Five Seasons Healing Late Summer Newsletter

September 2011

Five Seasons Healing Newsletter

Late Summer: A Time of Transitions

Needles pic

In This Issue
Fall: A Time for New Beginnings
Protein and Pregnancy
Exercise Ideas for the Mom-to-Be
Preparing for Labor
Quick Links

Stay Healthy This Season  


When the air becomes cooler, the risk of catching a cold increases.  But, if you’re prepared, you can enjoy fall without worrying about that pesky cold your co-workers or friends are complaining about.    


Here are my five top tips to stay healthy this fall. 


1. Wear a scarf.  I know, I know, I always say this, but that’s because it works.  In Chinese Medicine, the neck is the first place where cold air will penetrate and try to invade your body, causing what we call a common cold.    If you’re not dressed properly, you might “catch a cold.”   


2. Eat seasonally.   Ancient Chinese texts discuss eating according to what is available.  Of course, that is all one could do thousands of years ago. However, today with shipping, we have wonderful varieties of produce, so we tend to forget what is in season.  Take a moment to wander through your local farmer’s market.  Notice what’s in abundance.  In late summer, we begin to see yellow and orange vegetables.  Yellow and orange are the colors that correspond late summer.  So grab those beautiful butternut squashes.  Eat yummy soups again as the weather cools. 


Notice how the watermelons are gone? They are cold in nature and more taxing for the body to digest in cooler weather.  So, opt for apples and pears, which should be plentiful.  Poached pears are a wonderful way to moisten dry lungs in the fall.  It’s not a coincidence that the lungs are the organ that corresponds to the fall and pears, a fall fruit, benefits the lungs. If we eat based on the season, we naturally heal and nurture our body.


To know what is in season in New York State, visit:   


3. Exercise regularly.  This tip falls into my top of my list for all seasons!  Regular exercise a key to optimum health.  It moves our qi and helps it flow smoothly.  When qi becomes stuck, that’s when we have pain or don’t feel well. Cooler weather tends to slow us down so we conserve more energy for the cold winter.  You may need to adjust your workout routine.  Perhaps a nice long walk is more appropriate than a jog.  Or, maybe a gentle restorative yoga class is just what you need. But, as always, listen to your body.   And, if you are pregnant, be sure to keep reading for some exercise ideas especially for you.  


4. If you suffer from allergies or nasal congestion:   


Use a neti pot or saline sinus wash in the morning and at night.  Using this daily helps to thin out mucus and flush it out of the nasal passages, which reduces the chances of infection and reduces congestion and facial pain.  I also have noticed that patients who regularly neti significantly reduce or even entirely eliminate recurring sinus infection.  


Eliminate or significantly reduce your dairy and sugar intake.  I understand that this can be very difficult, but it can make drastic improvements for people.  Why?  Because dairy and sugar create more phlegm and mucus in the body.  Additionally, the season of late summer is damp (remember the weather when Hurricane Irene visited?)  This makes for a perfect storm: a damp environment outside the body due to weather as well as inside due to food.  We can’t control the weather, but we can make an extra effort to help our body by reducing foods that further tax it.  


5. Schedule wellness acupuncture visits.  Did you know that in ancient China doctors were paid only if they kept people well?  More time was spent with a doctor when you were in a healthy state rather than a sick one.  The doctors used regular treatments of acupuncture and herbal medicine to balance the body and try to prevent illnesses.  I love that the foundation of this medicine is rooted in maintaining health and preventing sickness.  It makes sense.   During the transition of the seasons, it’s especially important help your body stay in balance.  If you haven’t had an acupuncture session in a while, consider coming in for a seasonal tune-up.  And, if you follow the tips above, you’ll have a great start to the new season.   


We Take Insurance at  

Five Seasons Healing.  

Let Us Check For You!


Many of our patients use insurance to cover their acupuncture treatment and 

our super duper biller, 

Jaime, is happy to check 

your coverage for you.


We want to take this opportunity to review how 

our office works with insurance. We are an out-of-network acupuncture 

provider for most insurance plans. If your insurance covers for treatment, once you have met your deductible, and your insurance company begins to pay Five Seasons Healing, you will only have to pay a $30 insurance copay at the time of treatment and we will reimburse you for any treatments you paid out of pocket that your insurance also covered.


If you’d like us to check your specific insurance benefits, please email Jaime the following information: Your name, name of primary subscriber, date of birth, insurance ID #, group #, 

and provider phone number  (usually on back of insurance card). 


Email Jaime at:


I appreciate your referrals. If you have enjoyed your experience with my practice, and know of anyone who may benefit from my care, please send them my way!

I always appreciate reviews on Yelp or Citysearch. If you are on Facebook, become a fan of Five Seasons Healing. Or, if you would like to offer a testimonial for my website, email me, and I will happily post it.

Thanks so much for your support!
Sharon Yeung, MS, L.Ac., Doula
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Happy Moon Festival!


Today, September 12, the Chinese will be celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival or Moon Festival.  This date parallels our autumn equinox, except it is celebrated when the moon is at its fullest and roundest.  The holiday marks a time of transition as we leave plentiful spring and summer harvests and head into fall and winter.    


This season of transition is known as late summer, the fifth Chinese Season. Late-summer is the last few weeks of summer and represents the shift from summer (yang) to fall (yin).  Yin and yang represent opposites, such as winter and summer respectively, yet they exist in a circular flow always leading back to the other in a symbiotic relationship.   The back and forth occurs as yin and yang tug and pull until they balance and autumn arrives.


I see this time of transition and new beginnings so clearly in my own life right now.  I am excitedly awaiting the arrival of my second child in November!  My own body is creating its own full moon 🙂 that will foster a new beginning for my child and for me as a mother. This newsletter is dedicated to making your entry into fall a smooth one and includes nutrition, exercise and childbirth tips to for the mom-to-be. 

I look forward to hearing about whatever transition you may be facing and am excited to work with you as you welcome the new beginning that awaits you this season.  Please remember, take a moment to walk outside tonight and look at the magnificent harvest moon!



To schedule an appointment, please email or call 917.538.5755

 Fall: A Time for New Beginnings

Fall Leaves_stockvault


As the seasons transition from summer into fall, we often find that life also is transitioning.  Maybe it’s back to school for you or your children or back to “real” work as summer vacations end and projects ramp up.  Or, perhaps, it’s a commitment to get back to a regular exercise routine after a summer of weekend trips to the beach.  Either way, once Labor Day rolls around, the rhythms of the city change-we notice commuting traffic is more congested, buses are crowded with backpacks, and the weekend sidewalks are filled with bustling locals.


We all seem to feel this shift and share a renewed sense of focus when September arrives.  I encourage you to be aware of this transition stage and how it is affecting your life.   Sometimes the changes that fall bring cause us to move too quickly.  We forget that a transition implies something that should move smoothly and might require some time before we adapt.   I find that when I’m moving too quickly in life, it’s helpful to take a walk and focus on deep breathing.  This allows my thoughts to settle and my mind to clear.  Rather than rushing through the streets with racing thoughts of what I need to do, I begin to center myself with my breath.   I watch the trees and feel the leftover warmth in the sun, and that connection to nature helps root my thoughts.   Give it a try.




Protein and Pregnancy



As a pregnant momma myself, I find that I think a lot more about what I am eating.  Enough of this?  Too much of that?  Nope; I can’t have that.  I need more of this.  Protein.   


Are you getting enough protein in your diet?


In general, a pregnant woman should have around 70g of protein in her daily diet.  That is nearly double the regular protein requirement for women.   


To find out how much protein your body needs, you can calculate the required amount on  This site allows you to specify your age, weight, trimester, and activity level, which all influence how much protein you need. 


Next, it’s important to understand a little more about protein.  Proteins come in two forms complete and incomplete.  Complete proteins–animal and soy forms–contain all the essential amino acids that you need.  Yet, they also contain more fats, cholesterol, and acidity.  Incomplete proteins–plant sources–are low in one or more of the essential amino acids, but can be combined to make a complete protein.  You do not have to eat them at the same time.  Two incomplete proteins consumed at some point throughout the day create a pool of proteins that your body can choose from when needed.   The benefits eating two incomplete proteins are that they come from grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, which are lower in saturated fats and higher in fiber. 


The table below helps explain how you can make sure you are getting complete proteins into your diet:


Food group

Limiting Amino Acids

Combine with

Example of Complete Protein


Tryptophan, methionine

Grains, nuts, seeds

Lentils or beans with rice

Pea soup with bread



Lysine, isoleucine, threonine

Legumes, dairy

Whole grain bread with cheese

Pasta with beans

Nuts and Seeds

Lysine, isoleucine


Chickpeas with tahini (hummus)

Animal foods

Not limiting


Fish, chicken, beef, pork, etc.  Just make sure it’s organic, free-range, hormone free!


Recipe for Complete Protein Falafels

Here’s a yummy recipe for you to try.  I think it will quickly become a staple for a protein packed meal.


What you’ll need:

  1. 1 can (15oz) of chickpeas/garbanzo beans rinsed and drained, or soak and cook dried beans if you have the time
  2. 1 bunch of parsley leaves (curly or flat, which ever you prefer, and don’t worry about having some stems in there)
  3. 1 tablespoon of cumin (less if you want a milder taste)
  4. 2 tablespoons of tahini
  5. 1 tablespoons of olive oil
  6. 2 cloves garlic
  7. ½  c whole-wheat flour or you can use chickpea flower if you are on a gluten-free diet.


What to do:

  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Lightly oil a rectangular baking dish using olive oil.  (A lasagna type dish is great!)
  • In a food processor or blender, blend first 6 ingredients until mostly smooth.  Scrap blended ingredients into a bowl.  Slowly add in flour and stir with a spatula or large spoon until mixture is thickened.  If you are using chickpea flour, you will probably use less than ½ cup. 
  • Wet your hands and form round falafels with the mixture.  Choose the size that that you like best.  Place the falafels into the oiled baking dish. 
  • Place in pre-heated over.  After 15 minutes, give the pan a shake to loosen falafels and gently move them around so they don’t stick.  Cook for a remaining 10-15 minutes or until the outside feels crispy/firm. 
  • Serve with pita bread or naan; top with fresh cut tomatoes and cucumbers; add a yogurt or tahini sauce to increase your protein.  And, save the extras, they make great leftovers.


Exercise Ideas for the Mom-to-Be


Exercise during pregnancy is great for you and for your baby.  Maintaining a regular exercise routine can help you stay healthy and feel great.  As I discussed above, when pregnant womanwe exercise we help move our qi, which tends to get stuck and create imbalance that lead to pain.  You may find that as you exercise and move your qi, you actually have more energy and a reduction in areas that were once painful, such as the low back.  I find that one of the best benefits of exercise is that it reduces stress, and I think we all can benefit from that.   


Sometimes, my patients are worried about exercising while pregnant.  Running a marathon isn’t in your cards right now, but there are lots of great, safe options that also will have another fantastic benefit: helping you prepare for labor.  Remember: if you feel like you are doing too much, then you are.  Be aware of how you feel!  If you plan to start something new that you didn’t do before you were pregnant, ask the advice of your healthcare practitioners, start slowly, be cautious, and join a class or find a teacher.  Below are some of my favorite ways to exercise while pregnant:

  • Prenatal yoga.  My friend’s mother, who is retired and in her sixties, recently started yoga.  She said to me: I wish I knew about this before I had children. Yoga is made for birth!   I couldn’t agree more.   I recommend finding a class or studio that specializes in prenatal yoga.  I like the Prenatal Yoga Center  
  • Qi Gong. Pronounced Chee Gung.  This ancient art of exercise is one of the branches of Chinese Medicine that aims to harmonize the body.  Everyone can benefit by adding Qi Gong into her daily routine, especially pregnant women.  Qi Gong helps the body to relax, allows you to breathe more easily, and assists the flow of energy throughout the body.   
  • Swimming.  The beauty of swimming is that it is a very low impact way to exercise.  Plus, it sure feels good to be a bit buoyant when most of the day you probably feel weighed down by gravity.  Check your gym or local YMCA.  Most offer pre-natal swim classes or open-lane swim times. 
  • Walking.  Walking is always a great way to exercise, regroup, and relax.   Our qi moves when we walk and our mind can relax.  Take some extra time to go for a leisurely walk.  Sure, walking to work or the bus counts.  But usually we do that in a rush.  Focusing on a walk makes the experience quite different. 
  • Belly Dancing.  I did this during my first pregnancy and not only does it hit the right spot, but you also feel more woman than momma doing it!  Belly dancing is another fantastic way to get your exercise on while also prepping your hips for birth.  It engages the muscles that are used during birth and brings awareness to them. 


Preparing for Labor  


Preparing for Labor with Acupuncture

Acupuncture can help to prepare the mother’s body for labor.   It  increases circulation to the uterus and relaxes the pelvic floor muscles. It also encourages the body to release prostaglandins, which will soften the cervix, andacupuncture oxytocin, which triggers contractions.  In the end, it is your baby who will release oxytocin and decide to enter this world when the timing is right for both of you.  Birth is a beautiful discussion between the mother’s and the child’s body.  Acupuncture only helps to encourage this process.  I recommend that women begin acupuncture sessions for labor preparation in the third trimester and definitely by week 37.     


Breech position: Acupuncture and moxabustion is also beneficial for helping the baby find the correct position for birth.  If your baby is in a breech position, make an appointment and take a look at my blog post: Breech Babies


Finding a Doula

I can’t speak enough about the benefits of a doula.  I have experienced it on both sides: as a doula attending other women’s births and as a mom in labor supported by my wonderful doula.  Studies have shown that having a doula who provides constant support throughout the birthing process reduces the risk of medical interventions, decreases the time of labor, and reduces the mother’s request for pain medications.  Doulas aim to support a woman’s birth wishes by nurturing and protecting her memory of the birth. 


Here are some ways to find a doula:

  • For doulas in the NYC area: Birth Focus 
  • For doulas in any area as well as more information about doulas, take a look at the DONA International Website:   
  • At your next appointment, ask me!  As a doula, I can often refer colleagues with whom I have worked.


Check out this Book:

Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Childbirth

by Ina May Gaskin:  A book of inspirational, beautiful stories about natural childbirth told by women followed by educational material about what happens during the birth process and what you may want to consider before you give birth.


Five Seasons Healing
Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs
80 E.11th St., Suite 211
    New York, NY 10003