All posts in Seasonal Health

9 Signs You Need a Spring Liver Cleanse

9 Signs You Need a Spring Liver Cleanse

Remember that creative, balanced, colorful, self you used to be? Yeah, me neither some days.

A couple kids, a couple jobs, and way too many take-out dinners have come between you and your younger, energetic self. It’s time for a deep Spring cleaning.

But…

Before you jump on the juice cleanse bandwagon, consider taking a more radical step for deeper health gains.

Below the Surface
Americans pay millions every year for cleansing products that claim to boost the body’s power to ‘de-toxify’ and purge toxic waste.

Call me a skeptic. But 3 days of juicing and pooping are a pretty inadequate attempt to fix a lifetime of bad habits and all those environmental chemicals, absorbed and excreted along with your daily body waste.

What if you could really clean house? Get into those corners that never see the light of day. Yeah, deep tissue. But even deeper than that. Clean out all that toxic emotional waste that’s been dragging you down.

As Spring approaches, we come into the Wood element season, according to Chinese 5-element theory. Your Wood element organs are your Liver and Gallbladder. Some pretty fierce emotions come up when these organs are out of balance.

How do you know if your Liver or Gallbladder are out of harmony as Spring approaches?

9 Signs That You Need a Liver Cleanse:

  1. You feel stuck and mildly depressed – you feel the need for change, but can’t take the first step.
  2. You’ve lost your sense of direction or purpose in life – you’re asleep at life’s wheel.
  3. People you love and trust often feel the brunt of your anger and arrogance.
  4. You’re always making excuses for not taking steps to achieve your dream in life.
  5. You feel especially irritated and crabby at everyone around you right now, for no particular reason.
  6. It’s been years since you did something creative – write, paint, sing, act, dance.
  7. You’ve been stubborn, inflexible, and unwilling to adapt to a new situation.
  8. Black, brown, and gray are your main wardrobe colors (even if they ARE slimming).
  9. Resentments over old injustices keep coming between you and others.

Spring Cleaning Your Mind and Heart

Instead of feeling powerless and stuck, open the emotional gates with a gentle, 2-week Liver cleanse. Purge your body’s hidden waste and revive sluggish emotions. Adopt easy, seasonal food guidelines that align your body, mind, and soul, with Spring.

Start thinking of yourself as a balanced human, with all the qualities of a healthy Wood element – creative, forward-thinking, forgiving, flexible, vibrant.

Even if you’ve never thought about cleansing before, there’s a healthy plan that fits your lifestyle. Contact Natural Healing Omaha at info@naturalhealingomaha.com for a personalized, guided cleanse appointment.

Spring back to the old you this season.

Read more about seasonal cleansing: Wake up Your Liver This Spring!

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7 Natural Remedies for Spring Indigestion and Bloating

7 Natural Remedies for Spring Indigestion and Bloating

Yesterday, I felt like I was gonna burst out of my jeans. I’ve never felt so bloated and miserable without actually being sick. Ladies, you know what I’m talking about here – it was a fat pants day, all the way!

And you know what?

LOTS of people are having these kinds of problems right now. This week.

When Spring starts, all hell breaks loose in stomachs everywhere.

I see it every season, especially at the start of Spring and Fall. Patients who normally don’t experience digestion problems will start reporting heartburn, headaches, indigestion, constipation, irritability, and the queen of digestive distress – BLOATING.

Why is this so common this week? We can turn to Chinese Medicine for some wisdom on this weird seasonal phenomenon.

The Chinese tell us that the short two-week period between seasons is when the Earth Element is most active. Of the 5 Elements, Earth is the one that regulates digestion, keeps us rooted and stable, and makes sure we crave tonifying foods.

Maybe you’ve noticed you’re more hungry the past week or so? That’s your Earth element saying ‘feed me so I can keep you going’. Springtime demands nourishment for new growth. Not the kind of growth that puts on pounds or sprouts leaves.

You’re coming out of a dark, cold, inactive season into one that’s sunny, warmer and allows more movement and waking time. You’ll need more fuel for those more physical, energy-burning activities. A healthy digestive system will signal you to ‘load up’ for the work ahead.

The trouble starts as you give in to your bigger appetite. Your digestion says ‘whoa, hold on there, pal, I need to catch up’. Next thing you know, you end up bloated and stuck very quickly.

What’s the remedy for this temporary backup? Probably not extreme dieting or over-the-counter anti-gas products, which can throw a delicate system into even more imbalance.

Instead, try one or more of these Spring Bloat Busters:

  • Fennel seed tea – boil 1 Tbsp of fennel seed (yep, you’ve probably got this in your spice cabinet) in 1-2 cups water for 15 minutes. Strain the fennel seeds and drink the ‘decoction’ (tea). By morning, most of the bloating should be relieved.
  • Epsom salts – Run a bathtub full of warm water or fill a shallow bucket with warm water and add 1-2 cups Epsom salts (if you like essential oils, you can find lavender or eucalyptus scented salts in any pharmacy). Soak yourself or just your feet for up to 30 minutes, enjoy a good night’s sleep and feel relief when you wake up.
  • Digestive Teas – one of my all-time favorite teas is Eater’s Digest, created by a company called Traditional Medicinals and formulated by herbalists. This blend isn’t just delicious – it’s medicinal. With peppermint, fennel, ginger and other ‘carminative’ herbs [a fancy term for digestion-mover] this is the tea for ‘fussy’ tasters. My kids instinctively choose this tea in the evening, probably because it helps soothe their stomachs after a big meal.
  • Go Chinese – for stubborn digestive systems that don’t respond to simple remedies, Chinese herbal formulas will gently strengthen the Earth element while stimulating ‘chi’, blood and fluid to move. Many people feel a gentle bump in energy when they take the formula that’s right for their constitution. Ask an herbalist what formula is for you.
  • Eat green and bitter – pucker up baby, ‘cuz bitter, leafy greens like kale, beet greens, mustard greens, chard, spinach, dark salad lettuces contain digestion-stimulating elements that increase bile production. Bile breaks down stubborn food congestion, unclogs you and gets your gut moving again.
  • Hold your horses – pull back the reins on those heavy, winter-style meals. Load up instead on vegetables, berries and lighter fare like chicken, fish and meatless meals.
  • Move it – Expansion and contraction of muscle is a natural way to squeeze out gas and relieve bloating. Yoga, walking and simple stretching work equally well. I remember giggling in a yoga class when the ‘wind-relieving pose’ did exactly that for the guy on the mat next to me!

Without doing something radical, my jeans fit more like normal today. A few simple practices like the ones listed here, and a good walk this morning straightened me right out.

There’s no need to suffer with abdominal bloating and indigestion. Try a simple, natural remedy first. If the problem persists, get ahold of me and we’ll talk it through until we discover what’s best for you.

Find answers to more of your digestion questions in this related blog –  Has Your Digestion Taken a Vacation?

 

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A Strong Nervous System Helps You Withstand Extremes

A Strong Nervous System Helps You Withstand Extremes

On my morning walk today, the street was littered with little and big branches from a wild snow tornado thing that blew through the city the day before. Every few steps I was kicking away or stepping around fallen pieces of the trees, garbage can lids and stray yard stuff that was swept up and dropped off in the vortex of air.

The trees were just fine. As far as I know, very little damage was done to the city’s bare, brown maple, ash, apple, and every other species of Midwest tree. Those winds were up to 60 miles per hour, and still, the trees looked like they always do this time of year. Stark. Tall. Braced for winter but undamaged by it.

If trees are made to withstand freak ‘snow tornados’ and windy squalls, the weight of a heavy snow, and wide temperature variations (sometimes up to 60 degrees in one day around here), then aren’t we?

Yes. And no.

Yes, you have the capability to bend without breaking against the forces of cold and flu viruses, bacterial infections, mild stresses, and life’s unexpected events.

But you aren’t built to withstand the chronic levels of 21st century stress, with attention-draining electronic devices, ever-greater demands on time, and an environmental load of ‘approved’ chemicals that kills off several species a day*!

At least not without some serious damage.

Trees and plants handle the stress of a strong wind gust by bending their flexible extremities. They might shake loose a weakened branch or a few leaves, but 50 or 100 feet of roots anchor them solidly for survival.

It’s also in your nature to have a strong foundation, so, when stress happens, you bounce back. When a loved one dies, when you lose your job, your marriage, or a beloved pet, you grieve and feel the hurt and loss. After a while you’re on your feet again, wounded but alive.

There’s no denying that some people get an unfair load of stress dumped on them, and who wouldn’t crumble a little under that weight? That’s when you call in extra support, sort of how you’d brace a tree with rope and a stake until it can stand on its own again. You get more rest, nourishing foods, ask family and friends for help.

This is where herbs really shine. They take the load off by calming down the nervous system, helping you sleep more soundly and lifting the fog of fatigue, even in the midst of the hell swirling around you.

Herbs called ‘nervines’ help dial back your anxious energy and feed the nervous system. Passionflower, for instance, puts you to sleep when your head is spinning with repetitive thoughts. Motherwort regulates a heartbeat that’s racing from nervousness, and Lavender soothes the mind and calms an upset stomach.

Wood betony loosens tension in the neck and shoulders, where we hold so much of our stress. These are just a few of the many herbs that lend their gentle nature to our over-stimulated lives.

Like a tree under the constant stress of poor soil, drought or injury, stress leads to disease. If you’re planted where you can’t thrive, your foundation weakens and you’re vulnerable to disease.

Practice a little self-care right now. Make yourself a cup of tea, take a deep breath and let it out slowly, close your eyes, and rest your mind for 3 minutes. You just gave your mind a mini spa treatment!

Can you learn to bend and relax when life throws a snow tornado in your path? You can. Start by bringing some gentle natural healing into your day with calming herbs.

*https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/biodiversity/elements_of_biodiversity/extinction_crisis/

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Adaptogen Herbs Give You Strength of An Athlete

Adaptogen Herbs Give You Strength of An Athlete

One of the biggest factors threatening your immune health is fatigue.

Do you ever have that dream where you’re running as fast as you can but you’re getting nowhere? Your legs are dragging like cement and every step is a ridiculous effort. When you wake up, you’re exhausted and frustrated. THAT dream.

When ordinary tasks begin to seem disproportionately hard, you could benefit from a group of herbs called adaptogens. Adaptogens provide immune support by gently, steadily enhancing your feeling of well-being and energy.

Adaptogenic herbs like ashwaganda, eleuthero, rhodiola, and ginseng (in medicinal doses), are deeply nourishing to over-stimulated nervous systems.

Russian scientists discovered that adaptogenic herbs boosted the performance of Olympic athletes and astronauts, who were subjected to constant, extreme levels of pressure to excel under stressful conditions. Does that sound like your life sometimes?

Months or years of high-stress living is a major drain on your kidney/adrenal organ system. And that’s exactly where adaptogens have a magic that no other substance can match.

By helping you ‘adapt’ to your very own, personal life stressors, like your mother-in-law’s voice or tight deadline demands, your nervous system can shift into neutral, allowing you to keep your cool more easily.

With long-term herbal support, your body avoids firing up adrenaline when it isn’t needed. In effect, adaptogens act as a supreme regulator of your fight-flight-freeze response.

Adaptogenic herbs allow your body to get out of security guard mode, into bystander mode, without losing the ability to respond quickly and effectively to REAL, life-threatening situations, like when a deer suddenly appears out of nowhere on a dark highway.

Not all adaptogens are created equal. Some are better for high-energy, Type A personalities that deal with stress by getting busier, while others are more effective for people who turn to food, sleep, and reclusiveness when life gets overwhelming.

Taken in appropriate doses with the guidance of a trained and experienced Herbalist, these healing plants can buffer the effect of stress on your immune system and protect you from colds and flu all year long.

Have you had the flu or a nasty cold yet this season? How did you treat the symptoms – rest, supplements, herbs, antibiotics? Share your experience with Natural Healing Omaha readers in the comments below.

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A Naturally Healing Tea for Every Time of Day

A Naturally Healing Tea for Every Time of Day

Staying healthy through a season of cold, flus, and stubborn respiratory viruses doesn’t have to mean staying isolated from people or taking a handful of supplements every day with a wish and a prayer. It can be as simple as pausing throughout the day for a cup of tea.

When your co-workers are sneezing, coughing, and calling in sick, and the kids are home from school with the flu, you can stay well just by enjoying your own blends of gentle herbal tea.

Herbal teas can keep your digestion on track, even out the stresses of the day, and help you get better sleep, all of which have a major impact on optimal immune health.

The rhythm of taking herbs throughout the day is a practice that smoothes out the edges of structured, over-scheduled lives, releases tension, introduces subtle flavor, and gently heals you before you’ve gotten too far out of balance.

Start your morning with a fermented tea like pu erh, with it’s rich, earthy scent that clears the morning’s mental fog, stimulates metabolism, and gets a sluggish gut gently moving. It’s a nudge to the digestive system to wake up, stretch out, and get moving.

Late morning, when you’re well into the day’s projects, steep some holy basil (you might know this one as tulsi) or green tea to keep your thinking clear and the mind alert to new ideas. Green tea has hundreds of health benefits, one of which is the ability to gently energize without over-stimulating. Treat yourself to a high-quality tea that’s organically grown and ethically harvested.

A second cup of green tea is a mild mid-afternoon pick-me-up, especially when it shares a saucer with a snack of nuts or dried fruit, just enough to hold you to dinner and not enough to spoil it.

When you’re home and settling in after dinner, encourage good digestion with chamomile, orange peel, fennel, ginger, and peppermint teas. Later, whether it’s time for a favorite hobby, catching up with a friend, or supervising homework, make a family tea to wind down the mind with linden, lemon balm, and lavender.

There’s an herbal tea for any time of day, all year long. Winter is the ideal time to add warm herbs like sage, cinnamon, and thyme to any blend you’re infusing. Keeping your body warm protects against the chill that makes you vulnerable to fatigue and illness.

celestial tea strainer sits right inside your favorite tea cup

 

Directions: To make a healing cup of herbal tea any time of day, scoop 1 tsp. of a single herb or your favorite blend into a tea infuser, pour hot water to cover, let it steep 4-5 minutes, then remove the herbs and slowly sip, sniff and close your eyes for a moment.

If you’d like to try your hand at blending your own teas, start by ordering ¼ lb. of a few herbs that sound appealing to you.

My favorite infuser is the Celestial Tea Strainer. It nestles snuggly inside my favorite tea mug and lifts out easily without dripping or leaving loose herbs floating – though I really don’t mind floaty herbs – watching the leaves swirl in my cup is kinda Zen….

The blend I’m sipping one or two times a day right now is a mix of red clover, oat straw, lemon balm, lavender, motherwort, hawthorn leaf, and rose petal. My favorite packaged tea blends come from Good Earth, Yogi, Numi and Pukka.

What’s your favorite herbal tea blend? What time of day do you drink tea? Who taught you about the joy of drinking herbal tea? Share your comments below.

Ok, go get your tea on! And have a very Herbal Holiday!

 

Related Post: An Ounce of Prevention and a Pinch of Attention

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Are You Listening or Just Waiting Your Turn?

Are You Listening or Just Waiting Your Turn?

Are you guilty of being this kind of friend? Sadly, it’s so common that you might not notice the problem at first. You ask someone ‘How’s it going?’ and the conversation goes like this:

Friend: I’m annoyed because I feel like I’m giving everything I’ve got at work, but no one recognizes the effort.

You: Yeah, I know how that feels. My boss sucks at recognition and praise.

Friend: Right. The boss just walks right by without ever asking how I’m doing or to say ‘good job’.

You: I know how you feel. Sometimes I just wanna scream. One time, I worked overtime on this big project for two weeks and nobody even said ‘thanks, good job.’

Friend: Geez, that sucks. I hate my job. I wish I could quit.

This conversation is going nowhere fast, and both of you are bound to end up resentful and bitter. Neither one of you is really hearing the other person. You’re both waiting your turn to tell your own sad tale of woe.

What if you stopped to really listen to your friend? You could change the whole direction of the conversation.

In this next scenario, you’ll see how the dynamic changes when you stop to hear the words. See if you can figure out what’s different about this:

Friend: I’m annoyed because I feel like I’m giving my all at work, but no one recognizes my efforts.

You: It sounds like you don’t feel appreciated.

Friend: Right. The boss just walks right by without ever asking how I’m doing or to say ‘good job’.

You: Hmm. I’m guessing there’s something you’re especially proud of that you’d like your boss to notice.

Friend: Actually, there is. I just finished a project in record time and the client was so happy because she saved quite a few dollars in the process.

You: So, your client took the time to say how great your work was? That’s cool.

Friend: Hey, you know, that is cool. I’m feeling pretty good about that.

You: Way to go. How about we celebrate over coffee?

What’s different about this exchange? The focus is not on you.

Instead of offering an example of how lousy your life is, too, you can turn it around. Demonstrate that you hear what was said by saying it back in a different way.

Let your friend be heard.

You’ll get your turn another time. This is her moment. Make an effort to listen. Don’t expect the favor to be returned. Give without asking for anything back.

During the holidays, you can start feeling stressed right about now. Stress is a major cause of health problems. Being heard is a simple, powerful, natural remedy for stress.

The effects are subtle but profound. Relationships start to heal. Anxiety and depression lessen. Stomach aches and headaches and body pain ease up.

When you use a simple tool like this to shift the course of a conversation, you raise the vibe of your relationships. Step by tiny step, resentment, helplessness, and that ‘poor me’ attitude dissolve. A problem becomes a celebration.

Can you do it? Can you offer your generous, complete, undistracted, attention to someone?

It’s not necessary to completely understand and share in their feelings. It’s only necessary to listen. Try it.

What better gift can you give this season? Or any time or year!

 

Related Post:  A Naturally Healing Tea for This Time of Year

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Scratchy, Sore Throat? Insect Medicine to the Rescue!

Scratchy, Sore Throat? Insect Medicine to the Rescue!

Does the start of a scratchy, sore throat signal a week long misery-fest for you? Time for some bee propolis!

Propolis is the sticky goo that bees use to seal up holes in their hives. Lucky for you, propolis has another quality that makes it excellent for immune challenges in humans.

Flavonoids in bee products like propolis and honey stimulate the immune system to spring into action, and smother and suffocate unwanted pathogens.

When a foreign bacteria or virus enters your body, your defense system produces an army of white blood cells, which do their valuable immune-protective work in the lymph nodes. The neutralized invaders are flushed out promptly and continuously 24/7 when you’re healthy.

When you’re fatigued from emotional and physical stress, your immune system becomes a little sluggish. What starts as a typical day becomes a scratchy, sore throat, followed by a lousy week of cough, fever, and fatigue.

Protecting yourself at the start with a throat spray containing bee propolis is your first line of defense. When you use an herbal throat spray, you get instant relief from the pain and a sizzle that signals anti-microbial action.

During cold season, have a propolis-containing spray on hand, or even better, enjoy a teaspoon of pure honey every day, which contains all the germ-fighting power of propolis and tastes sweet and smooth on a scratchy throat.

Honey has been used in healing systems around the world for centuries. Its special healing properties are being rediscovered as anti-biotic resistant strains of bacteria become more common. Find a local honey supplier and stock your cupboard with plenty of that golden goo every fall and winter.

Honey products should not be given to children under 2 years of age or to those sensitive to bee products.

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Autumn – No Time For Hangups

Autumn – No Time For Hangups

The other day, a client shared with me that after a very long relationship, she decided it was time to get her own apartment, move out and start taking care of herself. The day she told her partner she was leaving, all the digestive symptoms that had been plaguing her for months of visits quickly cleared up. No more constipation, no more tummy problems. Just like that. She could breathe easily again.

Maybe you’re hanging on to an unhealthy relationship, or maybe it’s a bad habit you can’t shake, like gossiping or nighttime snacking. Sometimes, we just get hung up on what someone said to us 20 or 30 years ago and can’t let it go.

Whatever your hangup, it’s time to hang it up.

The weight of your emotional baggage is a giant burden on your physical health, whether you see it or not. Letting it go means a chance at feeling light and playful again. Smiling and joy are guiltless pleasures that we owe ourselves.

Fall cleansing means letting go and finding fun again

Let go of worries and feel playful and healthy again

I swear, Letting go is one of the hardest lessons to learn in life.

Traditional Chinese Medicine recognizes a clear connection between the Lungs – which play a role in expressing grief, releasing the past and detaching from unhealthy patterns and behaviors – and the Large Intestine, where another kind of ‘letting go’ happens.

A healthy and balanced Lung/Large Intestine pair helps you withstand the stresses of respiratory threats like colds and flus, and environmental imbalances like dryness or excess humidity and dampness.

Letting go of unhealthy people, patterns and even poop 🙂 gives you protection from seasonal illnesses.

My client discovered on her own that simply making up her mind to let go helped her physically release, making space for something new.

The season of the Lungs and Large Intestine is Autumn. It’s a great season to start a Fall cleanse.

A seasonal diet and herbs that focus on preparing your lungs, large intestine and lymphatic system for the cold weather, can give you a leg up on immune system challenges.

Two weeks of delicious foods like squash, root vegetables and wild game, and herbs like cleavers, burdock root, stillingia root, poke root, and cascara sagrada bark, provide a lymph, lung, large intestine and deep tissue detox that stimulate and renew your sluggish system.

I tell my clients to get a good massage and indulge themselves in an afternoon nap. Fall is time to really let go of unhappy thoughts and enjoy the shocking blue skies and comfy sweater weather to the fullest.

I can help you approach cleansing with healthy, nourishing foods, herbs, and simple daily practices. Everyone deserves a healthy start to Fall. Email me at info@naturalhealingomaha.com and get started.

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Has Your Digestion Taken a Vacation This Summer?

Has Your Digestion Taken a Vacation This Summer?

Every time I turn around lately, someone’s blaming a healthy food for causing indigestion, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and probably last week’s summer flu. With all the GMOs, antibiotics, hormones, and chemicals in our food, it’s an easy conclusion to draw.

But I have another theory. And Chinese Medicine will back me up. People with chronic Heat and Damp imbalances in their constitution often don’t feel good this time of year.

Hot, damp weather can aggravate existing problems in the gut, as well as the skin, urinary tract, and not surprisingly, the mind.

Heat and Dampness are two of the six ‘pernicious evils’ in Traditional Chinese Medicine [TCM]. The theory goes that too much heat outside can aggravate Heat inside the body. Same goes for Dampness.

Summer is prime time for Heat, with a capital H, to mess with people who already suffer from one or more symptoms like:

  • Acid-indigestion or ‘hot burps’
  • Persistent acne breakouts, boils or red-toned skin eruptions or rashes
  • A tendency to be more irritable, cranky or even talkative in hot weather
  • Concentrated, dark urine or burning urinary tract infections
  • A tendency to be thirsty, especially for cool or cold fluids
  • Dryness and constipation (heat has a tendency to dry things out, right?)
  • A red tongue, a fast pulse (more than 20 beats every 15 seconds) and a flushed face

When you add in the dampness that Summer humidity brings, it can complicate a Heat pattern in your body, causing dizziness, nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and almost a flu-like feeling. We call this Summer Heat in TCM. It’s so nasty it falls into its own special category of ‘evil’.

Even if you’re not taken by the extremes of Summer Heat and Dampness, you can still feel occasional and persistent bloating, nausea, heartburn, acid burping, constipation/diarrhea or any of those uncomfortable digestive symptoms we like to blame on the picnic food or weekend splurges.

What to do about it? It’s not always the food’s fault, but it helps to avoid greasy, fried foods, cheese and alcohol, which contribute to the Heat and Damp imbalances.

Cool watermelon, berries, garden salads and cooling sun teas made from herbs like mint, lemon balm, basil, hibiscus with a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of stevia, are great Summertime options to balance digestion. And when digestion is working well, everything else tends to fall in line.

5 Tips for digestive health during hot, humid weather:

  • Eat until you’re 70% full – not until you’re burping and bloated
  • Fill up on green, not grain – think kale, salad greens, cucumber, bell peppers, snap peas, zucchini
  • Ditch the drink with dinner – it’s NOT helping an already sluggish digestive system (this includes water, milk, and soda)
  • Get up early on the hottest, most humid days to work on outside chores, or save them for another day
  • Consider bitters – a few drops of swedish bitters on the tongue 15 minutes before eating will stimulate digestive juices and help break down food. Or enjoy a little dandelion root tea in the evening to smooth things out the next morning

Here’s another idea: visit a trained, professional herbalist.Why feel miserable one more day? Call me at 402.933.6444 and schedule your appointment now. No time? Try my Quick Stop 15-minute visit for $35, plus herbs.

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Creative and Fun, But Too Giving? Your Fire Element is Showing

Creative and Fun, But Too Giving? Your Fire Element is Showing

I get summer-itis. Like senior-itis, except I’m not coming to the end of anything so important as my childhood. Around the warmest part of Summer, I lose interest in pushing myself to extremes. Over-achieving is so last season.

Everybody has their season. Summer people are the ones who feel invigorated and energetic in the hot season, you could even say ‘in their element’. Of the 5 elements that Chinese theory uses to explain how human behavior relates to the cycles of nature – water, earth, fire, metal, wood – fire is most in line with the hot Summer season.

That makes perfect sense just from a simple ‘Fire is hot, Summer is hot’ perspective.

Balanced [healthy] Fire personality types love the heat, get creative and motivated in the Summer, and are fun to be around. The Chinese associate this element with the Heart, so when you meet someone who is especially ‘warm-hearted’ – they give more than they take, feel moved by compassion and empathy toward others, and speak/listen with a gentle kindness – they’re a classic heart-element person. The healthy spectrum for Fire types contains both the fun-lover and the empath.

Sometimes, Fire gets out of balance, from extremes of hot weather, life events or unhealthy lifestyle practices.

The warm-hearted person becomes too empathetic, failing to practice healthy boundaries and taking on too much of everyone else’s stuff.

They’ll give care 24/7 for a sick loved one without reasonable time off, then find themselves in the hospital with chest pains.

The creative, bubbly personality becomes almost manic, starting several projects in a short time but leaving them all half-done. These people are the life-of-the-party, whose loud laughter carries across a crowded room, all red-faced and sweaty.  They can be hot-headed with an intensity that practically burns, or ‘air-headed’, ungrounded, with lots of ideas and passion but not much follow-thru.

Think about how Fire ignites in a dry environment with a tiny spark of energy and a puff of air. It doesn’t take much to set off a Fire element person.

The flames of fire glow mostly in a spectrum around the color red, and red is associated with the season of Summer and the Fire element. Facial and skin redness, which in Traditional Chinese Medicine equates with the presence of heat, can point to a predominance of the Fire element. Think sunburn, hot skin eruptions, even a racing pulse, pounding heart, or insomniacs who can’t shut their minds off (we say the mind houses the spirit of the Heart).

If you’re like me, summer makes you lazy, but happy. I shiver all year and summer is my time to bask in the heat, power down, and get rested up.

Looking for some cool ways to nurture yourself?

5  WAYS  TO  PUT  OUT  YOUR  SUMMER  FIRE –

  • Get some light exercise in the cool part of the morning
  • Load up on watermelon and  summer fruits, which keep urinary tract problems under control
  • Better get Bitters – the bitter flavor helps cool, detoxify and improve digestion (think lemon, artichoke leaves, coffee in small amounts)
  • Go jump in a lake – the Water element nourishes and calms our Summer fire. And it just feels good!
  • Siesta! Take a short nap (20 minutes) in the hottest part of the day

Problems that tend to worsen in the Summer like urinary urgency and burning, indigestion, heartburn, and insomnia get quick relief from herbalism. Is your Fire burning a little too hot? Put it out with a Quick Stop 15-minute Assessment – only $35 plus herbs.

Text 402.965.0097 or email info@NaturalHealingOmaha.com to schedule an appointment today.

 

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