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Healthy Foods for Fall

traditional chinese medicine foods for fall

The season of fall brings cooler weather and shorter days. As with any season, the world adjusts accordingly. Plants begin to go dormant, animals begin scrounging for food to store to get them through the upcoming winter months and humans start winterizing everything.

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 should be decreased because they can create too much cold in the body, according to traditional Chinese medicine. continue reading »

Five Reasons to Get Acupuncture for Low Back Pain

Statistics show eight out of 10 people will experience low back pain at some point during their life. Seeking medical treatment for back pain is very common. Typically back pain is fleeting and can be easily resolved with rest, heat and an occasional anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen. However, once the damage is done, the recurrence of back pain can be as high as 50 percent. Part of this is because as we age, things like muscles and tendons become less flexible and pliable. It is also very well known in the United States, people are too sedentary and this leads to excess weight gain that can create added pressure on the body, especially the low back. continue reading »

Acupuncture: An Effective Way to Treat Car Crash Injuries

An auto accident can happen in a split second, usually when you least expect it. It’s easy to shrug accidents off as something that may never happen to you, but accidents are far more common than you might believe. In fact, over 200,000 injuries occur as a result of car accidents each year. You may be going through an intersection when you are sideswiped by another vehicle or your vehicle may be suddenly be hit from behind. If you’ve sustained an injury, the pain caused by a car accident can greatly reduce your quality of life.

After a car accident, you may end up with injuries that cause short-term or long-term pain. Acupuncture is one way to treat many of the aches and pains that are caused by car accidents. It’s a natural form of treatment, and it is highly effective for some people in helping to treat car crash injuries.


How Acupuncture Relieves Pain

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese method of relieving pain. It’s done by inserting very thin needles into specific points on the body. Experienced practitioners of acupuncture aim to restore the balance between yin and yang, which are the extremes of the life force known as qi. Insertion of the needles releases and redirects qi. This is intended to remove imbalances and blockages that cause pain.

Pain and illness are thought to be manifestations of an imbalance in qi. Practitioners believe that acupuncture works by increasing blood flow, releasing endorphins and triggering the activity of the body’s own natural painkillers.


Benefits of Using Acupuncture for Pain

There are several benefits of using acupuncture to treat the pain and other after-effects of car crash injuries. These benefits include:

  • Helps to reduce pain and inflammation quickly
  • Prevents reliance on narcotic painkillers, which can be highly addictive
  • No unpleasant side effects
  • May help to increase the flow of blood, oxygen, and nutrients to damaged tissues, which may speed recovery and reduce the amount of pain you experience
  • May improve your ability to relax and get restful sleep, allowing your body to heal more quickly from any injuries

Not all symptoms of injuries are apparent immediately after a car accident. Untreated injuries can result in long-term problems. When you have acupuncture treatments, you aren’t moved or stretched in any way, so hidden injuries won’t be aggravated during treatment. Acupuncture treatments may also help you to experience more energy and better mental clarity.


Injuries That May Benefit from Acupuncture

Whether acupuncture is right for you depends on the extent of your injuries. Many injuries that happen as the result of car accidents can benefit from acupuncture. Some examples include:

  • Chronic headaches
  • Back Pain
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Joint pain
  • Whiplash symptoms, which may include headaches, dizziness, and pain between the shoulders
  • Muscle aches and tension

Acupuncture is a completely natural approach which is effective in rebalancing the body and the brain. This means that this form of treatment may also reduce stress-related symptoms and prevent the development of other problems, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

Acupuncture is a safe and cost-effective method of treating many of the injuries that occur as the result of car accidents. For many people, it’s a great alternative to medication and a way to avoid relying on opioids or muscle relaxants

How to Make the Perfect Fruit and Veggie Smoothie For Breakfast


Who doesn’t love a good smoothie? It’s the perfect way to start the day out right–adding all the minerals, vitamins, fiber, protein, and healthy fats you need to have a healthy day.

Smoothies come in all shapes and sizes! From the more delicious smoothies (think chocolate/Nutella-heavy peanut butter smoothies) to the highly nutritious (green smoothies made with more veggies than fruit), you can find something to satisfy every appetite and desire.

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Chinese Medical Dietary Recommendations

In order to get the most out of acupuncture or Chinese herbal medicine, it is very important to support your treatment with proper diet and lifestyle. In Chinese medicine, there is a saying, “Seven parts nursing, three parts treatment.” Nursing in this context means diet and lifestyle modifications.

According to Chinese medicine, every food has both a “nature” and a “flavor”. A food’s nature is its effect on the temperature of the body. For example, if someone suffers from a cold disease, they should avoid cold-inducing foods and eat more warming foods, and vice versa. Likewise, each food has one or more of the six flavors: sour, bitter, sweet, acrid (spicy), salty or bland. Each flavor is associated with one of the main internal organs and has its most powerful effect on that organ. This means that whether a food is good or bad for an individual person is entirely dependent upon that person’s Chinese medical pattern diagnosis and the nature and flavor of that food.

For further reading on this subject, see The Tao of Healthy Eating: a Guide to Healthy Eating According to Chinese Medicine, by Bob Flaws. This book also contains more information about the following common patterns and appropriate Chinese therapeutic diets.

The suggestions below are given as general guidelines and should be adjusted for each individual by a qualified license practitioner of Acupuncture and Chinese Dietary Therapy, based on Chinese disease and pattern diagnosis.


For Liver Qi Stagnation

Add:          Some acrid spices (ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, basil, chives and garlic)

Chamomile or mint tea

Dandelion greens


Avoid:       Coffee (decaf and caffeinated)

Excess sour food and drink

Sugars, sweets and artificial sweeteners




For Digestive Weakness (Spleen Qi or Yang deficiency)

Add:          Warm, cooked foods, cooked vegetable

Basmati or jasmine rice, soups and stews

Drink a cup of warm water, broth, soup or tea with meals

Incorporate moderate amounts of warm-hot spices, including black and white pepper, cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg or fennel

Rice milk is a good substitute for milk.

Choose sprouted wheat breads over processed wheat breads.

Avoid:       Cold, frozen or chilled foods and drinks

Raw fruits, raw vegetables, raw salads, lettuce

Tropical fruits, like banana, mango, kiwi, etc.

Large doses of Vitamin C

Dairy: milk, cream, yogurt, cheese and ice cream

Greasy, fatty, and fried foods

Sugars, sweets and artificial sweeteners

Alcohol, nicotine and other stimulants such as energy drinks


For Excessive Phlegm and Dampness

Add:          Warm, cooked foods, cooked vegetable

Basmati or jasmine rice, soups and stews

Drink a cup of warm water, broth, Soup or tea with meals

Incorporate moderate amounts of warm-hot spices, including black and white pepper, cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg or fennel
Rice milk is a good substitute for milk

Choose sprouted wheat breads over processed wheat breads

Mung bean soup


Avoid:       Overeating in general

Excess intake of oils and fats, including fatty meats

Raw fruits, raw vegetable, raw salads

Dairy: milk, cream, yogurt, cheese and ice cream

Sugars, sweets and artificial sweeteners

Nuts and nut butters

Wheat products




For Damp Heat (Liver/Gallbladder, Large Intestine or Lower Burner Damp Heat)

Add:          Warm, cooked foods, cooked vegetables

Basmati or jasmine rice, soups and stews

Drink a cup of warm water, broth, soup or tea with meals

Mung bean soup


Avoid:       Hot spices, spicy foods, especially hot peppers

Oranges and other acidic high sugar fruits

Excess intake of oils and fats, including fatty meats

Dairy: milk, cream, yogurt, cheese and ice cream

Sugars, sweets and artificial sweeteners

Nuts and nut butters




For Blood Deficiency

Add:          Small amounts of lean red meat: beef or lamb

Small amounts of animal protein: chicken, fish or eggs

Soups, broths, stew and warm foods in general

Yellow, orange or red root vegetables: carrots, beets, squash, yams, and sweet potatoes

Cooked leafy greens: kale, collard, bok choy, watercress, spinach, and broccoli

Best fruits: cherries, red grapes, and raspberries: preferably cooked or dried

Black beans

Black sesame seeds

Avoid:       Total vegetarianism, raw, uncooked salads and vegetables

Raw fruits can be eaten if at room temperature and followed by a cup of tea or warm water


For Blood Stasis

Add:          Moderate amounts of alcohol, preferably red wine

Moderate use of warm spices, like cinnamon, cloves, fennels, black, and white pepper and cardamom


Avoid:       Greasy, fatty or fried foods

Dairy: milk, cream, yogurt, cheese and ice cream

Overeating in general


For Intestinal Dryness

Add:          Prunes, pears, figs, almonds, sesame seeds, walnuts and aloe vera juice


Avoid:       Use of warm, drying, hot spices


For Liver Stasis transforming into heat, upward flaming of Liver Fire, ascendant Liver Yang, Hyperactivity, Heart Fire, Stomach Heat or Fire Patterns

Add:          A Moderate intake of cooling foods, including celery, melon, cucumber, zucchini, plus same general dietary suggestions for spleen deficiency, bur exclude warm-hot spices

Drink chamomile or mint tea

Dandelion greens


Avoid:       Greasy, fatty or fried foods

Warm, hot spices and spicy foods


For Lung Weakness


Cooked or dried pears, walnuts, loquat, lily bulb





For Kidney Yin Deficiency

Add:          Lean meats and fish in general, some shellfish, eggs, and the same suggestions for spleen deficiency except the use of warm-hot spices.


Avoid:       Excessive use of warm-hot spices, alcohols, caffeine, sugar, sweets and artificial sweeteners.


For Kidney Yang Deficiency

Add:          Add warm-hot spices, especially ginger and cinnamon, walnuts, onions and garlic


Avoid:       Chilled frozen foods and drink, raw, uncooked fruits and vegetables, coffee (both decaf and caffeinated), other stimulants and energy drinks.


Other personalized dietary suggestions:

In general, everyone should try to eat fresh food, freshly prepared, preferably organic, with a minimum of chemicals, preservatives or additives. It is also important to eat local seasonally available produce. In addition to a healthy diet, it is vitally important to get adequate physical exercise and rest. Diet, exercise and rest are the three free therapies that are the foundation of good health.


  • Exercise: at least 30 minutes of MODERATE activity, 5 times per week
  • Internal Exercises: Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Yoga, Meditation
  • 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar twice a day
  • 8+ hours of sleep
  • 6+ glasses of water
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