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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Living seasonally is about more than just food. Check out these lifestyle changes to live your summer in sync

Summer Living: Utilizing the Season of Flourishing

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.

Living seasonally is about so much more than food. Read about the lifestyle changes you can make this summer to make your health flourish

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The ancient Chinese referred to Winter as the "season of shutting and storing". TCM has so much wisdom about living seasonally, and Winter is just the start

Winter: Season of Stillness

Winter has finally come to Minnesota. I love it.

I love the stillness and the quiet. Sitting on my couch with a mug of coffee watching the snow fall from under the warmth of a blanket fills my soul. I love the reminder to turn inwards and reflect on the past year and to dream about the year to come.

Good things are born of the silence.

The ancient Chinese referred to Winter as the "season of shutting and storing". TCM has so much wisdom about living seasonally, and Winter is just the start

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Red raspberry leaf tea is can support you before, during and after pregnancy, but hot tea in the summer? Check out this refreshing alternative.

A More Refreshing Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

Hot red raspberry leaf tea on a warm summer day?

Bleech.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of tea but even I have a hard time stomaching a warm mug of tea when it’s 85 degrees and humid out.

“So…why are you drinking tea, then?” you ask.

Well, because I’m 35 weeks pregnant and I’m pretty intent on making my labor as short as possible. Read on if you are too or are just trying to find a more palatable way to consume hot herbal teas in the dog days of summer.

Red raspberry leaf tea is a great support for women's health at any point in their lives, but who wants hot tea in the summer?

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