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Asthma and Oriental Medicine

breath deeply

Having read a somewhat disturbing article that talks about more and more people being negatively affected by asthma due to climate change, I thought this would be a good opportunity to tell you a little bit about treating asthma from an Oriental Medicine point of view.

While neither Western nor Oriental Medicine have a cure for asthma, Oriental Medicine does have treatments for mitigating asthma symptoms which can bring much welcomed relief, and if you, or someone you love, suffers from asthma, you know how welcome that relief is.

Relief Is Possible

Oriental Medicine can’t promise dramatic relief of asthma symptoms in everyone, but because everyone’s body is unique, it makes sense to try Oriental Medicine for asthma relief—especially if what you’re currently doing isn’t helping or causing unwanted side effects. For example, I once treated a child with severe asthma, using only gold beads (a needle-free method of acupuncture), and his breathing improved significantly.

Proper diet and exercise can help strengthen the Lungs, which according to Oriental Medicine, also strengthens the Immune System. A vibrant Immune System is better able to combat allergens, bacteria and viruses that can weaken the Lungs and make you vulnerable to respiratory problems.

Treat the Lungs in Summer

Oriental Medicine is very attuned to how your health is affected during each season of the year: Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. With each new season your body needs to adapt to new environmental factors like: temperature, amount of daylight, what foods are in season, to name a few.

Everyone knows in Autumn and Winter that the Lungs are vulnerable to infection by cold bacteria and flu viruses. This is also the situation in early Spring. It’s only Summertime when we can relax and enjoy being soaked by the seasonal warmth, making Summer the best time to work on strengthening the health of your Lungs.


My breathing has become more shallow over the past few months and recently I had an asthma attack. The herb formula you gave me opened my lungs up and I can breathe deeply again. Clearly I’m deeply concerned now and will follow your advice about how to rebuild my lung energy. Thank you, Kitty! — Testimonial

tai chi

Tai Chi & Chi Kung for Your Lungs

Tai Chi and Chi Kung are excellent exercises for building and maintaining healthy Lungs. These gentle movements focus on physically expanding the Lungs, which increase your capacity to inhale more air. These exercises also focus your body’s ‘Chi’ or energy in a way that compounds the benefit your Lungs get by simply stretching them—it’s like giving your Lungs a massage with your muscles and your mind.

And while we’re on the subject of ‘exercise,’ if you suffer from asthma you should explore and understand the need to exercise your Lungs in a way that does not overtax them.

When the Lungs are weak, as they are if you have trouble breathing, strenuous exercise can deplete energy from your Lungs. That’s why Chi Kung and Tai Chi are prescribed for Lung health.

When people with breathing problems come to BIOM for treatment, I often show them one or two simple Chi Kung exercises they can do to get deeper breaths today, while we work on building stronger, long-term Lung health.

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Early Spring: Rebuilding Kidney Energy

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Rebuilding KIDNEY ENERGY at the beginning of Spring is very important.

KIDNEY ENERGY is weak after running full bore through the Winter, so it’s not uncommon at the beginning of Spring to feel lower back pain, weak knees or ankles; or more generally, any discomfort in the lower body, which is the domain of the Kidneys.

It’s particularly important to begin strengthening the Kidney energy as Spring energy takes over, and compels us to move and create: thats why we call it SPRING!

We feel the URGE! inside and out; to be creative! to do Spring cleaning! To get outside! work in the garden! start working on the house! The URGE! is to throw ourselves into whatever motivates, inspires, or just needs doing!

But after a long, slow Winter your body needs to warm up and begin rebuilding the Kidney energy that was depleted over the Winter.

So just as your car and your financial portfolio need periodic tuneups ... the changing seasonal energy from Winter to Spring ... from Water to Wood ... from Kidney to Liver is the time to begin ... REBUILDING KIDNEY ENERGY ...

The Taste of Your Food Affects How You Feel

Yi Xing  teapot

As many of you know, we offer an online course called Healthy Eating: The Five Element Way, where you can learn and practice how to combine foods in a way that balances the energy in your body. And a balanced body is a healthy body.

The course has a great Q&A section where you can ask us questions and interact with other students.

Here’s an interesting question someone asked in the course that we want to share with you.

Question: I have a question about ‘taste enhancement’. Since I have found I enjoy the addition of a sour component to several foods I often eat, does that indicate my liver may be out of balance? I would not describe the situation as being a craving as such. It seems like it is more of a flavor enhancement kind of thing.

Answer: Yes, your choice of adding the ‘sour’ taste to your food is an indication that your Liver could use some rebalancing—and enhancing the flavor of your meal with a bit more of the sour taste may be just what your Liver needs.

On the other hand, to make the point: If one were ‘craving’ sour food, that would indicate a more significant imbalance with the Liver energy, which might require a more vigorous technique like acupuncture or Chinese medicinal herbs to get the Liver rebalanced.

Keep an eye on your consumption of ‘sour tasting’ foods and see how much of them you’re choosing; perhaps make some notes in your food journal.

There are also Chi Kung exercises you can do to keep your Liver balanced; (we’re planning to show some in a future course). In the meantime, here’s a book to get started if you want to know more about Chi Kung.

Please let us know if you have any other questions.

Kitty

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IMPORTANT: All information on this Web site is provided for educational use only and not meant to substitute for the advice of a local Oriental Medicine practitioner, biomedical doctor, experienced coach, or martial arts instructor.