In this issue you will find:
- Important PCOM Dates
- TCM During Summer
- Antioxidant Properties of Black Tea
- Sexual Health the Natural Way
- Chinese Wisdom: Quote of the Day
- June 26 --(SD) Prospective Student Workshop
- July 13 – 15 – (SD) Vietnam Veteran Stand Down
- July 14 – 15 --(NY) Many Paths One Medicine Conference
- July 15 – 21 -- International Massage Week
- July 21-22 -- CEU Event (Chicago) Expert Systems in Chinese Medicine Workshop with Alex Tiberi
- July 26 – (NY) Open House
- July 28 – (SD) Open House
TCM During Summer
The Five Element Theory serves as a major diagnostic and treatment tool in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is based on the observation of the natural cycles and interrelationships in the environment and within ourselves. For example, there are five environmental elements – Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood – each corresponding with certain body organs, such as the heart, spleen, lungs, kidneys, liver, intestines, stomach, urinary bladder and gull bladder. The five different elements are associated with different times of the year: Fire with summer, Earth with late-summer, Metal with autumn, Water with winter and Wood with spring.
The five elements interact with each other (they depend on each other). For example, the liver, belonging to the Wood element, directly affects the spleen, which belongs to the Earth element. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners try to maintain a balance among the body’s organs.
TCM practitioners pay attention to weather, especially very extreme weather, like an unusually windy spring, warm spells during winter or cold snaps during summer. Extreme or unusual weather can cause health imbalances in people. Health problems tend to occur during or immediately following certain seasons. It is important to notice these changes in weather, so preventative action can be taken against an imbalance.
If a person is imbalanced, he or she may become depressed or, on the other side of the spectrum, have an excess of joy. Agitation, nervous exhaustion, heartburn and insomnia are other indicators of an imbalance. When balanced, the heart circulates blood properly, creating a healthy breakdown of food in the small intestines. Emotionally, there is a fulfillment from the balanced equilibrium of the heart and mind.
Fire is the element of summer. It is connected with the heart and pericardium as well as the small intestine and triple heater. Growth, joy and spiritual awareness between the heart and mind are the focus during summer.
The small intestine represents our ability to take in and to save what we want and to discard the things we don’t want. What we eat, see, hear and feel are all processed by the small intestine’s energy.
We relate to others through the Fire element. Therefore, summer is a good time to change our connections with the external world. We can change our relationships with people. The energy of the pericardium relates to our intimate bonding with partners, making summer a great time to ponder your relationships with others and manifest them to your liking.
TCM practitioners believe that a person should cater his or her diet to the seasons. Because summer is associated with the heart, it is important to eat foods that benefit the heart. For example, using olive oil, which is low in cholesterol, is a great way to prevent heart attacks.
It is important in any season to prevent illness. Summer heat can produce excess body heat, profuse sweating, parched mouth and throat, constipation and heart palpitations. Therefore, it is important to keep hydrated and cool. In order to maintain balance, it is important to be aware of the seasons and to modify your habits according to them.
Antioxidant Properties of Black Tea
Tea is a natural beverage without any artificial coloring, flavoring or preservatives. It is also free of cholesterol and calories. Tea is one of the most common beverages consumed around the globe. One out of every two people in the world today is a tea drinker. It has been estimated that around 3.2 million tons of tea were produced in the year 2004.
Tea is made by processing the leaves or buds of the tea bush. The degree of fermentation that the tea leaves undergo determines what type of tea will be produced: white tea, green tea, or black tea.
Different teas contain different amounts of caffeine. The exact proportion of caffeine in each type of tea is still under consideration. Black tea, which is made from leaves that have been fully oxidized, contains more caffeine than green or white tea.
Apart from caffeine, tea also contains certain amounts of antioxidants. Tea, especially black tea, contains a similar amount of antioxidants as fruits and vegetables
Antioxidants are the properties found in some foods and tea, which help reduce the risk of certain diseases, such as cancer and heart ailments. The antioxidants contained in tea play a major role in protecting the body against certain illnesses. The intake of food that is rich in fats increases the blood lipid levels, which in turn produces free radicals. These free radicals cause blood vessels to stiffen and shrink. Antioxidants attack these free radicals in the blood.
Tea could be a great replacement to coffee. It has caffeine to keep you alert and it can be good for your health. And because it is so widely used around the world, it is easy to come by.
Sexual Health the Natural Way
Sexual health is a topic we often find difficult to define and master. Many obstacles - physical, psychological and emotional - can become barriers to fulfilling and health-enhancing sex lives. Chinese medicine, with its focus on whole body wellness, supports sexual vitality in an active, complete way. In the age of quick-fix healthcare, it is becoming more necessary to slow the pace and reconnect with ourselves on a deeper level.
Sexuality is not widely considered a healthcare issue, but sexual desire can be a powerful source of healing and personal growth. When it is suppressed, diminished or dysfunctional, it can have negative effects on wellness. Sexual energy and passion make up a portion of our qi and feed positive aspects of our overall welfare. Men and women's sexual health< can be greatly enhanced by principles inherent in Chinese medical philosophy.
Taoism, which is the foundation of Chinese medicine, places high value on sexual energy and love. For thousands of years Chinese Taoists have understood that healthy sexual lifestyles result in liveliness and minimal illness. The Tao of Sex, one of the earliest texts on the subject, includes information on the use of herbs to treat sexual dysfunction. A strong libido and abundant Kidney qi are associated with health and longevity. Likewise, good health boosts sexual energy. A wide variety of Chinese herbs can enhance immunity, energy and stamina, which contribute to overall wellness.
Chinese herbal aphrodisiacs work in conjunction with every aspect of healthcare, such as good diet and exercise practices and maintaining positive mental health. Men often take herbal aphrodisiacs for immediate energy and kidney yang boosts. Women's sexual health is generally treated with a slower approach, allowing energy to build and develop. Both sexes, however, benefit from strengthening Kidney yin, yang and essence over time. An individual's sexual vigor will be increased and aided with the right herbal formula, but overall health and vitality are the key success factors. Chinese medicine seeks to strengthen entire body health.
Herbs that enhance Kidney essence, Kidney yang and Kidney yin are the most sought-after of Chinese herbal aphrodisiacs. Chinese medicine practitioners know the best herbal aphrodisiac formula to suit individual needs, but most treatments will include at least one of these herbs:
Rehmannia: This herb nourishes Kidney yin and essence. It is often used for women's sexual health issues such as menopause, and can draw qi and energy into the reproductive organs. It is highly rejuvenating for the Kidneys and can increase longevity.
Cordyceps: This herbal aphrodisiac builds sexual energy while enhancing Kidney yang and replenishing yin. It also carries immunity-building properties.
Epimedium: Because it has such strong effects on Kidney yang, this herb is best used with a formula to strengthen or tonify yin. It is believed to stimulate your nervous system, especially the nerves around the genitalia, making it an effective natural aphrodisiac. It can also reduce high blood pressure and boost immunity, so is often used to promote health and longevity.
Chinese ginseng: The Chinese form of ginseng is a powerful qi-strengthening herb. When taken over a period of time, it can enhance sexual virility by resembling certain sex and adrenal hormones. It can prevent atrophy of vaginal tissue in post menopausal women and has modulating effects on the nervous system - if you are tense, it can relax, or can give energy when you are lethargic. Its modulating effects on the nervous system make it a truly effective natural aphrodisiac.
Ho-shou-wu: Also used as a youth preserver, this herb can restore sexual functioning. Like ginseng, it accumulates qi, and it cleanses the Liver and Kidney systems. It can help strengthen bones and muscles, calm the nervous system and clear the eyes.
Acupuncture has been used to treat infertility and sexual functioning to enhance the body's natural aphrodisiac responses. Studies have shown that acupuncture may affect parts of the central nervous system related to sensation and involuntary body functions through which blood pressure, blood flow and body temperature are regulated. These functions factor greatly into sexual vigor.
Acupuncture also regulates the flow of energy in the body. Jing energy is responsible for growth, development and reproduction and represents our sexuality. The Chinese believed that everyone is born with a small allotment of jing. Jing is lost or consumed little by little throughout life, and once we lose jing, it cannot be replaced. We lose jing if we live recklessly -- drinking too much, excessive emotional reactions, working too hard, or inappropriate sexual behavior, for instance. Acupuncture can reduce the loss of jing, and with greater success when paired with moderate living.
It also has the ability to manage stress levels, which, when elevated, interfere with sexual energy and the body's natural aphrodisiacs. Meditation and Qigong can also calm stress and help people connect to their qi, allowing them to sense and move energy through their body. Jing qi and sexual energy can be accessed in the same way, allowing for a more connected sexual experience
Many people feel out of control of their sexual energy because of its powerful nature. Reconnecting with the desire inherent in ourselves is an important aspect of gaining personal power and balance. The ancient Taosists believed that human life is governed by natural laws that produce prosperity when obeyed, but when violated cause catastrophe. With the wisdom, moderation and balance that Chinese medicine promotes, we can avoid illness and fully enjoy our sexual potential.
Chinese Wisdom: Quote of the Day
“Be not ashamed of mistakes and thus make them crimes.”
- Confucius (551 BC - 479 BC)