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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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!

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!

Kidney Yang Disharmonies: The Other Half

Yesterday’s deep dive into kidney disorders focused on kidney yin disorders. Kidney yin disorders have a lot of hot signs – hot flashes, night sweats, dry throat, etc – because the kidney yin can’t cool the body. It’s a lot like not having enough coolant in your car’s engine. Kidney yang disorders are cold in comparison. Lacking kidney yang means the starter isn’t working. And that’s what we’re going to cover today.

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!

Kidney Disharmonies: Foundations of Yin

Kidney disharmonies and imbalances are the heart of many people’s fertility struggles. The kidneys, when combined with the liver, form the root of how hormones are developed and move throughout the body. The kidneys themselves govern our growth and development as well as our reproductive potential. And the kidneys are also one of the only systems that have a predictable pattern of change throughout our lifetimes.

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, as a society, 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.

Menstruation is a source of shame, concern and pain for many women but it doesn't need to be that way
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The Outer Shu are a way to treat psychological, emotional and even spiritual conditions from the outside in

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.

The Outer Shu are a way to treat psychological, emotional and even spiritual conditions from
the outside in
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