Seasonal Living: Fall 2012

 Seasonal Living: Fall

Fall is a turning point; the period from which we transition from summer to winter.  With every change of season we need to adjust our eating habits, our dress and our activities.  The element associated with the fall is Metal which according to the Chinese is represented by our lungs. The lungs govern the opening and closing of our pores, our respiration, body fluids, blood circulation, immunity and emotions such as melancholy or grief. Fall is a vulnerable time for our lungs as we adjust to the change in temperatures.  Respiratory infections such as chest colds are more common and seasonal allergy symptoms often manifest after a brief reprieve in summer. Our skin can also be more dry or prone to itchiness and or rash. Fall is considered a dry, cold season.

Nutrition: Due to the dry nature of the season it is important to include foods that help to nourish and moisturize our body.  The following are helpful foods: fish, fish oil, sesame seed oil, seeds and or nuts, yam, pear, pumpkin, porridge, honey, non-GMO tofu, seaweed. Sour foods are also helpful because they astringe fluid in the body: green apples, lemon, lime, and grapefruit.

Herbs: Chinese herbs can be very helpful with respiratory infections.  Herbs such as mulberry leaves, phragmites and apricot seed all help to calm inflammation and soothe small muscle spasms in the lung.  At our clinic we determine whether your cough is dry or productive. This differentiation helps determine which formula of herbs is right for you.

Dress: Sometimes we are slow to adjust the way that we dress from summer to fall. The body can be vulnerable to slight temperature changes. Vulnerable areas of the body are the neck, the low back and the head. Wear a hat, scarf or turtle neck when the leaves start to fall and avoid exposing your lower back. Cover up or change after exercise.

Working with seasonal changes will keep your immunity strong all year long.  Visit our website for other seasonal tips or come into our office for an immune system “tune up”.

In good health, Mikiala and Jeff

9156 Cresswell Rd N.Saanich, BC V8L 5T9
Phone     (250) 656-2067

Fax          (778) 426-2067


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Seasonal Tips for Spring


Seasonal Tips for Spring

 Spring is the time of renewal and growth.  Plants and flowers are sprouting and flowering and animals are preparing for new offspring.  The earth is warming up and the days are getting longer. According to Chinese medicine, spring is associated with the LIVER and GALLBLADDER.

If you have an imbalance in the liver or gallbladder your symptoms will be exaggerated at this time.

Signs and symptoms of liver and gallbladder imbalance:

  • Seasonal Allergies
  • Easily irritated, frustrated, angry, impatient
  • Swollen or tender breasts / Fibrocystic breast disease
  • Headaches/Migraines
  • Ringing in the ears/Dizziness
  • Gallstones & Abdominal pain/Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)


Tips to help your liver and gallbladder:

  • Movement & Stretch:  Frustration comes when we are stuck. Exercise and fresh air brings in oxygen which helps with circulation and regeneration of the liver. The liver governs the tendons.  Therefore, stretch 10-15 minutes every day.
  • Eat your Greens!: Eat plenty of dark, leafy greens such as: kale, chard, arugula, spinach, cilantro, parsley. Also have lots of broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower.
  • Think Sour: Drink hot water and lemon or apple cider vinegar and honey in the morning.  Add sour kraut or fermented foods such as miso to your diet.
  • Emotions: Practice compassion.  Often, when we are angry we forget to put ourselves in other people’s shoes.  Step back, take a deep breath and attempt to understand. Sometimes this understanding means having compassion for yourself!


Acupuncture is a great way to stimulate the liver and gallbladder. Acupuncture helps to control pain, reduces swelling and inflammation and calms the mind.

Seasonal Tips for Winter


 Seasonal Tips for Winter:

Winter can be a hard time for many of us.  The days are shorter and the rain, wind and snow can limit what activities we do.   Energetically, the cold constricts and slows down movement.  According to TCM, the winter is the time of Yin or a gentler, slower and darker time of year.  Many cultures have celebrations around this time of year to help encourage the “light” to come back.  Here are a couple of tips to help you through this slow and dark period:

  1. Meditate:  practice some form of meditation every day.  Meditation is simply a way to regulate breath.  You can sit, do yoga, tai chi or qi gong.  Winter is the time of year to replenish and simplify.
  2. Exercise: Move your body every day for 30 minutes.  You are not trying for world records.  A steady yet gentle walk will do. Use this activity as a way to connect with others.
  3. Eat warm foods:  get out the crock pot or slow cooker and make dishes with ginger, cinnamon, cloves, orange rind, anise, pepper, or nutmeg, a pinch of cayenne or curry.
  4. Drink warm beverages only:  Cut back on coffee because it over stimulates and depletes you. Eliminate iced cold beverages such as pop or diet drinks.  Sip warm water, herbal teas or loose leaf chai tea. 


The emphasis during winter is replenishment.  The organs associated with winter are the kidneys.  The kidneys and adrenal glands are closely connected and considered the same thing in Chinese medicine.   Stress or an over abundance of adrenaline within the body depletes you of stored energy that is necessary to fight off disease and to help manage stress.  Signs of kidney fatigue:  low back and knee pain, hot flashes or night sweats, low libido, low energy, feeling cold, low thyroid function, frequent sickness.

We cannot have winter without summer, yin without yang.  Make the most of this season and nourish your body, mind and spirit.

In good health,