10:21 10:21

Surviving Summer Heat

By | 2018-05-31T13:42:06+00:00 June 30th, 2017|Categories: April's Blogs, Blogs, Chinese Medicine, Holistic Living, Nutrition Articles|Tags: , , , , , , |Comments Off on Surviving Summer Heat

April Crowell, Dipl. ABT (NCCAOM), AOBTA CI & CP, CHN

We love our Summers and the sunshine here in Boise.  It’s time to be in the garden, rivers and mountains.  The temperature can swing nearly 40 degrees from sun up to sundown, and then there is that spell in July and August where it hangs out above 100 and never seems to cool off—ack, melt.  Occasionally, we spend too much time in the sun, or the season changes so rapidly that we have problems adapting. You may experience a little ‘Summer Heat’ invasion.

Each of the 5 Seasons in Chinese medicine has a climatic nature.  Spring relates to Wind, Autumn to Dryness, Winter to Cold, Late Summer  (the transition of seasons) relates to Dampness, and Summer corresponds to Heat. These climates are simply part of the  nature of the season and Chinese medicine practitioners observe these climatic influences and their behaviors in the body as they can become a source of disease or disharmony.  For example, Wind can be involved in many forms of headaches, allergies and palsies.  Any of these climatic conditions can pop up in any season due to rapid weather changes, change in location, etc.  Heat is most likely to affect us during the Summer and the Summer organs are most vulnerable to Heat, and the 6th Pernicious Influence–Summer Heat.

 Summer Heat is an exterior pathogen

Exterior pathogens or the 6 Pernicious Influences or 6 Evils are hot, cold, wind, damp, dry and summer heat.  They are acute in nature and come on quickly. They invade our bodies either because the pathogen is excessively strong compared to normal Wei Qi (immunity), like in the cases of plagues,  or our Wei Qi is too weak […]

13:34 13:34

Summer–The Season Of The Fire Element

By | 2018-05-31T13:38:08+00:00 July 13th, 2015|Categories: April's Blogs, Chinese Medicine, Holistic Living, Summer, The Seasons|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on Summer–The Season Of The Fire Element

April Crowell, Dipl. ABT (NCCAOM), AOBTA CI & CN

Summer, the season of the Fire Element, has arrived! The days are long and the bright sunshine invites us outdoors to work in our gardens or play in the sun. It’s a season of activity and joy. All seasons represent the possibility for change in our lives. We can fight their energetic nature or we can use the season’s blessings for our own growth and benefit…and summer has so much to offer.

Why the seasons matter

In Chinese medicine’s 5 Element Theory each season (Spring, Summer, Late Summer, Autumn and Winter)) possess their own energetic dynamics and movement of Qi (energy). They ebb and flow from one to another. Understanding the energetic nature of each season helps us to adapt so we move gracefully from phase to another. For example– knowing that Spring’s climate is wind, helps those that are susceptible to wind conditions such as epilepsy, headaches, anger, and allergies to take appropriate precautions to not be as easily affected by the condition. Winter, encourages us to rest and be introspective, to consider our deepest selves–whereas, Summer invites us to expand and be active. We need not hunker down or fear each season, rather having awareness can help us become flexible and adaptive, we can embrace and benefit from the virtue and blessings each season rather than fight them.

Summer Correspondences

Summer Correspondences

Season Summer
Element Fire
Color Red
Sound Laughter–including laughter at inappropriate times
Climate Heat
State of growth Maximum growth
Odor Scorched or burnt
Flavor Bitter
Yin organ & time Heart: 11am-1pm & Pericardium: 7-9 pm
Yang organ & time Small Intestines: 1-3pm & Triple Warmer: 9-11 pm
Body tissue Blood vessels and the Blood
Sense organ Tongue
Emotion Joy or lack of Joy
Virtue Ability to create quality relationships and interactions with others, propriety
Vice Inappropriate relationships and boundaries, victimization

Let’s look a little closer

Season–Summer–Ruled […]

12:52 12:52

Bitter Hearts–Using The Bitter Flavor

By | 2018-05-31T13:38:08+00:00 July 13th, 2015|Categories: April's Blogs, Blogs, Chinese Medicine, Nutrition Articles|Tags: , , , , , |Comments Off on Bitter Hearts–Using The Bitter Flavor

April Crowell, Dipl. ABT (NCCAOM), AOBTA CI & CN

Bitter….even its name can make us cringe, and it’s certainly not the most popular of the 5 Flavors.  Just like the other 4 flavors it serves an important role in our health.    The flavor is a powerful mover and enters the Heart, Small Intestines, Triple Warmer and Pericardium–all the Fire organs.  When the Fire element is in-balance we are joyful (without being overly so) and can act on life plans, we make meaningful relationships–engage!

Still frowning?  You don’t need a lot of bitter, so just play along for a bit.

Bitter flavors enter the Heart and other Fire Organs

Each of the 5 Elements has numerous correspondences including flavor, season, color, organs, sound and emotion.  Fire and the bitter flavor correspond with the season of Summer, which is unique in that it has four organ systems rather than two like the other elements.  The Heart (Yin), Small Intestines (Yang), Pericardium (Yin) and Triple Warmer (Yang) all belong to the Fire element-and they have a lot going on.  The Heart, as the emperor, sits on his throne and controls the circulation of blood and allows us our most intimate relationships. Small Intestines constantly sorts the ‘pure from the impure’–what to digest and what not to digest–physically, emotionally and spiritually.  Pericardium has similar properties to the heart and the Triple Warmer acts as a regulator for circulation and water pathways.  Fire is all about relationships and communication. Whether we form meaningful relationships or allow people in appropriately or not.

Bitter stimulates digestion and increases appetite

Remember Swedish Bitters?  Many cultures have historically used bitter teas, herbs and tinctures to aid in the digestive process.  Basically, the bitter flavor helps to cut through slow and sluggish […]

09:40 09:40

Exterior and Interior Causes of Disease According to The 8 Principles

By | 2016-12-29T12:24:20+00:00 August 17th, 2014|Categories: Blogs, Chinese Medicine, Common Conditions, Holistic Living, The Seasons|Tags: , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Exterior and Interior Causes of Disease According to The 8 Principles

April Crowell, Dipl. ABT (NCCAOM), AOBTA CI & CP, CHN

Why do we get ill?

Illness or disharmonies are reflective of a homeodynamic imbalance in the body.  Likely you’ve heard of the term ‘homeostatis’–the idea that the body reaches a healthy point and then stays there.  I prefer homeodynamic, because our body and mind is constantly adjusting, like a tightrope walker, to come back to health.  It’s a very dynamic and active process not one that reaches a plateau and then becomes static.

It’s not always clear sometimes, however the 8 Principles theory of Chinese Medicine can help us identify the functional disharmony and thereby focus treatment. Like Five ElementsOrgan theory,  and the 6 Jiao, the 8 Principles is just one of many tools that a Chinese Medicine practitioner has available to identify patterns and thereby hone treatment to the individual.   […]