Natural Qi Newsletter
Spring Into Action: Refresh, Rejuvenate, Restore…
Qi (“chee”) is the Chinese term for life energy, that which gives the world, and the individual, life. It is present in a living organism and absent with death. Qi moves blood through the body and energizes the organs. It is the energy in the heart beat that causes our heart muscle to pump.This energy is derived partly from our genetic makeup, partly from our breathing, and partly from the food we eat. When Qi is blocked or deficient, there is an imbalance in the body and disease occurs. Chinese medicine restores your body’s vital energy and the natural flow of qi.
Welcome to Spring!
The earth is replenishing itself, revealing its natural beauty and glowing health. You, too, have the opportunity to restore your body’s natural balance and get a spring jump-start on your health with acupuncture and Chinese herbs.
Read more about how acupuncture can treat your spring allergy symptoms and change of weather blues – balance your qi to blossom into spring, and leave winter doldrums behind.
Feel free to call to discuss any questions you have. I look forward to seeing or speaking to you! – Melani
Spring allergies don’t have to leave you feeling flat
The itchies, the sneezies, and the runnies. For some, seasonal allergies make the onset of spring uncomfortable and sometimes insufferable. Allergy sufferers spend millions of dollars on shots and medications every year, often with unwanted side-effects like dryness, nervousness and fatigue. The patients who receive acupuncture to treat their allergy symptoms feel relief on the very first visit, and repeated treatments can drastically reduce acuteness and recurrence of the symptoms over time.
Certain allergens in the spring air – pollen, grass, weeds – cause some immune systems to over-react, causing the sneezing and congestion, itchy and watery eyes, headaches and fatigue that we associate with allergy reactions. Western medicine treats these manifestations and other complications, such as sinus infections, with antihistamines. These treatments, which include pills and nasal sprays (children especially voice their dislike of those!) only treat the symptoms, not the source.
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) goes to the root of the problem, as well as effectively treats the symptoms. Here is what one of Melani’s patients said about treating chronic sinus infections from allergies:
“As long as I can remember, I have had problems with my sinuses. I would get at least 3 sinus infections a year. I have tried everything from over the counter to prescription medications. They would solve the problem for a short time, but after a few months I would become immune to the allergy medications.
After speaking with Melani, I decided to give acupuncture a try. I must admit I was a little skeptical in the beginning. However, Melani thoroughly explained the process to me and put me at ease. She described how acupuncture has helped others with the same sinus issues. After seeking just two treatments, I am very happy to say that I have not had a sinus infection in over a year.” L.F.
From a TCM perspective, allergies point to a deficiency of Qi in certain organs that support the natural, healthy function of the lungs and nasal passages. Acupuncture helps restore the flow and clear blockage of the body’s natural energy, leaving your body stronger and healthier as a whole.
Your kids don’t have to suffer either! In a study (Pediatrics, 2004) of acupuncture’s effects on kid’s chronic symptoms, the children received two treatments a week for eight weeks. Enjoying symptom-free days and greater relief for the whole season as a result, the kids also preferred the acupuncture needles twice a week to those darned nose sprays! Parents also preferred acupuncture to medicine for their kids.
What You Can Do
Like any major change, the best results occur over a period of time. Your first treatment will most likely provide some immediate symptomatic relief. For a symptom-free season, give yourself the opportunity for regular acupuncture; your body will thank you for the extra boost and s pport. For long term allergy-free living, acupuncture can build your body’s natural immune system even in the off season – and be prepared to experience a drastic reduction in symptoms next year!
- Try to avoid sweets, especially refined sugar and artificial sweeteners. Sweets tend to bog down the natural function of the digestive system causing incompletely digested foods. This leftover food matter turns into phlegm and mucus that can travel upwards and exacerbate mucus and fluids in the head.
- Reduce dairy intake. Much in the same way as sweets, drinking a glass of milk produces mucus in your throat, dairy products produce mucus and phlegm in the entire digestive system. Patients will experience less acute allergy symptoms, such as watery eyes and congestion, with a reduced consumption of dairy products because their body is producing less gunk overall.
- As always, DRINK PLENTY OF WATER. The flow of water through your system effectively flushes away toxins. This clean, fresh flow also prevents the accumulation and stagnation of mucus. Drinking more water will also allow you to reduce your intake of unnecessary caffeine and sodas.
- Try cleansing your nasal passages daily with a Netti Pot (see below) Nasal irrigation removes mucus and pollution from the nose and sinuses and speeds the healing of inflamed tissues.
- Spring Clean! Don’t give mold allergens the chance to take hold in this transitional damp weather. Get air moving around your home and through areas where dampness collects, like the bathroom. As the weather gets warmer, be sure to use a dehumidifier or air conditioner to reduce humidity. Say goodbye to dusty air filters and dust-collecting drapes.
How to Use A Netti Pot
1. Fill the netti pot with warm water and add a pinch of sea salt.
2. Bring to sink. Tilt your head over the sink and place the spout into one nostril, breathing out of your mouth, allow the water to flow into nostril and out the other nostril.
3. Repeat on the other side.
4. Blow your nose if necessary and gargle with a little salt water.
I’m new in Melani’s house, but I already find A-Coop-uncture fascinating! Speaking of allergies, don’t make man’s best friend your worst enemy. Pet dander is one of the main problem-causing allergens. Be sure your pup gets baths, especially after playtime in the pollen-filled park!
Celebrate the arrival of spring by adding fresh, organic and healthy herbs and greens to your cooking. This quick, easy recipe has been a big hit.
Sauteed Spinach with Basil
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/3 cup pine nuts
10 ounces fresh spinach leaves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups fresh basil leaves
Crumbled feta cheese
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the pine nuts and cook until lightly golden, about 3 minutes. Increase heat to medium, and add the spinach, salt, pepper, and two tablespoons of water. Cover and cook, tossing occasionally with tongs, until the spinach wilts, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Add the basil and toss until it wilts, about 1 minute. Add feta and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.
Tip: Serve as a main dish, or as a side dish paired with fish or tofu.
If you have questions, or would like to discuss anything you read here, please feel free to contact me. Take Care and Be Well!
Natural Qi Acupuncture and Herbs