It seems like summer has flown by and yes, we are now entering Late Summer, which in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is the time of the Earth element, and returning to Centre. The Earth element in the Chinese meridian system is the Spleen and Stomach meridians, which as Earth does, is in charge of nurturing and being nurtured. The Pancreas in Chinese Medicine is associated with the Spleen, and therefore the Earth element meridians. Our herb for this late summer Earth newsletter is Shan Yao – Chinese Yam – a herb used often for strengthening the Spleen and Stomach meridians, and also treating Diabetes. More details below!
Speaking of getting back to balance, we have some seminars lined up for your this fall to help you find your balance. Our first one coming up is part of a series: Health at Home: Colds and Flus Prevention and Treatments using the wisdom of TCM on Tuesday September 20, 2011. We will give you food cure tips, home treatment plans, acupressure points that help relieve symptoms, and also teach you easy methods of moxibustion to help boost your immune system. If you are interested in learning how to fight colds and flus in a natural and effective manner, this seminar is for you.
Our second one coming up is Take-home tips about Eczema from a TCM perspective on Tuesday, October 18, 2011. We will give you an understanding of the nature of the syndrome from a TCM perspective, and guide you with some tips to help you out. If you suffer from Eczema and struggle to find some effective natural tips to help with your symptoms, this seminar is for you. Check our website and new Facebook page for up-to-date details of this seminar.
Since I just mentioned it, yes we are finally on Facebook! We will be posting the latest seminar information, health tips, and also want to be able to converse with you, our patients, in a more connected manner. In conjunction with our Facebook launch, we are holding a contest in celebration of finding health with Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. One of the best ways for people to try alternative health, is when they hear of a someone’s story, of an experience of a fellow patient. We would like your help passing the word around about how Acupuncture and TCM has helped you! Post your story on our Wall by Monday, September 12, 2011. Our practitioners will be choosing the “best” story. On Friday September 16, 2011, we will announce the winner of the grand prize. What’s the grand prize? A health basket of herbal medicinal teas, essential oils, a diffuser and a free treatment (over $150 value)! Just so you know, all entries will be rewarded in token of you sharing your story. You never know who or how your story will help someone, and we want to thank you for sharing. See our Facebook page for further details!
Late Summer is the time of the element of Earth which as I mentioned above, is related to the organ and meridian systems of the Spleen, Pancreas, and Stomach. Earth element is concerned with generating, nurturing, abundance and the ripening of the life force, mainly on a physical level, from digestion. On a mental or emotional level, Earth is in charge of ‘digesting’ our thinking and thoughts, and thus governs learning, thinking and analysis. The goal of this season is to return to our central core, nourish, generate, and continue to ripen our life force or Qi, as the body at this time is most attune with Earth. Take time to care for yourself, nurture yourself, and remember what is important for you to stay balanced and grounded to Earth. Nurture others as well, but without over-extending your energy as your balanced health is most important.
Shan Yao (Radix Dioscoreae Oppositae) whose common name is Chinese Yam, has been used for thousands of years in Chinese Medicine for strengthening the Qi (life-force) of the Spleen and Stomach system, which helps it with digestion, among other functions such as regular bowel movements, appetite, and energy. Shan Yao also re-nourishes the Yin which has to do with its nourishing and lubricating function working in conjunction with the Lung and Kidney meridian systems. This lubricating and energizing (yin and yang) function, leads this herb to be often used in treating, from thousands of years ago to today, a condition we call in Chinese Medicine Xiao Ke, which in Western medicine, is equivalent to Diabetes. By nourishing and lubricating, as well as well as strengthen the life force, its regulation of the Spleen (Pancreas) and Stomach helps regulate blood-sugar levels. One standard formula used for re-nourishing the Yin function of a number of meridian systems, uses Shan Yao as one of its ingredients. In fact, this formula, researched by Western medicine in 2001, was found to have an ability to stimulate the secretion of insulin, as measured by blood glucose and insulin levels, and this formula seems helpful in improving the diabetic condition, especially hyperglycemia in rats with type-II diabetes (Cheng et al, 2001). This study also found that other ingredients in this formula have a particular helpful effect on stimulating insulin and thereby reducing blood glucose. If you are interested in learning more about how TCM can help Diabetes, drop us a line, visit us on Facebook, and watch for an upcoming seminar on TCM its ability to help Diabetes.
What it all comes down to is remembering to nourish our earth, not just nourishing others. When we find our balance and centre, harmony will follow. The Chinese Medicine approach with diet, herbs, acupuncture, etc., is always about finding the balance, to help regain and maintain healthy flow of life-force.
Enjoy finding nourishment with the rest of the Earth season.
Sonia F. Tan
BA, BA(H), DTCM, R.Ac, R.TCM.P.