Chinese Medicine Food Therapy

We have heard of the Hippocrates quote, “let thy food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. Like Hippocrates, Traditional Chinese Medicine views food as a source of healing.  Similar to the familiar concepts of nutrients, calories and vitamins in foods, in Chinese Medicine, each food has its own healing essence and can be used therapeutically. How so?

Everybody has their own individual constitution. Some people feel warmer than others, some may perspire more than others and some have cold hands and feet while others burn up in their extremities.

In Chinese Medicine, all foods have a thermal property – a warming or cooling effect. Based on one’s own internal constitution, if you tend to feel more hot, then foods which have a cooling property can rebalance your internal environment and restore your body’s balance. And vice versa, people who tend to feel colder are encouraged to eat more warming foods which can decrease their internal coldness.

The following chart is an example of foods and their thermal properties.

  Cooling Neutral Warming
Vegetables Bok Choy

Broccoli

Celery

Cucumber

Spinach

Cabbage

Potato

Cauliflower

Beetroot

Carrot

Leek

Onion

Pumpkin

Brussel Sprouts

Scallion

Fruits Watermelon

Apple

Melon

Pear

Raspberry

Grape

Mandarins

Mango

Pineapple

 

Meat & Seafood Fish

Duck

Oyster

Scallop

Beef

Lamb

Prawns

Venison

Beverages Chamomile Tea

Peppermint Tea

  Ginger Tea

Black Tea

Jasmine Tea

Spices & Herbs Mint

Marjoram

Coriander Seed

 

Turmeric

Cinnamon

Clove

Ginger

Thyme

Sage

Oregano

Raw foods are coldest in nature but you may warm it up by lightly stir-frying or cooking them. You can also balance out the thermal nature of foods by combining it with other foods from the other categories and adding some warming spices.

If you’re interested in finding out about your own body’s constitution and get advice on which category of foods would be best for you, book in to speak to one of our TCM practitioners.

You may have also heard your Chinese Medicine practitioner tell you to avoid any cold drinks and beverages, and even a salad. Doesn’t heat destroy the nutrient content? Chinese Medicine believes that the Stomach and Spleen’s are warm in nature. That is, by consuming cold temperature foods and beverages it hampers the Qi and natural functions of the Spleen and Stomach which could lead to digestive and GI issues and even weight gain. A light steaming or light stir fry of foods will be enough to keep your Stomach and Spleen happy and aid in the breaking down of food and bring forth healing. Just like how your gut health is very important, in Chinese Medicine your Spleen and Stomach’s health is just as important.

THE BENEFITS OF PRENATAL REIKI

Pregnancy is a unique experience – with it comes transitions, changes, and challenges to the physical body. In my years as a Reiki Master Teacher, I have talked to women about the benefits of prenatal Reiki and how this ancient art of healing heals, strengthens, and makes the pregnancy journey a more meaningful experience.

Reiki is a gentle way to bring back the positive energy, balance, and deep relaxation to the body – benefits pregnant women need. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of Reiki, view “8 Benefits of Reiki Healing”.  It is 100% natural, safe and aims to improve the holistic well-being of anyone receiving Reiki treatments, regardless of their condition.

All Reiki treatments can be done in-person or remotely via Distant Reiki Healing. Prenatal Reiki helps pregnant women manage the changes in their bodies, all while keeping them connected to their babies.

What is Prenatal Reiki?

Reiki is a wonderful way to help pregnant women release pent-up stress from pregnancy and can assist them in becoming at peace with the physical, emotional, and mental changes that come with pregnancy. Prenatal Reiki focuses on helping expectant mothers connect with their bodies and their unborn children. The feeling of connection toward a baby may sometimes not come naturally. Connecting with your baby is an amazing experience! With the help of energy healing during the pregnancy Reiki process, your mind can feel relaxed and calm, allowing you to savour your pregnancy without fear and worry.

The Benefits of Prenatal Reiki

Pregnancy is unique and diverse. One mother’s experience may be different from another’s. If you are an expectant mum, or if someone you love is carrying a baby, here are some pregnancy Reiki benefits you should know.

Reiki Eases Pregnancy Symptoms

Pregnancy is a life-changing, life-altering experience dealing with morning sickness, food aversions, exhaustion, and mood swings which can take your focus off your pregnancy and the difficulties that come with it. Just when you think you are getting the hang of it, your body changes again the next week, and that can be stressful. The art of Reiki allows you to gain back peace and calm. A Reiki session makes it possible for you to contact your body and cope with the ever-changing symptoms better. It helps with taking the lens out of the stress so you can further appreciate this beautiful, magical experience that is happening inside you, allowing you to be more present, positive, and connected with your pregnancy.

Reiki Eases Stress and Worries

Dealing with the unknown can be scary, especially for pregnant women who are carrying the most precious beings. There are a lot of worries in the minds of mothers; worrying about the baby’s growth, the baby’s development, and their own health can make expectant moms feel like they are always on the edge. With the help of Reiki during pregnancy, moms can release their pent-up stress and worries. As they take the time to be mindful, they can find that assurance that everything will be okay.

Reiki Strengthens the mother-child bond

The healing that comes with Reiki is holistic, enveloping an entire person, including the baby. Whenever I have a healing session with pregnant women, they always express that they feel like their babies are responding to the treatment through their movements. Reiki gives way to moments where a mother can enjoy communicating with her baby without stress, worries, and physical pain.

Reiki Provides Emotional Release

It is normal to feel numerous emotions throughout a pregnancy journey. However, you know when some emotions are temporary and unexplainable, while some are much deeper and real. You have probably heard that your baby feels what you feel, so it is extra important to take care of your emotional health. So, if you have been feeling various negative emotions, such as feeling overwhelmingly unready, not good enough, resistant to change, extremely anxious, or insecure.

Maybe you are feeling disconnected from yourself. Maybe unresolved issues with your inner child are coming up even now. In some cases, where there are deeper levels of emotions that could make you feel constantly angry, resentful, or other emotions of the like Intuitive Healing, which has a special focus on emotional healing in a more advanced way. It is helpful to clear them from your emotional field and release these emotions gently so you can feel better and so can your little baby while maintaining a nurturing environment for your baby to grow in.

And for some expectant mothers who are naturally overly sensitive energetically or are more empathic, keep in mind that some of these negative emotions might not be yours, but rather the emotions you may be absorbing from others around you. So, if you have noticed that you have a natural tendency to absorb other people’s emotions or their energy, you may want to take even further steps toward caring for your own energy levels and emotional health.

In such cases, I am certain an emotional energy cleansing session via Intuitive Healing would be one of the most supportive tools for you, which is available in-person or as an online appointment (distant healing), and both are equally as effective.

Reiki Heals Physical Pains and Changes the Way Mothers Look at Pregnancy

Reiki is an effective, non-invasive treatment that can help with physical pains associated with pregnancy, such as:

Lower back pain

Exhaustion

Joint pain

Cramps

Stress

Mood changes

High blood pressure

Hormonal Imbalance

Sciatica

This allows mothers to have a different perspective on pregnancy – one that is full of meaningful memories and not full of physical challenges.

Reiki Prepares Mothers for Childbirth

Reiki strengthens mums-to-be. One of the biggest benefits of prenatal Reiki is that it gives the mother additional physical and emotional strength. With Reiki, mums get a renewed understanding of their physical, and emotional challenges. Through Reiki, mums get more in tune with their bodies, making them feel in control. Reiki supports mothers-to-be so that they are empowered to face childbirth with more love, presence, and confidence.

What happens in a pre-natal Reiki session?

The session begins with the mum-to-be in her most comfortable position. Some, in their early trimester, prefer to lie on their back for the Reiki treatment. Pregnant clients have the option to follow the position they are most comfortable with, which is usually on their sides.

Unlike massages, Reiki does not focus on muscles, so you will not have to worry about physical complications after the treatment. Reiki uses a gentle, hands-on technique, laying hands softly on specific areas of your body to invite natural healing. Pregnant women interested in Reiki do not have to worry about safety as Reiki is one of the rare forms of therapy that is 100% safe to receive and the treatment is gentle yet effective. Most of my prenatal Reiki clients say they can get some deep, quality sleep during our sessions too!

Experience Distant Reiki Healing Sessions in The Comfort of Your Home!

Reiki sessions can also be given remotely to expectant mothers who are not able to visit our clinic in person. I like to have a brief chat with my clients first to see how they are doing before asking them to lie down in the comfort of their own home for the Reiki treatment. Afterward, we will have a little chat to talk about any specific notes regarding the session.

Prenatal Reiki Benefits: Even Your Baby Can Enjoy Reiki Too!

As a Reiki Master Teacher, I always find it astounding when mothers tell me they can feel their babies react and respond to the treatment. They say that babies feel their mothers’ stress – the same is true when the mother feels all relaxed and pampered. The healing energy from a Reiki healing session can help soothe, calm, and relax unborn babies, too. Now, that is a sweet way to make your baby feel you care for them!

In my experience, babies who are used to Reiki treatments while in the womb tend to respond well to Reiki treatments received after they are born. My prenatal clients who had consistent Reiki sessions with me have shared that they were able to have the beautiful, dream births that they had always desired.

Reiki During Childbirth

On top of clients who have received Reiki sessions throughout their 36 weeks of pregnancy, I have facilitated Reiki sessions DURING delivery. You might be wondering, “Is that seriously possible?” Absolutely. I have supported many expectant mothers during their delivery, and it is especially helpful for those who are experiencing complications. Distant Reiki Healing sessions are amazingly beneficial during delivery and can truly keep the mother and baby calm throughout the process. At the point there is no need to dial in and have a chat with the mum during the Distant Reiki Healing session, we will jump straight into the Reiki treatment while you will be busy doing your part.

Reiki Improves Pregnancy Experiences

Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful physical and spiritual experiences, and each mother deserves to experience this opportunity positively. However, stressors to the mind, body, and soul can mar the experience. See your pregnancy in the most wonderful way – pregnant mummas, you deserve a healing Reiki session. Reiki is like an expecting mother’s healing balm – it eases the physical pain, it relaxes the mind, and it makes it possible for moms to enjoy the ride through and through.

If you or someone you know wants to experience pregnancy in a way you have not before, consider a prenatal Reiki session or Intuitive Healing session!

What is acupuncture?

Let’s get straight to the point!

Acupuncture involves inserting very fine needles into the body to stimulate the body’s own resources to heal itself.

This helps to bring our system back into balance from an unhealthy state or if you are well, it can encourage and support your body to continue on a good path to staying healthy, optimising bodily functions and promoting general wellbeing.

There are hundreds of acupuncture points all over the body so it’s hard not to miss one, but the art of acupuncture is to know what points to stimulate, and when to stimulate them.

It is also important to understand that when different point combinations are stimulated at the same time they can have an increased effect on the treatment outcomes.

There are many different methods of applying acupuncture techniques and your experience will differ depending on who the health care practitioner is, and what they are attempting to treat.

Acupuncture needles also vary in length and thickness (gauge).

The type of needle selected is usually decided upon based on the following:

  • The area of the body being needled (thicker muscles need longer needles)
  • The sensitivity/constitution of the patient
  • The style of treatment and training of the practitioner

So, how does it feel to get acupuncture?

Most people report that the insertion of the needles is painless with it sometimes feeling like a small prick or a mosquito bite. This depends on the circulation in the area, the tension of the muscles, if there has been an injury or inflammation to the tissue and the needling technique being used.

Patients usually experience one or more of the following:

  • A feeling of “heaviness” or dull ache around where the needle is
  • A gentle tingling sensation or warmth
  • No sensation where the needle is inserted but a general feeling of relaxation

 If the practitioner is targeting a knot in a muscle this can cause some temporary discomfort. These situations usually involve the person being in some pain already prior to the treatment. Once the needle is inserted, it can feel quite intense for a short time but this is soon replaced with a feeling of relief.

The techniques used by the practitioner will also vary depending on the style of the practitioner and what condition they are treating. In most cases the needle will be stimulated at different intervals throughout a treatment and this can be done in different ways such as:

  • Manually twisting or gently thrusting the needle once it’s inserted into the body
  • “Electro” stimulation on the needle (similar to TENS)
  • Moxibustion (heat therapy)
  • Cupping therapy (suction cups)
  • Massage (Tui Na, acupressure)

 Getting regular treatment from a registered acupuncturist can help resolve issues not only currently presenting in your health but can prevent other problems from occurring.

At Northern Beaches Integrative Practitioners we have a number of different Acupuncturists offering different styles of treatment and that have different areas of specialisation so give us a call today to find out who would be best to help you.

Post natal recovery and honouring the women through Traditional Chinese Medicine

In our fast paced culture of constant ‘doing’ it’s a big adjustment when you have a baby. The expectations on women to ‘bounce back’ can be crippling to the repair and rest that must be taken at such a pivotal and influential time for a women’s health. Taking this time to rest after birth can have huge impacts on the current and future health of the women. So why is it so important? And how do we nourish and support the post natal mother back to health? Below are some of the key areas we can support women and why this support is imperative.

Rest is so important to allow the body to recoup. Childbirth and labour is a lot more than a marathon, what it is commonly compared to! Huge hormonal and physical changes are taking place, effecting every organ. The uterus takes roughly 6 weeks to heal, and the heart can take almost a month to rise back to normal. On top of this, you’re entering broken sleep territory, while producing breast milk – which takes a tonne of energy. Rest should be prioritised, allowing the mother to sleep when the baby does. And to have a plan for other household duties to be taken care of.

Massage can be more beneficial than exercise at this point, as exercise will use much needed healing energy. Massage can be seen as a valuable way of stimulating circulation, which can be slower after childbirth due to a few factors. Using heat with the massage further enhances the therapeutic effect. In some cultures using warm oils or warm towels. As a women is encouraged to rest post birth, massage can also aid in mental benefits of what exercise would normally deliver. Acupuncture can have similar effects for relaxation and circulation.

Mother Warming is another important aspect of nurturing the mother. When a body is depleted it is easily chilled. In many Asian cultures, a warming herb called moxa (or mugwart) is commonly burned over the lower tummy a week after vaginal birth and 2 weeks after a c-section, and along the lower back.

Even in hot climates, there is an emphasis on keeping the body warm and keeping these specific areas warm, where it is said the ‘original heat of the body is stored’.

Nutritional support and enough fluid is probably an obvious one! A good postpartum diet is easy to achieve, being a restorative diet, with attention on nutrient-rich foods which are physically warm and warming in nature, meaning it creates warmth. Meeting the demands of healing tissues and increased energy needs with breastfeeding. Starting the day (between 7am-9am) with your largest meal, is ideal when the stomach energy is circulating at its strongest. Having your next largest meal at lunch and lightest at dinner (but still substantial), if you are hungry at night and needing to eat during feeds, lighter snacks, such as a handful of almonds, or honey on toast and warm teas is advised to allow your digestive system to rest. There are many great Traditional Chinese Medicine herbal formulas that are recommended in third trimester to get ready for delivery and for post natal to aid in healing the reproductive organs, building the blood and nourishing the mother.

The above is broad advice that will hopefully help guide a good postnatal plan. Along with giving some motivation and understanding as to the importance of why having a post natal plan is so important to the healing mother. Traditionally, the rest period is advised for the first month or 40 days. For more information on how we can support your health leading up to and following birth, book in with any of our experienced practitioners.