Turning Japanese in the Year of the PigTry Toyohari acupunctureThis year I’m offering patients the chance to experience Toyohari acupuncture. Based on the Chinese classical medical texts and meridian therapy, Japanese acupuncturists in the 1960s devel
Chinese New Year begins on 16 February 2018, which is the 4715th Chinese New Year. With each year there is a related element and this year it is earth so it is also said to be the Yellow Male Earth Dog year.
According to Chinese horoscope theory, the Male Earth is represented by mountain and the sign of the Male Earth Dog is two mountains, representing a strong Earth. The focus will be on property, environment, territory, integrity whether spiritual or religious.
As 2018 is the Mountain Dog year, this may be a wild dog that could block your way. This implies that there may obstacles along the path, so in order to execute your plan you need to use your wisdom to overcome the difficulties and then you will see a wide-open road ahead.
The Dog is the 11th animal in 12 Chinese zodiac signs. Dog month is connected to the last month of autumn. Winter will come right after the Dog month. Winter is the season of Water. If you can climb on the mountain of the Dog, then you can see much further for the future. 2019 is year of Pig, which is the first year of Water. Therefore 2018 is a stepping stone and if you want to do well in 2019 the year of the Water Pig year, then need to well-planned in the 2018 of Dog year.
2 packets of wonton or dumpling wrappers (you will often find these in the freezer at a local chinese supermarket)
250g white cabbage
250g pork mince
Half bunch spring onions, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2cm piece of ginger finely grated
2 tbs soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tbs rice wine vinegar
1 tsp chopped spring onions
¼ tsp toasted sesame seeds
½ tsp ground black pepper
Finely chop the cabbage (you can also do this in a food processor), sprinkle lightly with salt and allow to rest for 10 mins before squeezing out the excess liquid.
In a large bowl combine, pork mince, cabbage, spring onions, garlic, ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil. Mix together until evenly coated.
Hold the dumpling wrapper flat in one hand and place about 2 tsp of filling in the centre. Wet the edges of the wrapper with some water and fold in half to form a half moon shape. Pinch the edges together in pleats, being sure to seal fully.
Repeat until all the filling is used
In a non-stick fry pan add 2 tbs vegetable oil and add the dumplings and cook for 2 mins until golden. Add 1 cup of water, cover and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer until wrappers become translucent and filling is cooked through (around 8-10 mins), uncover and allow the rest of the water to evaporate and bottoms of the dumplings become crisp.
Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl, serve on the side.
Poor sleep impacts on a range of health issues from obesity, cardiovascular disease, blood pressure, hormone regulation, poor memory, anxiety and generally stress and inflammation in the body.
Many people find that coming for acupuncture helps them sleep better - even if sleep is not the main reason for having acupuncture.
There are a number of different patterns that we will look at when you come for acupuncture to help with insomnia and sleep. As part of the consultation we’ll look at what is out of balance and develop a treatment plan based on your particular combination of symptoms.
Some of the things that we’ll look at include whether you have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep. If you wake through the night, is it the same time every night or does this vary? Do you experience palpitations, dizziness or anxiety? Do you feel hot and restless?
We’ll also look at your diet and routine and often add some tailored recommendations of things to include (or to stop) which can also balance the patterns of disharmony.
Tips for a good night sleep:
● Reduce the use of screens including tablets, mobile phones and even your television. If you can’t break this habit then make sure you switch on “blue light” mode (or download an app that does this) which is said to help to change the colours in the screen that are said to impact on the melatonin production in the body
● Avoid eating before bed. As our days get busier we often find ourselves eating later in the day and then heading straight to bed. Sleep is a time for rest and repair and if your digestive system is busy working the body is losing out on valuable restorative time. Eating late at night also has a link to obesity and sleep is often more disrupted or fragmented.
● Pillows - how long since you’ve replaced your pillows? Although it can be difficult to find the pillow that is just right for you - investing in a good quality pillow can make a world of difference. If you normally sleep on two or more pillows investing in a single good quality pillow that supports your neck and alignment can make a big difference to the quality of your sleep
● Empty your mind - often people with difficulty sleeping find that they are laying there over thinking or worrying about the day that’s just happened or thinking about the future. Try taking 10 mins before you go to sleep to write in a notebook or journal everything on your mind. Do it in free flowing style - whatever comes to mind (you don’t ever need to read it back) and empty all the worries out on paper. Although it can take a while to get into the habit - this simple technique often helps you drift off faster.
Garlic and Manuka honey have proven anti-bacterial properties. Try this tested recipe for the coughs and colds which are circulating this winter.
1 lemon (preferably organic)
1-2 cloves of garlic (depends on size of cloves)
1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon of honey (preferably Manuka but at least Raw)
I learnt this exercise from a daoist monk on Wudang mountain. Although there are many qigong exercises to mobilise the joints I find this one incorporates the Taiji principle of ‘dantian* moves, body moves’ or moving from centre.
It looks a lot easier than it is in practice, so start with the feet and then then hands and then as this feels natural do both together. In Traditional Chinese Medicine the wrists and the ankles are called the ‘rings of life’ as the 3 yin and 3 yang meridians compress before extending to the extremities and qi can often get blocked here. Practice this exercise daily, several times if you spend a lot of time sitting down and also as a warm up for other exercise.
* dantian translated as ‘red cinnabar field’ is the energy centre of the body which lies 3 fingers-width below the naval and inside the body. Ancient daoists considered this to be the site of alchemical transformation whereby humans could achieve immortality.
A lot of women come to see me for acupuncture to
help with fertility support. This might be when
they are trying to conceive naturally or alongside
assisted reproductive techniques such as IUI and IVF.
But what about the men?
When did you first hear about acupuncture?
Often, it’s word of mouth when someone else
has tried it and found that it really helped
their symptoms and they suggest you try it too.
But how did acupuncture “get discovered” in the West?
Back in 1971, when Nixon was on a state visit to China, he was accompanied by a journalist, James Reston, who developed appendicitis and had surgery without general anesthetic. After his appendix was removed through conventional surgery at the Anti-Imperialist Hospital in Beijing, his post-operative pain was treated by Li Chang-Yuan with acupuncture. He went on to write about the treatment in the New York Times and introduced acupuncture to the US and many other western cultures.
Although there are stories about acupuncture being used for anaesthesia – today we look at how it can help pre- and post-surgery to help with recovery and pain.
Acupuncture helps to activate the body’s parasympathetic nervous system – the rest-and-digest mode – and to ease that stress & anxiety.
If you’d like to know more about how acupuncture can support you when you have surgery coming up get in touch for a free 20 minute phone consultation today.
This article was co-authored by Laura Ichajapanich & Stacey Chapman
青龙出水 : Blue Dragon Comes Out of the Water