Pal Dan Gum- a Way to Balance Energy and Increase Awareness

Pal Dan GumPal Dan Gum or the eight silken movements are a set of qigong exercises used in Korea and China for thousands of years to increase spiritual awareness and promote health and longevity. These 8 silken movements take only 10 minutes to perform and when done daily along with focused breathing strengthen the vital essence and balance the energy in the meridians.  They also increase circulation, promote flexibility and strength. Each movement stretches the energy in a specific meridian.

You can find a video of the Pal Dan Gum exercises on YouTube.

Staying and Healthy All Year Round

We’ve talked about the energy pathways most active in summer and the importance of staying balanced both physically and emotionally to promote optimum health.  The advice for the summer season includes staying hydrated with fluids and eating cooling foods such as fruits and salads to maintain a comfortable body temperature.

The importance of eating healthy food cannot be understated to maintain good health.  It is also important to minimize the ingestion of stimulating foods every season of the year.  Foods such as coffee, sugar, and chocolate, which are also addicting, if overdone will deplete our adrenal glands.

In today’s world where so many people are multitasking and subject to deadlines; coffee, chocolate, and sugar can be very comforting.  When these foods are used as an energy source adrenal exhaustion which may lead to chronic fatigue and a weakened immune system may result.

The adage “everything in moderation” still makes sense.  Have fun outside during the beautiful weather!

Triple Warmer- Summer Meridian

springtime meridiansThe Triple Warmer in Traditional Chinese Medicine is not associated with an organ, but this energy flow is responsible for moving and transforming various fluids and solids throughout the body. It also plays a huge role in maintaining and creating the body’s protective energy or immune system.

This meridian has three parts or burners:

  • The upper burner- head and chest
  • The middle burner- abdomen
  • The lower burner-pelvis

The upper burner controls intake

the middle burner controls transformation

and the lower burner controls elimination


The Triple Warmer is important because it is in contact with all systems of the body, including the nervous system. When the TW is imbalanced physical and emotional symptoms can occur.

These symptoms can include:

  • overwhelm
  • anxiety
  • sleep difficulties
  • mood instability

To calm the Triple Warmer have your energy balanced. You can also check YouTube for exercises to calm Triple Warmer https://blog.timesunion.com/holistichealth/stress-management-through-energy-medicine/16325/

Staying Healthy in Summer

Summer is the most energetically active of all the seasons with expansion, growth, and activity. It represents the fire element which is associated with the heart and small intestine. The color is red, the emotion is joy and it is a time to bring to manifestation all that we have been planning during the spring.

In summer the focus is on enjoying life and relationships. When our energy is balanced our life runs smoothly.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the heart is associated with thought processes, memory, emotional wellbeing, and consciousness. When the heart energy is imbalanced depression or manic behavior may result. “When the heart energy is balanced, the mind is calm, and we sleep deeply and wake rested.”

For Optimum Summer Health:

  • Drink plenty of water and other fluids
  • Wake earlier in the morning
  • Rest at midday
  • Go to bed later in the evening
  • Add pungent foods to your diet
  • Refrain from angry outbursts

www.chinesemedicineliving.com/nutrition/season/summer

Eating For your Health

eating for your healthThe weather is finally beautiful and with that comes an abundance of local fresh fruits and vegetables.  Though fresh fruit and vegetables are considered to be an integral part of a healthy diet, buying non-GMO, organic produce or carefully washing your non-organic produce is extremely important. The overabundance of GMO food and pesticide spraying has compromised our food supply.  So much of our corn and soybean production is genetically modified. These seeds have been changed to resist pesticides, drought, and insects and there is much controversy over the safety of this practice. Many of the studies on this subject have been financed by the biotechnological companies who produce the GMO seeds.  To err on the side of safety seems to be a good idea. The pesticides used in farming can also pose a problem. Delicate fruit such as raspberries and strawberries soak up pesticide that is sprayed on them like a sponge. When buying non-organic fruit, it is better to choose thick-skinned fruit such as melon or oranges.

When buying produce:

  • Buy local if you can. This produce is fresher and therefore will have more nutrient value
  • Foods to always buy organic (even if on a budget)
    • Wine
    • coffee
    • apples
    • dairy
    • strawberries
    • raspberries
    • celery
    • blueberries
    • tomatoes
    • corn

 
 

When buying non-organic produce wash with a veggie wash or something non- toxic that will remove a waxy residue.

The Springtime Meridians

springtime meridiansDuring spring the life force in our bodies is most active in the Liver and Gallbladder meridians (energy pathways).  These meridians are responsible for the liver and gallbladder organs as well as the eyes, blood, tendons, and ligaments.

The liver meridian, among other functions, stores, and filters blood, regulates chi and prana, rules the health of muscles, tendons, nails, hands, and feet and is responsible for balancing emotions.

The major functions of the Gallbladder meridian are:

  • Secretes digestive enzymes to break down fat
  • Gives us the ability to follow our path in life
  • Helps with our capacity to regain equilibrium aftershock

These meridians also affect anger, frustration, and courage.  The liver controls the ability to plan one’s life, while the gallbladder controls the capacity to make decisions.

Some symptoms of impaired Gallbladder function are:

  • Pain over eyes
  • Gas, bloating
  • Pain along IT band
  • Cramping at the 4th toe, knees, and thigh

Some symptoms of a congested liver are:

  • Skin problems; rashes; brown skin spots
  • Difficulty losing body fat
  • Distended stomach on a thin body
  • Ringing in the ears

Tips for supporting and rejuvenating your liver and gallbladder:

  • Start your day with a cup of lemon water
  • Juice or blend beets, apples, lemon, carrots and dandelion greens
  • Eat more sulfur-rich foods: garlic and onions, and vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, kale, collards, and cabbage
  • Have your energy balanced

Staying Healthy In Springtime

healthy in springtimeThe season of spring is fast approaching with days getting longer and glimpses of warm weather here and there. It’s time to review the recommendations of Traditional Chinese Medicine for optimum health in springtime. TCM is based on a holistic approach of man (woman) as an integral part of their environment and nature. We are greatly influenced by changes in weather both directly and indirectly and have to adapt in order to maintain good health and live harmoniously.

The practice of eating foods according to the season would help man to remain in balance with nature and adapt better to seasonal changes. When we are in harmonious balance with our environment we experience good health.

Spring is the time of year of new growth and birth in nature. It is represented by the wood element and liver and gallbladder meridians. In springtime the yang energy (chi) flows outward; we are more active with the weather getting warmer. In order to stay healthy, we need to support and replenish the yang energy.

Foods which support liver and gallbladder energy are:

  • Onions
  • leeks
  • Chinese yam
  • dates
  • wheat
  • cilantro
  • mushrooms
  • spinach
  • Fresh green leafy vegetables
  • sprouts

Keep consumption of frozen, raw and fried food to a minimum. We can build excessive heat in our bodies during winter by inactivity and overeating. Foods which help to clear excessive heat from the body are:
Bananas, water chestnuts, pears, celery, and cucumber.

Traditional Chinese medicine – www.shen-nong.com

Going with the Flow- The Bladder Meridian

The bladder meridian is the longest energy pathway going from the corner of the eye to the outside of the smallest toe.
ducks in the snowIt is represented by the water element and it crosses all the other meridians and greatly influences them. Physically it is responsible for storing and excreting the urinary waste fluids passed down from the kidneys but energetically it is closely related to the functions and balance of the autonomic nervous system. The bladder meridian runs the entire length of the back with two parallel branches on each side of the spine. These four branches of the bladder meridian greatly influence the sympathetic and parasympathetic functions of the autonomic nervous system. The peak hours for bladder meridian energy are between 3-5 pm. It is important to stay hydrated for optimum function of this meridian.

Imbalance in this system can create both physical and psychological symptoms such as:

  • Headaches
  • back pain
  • urinary problems including excessive urination and incontinence)
  • pain in the eyes
  • tearing and colds

Lack of energy, being inflexible and fearful, resisting change and negative attitude

Chinese Medicine during Winter

The winter solstice is fast approaching and with it the beginning of the winter season.  In nature, the trees and plants have pulled their energy back into their roots to survive the colder weather. The season of winter in nature is cold, damp, and inactive.  The ancient Chinese believed that in order to stay healthy humans should live in harmony with their natural surroundings.  The cold and shorter days of winter signal us to slow down, reflect on our health, conserve our strength and replenish our energy.

Winter is a time for rest and introspection.  We conserve our energy to be prepared for the burst of energy needed in the spring.  Winter is represented by the water element. The associated organs are kidney, urinary bladder, adrenal glands, ears, and hair. The emotion associated with kidney is fear.

Foods which help to support the kidney energy are:

  • Soups and Stews
  • Root vegetables
  • Beans
  • Miso and seaweed
  • Garlic and ginger
  • Black beans, black rice

Emphasize warming foods and avoid raw food as much as possible. Go to bed early, get plenty of rest, stay warm and minimize stress to stay healthy during winter.

Holidays Have you Feeling Frazzled?

With the holidays fast approaching, busy schedules are about to be strained even more. To stay healthy and enjoy the holidays it is important to maintain a strong immune system. Most of us don’t become ill from exposure to germs. It’s when our immune system is compromised that we get sick.

Our immune system is compromised by a number of situations:

  • Exhaustion (most important)
  • Consuming too much junk food or foods that don’t nourish us (i.e. abundant sugar, dairy or carbohydrates).
  • Stress, which creates blocks in our flow of energy

When our body’s energy is free flowing we are symptom-free and feeling calm and well. We are able to navigate our lives fairly smoothly without losing our balance. If we are exhausted, every task becomes a burden and our frustration level increases at the slightest glitch in our routine.

Make time for yourself this holiday season. Get plenty of rest, eat healthy and schedule a bodywork session. The holidays can be joyful if we know our limits, simplify our plans and schedule ourselves into our lives.