Abundant Splendor – Feng Long – Stomach 40

earth

EARTH – late Summer

Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” 

– Lao Tzu

Late Summer in Chinese medicine is the season of earth.  We have arrived.  Earth energy is sweet, circular, and yellow.  It is associated with the spleen and stomach.  It receives, digests and distributes.  In Taoism, earth is the mother of 10,000 things or all things in nature.  Healthy earth energy is really about stability in the midst of changeIn March, we couldn’t imagine getting to August!  But here we are, nature never fails us and never hurries even amidst a pandemic.  A balanced earth element has never been paramount for our well being.

Wood (spring) and fire (summer) have already passed.  With the pandemic all around us, our seasons this year may feel a little more like winter than anything else.  Our summer may not have been the the fiery summer filled with social connections, joy, and enthusiasm as we usually know it.  Many of us have been missing our usual barbecues, music festivals or travels abroad.  Many of us have not even gone to the beach this summer!  Covid-19 is teaching us patience, endurance, allowing, and the power of being.   Rest assured that these water elemental or winter traits in health are ultimately restorative, empowering and strengthening in mind, body, and spirit.  Despite the interruption to our lives and the sadness of loss and division, thank you COVID-19 for resetting our bodies, our minds, our spirits and the world around us.

Most of us are familiar with mother earth, the source in which we receive nourishment from nature’s bounty.  The satisfaction of growing your own food and gathering the abundant harvest is a gift.  A pandemic may have taught some of you this lesson!  Some of us today, identify more with or can imagine the excitement of sharing a very special dinner with your whole family or circle of close friends at a farm to table restaurant.  The host has invited you to this party to celebrate a very special occasion.  You know the owner, you know the host, you know the farmer, you know the chef, and you know and are loved by this community.  Just as physical nourishment enters our body, our minds and our spirits are nourished by the love from our supportive family and or community of trusted friends.  One day, we will all be so grateful to share a meal with a group of beloved family and friends.  Let’s not lose hope but look forward to that day! 

The element of earth is ultimately what mothers give us – a sense of belonging and a sense of home.  Our mothers, those who have cared for us, and mother nature is a gift.  With this quality of nurturing in our lives, there is satisfaction and contentment.  Our future needs feel met.  We feel at peace because this grounds us and centers us at the core of our being.  We are able to give from our hearts without expecting a return.  We live out of abundance rather than scarcity.  We are secure so there is nothing to worry about or be anxious about.  There is a natural cycle of reciprocity.  Ultimately we give generously from our hearts because of the gratitude in our hearts from this abundant splendor given to us.  Our tight fists relax and our hands open to the world.

And then there are boundaries.  Even a mother and mother earth has needs.  Reciprocity is a natural cycle and a virtue of earth, negotiating the healthy balance of giving and receiving.  Do you have the awareness of what you need?  Do you ask for support when you are in need?  Do you give until all your resources are empty?  Do you give to someone who only takes?  Do you neglect yourself to the point of resentment or exhaustion? Are you an angry doormat who allows everyone to step all over you?  Do you take care of yourself or only others or things?   Do you emotionally eat?  Do you have no appetite?  Do you have no desire to eat what is good for you?  Are you frequently saying “I’m sorry” when you don’t need to?  Are you needy?  Do you have an aversion to needy people?  Are you often looking for sympathy and throwing a “poor me” party?  Do you have difficulty receiving or are you a tight fisted giver?  Are you the taker who has no intention or is afraid to give?  Do you often feel slighted or insecure about being excluded?   Do you live beyond your means?  These questions are often entanglements in the energy of earth.

When earth is in balance, there are clear boundaries in knowing when to receive and when to give.  Giving and receiving stems from the heart with joy and gratitude.  Feelings of security, stability, generosity, happiness from a deep sense of contentment, energy with a peaceful mind and a healthy weight can manifest.  When out of balance, there can be physical problems with indigestion, abdominal distention, constipation, diarrhea, reflux, incontinence, cold hands and feet, or more serious problems like obesity, anorexia, or diabetes.  Mentally or emotionally, there can be anxiety, worry, obsession, resentment, a lack of motivation, ADD/ADHD, and or utter depletion.  At a spirit level, one can be completely uprooted.  When all levels of agitation occur, J.R. Worsley illuminated this disheartening state as “a child who has lost one’s mother.”

For many of us there may be a smaller harvest than usual due to Covid-19 which can throw us off balance.  What are some things we can do to realign ourselves with this season of earth? 

10 tips for cultivating our earth element:

  1. Get in touch with your inner child, and ask for what you need and receive the sweetness.
  2. Give thoughtfully from your heart to someone in need – maybe it’s monetary or maybe it’s an hour of your time.
  3. List 3 things you are grateful for.
  4. Reach out to someone who nurtures you, be it a mother, father, teacher or friend.
  5. Practice self-care so you can care for others.
  6. Cook and enjoy a nourishing meal – something warm and easy on the stomach and skip the cheese (you might feel better!).
  7. Allow yourself to say no or no thank you.
  8. When you’re mind is restless and incessant with thoughts and worry, start and or end the day back in your whole body through a 10 minute breathing meditation.
  9. Take a walk in nature and feel mother earth supporting you through her beauty.  As you walk, feel your muscles engaging, feel the earth you are standing on, and feel grounded and supported by it.
  10. Get your hands a little dirty and work with the soil and plant something or repot a plant that may need a mothering hand.

We are committed to support those who need care at this time with extreme caution and with every precaution.  We are equipped with the proper PPE including use of an N-95 mask, a new air purifying system with UV-C light filtration and sanitizing methods during and between all treatments.   A pre-screening phone call, email or text message prior to your visit will determine if your care is essential, appropriate and safe.  Daily temperature readings via a no touch infrared thermometer and a pulse oximeter to measure oxygen saturation levels is used for every client.  Please wear a mask for your appointment if you have one.  

Telemedicine is also available for any consultation and treatment needed including distance zero balancing, nutritional counseling, Chinese herbal medicine prescription, and exercise prescription.

*New location!
The office is located at:
4131 NW 28th Lane, Suite 7D
Gainesville, FL 32606
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COVID-19, Bend like Bamboo in this season of Wood

Gate of Hope

“Smile, breathe and go slowly.  The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.  Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones.” 

-Thich Nhat Hanh

The season of Wood is back.  This spring energy moves up and out, grows and progresses to make this time a prosperous one.  This particular season does not seem easy for most of us. Benevolence is more important than ever.  We didn’t see this coming.  This block, this corona virus has caused unanticipated stress emotionally and financially.  It has pushed many of us to our boundaries.  We have been forced to re-evaluate the things that mean most to us, our health, our families, our friends, our occupations, and our entire earth.  We are moving forward more slowly and with more vigilance than ever before.  We don’t know why and whatever you believe, there are an infinite number of possibilities and positive outcomes even through these wild times.  I encourage you to continue to grow with strength and flexibility with understanding.  Understand yourself, your neighbor, and your emotions.  Recognize your feelings of frustration or fear and face these emotions with compassion. Take a walk outside in nature.  Love your neighbor.  Eat your greens.  Embrace the slowing down and rest which is always needed in our culture of doing, consuming and producing.  Reflect.  Take a deep breath.  Anticipate the blocks and move forward with them.  This is life in practice.  Consider going downstream, with the current instead of fighting the upstream.

As a healthcare professional, family member, partner, friend and neighbor with some experience dealing with many contagious viruses, including HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, Ebola, TB, Measles and Shingles, I want to be mindful of my clients and myself and be carefully considering the sensitivity of our situation that has affected our community globally and locally.  I have been reading, researching, attending webinars on the Chinese herbal formulas that have been widely used in Wuhan and other areas of China.  I have been collaborating with my mentors and colleagues on treatments to support you during this time complying with the recommendations with our local state department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Covid-19 is nowhere near over. It will be coming, if it hasn’t already, to your city, your hospital, your friend, your family member near you at some point in time.   Hopefully, you are not the one who is quarantined or waiting for a test result, or unable to access appropriate testing.  These are all real possibilities.  I’d encourage you to follow all local and federal government precautions and recommendations.

Please continue living life while hand washing diligently, wearing masks in public and practicing social distancing. You can also increase your immunity by nourishing your body with warm (easier on the digestive tract) unprocessed natural/organic foods, avoiding white refined sugar, gluten, dairy and excessive alcohol.  Exercise is beneficial, minimally a 20 min brisk walk or jog or whatever your choice of activity daily.  Drink plenty of water and get plenty of rest (at least 8-10 hours of sleep) as these can help your immune system.  Take inventory of your medications, supplements, Chinese herbs, and fill your heart with those you love within the recommended precautions whether it be a message, a phone or video call.  Be compassionate to yourself and your neighbors.  Consider a gift certificate to support small businesses around you.  In the spirit of compassion, with truth and love, be well and may peace be with you.

We are committed to support those who need care at this time with extreme caution and with every precaution.  We are equipped with the proper PPE  and sanitizing methods during and between all treatments.   A pre-screening phone call or text prior to your visit will determine if your care is essential, appropriate and safe.  Please wear a mask for your appointment if you have one.  

Telemedicine is also available for any consultation and treatment needed including distance zero balancing, nutritional counseling, Chinese herbal medicine prescription, and exercise prescription.

*New location!
The office is located at:
4131 NW 28th Lane, Suite 7D
Gainesville, FL 32606

 

If you need to contact the Florida Department of Health, the 24/7 call center is                   1-866-779-6121 or email questions to covid-19@flhealth.gov

Here are a few links that might be helpful to you:

How to wash your hands

Inner smile meditation

Message from Amma

What if the virus is the medicine?

How to protect the respiratory system naturally

FL Dept of Health – COVID-19

COVID-19 Fighting Products

Florida Disaster Loan

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Summer in Florida has arrived – the Fire Element of Love, Warmth, and Light!

Fire

The energy of summer is equivalent to the fire element in Chinese medicine.  Fire can be warming like a campfire.  It can be explosive and as you might imagine, life threatening when out of control.  It can provide warmth and light like the blazing sun.  It can go out in a blink when there is too much water or no fuel.  It is the only element with 4, rather than 2 corresponding organs – the heart, the small intestines, the triple burner, and the heart protector.  The energy is upward which is the energy when one jumps up for joy whether it be because of pure laughter, fun, love, joy or enthusiasm.  Do you often seek out a party or maybe you long to be loved.  Do you live in summer?  Are you attending to your fire?

In Chinese medicine, the heart is not just an efficient pump that circulates blood. The heart is the source for warmth and unconditional love.  J.R. Worsley, one of the first acupuncturists in the western world refers to the heart as the “supreme controller” or the “emperor of the kingdom.”  It governs the blood which is the medium to communicate with all the other “ministers of the kingdom” who can assist with spreading this warmth and unconditional love to every cell of our being and to the tip of every finger and toe.  With a healthy “kingdom”, the people manifest joy and enthusiasm in work and life.  There is a spark, and a visible twinkle in the eyes.  There is a sort of letting go of control, restful sleep, the ability to love and be loved, and a calm spirit. When the heart is sick, the whole body is affected. With chaos in the “kingdom”, there can be hysteria.  People may feel panic and start controlling others. There is no joy or enthusiasm, and life can utterly fall apart.

When the heart is happy and healthy, relationships blossom, there is clarity of the mind, and your spirit is settled.   If you live in summer,  you are meant to bring joy, love, warmth, light, maturity, and propriety to those around you.  You are the radiance, the spark that ignites the fire, and a mature flower in full bloom.

Take mindful care of your heart and see an acupuncturist!  Many cardiologists are now recommending acupuncture for their patients.  The strength of Chinese medicine is the ability to see imbalance before any “diagnosis” arises.  Western medical practitioners often make a diagnosis when pathology manifests physically, a later stage of imbalance.

Things to consider in summer to support your Fire:

  1.  Make it a priority to have fun!  Do what it is that brings you joy!
  2.  Surround yourself with those who make you laugh, receiving their warmth and joy.
  3.  Give of yourself by giving someone unconditional love.
  4.  Meditate 10 minutes today to clear your mind and settle your spirit.
  5.  Get moving!  Circulate that blood whether it be exercising, dancing or surfing at the beach!
  6.  Eat red foods!  Beets, carrots, raspberries, pomegranates, adzuki/kidney beans, red meat or liver, and longan fruit all nourish your blood (especially menstruating women)!
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Spring is here! Do you live in the wood element?

wood

Wood  is the element of spring.  It bursts forth with energy and moves out in every direction.  Wood progresses forward with vision, clarity, assertiveness and discernment.  It is green and flexible like a bamboo shoot that grows 100 feet straight up into the heavens.  Even the strong winds won’t stop it from growing as it bends with every obstacle without breaking because of it’s resilience and strength.  When properly nourished and supported by the richness of the soil and the warmth of the blistering sun, the wood element manifests with the virtue of benevolence.  Wood is associated with the Liver and Gall Bladder.  Your wood element within you wants to do whatever possible for the good of all humanity.  Unfortunately when out of balance, without the proper nutrition, a lack of moisture, or a lack of sunshine in your life, many obstacles can block this growth.  Sometimes, the imbalance can cause an overgrowth that affect the overproduction of cells or thoughts.  Are you stuck in a rut, where you feel frustrated or angry because something or everything is in the way?  Are you unable to assert yourself or are you indecisive?  Are you feeling exhausted because you are unable to rest and your thoughts are racing throughout the night?  Are you all dried out, inflexible and literally feel like you might snap in half?  Do you have vision for your future or do you have difficulty making a plan?  Or are you constantly making plans and unable to give yourself time to be still (without the phone)?  When you live in this wood element, or when your wood element is out of balance, these are common issues that may play out in your life preventing you from being your most virtuous self.  Physical manifestations eventually occur which include allergies, joint pains, tendon strains, hypochondriac pain and over a longer period can lead to organ dysfunction.  All of the elements support one another and the health in you may need to be readjusted and a few road blocks cleared so that your path may be opened to healthy growth, deep breathing, productivity, sound sleep, and justice for all!

Considerations in the season of spring time to nourish your wood element:

  1. Go easy on the alcohol.
  2. Eat greens.
  3. Try something new and creative!
  4. Wake up early and exercise or take a brisk walk and enjoy what is sprouting all around you!
  5. Go to bed early so you can wake up early!
  6. Use your time wisely, be productive so that you can enjoy the summer.  Spring doesn’t last forever!
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Welcome to Zero Balancing!

fulcrumLifeinBalance.jpg

After a ZB session, you may find yourself feeling supported and uplifted, relaxed and energetic, clear minded and calm.  ZB enhances your body and mind with a dose of happiness!  ZB is a unique manual therapy that integrates eastern and western philosophies of healing addressing structure and energy simultaneously.  It is different from a massage in that there is a specificity of touch at the skeletal level.  It is beneficial for any sort of musculoskeletal tension, pain or injury.  It is especially recommended for rebalancing after a fall, trauma or just to feel more aligned and centered.  It can improve gait or running patterns, range of motion, ease of motion, and performance.  You may feel that through the release of overall tension in the bones, creativity in dance, music and art can be activated with finer sensitivity to external and internal feedback within yourself.  ZB is wonderful for stressful times of change, transition in life, when overworked physically, or overburdened emotionally.

 

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