Long Summer


  Vancouverites have been experiencing an extra long summer. How has your garden been growing? Well or scorched? One of the many questions we are asked and we advise on are diet. Should I eat organics or not?

  As a preview to our next series on Integrative Medicine Aging and Longevity, there are a few ways to answer this. Sonia has completed an Environmental Toxin health assessment course as part of her Integrative Medicine research Doctorate she is completing. From this there is clear evidence that there are many harmful health toxins out there, in land, air and sea. There are so much it may seem unavoidable, so the best approach is one of minimizing our exposure as much as possible. Hence when it comes to food and where we have a choice, it would be best to take a less toxic approach and ease the accumulation and strain on our body. For example, the BPAs and Phthalates from plastics, are known endocrine disruptors – this means it stops the proper functioning of our endocrine glands – that is our prostate (erectile dysfunction, cancer), ovaries (infertility, cancer), thyroid (hypo and hyper dysfunctions), etc. This can lead to other multiple systemic problems in our body. Another approach is just a little bit of common sense. Would you want a pesticide sprayed in your face? If not, why would you eat something that has it on it?

  We have a choice, and our choices have a ripple effect. Of course we need to be wise with our money and evaluate what is worth our money spent. In order to help you out, here is a short list of best choices for organics due to pesticide levels from the Environmental Working Group (a good resource for information on human health and the environment) http://www.ewg.org/about-us:

Dirty Dozen”                                “Clean Fifteen”

Apples                                                 Avocados

Peaches                                              Sweet Corn

Nectarines                                          Pineapples

Strawberries                                       Cabbage

Grapes                                               Sweet peas (frozen)

Celery                                                Onions

Spinach                                              Asparagus

Sweet bell peppers                              Mangoes

Cucumbers                                         Papayas

Cherry tomatoes                                 Kiwis

Snap peas (imported)                         Eggplant

Potatoes                                            Grapefruit

Hot Peppers                                       Cauliflower

Kale/Collared Greens                          Sweet Potatoes


From a TCM perspective, anything considered toxic accumulates in the body in the form of ‘phlegm’, ‘dampness’, and ‘heat’. If too much accumulates or the organs are too weak to get rid of it, this looks like inflammations, blockages, cysts, fat, and general poor organ functioning. So happy clean eating to you to help your organs out! Look for more on integrative healthy aging and longevity in our next series of newsletters!

   Adding to more choices, we have a new practitioner at Red Tree Wellness! We are pleased to welcome Michael Chia-Liang Yin to the team! Michael comes from a background in pharmaceutical research and the cost-benefit outcomes. From this, he was inspired to help the patients more directly, but also with a medicine he felt had better overall cost-benefit health outcomes – Acupuncture and TCM! Read more about him here, and book online with him starting this September here!

Take health in your hands with our final Tui Na massage tips from Sheralyn Hoiland, BSc, RAc.

This summer there are more wild fires resulting in more smoke which is strongly hindering peoples’ “Qi” circulation and effecting some people more negatively than others. As a result, I am finding more people are experiencing intense headaches which can border on feeling like migraines. The headaches are commonly felt on the sides of the head along the Gallbladder meridian. There are a few points you can massage to help relieve this type of headache.

Small Intestine 3– Located on the pinky side of your hand, proximal (wrist side) to the head of the fifth metacarpal bone (see picture). If you make a loose fist the point is located at the end of the crease proximal to the knuckle. This point may be painful so start by gently pressing on the point and releasing and gradually increase the pressure. Or press and do small counter-clockwise circles over the point.

San Jiao 3– Located between the 4tha and 5th metacarpal bones, proximal to the head of the 4th metacarpal bone on the dorsal (non-palm) side of the hand. Again,this may be a painful point so start by gently pressing and gradually increase pressure.

Liver meridian between Liver 4 and 5– Massage the shin bone starting ⅔ of the way down the shin. Start by pushing the pad or lateral side of your thumb down the bone towards the ankle. Stopping on sensitive point to press, rub or do gentle circles over these points can be helpful to relieve the headache or a stiff neck/shoulds.

With all these points, massage until the sensitivity reduces (5-10 minutes). Please do not press too hard and cause yourself pain. The points will feel sore and may be uncomfortable to touch so slowly increase pressure.

You may also find that the points on the opposite side are more sensitive. So If the headache is more painful on the right side of the head, than the points on the left hand and leg will be more tender.  

— Sheralyn Hoiland, BSc, RAc

Last but not least, our Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) guide for the Late Summer season:

Late summer is the time of Earth, and a time to return to center. We find our balance by getting back on track with routine and comforts. Many of us get back on track with exercise programs. Proper foot wear, proper warm-up and training consistency are vital to injury prevention and good exercise. Here is a review of stretching soleus, the ‘deep’ calf muscle, as proper stretching can prevent injuries such as shin splints, plantar fascitis and achilies tendonitis.

Stand upright with your weight evenly distributed between your feet, one in front of the other, toes pointed straight ahead. Bend your knees evenly, allowing your feet relax into the floor and keeping your heels down. The ‘stretch’ should be gentle, felt in the back leg, and in the lower calf. Often the stretch cannot be felt until 5-10 seconds into the stretch. Hold the stretch for 30-45 seconds and then switch sides. Repeat twice.

– Sonia Tan

Enjoy the rest of the long summer! Take time to find your grounding and we’re here to help if you need it.

Yours in good health and happiness,

Sonia & the Red Tree Wellness team


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