Summer is over, the warmer weather has left us, the kids are back to school, and the season is definitely changing.  The summer used to be my favorite season growing up for many reasons.  I spent about 10 years in warmer climates (Florida & San Diego), which left me missing the change in seasons.  Sure, there is a slight shift in temperature and schedules change, but there is nothing like the autumn season in New York.  I have lived back home on Long Island for nearly 10 years now and each year I love the fall more and more.  

There is an energy to each season.  In Chinese medicine theory, the organ systems are divided into pairs that correlate with different seasons and elements.  For example, the fall is the season that corresponds to the element of metal.  Metal involves the organs Lung and Large Intestine.  Emotions are also associated with the different individual organs.  The lung/large intestine are paired organs and associated with grief or sadness. The actions of the lungs are to take in the new, while the action of the large intestine is to empty and release waste( let it go).  

Autumn is the season where many people tend to catch colds easily and/or deal with respiratory issues.  Being that the fall is the season of the Lung/Large intestine, it is the most important time to protect yourself from the elements.  I will go over some simple ways to do this later on.  As the weather changes, people naturally tend to be inside more.  This allows for people to become more introspective and search within if there are any emotions that need to be dealt with.  Once an uncomfortable emotion or issue arises, it is important to then be able to let it go.  I think the significance of the physical and emotional functions of these paired organs (Lung/Large Intestine) is amazing.  You can’t have one without the other: the taking in and the letting go.  It is part of nature and also part of the reality of being human.  

Here are some helpful tips to get through this Autumn successfully:

  1.  Diet– from a Chinese medicine point of view, it is important to shift the types of foods you are eating to correspond to the correct season.  Now that the hot weather is gone, it is a good time to ditch the cold juices, salads, smoothies, and raw food.  The best way to get good nutrients from vegetables this season is to steam, sautée, and cook them.  There are certain foods that are known for being nourishing to the lung organ such as pungent foods.  These include onion, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, radish, chili, and cardamom.  Spices that are warming can simply be added to your food, soups, and salads.
  2. Acupuncture– getting regular acupuncture treatment ensures that your body is staying in harmony.  There are also acupuncture points that help nourish your organs and buildup immunity.
  3. Move-it is a great time to take walks outside, go hiking, and enjoy the colors/smells this season has to offer.
  4. Breathe-wait, don’t we just to that naturally? I’m sure you know that sometimes when you are stressed or grieving you don’t fully breathe in.  Our breathing tends to be shallow and stuck in our chest, but when we focus on our breathe we can use our minds to breathe deeper.  It is in this deeper breathing that we can help cleanse our internal organs, detoxify, and stay in harmony.
  5. Keep your neck covered it is a known fact the wind and cold elements can easily enter in through the neck and upper back.  Peek your head in any acupuncture school classroom and you will see students and teachers wearing scarfs.
  6. Enjoy your friends and family. Be grateful for what you have.  Roll with the changing of the seasons.
  7. Get oily– there are many essential oils that can help keep your immune system strong as well as alleviate the symptoms that come along with the season such as headaches, congestion, sadness, etc.

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

ESSENTIAL OILS FOR SLEEP

There are many healing benefits of essential oils.  They can help support every system in our body.  Many oils are great to assist calming and sleep:  lavender, frankincense, bergamot, cedar wood, as well as some blends made by Young Living such as stress away, peace and calming, and vetiver.

These can be diffused into your bedroom at night or you can apply topically.  It is usually recommended to dilute the oil if you are new to using oils on your skin.  A carrier oil such as olive, almond, or coconut are good oils to try.  You can simply mix a drop or two of your desired oil into the palm of your hand with the carrier oil.

Contact Melissa to find out more about Essential Oils:

p. 631.670.6690
e. mpeters@wolacupuncture.com

YOGA SEQUENCE FOR SLEEP: by Suzanne Koster PT, DPT, RYT

Yoga poses that lead to sleep place emphasis on breath awareness, particularly the exhalation portion of breath.  Poses that emphasize the exaltation are typically forward folds and twists.  Forward folds are accompanied by “hip-opening” poses, so we may “hinge” at the hips instead of placing stress on our lumbar spine.  The use of props often becomes necessary in forward folds due to tension in the hamstrings and hips.  Props also allow us to rest in a pose instead of “hanging” on our muscles, tendons, and ligaments.  Aa calming sequence before bed should end with a body scan and 5-10 minutes of savanna.  Meditation would also be appropriate, using a mantra for our wandering minds.

Find out more info about Suzanne and her unique classes:

Call (631) 636-0300
www.theyogipt.com

Get peaceful night’s sleep

Last night WOL Acupuncture hosted our first private yoga class focused on improving sleep quality.  In my private practice, I spend a lot of time the first visit with patients going over every aspect of their health and wellbeing.  Sleep is an area that is discussed in detail.  Questions such as “Do you have trouble falling asleep?” or “Do you fall asleep easily, but wake frequently?”.  It is quite alarming how many people struggle in this area.  As you know, sleep is incredibly important for our bodies to reset/recover and to function optimally.  Getting quality sleep can help protect your mental health, physical health, and quality of life.  Of course we all may struggle now and again with a poor nights sleep, but when it is an ongoing problem, you may be at risk for more serious health problems down the road.  There was a recent research study linking severe sleep dysfunction and psychological symptoms such as anxiety and depression.  There are proactive steps you can take in help improve your sleep.

Acupuncture & Acupressure

Acupuncture, a traditional Chinese medical practice has been helping people improve their quality of sleep for generations.  As a trained licensed acupuncturist, I look for the root cause and pattern of your sleep dysfunction.  There are many different probable causes of poor sleep quality from a traditional Chinese medical approach.  Herbal medicine and supplements are also instrumental to addressing poor sleep.

Acupressure is an ancient healing technique much like acupressure, but without the use of needles.  It involves applying pressure on specific acupuncture points on the body.  These key points can help sedate and ground your energy to help you relax.  Many of the points used to benefit sleep are also points that help reduce anxiety, nausea, and of course counteract insomnia

Contact Melissa Peters to learn more about getting a good night’s sleep:

p.  631.670.6690
e. mpeters@wolacupuncture.com

3 COMMONLY USED POINTS FOR SLEEP AND HOW TO APPLY ACUPRESSURE AT HOME ON YOURSELF:

All three points shown below are great to get started with at home.  Simply apply pressure using your thumb or finger to each point for one minute each.  As you press the points, breathe in deeply and relax your mind.  You can go through the whole sequence of each point or choose the ones that resonate best with your body.

 YIN TANG

this point is located directly in between the eyebrows, above the nose

 


SPIRIT GATE

located on the inner side of the wrist crease, in line with the little finger.


BUBBLING SPRING

located in the indentation below the ball of your foot.


Contact Melissa to learn more about getting a good night’s sleep:

p. 631.670.6690
e. mpeters@wolacupuncture.com

“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” Mark Twain
Just three days after Valentine’s Day, I find it fitting to have a day that celebrates “random acts of kindess”! How easy is it to be kind to our family and friends? How easy is it to show love and affection to our significant other on a day that celebrates love. I love the quote above from Mark Twain, kindness truly is universal and can be recognized by everyone.
A few months ago, I was at a drive-through getting coffee on my lunch break. I handed my gift card to the cashier as she smiled and said that the person in front of me payed for my beverage! I did not expect that but decided to keep it going and bless the person behind me.
There are so many simple ways to show kindness to others. It can be a word of encouragment, a friendly smile, a helping hand, even just buying a stranger their coffee or paying for their gas!
May you be the giver and the receiver of “kind acts” on this National Random Acts of Kindness Day!