Food is one of the Four Pillars of Health in Traditional Chinese Medicine
I love discovering new recipes and have experimented with various eating plans/diets over the past few years. I’m keen to discover how difficult the transition is, how easy it is to find foods that are compatible with each different diet, and how my body responds to these dietary changes. I also like to see how different plans compare to Chinese medicine’s dietary principles, where food is one of the four pillars of health. The eating plans/diets I’ve recently experimented with are the 5:2 (intermittent fasting) diet, the ketogenic (high fat/low carb) diet, and the autoimmune paleo diet.
Your dietary habits are one aspect of your own self-care that you are easily able to influence. Many of my clients do follow different eating plans. One thing that I’ve discovered is that depending on your body-type according to TCM (hot/cold etc) some of these eating plans are more effective and easier to modify than others. It’s interesting to note that following the TCM recommendations and modifying any eating plan to match can significantly affect your energy levels and weight loss.
Many people think of acupuncture in terms of improving health – and they are quite right. Everything that we do to help our body’s energy to flow freely contributes to our health, as well as to our beauty. When we use natural cosmetic acupuncture (also known as facial rejuvenation or facial acupuncture) to treat the symptoms of disease, like eyes with dark circles under them, grey hair or wrinkles, we are really addressing the root cause of the problem and solving health issues as well.
Acupuncture has the unique ability to naturally rejuvenate a person’s appearance and reverse the signs of aging, without surgery, toxins or downtime. The treatment is very relaxing and many patients often fall asleep.
Tiny cosmetic acupuncture needles
Facial acupuncture uses special tiny needles (far smaller than the needles normally used in other parts of the body) to stimulate energy flow in very specific parts of the body. You won’t see an overnight transformation, but you can expect to see a noticeable improvement that continues even after the course of treatments is finished. A course of cosmetic acupuncture usually runs for 12 weeks, with a 90 minute session each week, followed by top-up sessions every 4-6 weeks thereafter.
Facial acupuncture reflects your inner health. You need to realise that you will get the most dramatic effects if your lifestyle and diet support a healthy system. You cannot expect to look younger every day if you continue to punish your body with insufficient sleep and poor nutrition! If you’re thinking about trying cosmetic acupuncture, we would love to talk to you about it – because cosmetic acupuncture is really about enhancing your overall health naturally, as well as adding to your beauty.
At the heart of every treatment at Bing’s Natural Health is the belief that you can take charge of your own health, and that your body has the power to heal itself when you listen to it and support its natural healing processes.
It has been a busy couple of months for me! Like many of you, I’m busy balancing many areas of life: – relationships with family and friends, running a business, taking care of ageing parents, house hold duties and more. What tends to get squeezed out is time for relaxed conversation, and time to observe the signals from my own body. So, although I’ve noticed the weather warming up (occasionally), the blossoms on the trees, and the early spring flowers, I hadn’t really taken the time to listen to my body, and notice my own body’s response to the changing season.
Last week, my partner and I went to see our tax agent and afterwards we sat down for a well deserved cup of coffee and a chat. We’ve both been so busy recently that our conversation has been mostly confined to essentials, so it was a real pleasure to enjoy the sunshine and sip one chai latte, and then another. Before we knew it, nearly 3 hours had slipped by and we were both feeling refreshed, energised, and re-connected. I went home that evening and looked around for salad ingredients, because that was suddenly what my body was craving. Maybe it had been telling me earlier, but it wasn’t until I took the time to clear out some of the things that were on my mind and then share them, that I was ready to listen to my body.
I was taken by surprise because, to be honest, I was still thinking about soups, and heavy winter foods and habits, and suddenly my body was telling me that it was spring: – time to cleanse, release, and lighten up. You probably know what I’m talking about… Have you ever noticed how much heavier you feel in winter and how likely you are to drink more alcohol, go to bed later because you can’t be bothered moving off the couch, stay in bed longer in the morning, crave warm heavy foods…? That’s your body’s natural response to shorter days, colder weather, and winter conditions and you should acknowledge and honour that (in moderation). Equally, as the days lengthen, the weather warms up, and everything around starts to unfurl, it’s time to welcome that feeling of lightness and growth and pay attention to its voices.
Sometimes we have a tendency to over-analyse our feelings and instincts and evaluate them against what other people are saying and doing. While it’s always good to get advice and do our own research, sometimes we do just need to take time to listen to our own body and do what it’s telling us, even when it goes against the grain. Of course, it’s best to deliberately set aside time to be quiet and just listen, but when life gets too busy, following your instincts is a good Plan B.
As I said last month, “We are not robots.” The cycle of seasons… through the year and through life include times of growth and challenge, times of harvest and abundance, times of conserving and storing, and times of hibernation. Without winter, there is no spring!
You probably know that there were (and still are) a lot of nasty bugs circulating around this winter and I caught one of them and suffered for 2 weeks. As a practitioner, I hate taking time off when I’m sick because it is very inconvenient for my clients. At the same time, because the nature of my work involves being in close proximity to clients, I really did not want to risk getting others sick, so I tried everything I could to recover quickly.
I saw my GP who prescribed a corticosteroid inhaler which reduces inflammation and other symptoms, but also depresses the immune system. Anyway, I was getting frustrated so I decided to try a patent herbal remedy that has powerful antibiotic and antiviral properties and I was delighted at the speed with which it took effect! Within 3-4 days I felt significantly better. In the future, I’ll be looking to this remedy immediately, and at the same time ensuring that I have a nutritious and healing diet, and also avoiding dairy products when I am congested.
As always, before you take any herbal medicine treatments, check with your practitioner to confirm it is appropriate for you. We have a variety of herbal formulas to help you remain healthy and well during the cold and flu season. And now is the time to prepare for the upcoming hay fever season in order to reduce the severity of any hay fever symptoms!
I know this sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people expect themselves to function like a machine and absorb stressful circumstances, conflict, and even minor irritations without any consequences. Of course, humans are amazing, and we often can function for a long time even if we don’t pay any attention to our mental and physical needs, but over time, stress gets into every area of our lives and affects our sleep, our immune system, our moods, our posture, and our response to challenges. For example, studies show that sleep deprivation can be even more harmful to our ability to function well than alcohol (refer to https://dx.doi.org/10.1136/oem.57.10.649), so imagine what happens to your reactions when you’re tired, as well as stressed.
On the other hand, imagine what happens when we accept that we are people, not robots, and introduce small daily rituals and short breaks into our busy lives. We don’t just become less stressed. We also become more focused, more aligned with the things that really matter to us, and more present. Maybe you’re thinking that you don’t have the time, energy or resources to take a long enough break to recover… and if you do go away you worry about how things are going without you. Well, I’ve got good news! You don’t need to run away from stress to reduce it.
Recently, I’ve been stressed to the max. I had a crazy couple of months with my mum’s health issues and other stuff going on in my life that sapped my energy and enthusiasm. Not surprisingly, I ended up getting this nasty virus which is going around town, and I felt pretty awful.
When I took time to look at everything that was going on around me, I could see why my immune system had given way, and why I was generally feeling frazzled: I had been acting as though I was a machine and could simply absorb anything life threw at me and ignore the clouds of negative energy that enveloped me. Does that sound like woo-woo? Well, have you ever walked into a room, and suddenly felt uncomfortable, or exhausted, when just a few moments earlier you felt fine? Most people have and if they think about it, it is because the emotional energy of people builds up. That’s why it can be hard to walk into a hospital sometimes.
You can’t always run away from negativity, but you can create little energy cleansing rituals that cleanse your personal energy and the energy in your home or workplace. I believe that becoming more conscious of energy, and establishing little energy cleansing rituals and moments of presence act as a pattern interrupt, so that we can show up in the world as the best version of ourselves. Try creating some rituals for yourself – lighting a candle and feeling the brightness and warmth inside you, washing your hands and really feeling the water cleansing you, breathing deeply… becoming aware of the deep silence underneath the layers of noise in your mind. These are all little rituals that can reduce stress, and help you deal with everyday challenges with more courtesy and focus.