11:22 11:22

Warm To The Core

By |2020-01-10T11:50:17-06:00February 14th, 2020|Categories: April's Blogs, Blogs, Chinese Medicine, Common Conditions, The Seasons, Winter|Tags: , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

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

Baby, it’s cold outside.  Now that you have an ear worm to pester you for the day, let’s talk about keeping the core of the body warm.

The Asian cultures have a long tradition of dressing to protect the abdomen and the lower back and with good reason–the Kidneys.  Called the “Root of Life” in Chinese medicine, and their energies and organs are greatly protected in classical Asian medicine and martial arts.   In Japanese, the region is called the Hara, in Chinese it’s the Dan Tian. All Asian cultures hold the same concept–the vital energy of the body is centered in the space  located just behind the belly button to between the two kidneys.   If you’ve ever done martial arts, this where you move from.  It’s your core,  and the store house of energy and we want to keep it warm.

The Kidneys are the “Root of Life” and “Sealed Storage”

Let me see if I can boil down a 5 hour lecture into a couple of simple paragraphs.

All organs have a Yin and Yang aspect, however, these two aspects take on a different meaning with the Kidneys.  The Kidneys are the foundation for all Yin and Yang for all organs. One of the first channels to develop as a baby grows, Kidney Yin is the foundation or “root” for the Yin and the Yang organs alike, making it the basis for Fire and Water in the body.  If the Kidney energy is strong, the baby will grow strong and have vitality.  Kidney energy is required for all growth, maturation and reproduction– the bones, marrow, and spine;  and […]

15:26 15:26

When Yang Collapses–Rebuilding The Fires

By |2020-06-04T13:58:39-06:00August 11th, 2019|Categories: April's Blogs, Blogs, Chinese Medicine, Common Conditions|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

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

Yang collapse–sound pretty severe, right? In Chinese medicine it is–and it’s often a long, slow and difficult hill to climb for recovery.  Why? Literally, you have burnt out the fire and transformative functions in the body.  Most importantly, clients who have reached deep Yang deficiency are notoriously bad about resting– which is essential to rebuilding Yang.

How deficiencies arise

You played too hard. You became severely ill. You didn’t eat or rest appropriately.  You were under too much stress.  Sometimes we can narrow it down and find one thing that may have caused the collapse but most often it’s a number things that combined leading to eventual collapse. There are many avenues in which the body takes impact of stress, illness and daily living, and when we are vital and healthy we bounce back. Overtime, however, we may continue to dwindle and signs of deficiency will show up.  It’s a progressive process that left unchecked will get worse and worse until something gives way.

The progression of deficiency in the body

Qi Deficiency–Qi deficiency is the starting place. Fortunately, Qi deficiency, though common, is very easy to recover from.  You’re a bit tired, worn out from the day, nothing that a good night’s sleep and some appropriate rest can’t fix.   There will be little change in the tongue, and the pulses will feel a little weak, but you will recover quickly.  Find out more about building Qi here.

Yin or Yang?–Left unchecked, Qi deficiency will progress, leading down a path of either Yin or Yang deficiency. Which path you follow depends on life circumstances, constitution, pre-existing weaknesses and other factors.  Truly, both Yin and Yang are going to […]

13:28 13:28


By |2020-06-04T13:58:39-06:00November 30th, 2015|Categories: Blogs, Chinese Medicine, Common Conditions|Tags: , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Yin

Tyra Burgess, Dipl. ABT (NCCAOM)


Perhaps, the most simple word to speak, and the most complex topic of study.  Half of the foundation of thought behind all Eastern theory. The concept of balance, and the two opposites that create a whole. To explain just half of the whole, to understand Yin, is to understand much more than just a concept. The definition of Yin, is explained by examples, characteristics in nature, and actions that achieve Yin, thus making the comprehension of the meaning inherent in the word, difficult to define. Contained within Yin, is even its definition–in.

“For as long as man must interact with his environment, he must strive for balance with it.” (Sohn)

Growing up in the Western hemisphere of the planet, the concept of balance, the idea of Yin is so foreign, our culture says “ying”…the wrong word completely. The United States was founded and grown on totally Yang principles, and as we pour into our hospitals, and doctors offices for adrenal fatigue, auto-immune disorders, chronic inflammation, digestive failure, cancer and mental illness, the demand for understanding the idea of Yin, and our lack of it, has never been more needed. As a culture, we could all use more of the silence Yin that passively beckons us to nourish the depths of our bodies and being.

Yin is: INtrospection, INtroverstion, going deep withIN. Yin is characterized as earth, moon, dark, solid, deep, sinking and material.  Yin is the expression of the receptive or passive polarity. Yin has the qualities of cold, damp, immobility and substance. The element of water, the colors of dark blue and black. Stillness and cold.  Yet without defining Yin in relation to its […]

13:21 13:21

Chinese Medicine In A Nutshell

By |2018-05-31T13:38:51-06:00October 20th, 2015|Categories: April's Blogs, Blogs, Chinese Medicine|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Chinese medicine is diverse and highly adaptable.  No surprise–as it is estimated to be around 3-5 thousand years old.   To begin to understand and appreciate Chinese Medicine we must delve a bit into the history and philosophy during the time the medicine was developing. Don’t worry, my goal here is to give a brief overview–not to write a text book–consider it a crash course.

A Brief Look At The History of Chinese Medicine

Chinese medicine is estimated to be about 3-5 thousand years–likely the latter, as verbal passing of knowledge would have predated any written text.   Huang Di (The Yellow Emperor), who was believed to have lived from 2697-2597 BC, is considered the father of Chinese medicine as he is credited with the writing the  Huang Di Ni Jing (The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine)–the founding text of Chinese medicine.

Like any other culture, the books, information and creations reflect the beliefs and theories of the era.  During the rise of Chinese medicine the dominate philosophy was Taoism, the teachings of Lao Tzu (400 BC) chronicled in The Tao De Ching (Book of The Way).  The term Tao literally translates as “the way” or “the path” and is considered the ultimate principle and the creative force behind everything that is manifested in the world–including what is going on in our bodies.  On a side note, I love Ursula LeGuin’s translation of the Tao Te Ching.

Tao is that state that exists before there is duality (Yin and Yang), before night and day, heaven and earth, hot and cold.    The ultimate nature of Tao itself is difficult to grasp  because our minds are inherently dualistic. We understand what is hot by knowing what is cold.  We understand light by knowing […]

09:59 09:59

Cool Cucumbers–The Energetics of Cucumbers

By |2016-12-29T12:24:15-06:00May 26th, 2015|Categories: April's Blogs, Blogs, Chinese Medicine, Nutrition Articles, The Seasons, Vegetable|Tags: , , , , , , , |0 Comments

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

Put the vitamin pack down and go eat a cucumber.

A little history

The humble cucumber (Cucumis Sativus) is a member of the gourd family, Curcurbitaceae. Like tomatoes and squash, cucumbers are actually a fruit in the strictest of botanical terms. They develop from a flower and their seeds are enclosed in their lovely flesh–tricky little devils. Originally from India, their cultivation dates back more than 3,000 years. Pliny the Elder valued their medicinal qualities. The Greeks and Romans feasted on cucumbers in the hot summer months and the fruit eventually wove its way to France and the rest of Europe. Not surprising then that cucumbers have made their way onto every continent and into every cuisine today.

There are several hundreds of varieties of cucumbers, not just the long, slender green ones we see in major stores. Cucumbers can be long or round and anywhere from green to yellow. Many varieties are lumped into three general categories: slicing, pickling and burpless….but that has never stopped me from pickling a slicer or slicing a pickler. Time to branch out a little? Although similar in energetics, Armenian cucumbers are technically a different species.


Bees and cucumbers

Bees, including honeybees and bumbles, are the natural pollinators of cucumbers. Throughout the world beekeepers will move their hives to local cucumber farmer’s sites just for the bloom. The honey the bees produce from this pollen is light and delicate and keeps our bees in business. Why do I mention this? Well, if you are growing cucumbers, you need pollinators as most plants are not self-compatible–meaning they can’t pollinate themselves. This also usually means they need a buddy plant or two nearby to help them form seeds […]