July 2013 Newsletter

Summer is here

Summer is in full effect in Seattle with unusally early warm weather. Traditional Chinese Medicine views summer as the season of yang energy. Yang is the most outgoing energy of the seasons when there is a lot of activity, movement, and change. You may notice this in the desire to be outside in nature.

Of the five elements in Traditional Chinese Medicine, summer is associated with fire. Fire is has the following characteristics:

Chinese medicine views the heart as both the function of the heart as well as mental wellness. Some of the other aspects associated to the heart and fire are memory, mental clarity, mood, and sleep.

When the heart is healthy, the mind is clear and sleep is sound. When the heart and fire are in disharmony, there can be excess joy (mania) or lack of joy (depression). Other imbalances may include nervousness, anxiety, agitation, lack of awareness, fear of intimacy, and heartburn.

Summer is a prime time to focus on changes in life regarding growth, joy, and spiritual awareness. The nature of Yang energy is one of excitement, assertiveness, and awareness making summer a great time to take action to form positive change on one's life.

Speaking of fireā€¦

Cupping is just one of the many tools available to acupuncturists to enhance a treatment. Cupping is a therapy used in Chinese Medicine where a jar is placed on the skin either via suction or through negative pressure created by fire. Cupping can be used for several conditions: There are several types of cups that can be used:

The cups are applied to the body in a variety of methods and can be left on for seconds or several minutes depending on the intended therapeutic effect. When the cups are left on the body, there is usually a round mark left on the skin. For those of you who haven't experienced cupping you may have seen the circular marks on someone's upper back or neck. The mark can be an indication of blood stagnation in the body. From a diagnostic perspective, the practitioner can note improvement in the patient's condition with the lightening of the mark through progressive treatments.

Cupping is relatively painless and is similar to a deep tissue massage, and I find many patients not only enjoy but request cupping as part of their treatment.

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