Category: Wellness Articles
September 24, 2020
A Note About the Metal Element
As we enter the fall season, the energy of the Lung & Metal element emerges: the air becomes cool and crisp, our skin and lungs– like the leaves on deciduous trees- may start to feel more dry, and the sun shares less sunshine with each passing day.
We may be in touch with a sense of grief or the poignancy of small, fleeting, beautiful moments as the days shorten. This is a time of year for reflection and for being in touch with that which we find truly important, special, and inspirational. This sensibility aligns well with the Jewish New Year celebrated annually around the same time as the Autumnal Equinox.
This year, I imagine that the aspect of grief will …
September 17, 2020
Struggling with smoke impacts? Want to make sure your cabinet is ready & stocked for the rest of Fire season?
With all the smoke in the air right now, our respiratory systems are taking a hit. You might be
experiencing cough, sore throat, chest tightness, shortness of breath, headache, malaise, even
irritability or insomnia. It’s not an easy time for our Lungs right now! The good news is there are lots of safe, effective herbs that can help us deal with smoke impacts and maintain our respiratory health.
Breathe Easier with Chinese Herbs
Sang Ye (Mulberry leaf) The moist, almost succulent leaves of this tree help to soothe, cool and allay coughs, and promote Lung function. It is known as an herb that replenishes and restores order …
August 10, 2020
You may have seen people practicing their Qi Gong or Tai Chi forms in the Bay Area’s many parks. Often older generations of Chinese Americans swear by the practice for their joint health and overall well-being. So what is this ancient practice and how could it benefit you?
Qi Gong is a form of meditative movement like the asana practice of yoga. The sequences are often more gentle than modern yoga but the basic principle is the same: breath, body, and mind united in a pose or movement. Of the Chinese movement practices, Qi Gong is known as the more meditative branch, while Tai Chi has more of a martial affiliation. They have overlapping forms and sequences and are often referred to interchangeably.
March 23, 2020
This is our growing collection of links to connect you with the best information out there. As an integrative medicine college, we know that MDs, Herbalists, community, movement, and mindfulness all have a role to play as we face this unprecedented health challenge. Check back often as we will update it as new information and resources come to light.
Public Health Information
How to Take Care of Your Immune System:
January 25, 2020
Sure enough, we’re moving from the deep, quiet of winter toward the time of impulsive Spring. Soon, here in Berkeley, we’ll see spring onions poke out of the earth– an excellent medicine for lingering winter colds that ripple through homes and schools through February and March.
The ancient Chinese calendar accounted for this shift by starting the new year later than the Gregorian calendar: the year starts not in the depths of the dark days of winter, but as the days are getting longer and the earth is warming up again, getting ready to allow plants to explore the surface of the world with their bright, waxy spring leaves.
Acupuncturist and Chinese Astrologist Narrye Caldwell explains, “There’s the usual mistake westerners make of assuming that January (which …
August 21, 2019
What Is Methylation?
The methylation cycle. It’s a process that involves passing a methyl group (one carbon atom plus three hydrogen atoms) to something else (a gene, neurotransmitter, etc.) in the body.3 While seemingly simple, methylation is “mind-bogglingly fundamental”.1 In fact, this critical process occurs billions of times every second to control the genetic expression of virtually every cell in the body.1,3
As if operating our switchboard of genes wasn’t a big enough job, methylation plays a huge role in detox, neurotransmitter modulation and cell defense. Additionally, it has a hand in the regulation of sympathetic and immune responses and supports brain, cardiovascular and muscle health.3 With involvement in such a broad range of homeostatic processes it’s not surprising that genetic mutations related …
July 9, 2019
We all think hydration is simple, right? Just drink plenty of water. But staying well hydrated also means our bodies need to actually ABSORB all the water we’re drinking. Imagine a dry, cracked piece of earth in the desert. When it rains, that earth is so parched and hard that it cannot absorb any water. It all runs off the surface.
Our bodies are the same. If we don’t “prepare our soil” properly, all the water we drink just runs right through, and our tissues are still parched and dry. In TCM, we use yin tonics- herbs that are moistening and demulcent, in order to help moisten the body on a deep level and help it to “hold” the water. On a cellular level, yin tonics …
October 5, 2018
*See August 13th blog post I practiced Qigong for two months. Here are eight things I learned. for the four previous things I learned about this practice.
5. Prepare to let go
2017 was a tough one. It marked the end of a relationship, the second year of a move and finally admitting to myself that I wasn’t happy working behind a desk. Then, during the last few months of the year, a blow of chronic illness quite literally brought me to my knees. For a couple long months I cobbled together all that I could to get through each day, and at night, I fell apart again and again and again. Cutting my losses, I filed for disability, packed my bags and booked a plane …
August 29, 2018
Fellow students, acupuncturists, and health enthusiasts: I have one question for you, when was the last time that you laughed? I don’t mean the respectful chuckle you show your boss, or the polite giggle offered to strangers in conversation. I mean knee slapping, gut clenching, tear-jerking laughter that takes physical resistance to be held back. If the last time you remember such a guffaw is childhood, I encourage you to incorporate laughter into your daily routine. The health benefits are immense and it’s truly one of the most satisfying expressions of emotion a person can feel!
Laughter may appear to be a cause and effect phenomenon. First comes the happy or funny event, and then a smile or laugh follows. However, the “Facial-Feedback Hypothesis”, a long-held …