Spring seems like it's a long way off in Minnesota. Just last month we hit a record for snow fall in February. But cold and snow notwithstanding, the wood energy of spring is still flowing. Now that I've covered how to live in accordance to each season, I thought it would be a good time to move to talking about the elements in Chinese medicine. Just like the elements of the periodic table, the elements of Chinese medicine represent the basic components. You'll recognize a lot of the movement and terminology in this post from thespring living blog, but this one will take it to another level.

The Wood Element: Raising Yang

Spring seems like it’s a long way off in Minnesota. Just last month we hit a record for snow fall in February. But cold and snow notwithstanding, the wood energy of spring is still flowing.

Now that I’ve covered how to live in accordance to each season, I thought it would be a good time to move to talking about the elements in Chinese medicine.

Just like the elements of the periodic table, the elements of Chinese medicine represent the basic components. You’ll recognize a lot of the movement and terminology in this post from the spring living blog, but this one will take it to another level.

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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. Featured image and cover photo by Tyler Lastovich from Pexels

Taming the Red Dragon: Menstruation in Chinese Medicine

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.

Featured image and cover photo by Tyler Lastovich from Pexels

Emotions are complicated. Psychology is complicated. Humans, well, we’re complicated. This season we’ve been diving deeply into emotional and psychological disorders on the blog. We started on Halloween with Sun Si Miao’s ghost points, the ancient treatment for conditions like addiction, bipolar, depression and anxiety. Last week we talked about the shen, or how we understand spirit and consciousness in Chinese medicine. But this week I thought we would get back to acupuncture and discuss an interesting group of points – the outer shu points – and tie them back to their impact on the shen.

The Outer Shu: A Natural Approach to Mental Health

Emotions are complicated. Psychology is complicated. Humans, well, we’re complicated.

This season we’ve been diving deeply into emotional and psychological disorders on the blog. We started on Halloween with Sun Si Miao’s ghost points, the ancient treatment for conditions like addiction, bipolar, depression and anxiety.

Last week we talked about the shen, or how we understand spirit and consciousness in Chinese medicine.

But this week I thought we would get back to acupuncture and discuss an interesting group of points – the outer shu points – and tie them back to their impact on the shen.

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 past. Shen 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. Cover photo and featured image by Tobi from Pexels

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.

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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.

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Reverie Acupuncture is one year old! What ten posts did readers find the most useful over the past year? Click to find out!

First Birthday Post Round-Up

Happy Birthday, Reverie!

Reverie Acupuncture is officially one year old on August 24th, 2018. It’s been an awesome year of community acupuncture, mamas, babies and blog posts!

I’d like to save my big announcements for my Winter Party that I’m planning so today let’s celebrate by looking at the top 10 posts that readers of Reverie have found most useful.

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“The fifth season?” Yes, there’s a fifth season. In Chinese Medicine there are 5 “phases” or elements and each element creates a category of things that correlate with it – tastes, diseases, smells, emotions and seasons. But there is some misunderstanding about what the fifth season actually is and to clear up that understanding we have to look back to the classics. Featured photo and cover image by Jackson Jorvan from Pexels

The Fifth Season

“The fifth season?”

Yes, there’s a fifth season. In Chinese Medicine there are 5 “phases” or elements and each element creates a category of things that correlate with it – tastes, diseases, smells, emotions and seasons.

But there is some misunderstanding about what the fifth season actually is and to clear up that understanding we have to look back to the classics.

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Type A people have it rough. It’s not that the world is hard on Type A people. The world at large loves Type A people. They are doers and movers and shakers. Type A people are hard on themselves (which is probably why they’re more susceptible to heart disease and stroke.) Type A people just keep hustling, digging deep into yang energy and using its rocket fuel to start businesses, create art and move forward in everything. Type A people don’t know how to stop. Imagine being in the North Woods of Minnesota. Sunlight warms the wooden porch floor. The sounds of water lapping on the shore and children playing follow the breeze through the open windows. It’s 80, and beautiful and you’re on your laptop because you won’t. stop. working. That’s Type A. Because the Type A definition of relaxation is speed boats out on the lake, wakeboarding, water skiing and high energy water sports. It’s wiring together fireworks and cooking for 100 people. Type A people are all about the hustle. I’m here to tell you that America is Type A. And we need to turn it down a notch.

Why you need to stop #hustling

Type A people have it rough.

It’s not that the world is hard on Type A people. The world at large loves Type A people. They are doers and movers and shakers. Type A people are hard on themselves (which is probably why they’re more susceptible to heart disease and stroke.)

Type A people just keep hustling, digging deep into yang energy and using its rocket fuel to start businesses, create art and move forward in everything.

Type A people don’t know how to stop.

Imagine being in the North Woods of Minnesota. Sunlight warms the wooden porch floor. The sounds of water lapping on the shore and children playing follow the breeze through the open windows. It’s 80, and beautiful and you’re on your laptop because you won’t. stop. working. 

That’s Type A.

Because the Type A definition of relaxation is speed boats out on the lake, wakeboarding, water skiing and high energy water sports. It’s wiring together fireworks and cooking for 100 people.

Type A people are all about the hustle.

I’m here to tell you that America is Type A. And we need to turn it down a notch.

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Summer is here! “Wait, what?” some of you are saying, “Summer doesn’t start until June 20th.” I get what you’re saying. Here in Minnesota it feels like we skipped spring altogether. Two weeks ago we had a 2 day blizzard with 20 inches of snow in the Twin Cities. Today we have a predicted high of 76 and the lilac bushes are running to catch up. But the way we think of seasons is…off. We are disconnected from the cycles of the seasons, the moon and the sun because we run off the calendars in our pockets and the light from our television screens. It’s a shame really. There is so much wisdom that our ancestors – all of our ancestors – had. Seasonal living and the ideas that come with it aren’t only rooted in Chinese medicine. Featured photo and cover image by Victor Freitas from Pexels

Summer Living: Utilizing the Season of Growth

Summer is here!

“Wait, what?” some of you are saying, “Summer doesn’t start until June 20th.”

I get what you’re saying. Here in Minnesota it feels like we skipped spring altogether. Two weeks ago we had a 2 day blizzard with 20 inches of snow in the Twin Cities. Today we have a predicted high of 76 and the lilac bushes are running to catch up.

But the way we think of seasons is…off. We are disconnected from the cycles of the seasons, the moon and the sun because we run off the calendars in our pockets and the light from our television screens.

It’s a shame really. There is so much wisdom that our ancestors – all of our ancestors – had.

Seasonal living and the ideas that come with it aren’t only rooted in Chinese medicine.

​Last December I posted a blog on living seasonally in the winter. Now, let’s talk about the summer.

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