Category Archives: holistic health

Healthy Natural Eating for Fall

Fall Descends On Portland With Natural Healthy Seasonal Eating

The season of fall brings cooler weather and shorter days. As with any season, the world adjusts accordingly. Plants begin to go dormant, animals start scrounging for food to help get them through the upcoming winter months and humans start winterizing everything. Sweatpants and hoodies become more commonplace and everything…EVERYTHING is pumpkin flavored.

Natural healthy seasonal food for the Portland fall.As fall descends on the land, it reminds us we need to start cutting back on the numerous cooling foods that are consumed during the summer months. Things like raw foods, salads, juices and fruits need to be decreased because they can create too much cold in the body. This is just one principle followed by Traditional Chinese Medicine.

There are many facets to TCM and nutrition is one of the most important. The ancient Chinese observed what took place in nature and followed those cues accordingly. So when the season changed to fall and the amount of daylight decreased and the temperatures cooled, the Chinese began to eat what was available. This is what it means to “eat for the season.” By eating according to the season, we can avoid many illnesses and diseases. If we continue to eat raw, cold foods during the cooler fall and winter months, then we set ourselves up for digestive problems, colds, sinus infections and even painful joints.

When a person eats seasonally, they will inevitably notice certain foods are no longer abundant or available. In the season of fall, one should fill their pantry and cupboards with dried foods, heavy grains, seeds, roots and squashes that can help move the body’s energy or Qi (pronounced “chee”) inward.

Fall is also a time to slow down. This means we should cook food for longer periods of time on lower heat. How we cook food will affect how the body tolerates it and how the energy is utilized. Some examples of how to cook for the season of fall include making soups and stews, using a crockpot or slow cooker, roasting and baking foods. These methods create a deeper warmth and supply greater energy from the food.

Foods that are nourishing to the lung are very important during the season of fall. Since many people get sick during these months, lung tonifying foods can be very beneficial. This includes healthy foods like ginger, onion, garlic, pears, walnuts, miso, navy beans, almonds asparagus, broccoli, apricots, bananas, apples, plums and grapes.

The dryer weather can also cause chapped lips, a dry nose, an itchy throat, rough skin and even dry stools. To counter these issues, it is recommended to eat foods that promote the production of bodily fluids, such as nuts, seeds, pears, pumpkin, honey and a traditional Chinese porridge known as congee.

Animal products tend to be warming and grounding by nature. And for those who eat animal flesh, increasing the intake can be beneficial during the cooler fall months. As mentioned before, roasting, baking or stewing the meats is the most beneficial.

When we follow the cues given to us by nature, we can maintain a very healthy existence. To learn more about eating according to the seasons in Traditional Chinese Medicine, make an appointment with our Portland area office to promote your natural health.

Holistic Health Advice for Why You’re Feeling So Cold

Why Are You So Cold? Holistic Advice for Full & Empty Cold

Feeling Cold Can Have a Holistic Health Answer.

Everyone feels cold sometimes, but some people are perpetually chilled to a point where it interferes with their lives.

From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, there are two different kinds of cold in the body: full cold and empty cold. Full cold refers to a condition where there is an excess of cold-type energy in the body leading to a feeling of cold, and most likely other health problems, as well. The other kind of cold is empty cold. This means there is not an abundance of cold energy but rather a weakness of the warm fiery energy. When there isn’t enough warmth in the body, you will feel cold – not because the cold is so strong, but because you don’t have enough fire to balance it out.

Full cold

As mentioned, a full cold condition refers to an over-abundance of cold type energy in the body. This is often an acute case and may relate to being outside on cold weather, or exposing a certain area of your body to cold water, cold wind or cold weather. Symptoms really depend on the location of the cold in the body.

For instance, you might feel really cold when you are coming down with a cold virus. From a TCM perspective, this is cold being trapped under the skin or in certain channels on the back of the neck. Other associated symptoms may be a stiff neck, a runny nose or an occipital headache.

Full cold can also lodge itself in the digestive system – this may happen following a meal of cold food, drinking cold beverages in a cold environment or following exposure to very cold temperatures. Full cold in the digestive system can lead to a feeling of cold, as well as painful cramping, diarrhea or loose stools and pain in the abdomen.

Another common site of a full-cold condition is the uterus. This can be from exposure to cold temperatures such as swimming in cold water or sitting on a cold surface. Certain gynecological procedures can also introduce cold into the uterus. This type of cold manifests as a feeling of cold, particularly with the period and very painful cramping before and during the period. There will likely also be clots and possible problems with fertility.

All of these full-cold conditions can be avoided by limiting exposure to cold environments and cold foods. Also introducing heat internally through teas, soups and warming herbs can help.

Empty cold

In TCM, health is a state of balance between yin and yang. Yin refers to the cool, watery, passive parts of our physiology, whereas yang refers to the hot, fiery, active parts. When the yang energy is weakened, there isn’t enough fire to balance out the cool and watery yin. This leads to a pervasive feeling of cold that is hard to shake, even with lots of blankets and warm drinks. This is someone who always feels chilled, no matter what. There may be other symptoms, as well, such as loose stools, a lack of energy or motivation, wanting to sleep all the time or fluid accumulation. Yang deficiency cold often requires use of herbal medicine, acupuncture, and moxa to treat appropriately.

While these are the main reasons for feeling cold, there are two other energetic imbalances that can also lead to feeling cold – Qi stagnation and blood deficiency.  When Qi is stuck, circulation is impaired and heat can’t get to our extremities effectively. This kind of cold often manifests as very cold hands and feet. It can be helped by regular exercise, reducing stress and limiting heavy foods. A weakness in the blood energy of the body leads to a low-grade constant feeling of cold less severe than a yang deficiency cold, but still pervasive and consistent. It can be helped with getting enough sleep, reducing stressors and eating a well-balanced diet of blood-nourishing foods.

If you are feeling cold and are interested in holistic health treatments, contact our Tigard office. 

Holistic Health Food for Type 2 Diabetes

A Diabetes Holistic Health Diet

Fresh fruits are a holistic health food for a Diabetes diet.When diagnosed with type 2 diabetes it is imperative to watch your diet. Eating a healthy and holistic balanced diet can greatly improve your way of life, and help you avoid potential health complications. Those with type 2 diabetes know it can be hard to create a healthy diet just right for their constitution. But if you focus on obtaining a balanced amount of healthy carbs, fats, sugars and salts, you can live a more active and vibrant life.

Here are a list of food tips every person should consider adding to their diet, regardless of type 2 diabetes diagnosis.

  • Focus on the fiber – Fresh fruits and vegetables are a must for every healthy diet. Incorporate these into your diet to promote healthy blood pressure and promote circulation
  • Healthy fats are important – Limit your amount of trans and saturated fats, choose lean cuts of meat, low-fat cheeses and milk
  • Less is more – Use little amounts of salt in your cooking. You can still make your food delicious without dousing it with heavy amounts of salt.
  • Carbs with a purpose – Healthy carbs are good carbs. Make sure to stock your diet full of healthy carbohydrates such as cereals, nuts and whole grains.

For more information on holistic health practices to help with your Diabetes, contact us at our Tigard office.

Holistic Health for Your Body Type with Five Elements

Healthy Eating for Your Body Type with These Holistic Guidelines

What's the right food for your body type? Holistic health at Tigard, OR.Traditional Chinese Medicine, a medical system that has been around for nearly 3,000 years, views the body differently than modern medicine. When the body is broken down to its core, its tiniest molecules can be classified as energy. This means every element of the universe resides within the human body, to some degree. And every organ has its own properties and energies that must remain balanced for the body to function properly. The energies within the body must be a perfect synergy of elements. This allows for homeostatic balance, biochemical balance, longevity and harmony between the body and mind in holistic health.

The food we put in our mouths can either fuel us or slowly kill us. By knowing which body type we fit into based on the five elements, wood, fire, water, earth or metal, we can then eat a balanced diet that will allow us to remain healthy and strong throughout our lives. Here are some guidelines that may be helpful. Continue reading

Building Protective Qi with Natural Medicine

Holistic Treatment of the Immune System (Wei Qi) With Oregon Natural Medicine

By: Kim M. Filkins, L.Ac.

Immune System Wei Qi Health with Natural MedicineEverybody gets sick at some point in their life. For some, it’s just a quick weekend thing. For others, it can last for several days and even weeks. Why do some people always get sick whenever there is a bug going around and others don’t? It all comes down to immunity. People who have a stronger immune system, tend to be sick less often. Those with compromised or weak immune systems, seem to get sick at the drop of a hat. There are many things that can be done to strengthen the immune system though. And Traditional Chinese Medicine is probably one of the best and least invasive ways to boost the immune system, not just during the winter months, but all year long. Continue reading

The Bladder in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Using Traditional Medicine For Portland Wellness

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the bladder is one of the six yang organs, paired with one of the six yin organs. The yin organs store vital substances (such as Qi, blood, yin, and yang), whereas the yang organs are more active and have a function of constantly filling and emptying. The bladder is a perfect example of a yang organ. Its main physiological function is to remove water from the body in the form of urine. To do this, the bladder uses Qi (energy) and heat from its paired yin organ, the kidneys.

Obviously urination is an essential component to the functioning of our bodies, and as such, the bladder plays a vital role through its filling and emptying of urine. Continue reading

Holistic Health Superfoods for Diabetes

Holistic Health Include Superfoods for Tigard Clients

Superfoods such as blueberries can help the holistic health of diabetic clients.A recent article published by Sepalika.com provides information from multiple research studies that confirm the best way to manage diabetes is through proper diet. More specifically through the use of “superfoods.” The multiple studies showed various superfoods such as oily fish, broccoli, blueberries, beets and chia seeds can all help in the fight against diabetes. These holistic health foods have been shown to lower blood sugar levels, improve insulin sensitivity and improve blood sugar control. This is very promising for those suffering from diabetes because it may ultimately help them reverse this disease.

With diabetes being the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, the research never seems to end. Over 29 million Americans suffer from this disease and the numbers aren’t getting any better.  Diabetes is caused by a dysfunction of the pancreas. There are two forms of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2.  Type 2 can be reversed through the use of proper diet and exercise. This is where superfoods come into play. Continue reading

Holistic Healthy Eating For Winter

Tigard Winter’s Taking Their Toll On Your Holistic Health?

Winter, in most places, is a time of colder, shorter days. So naturally, when there is less reason to be outdoors, the body tends to want to stay inside where it is warmer. The body’s metabolic rate will be slower, which means eating foods full of sugars can become detrimental over time. When the metabolic rate slows, the body naturally holds onto fat and we gain weight. Just as most animals hibernate throughout the colder winter months, so too should human beings take the information being given and use it accordingly.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, winter is a time of preservation and building up strength for the spring. Winter is a time when the kidneys are highly active. They have functions that help the body preserve energy. Foods loaded with salt can actually burden the kidneys and cause them to work overtime. This can lead to kidney disease or kidney failure when done for many years. Continue reading

Differences Between A Full or Empty Cold

Cold in Portland?

Warm tea is a traditional health tip for feeling cold.Everyone feels cold sometimes, but some people are perpetually chilled to a point where it interferes with their lives.

From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, there are two different kinds of cold in the body: full cold and empty cold. Full cold refers to a condition where there is an excess of cold-type energy in the body leading to a feeling of cold, and most likely other health problems, as well. The other kind of cold is empty cold. This means there is not an abundance of cold energy but rather a weakness of the warm fiery energy. When there isn’t enough warmth in the body, you will feel cold – not because the cold is so strong, but because you don’t have enough fire to balance it out. Continue reading

7 Holistic Health Tips to Detox After the Holidays

Don’t Diet Tigard – Do a Holistic Detox!

7 holistic health detox tips for Tigard clients.Oh the holidays! You either love them or hate them. There is rarely any gray area. But, one thing is almost certain, everybody feels sluggish after the holidays are over. Thanks to all the cookies and milk, cakes and candy. And, most people feel the same way about dieting as they do about the holidays themselves, either love them or hate them. So why not detox instead of diet and maybe shed some pounds in the process? Seems a little easier to handle. So let’s explore some holistic health ways to detox after the holidays.

  1. Drink green tea with ginger.

Green tea is becoming more popular in the West, but it has been used in areas such as Asia for centuries. Green tea with ginger is thought to increase digestion, so it helps burn off those extra calories just by ingesting it. Have a cup or two a day and see how you feel. Continue reading