Summer Wellness Food + Drink

Series #2: Food + Drink 🌞🍉🍧⠀

From Kirsten at Angelica and Peony:

This installment is pretty light and focused on the energy of summer around love, fun and late nights – and how we can stay balanced with some help from the kitchen. But to be honest, my heart and fire element are out of balance with sorrow, fear, anxiety and rage a lot of the time these days. The same medicine applies. ❤️⠀

Read the whole article on my blog #linkinbio and the rest of the posts in the series at #tcmsummerwellness
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🔥❤️😎Last week Erin talked about the energy of Summer – it’s the season of the Fire element and the Heart. We’re ‘fired up’ and open to connection, eating together with friends, family and lovers, and especially tuned to beauty and love in our mealtimes. ⠀
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🔥👅The flavor of the Fire element is bitter. Bitter has a 🌬️ cooling, ⬇️ descending quality, and a small amount can help us cool off and feel more grounded. It’s a flavor that’s often neglected in Western diets. ⠀
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Try adding some bitter greens like escarole or dandelion🌱🍃🥦 to your salad, sprinkling a few raw cacao nibs on a bowl of diced peaches,🍫🍑 or have some herbal bitters in water🍹 – especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed with the fiery energy of summer, too hot, too much, overdrawn on social energy or having trouble sleeping or ‘coming down’ after fun and exciting times.😜⠀

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Summer Energetics

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What is the Summer Energy All About?

The summer season can be divided into two time periods and elements in Chinese Medicine.  First comes full summer, the true heat of the season and is associated with the fire element.  Full summer transitions into late summer, which is connected with the earth element, which then leads into fall and the metal element.

Challenges we face in the summer are heatwaves, dehydration, sunburn, trouble sleeping, and agitation.  We might also experience digestive distress from eating at BBQs and too much ice cream or chilled beverages.  Cold and damp foods like ice cream can extinguish the helpful part of the digestive fire. Like anything, we are looking for balance here.  We don’t want too much fire and we don’t want too little. We need to cook the food without scorching it. We want some sunshine and Vitamin D, but we don’t want to get sunburned.  

Full summer’s fire element is connected with the organs of heart and the small intestine, the color red, the bitter taste, and the emotion of joy.  And as in all aspects of life, there can be too much of a good thing, and that too much joy can look like mania. It can also manifest in a milder way as agitation, anxiety, or insomnia.  We can also get a natural boost of energy and enthusiasm for new projects and adventures starting in the spring that can carry into the summer.

The heart is also responsible for pumping blood throughout our body and it also houses our “shen” or spirit.  When the fire element is balanced and in harmony, the heart is pumping strong, the spirit is calm and sleep is sound.  Imbalances in the fire element during the summer can cause symptoms such as chronic bladder infections, palpitations, circulation problems, sweating issues, and rashes.  If there is too much fire in one’s system, speech can be affected and you might see a red tongue tip.

The fire element is associated with the archetype of a magician or comedian, who is all about charisma, compassion, and communication.  This fire type personality is spontaneous, intuitive, and enthusiastic. Devotion, tenderness and empathy are also key characteristics. How are these qualities showing up for you this summer?  We also might be asking “how do I express myself?” We might be longing for merging and pleasure. Perhaps we are feeling the magnetism and inspiration of the season, or the agitation and mania, or feeling it all at once.  Amidst summer’s passion is where dreams can be realized and desires fulfilled. What dreams are on your horizon?

~Erin

 

 

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Summer Wellness Series

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From my colleague, Kirsten @ angelica.peony:

Summer is here!😎🌞🍉⠀

There are 5️⃣ seasons discussed in traditional Chinese medicine, and here in Northern California we experience all of them – 🌱Spring, 🌞Summer, ☀️Late Summer, 🍁Fall and ❄️Winter. ⠀
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We love learning and teaching about the art of ⚖️ ‘harmony health’ – how we can enhance our wellness and sense of well-being by moving in harmony with earth cycles. What types of illness 🤧 are we prone to at certain times of year? How can we prepare in this season for the next? 🛀⠀
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Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing a mini-course ✏️📚in holistic practices for Summer and Late Summer. Subscribe to our blogs to get all the updates, and follow #tcmsummerwellness on Instagram 🌱🌾🍄🍒🥑⠀

#tcmsummerwellness #holistichealing#traditionalchinesemedicine #summer#healing #naturalhealth #naturalhealing#herbalmedicine #foodmedicine#latesummer #northerncalifornia#sfbayarea #oakland #sanleandro#acupuncture #acupuncturists#traditionalmedicine #kitchenmedicine#holisticuniversity #diyhealing #selfcare#heatwave

Ableism and Accessibility

​When opening a box of Dao Labs herbs the other day, I saw “Health is the greatest possession” and it just didn’t sit well with me.  I just wrote to the company to share my impression.  I think health and balance are important, of course something I help my clients work toward, AND being ill or unwell or imperfect or sick is part of being human.  I don’t want to support ableist, colonialist or capitalist language, even using the word possession is a bit intense for me…..any thoughts? Feel free to share them below.

PS:  Ableist language is any word or phrase that devalues people who have physical or mental disabilities. Its appearance often stems not from any intentional desire to offend, but from our innate sense of what it means to be normal.

To dive deeper, from a website I love: https://thebodyisnotanapology.com/magazine/everyday-ableism-and-how-we-can-avoid-it/

And for more info about accessibility, something I am coming up against right now as an acupuncturist looking for an accessible space to see my clients. It is surprising how many offices are not accessible or ADA compliant, which I would like to see change. I will let y’all know which spot I land on.

https://blog.themobilityresource.com/blog/post/how-to-make-your-event-accessible

Thanks y’all!  ~ Erin

 

 

Yes Means Yes.

As a practitioner, I have a consent form that gives me permission to treat, which includes to touch, my clients.  In any relationship, whether in a professional or personal setting, consent is vital.  Recently, a friend mentioned “enthusiastic consent”, a concept that has really stuck with me.  What would it be like to to live in a world where consent was enthusiastic, boundaries were respected, and no one was steam-rolled or disrespected?  What can we do to make this so?

https://www.yesmeansyes.com/consent 

Beyond Separation, Upcoming Thursday Evening Class, Starts March 8th!!!!!

Are you a white person looking to learn, grow, and change?  Beyond Separation’s 8-week course is an incredible starting point.  It is a heart-centered and experiential history lesson about the structures that perpetuate racism and oppression.  Now is the time and it is so worth delving into!!  I took the course last year and it changed my life, for the better.

Here are the details:

https://beyondseparation.net/

Programs for white-identified people who are committed to changing the story of separation.

We work with groups of white-identified people, using multiple learning modalities, including multimedia, mindfulness, and a variety of movement-based activities to create a supportive learning community. We unpack the old stories of whiteness that inform our society and our personal lives, and begin to imagine a new way of being human together. We believe real change requires more than changing our individual attitudes or reforming our laws and institutions (both of which are necessary). Creating a racially just society will also require changing the implicit beliefs, mental models, and cultural narratives that shape our attitudes as well as our institutions. Topics covered in this class include: how our personal histories intersect with larger currents of US history, from settler colonialism to gentrification, how to understand white supremacy, as a culture, as a system, and as a collective wound, how we can learn to bear witness to the pain and suffering racism enacts on people of color, and, finally, how racism impacts our own personal and collective well-being.

  • Next 8-week class: Wednesdays: March 8 through April 26, 2018, 6:30 – 9:30pm.  Register here.

  • Listen to Angela Sevin and Gregory Mengel discussing our programs on Envision Radio.

Immunity + Lung Care Class + Clinic

LungCare

Hello and Happy Autumn!

I am excited to announce that I will be offering acupuncture sessions in downtown San Leandro on Mondays very soon.  And to kick it off, my dear colleague, Kirsten Cowan, and I will be hosting a workshop at the clinic.  Here are the details:

Join us for a healing afternoon of must-know DIY skills, remedies and recipes to help you recover from our smokey fall and prevent colds + flus all winter. Includes a community style acupuncture treatment session to leave you relaxed, restored and breathing easy.

Sunday, November 19th from 3­-5pm

Vibrant Health and Wellness

500 Estudillo Ave, San Leandro

$30 per person, includes samples, handouts and treatment.

Reserve your spot now and spread the word 🙂
Needle-free treatments also available! The class will be held up one flight of stairs, with a restroom attached to the classroom on the same level. There is free street parking in front and a small parking lot behind the clinic with handicapped parking. Feel free to message us about any accessibility questions. Also, note that we will be using essential oils, so it is not a scent-free event.

Immunity + Lung Care Clinic

November 19th 3-5pm

Vibrant Health + Wellness

500 Estudillo Avenue, in the Heart of San Leandro

LungCare

Join us for a healing afternoon of must-know DIY skills, remedies and recipes to help you recover from our smokey fall and prevent colds + flus all winter. Includes samples, tea, and a community style acupuncture treatment session to leave you relaxed, restored and breathing easy.

Hosted by Erin Wood, L.Ac and Kirsten Cowan, L.Ac
www.erinwoodacupuncture.com and www.angelicaandpeony.com

Needle-free treatments also available! The class will be held up one flight of stairs, with a restroom attached to the classroom on the same level. There is free street parking in front and a small parking lot behind the clinic with handicapped parking. Feel free to message us about any accessibility questions. Also, note that we will be using essential oils, so it is not a scent-free event.

Reserve your spot and get tickets here!!!

Summer Shrub

SHRUB: FRUIT AND HERBS IN VINEGAR

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From my favorite teacher, Nishanga Bliss and her food blog:

Flavored vinegar can be added to sparkling water, cocktails, or blended into salad dressings.  Drinking a little vinegar before meals is a great way to stimulate appetite and improve digestion.  Nishanga recommends using local honey instead of sugar, an organic raw apple cider vinegar, and avoiding cooking the fruit to maximize the enzyme content of your drink.  In this way, you will consume the most medicinal version.

Makes about 1 ½ quarts

4 cups coarsely chopped fruit, such as berries, grapes, stone fruit, etc.

2-4 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, rose geranium, basil, etc.

4-6 cups raw apple cider, rice, white wine or other mild vinegar

1-3 cups raw honey or sugar, to taste

Combine the first three ingredients in a 2 quart Mason jar and allow to infuse for 2-6 weeks.  Strain, add sweetener to your taste.  Enjoy.  If you are using the shrub as a drink, dilute with 4-5 parts water or mineral water per part shrub, garnishing with sliced fresh fruit or herbs.

Combos to try:  strawberries and thyme is a favorite, basil and rose geranium work well together, so do fig, black pepper and lemon,  as well as peach, rosehip and rosemary.  Get creative!  Cheers!

Making Bitters to Improve Digestion and Clear Heart Heat

MAKE BITTERS, FEEL BETTER, ENJOY!

preserves

Lemon and Artichoke Bitters

Peels of 1-2 lemons, including pith, coarsely chopped

Artichoke trimmings, 1/3 cup, coarsely chopped, these are the raw tops and outer leaves

Fennel seeds, 1/2 tsp or 2 TBS fresh chopped fronds

Fresh rosemary, 1-2 TBS, chopped

Juniper berries, 1/4 tsp, smashed

3 oz. 90 or 100 proof vodka or 151 rum

Superfine sugar or honey to taste, heaping TBS

Other bittering agents: dandelion root tincture, yellow dock tincture

Place the chopped produce and culinary herbs in a 1/2 pint jar, let steep 3 weeks. Strain and sweeten, can add other bittering agents to taste for more medicinal value. Store in a dark glass bottle with a dropper top.

You can also do this with handfuls of fresh herbs and flowers, like rose geranium leaves, lemon balm, lavender, jasmine flowers, nasturtium flowers, rosemary, pineapple mint, sage, any combo you’d like. Just stuff into a 1 pint jar and cover with vodka or 151 rum.  Steep 3 weeks, strain, sweeten with honey to taste.

Add the bitters to bubbly water and garnish with fresh herbs, like rose geranium, pineapple sage, mint, or rosemary.  Enjoy!