If you look at the definitions of crone online you find:

an old woman who is thin and ugly.

Or that she’s cruel, malicious or sinister.

But if you dig into the archetype of the crone or listen to the stories women tell each other about old women you see something different. You see a wise woman who uses the lessons she’s learned in life to guide those younger than her to the right path.

The crone teaches us that death cycles are inevitable. Winter always comes, age marches on and one day, we too will be grandmothers. And that scares us. It scares us in the way the nadir of death cycles always scares us. We don’t like cold, we don’t like darkness and we don’t like endings.

But every woman who menstruates will one day go through menopause. That process will mark the end of her reproductive days. As an ending, that’s scary. As a process, it can be frustrating.

This post has two purposes: to give you a guide through menopause to make the transition from mother to crone (or Wise Woman, or Grandmother) go more smoothly and also to show you that as part of a cycle it may be an ending, but it is not the End.

Menopause is a rite all menstruating women go through, but it can be an easy journey

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Menstruation is a source of shame, concern and pain for many women but it doesn't need to be that way

Taming the Red Dragon: Menstruation in Chinese Medicine

Last week I introduced the concept of death cycles on the Instagram feed. In a nutshell, a life cycle is a cycle an organism follows from birth to the point they reproduce and their offspring begin their own life cycle. A death cycle follows an organism through all the processes of birth, life, death and potential rebirth.

The handy thing about death cycles is that since the year is its own death cycle we can use it as a guide. Spring is birth, summer is growth, fall is decline and winter is death. The unique thing about winter is that it’s the season that contains all the things we, societally, fear, are ashamed of, or hate.

Cold, darkness, old age, labor, and menstruation.

When you work with the seasons and death cycles, you learn that decline is a part of life and it’s usually a healthy part of the process. Trees wouldn’t flourish in the summer if they didn’t rest in the winter, the day doesn’t happen without the night and we wouldn’t continue our reproductive cycle without healthy menstruation.

Have you been told your entire life that your period is gross, something you shouldn’t talk about, something shameful or even, sinful?

What would happen if you saw it has a healthy sign of ovulation and embraced it as a time of rest? My bet is that it would be life changing and if you’re interested you should definitely read on.

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Understanding shen is critical to understanding how it helps treat pain, anxiety, depression, addiction and more. It's more than spirit - it's psychology.

Shen: Discovering Spirit in the Season of Stillness

Now that the quiet of winter has descended, many of us are finding ourselves contemplating life’s mysteries over a mug of tea. It’s only natural; winter is a time of rest and meditation. It’s the season to stare off into the middle distance and let the snowflakes fall out of focus as our mind takes us to far off fantasies or deep into our core.  In honor of this deeply spiritual time of the year, let’s dive into the concept of shen.

A patient’s spirituality is, frankly, none of my business. But I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the spiritual roots of Chinese medicine or address it more deeply than I have in the pastShen is a huge concept, and treating the shen is important for pain management, anxiety and depression, labor induction, fertility and more.

Understanding the concept of shen will help you understand why.

Understanding shen is critical to understanding how it helps treat pain, anxiety, depression, addiction and more. It's more than spirit - it's psychology.

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Are you feeling resistant to the coming winter? Living seasonally helps you settle into the rhythm of the year and autumn helps you prepare for winter properly

Autumn: Living with nature in the season of harvest

Leaves crunch under footsteps. Pumpkins spring up in doorways and along sidewalks. And the smell of woodsmoke lies just under the smells of spice and frost. Oh yes, autumn is here.

Autumn is the season of harvest – the season for us to look back at what we’ve made, keep the things that serve us, and release the things that don’t. The season of soups and chilis. And the season of preparation.

Learning to live seasonally is the ultimate preventative medicine. It’s a lifestyle that follows the rhythms of nature around you to prepare you for the pitfalls of the season ahead.

Are you feeling resistant to the coming winter? Living seasonally helps you settle into the rhythm of the year and autumn helps you prepare for winter properly

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Combining the magic of flower essences with the traditions of Chinese medicine to help you heal and grow

What is floral acupuncture?

Imagine if you could combine the rich history of Chinese Medicine with the subtle science of flower essences. What would it be like to take these two robust and beautiful medicines and combine them? It would be magical. And guess what? You can.

Floral acupuncture was introduced by Deborah Craydon and Warren Bellows. Together they developed a robust system of 5 element acupuncture and Bach Flower essences, combining them to supplement treatments for anxiety, fear, anger – any of the traditional flower essence maladies.

Floral acupuncture has grown since Craydon and Bellows published Floral Acupuncture, expanding beyond the original Bach formulas. And it might be what’s missing from your treatment plan.

Combining the magic of flower essences with the traditions of Chinese medicine to help you heal and grow

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Flower essences are ideal for emotional support, and are a great supplement to care during the postpartum period

Flower essences for the Baby Blues

Did you know that up to 75% of mothers will experience the baby blues postpartum?

The baby blues are an emotional and mental shift that happen when the cocktail of pregnancy hormones rapidly decreases while at the same time, a mother learns how to interact and care for her new baby. It’s a stressful time but it tends to be relatively short.

But 10-20% of mothers (and some new research shows that it may be higher) will develop postpartum depression, which has more severe symptoms than the baby blues and can but the mother’s life in danger. Postpartum depression or PPD often develops six months postpartum and sometimes as late as one year.

I go into more detail about the differences in this blog post but for this blog post I’d like to say right now: if you are showing signs of depression including withdrawing from friends and family, loss of interest in things you used to enjoy and having no interest in the baby talk to your midwife or primary care provider.

Flower essences can be very supportive in helping with emotional and spiritual shifts and are a powerful energetic medicine, but PPD can be life-threatening. Make sure that you have a support system in place before supplementing your care with flower essences.  

Flower essences are ideal for emotional support, and are a great supplement to care during the postpartum period

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