Five Seasons Healing Summer Newsletter

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Get Ready for Summer!
March 2009
In This Issue
Get Outside and Get Active!
Tomato-Watermelon Soup
I’m Back! Summer Office Hours
Summer: Heal the Heart and Body
Cooling Foods
A Walk in the Park
Treating Traumatic Injury with TCM
Quick Links





Get Outside and Get Active!

Summer is a great time to get outside and take advantage of all the energy found in nature! Why not try taking your morning yoga session outside? Just don’t forget to wear your sunscreen and stay hydrated!

All summer long, Bryant Park will be hosting free yoga and tai chi classes. Click here for the schedule.

Yoga can be especially healing, as it helps calm the mind and clear blocked energy. Backbends are a great exercise to open the heart. Hiking, swimming, and biking are also all wonderful ways to de-stress and have fun.

 


Tomato-Watermelon Soup
Self Salad

The current issue of Self features a bunch of no-cook recipes that sound delicious. This Tomato-Watermelon Soup includes some of the best parts of a watermelon-and-feta salad I love, with an added twist. From a Chinese medicine standpoint, cooling foods are especially important in the hot weather to regulate heat in the body. This photo from the magazine’s website makes me want to run to the farmer’s market to buy all the ingredients!

To make this soup, you need:

2 cups cubed watermelon (about a 2 1/2-lb piece)
2 tomatoes (about 1/2 lb), quartered
2 tablespoons unsalted almonds, ground
1/2 shallot, quartered
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons feta, crumbled
1 tablespoon black olives, pitted and chopped
2 teaspoons fresh mint

Directions:

Blend watermelon, tomatoes, almonds, shallot, lemon juice, vinegar and oil in a food processor until smooth. Divide soup among 4 bowls and top with feta, olives and mint.

 


Welcome to the
Five Seasons Healing
Summer Newsletter!


Dear All,

I hope all of you had a great spring, perhaps more rain than you desired, but how wonderful for the blooming flowers!  And the heavy rains will surely have Kaaterskill Falls roaring when I go for my annual dip once the heat comes on strong this July.   Summer is the time for play and there is no better partner for play than nature.  So hit the beach, take a hike, paddle that canoe and fill’er up on vitamin D (just be sure to wear your sunscreen)!  

And, as many of you know, my play days are now turning into playdates as Lila grows and makes new friends.   She’s laughing, drooling, grabbing and can almost turn over.  Just…one…more…grunt.   In other news, our lovely Marie had a gorgeous spring wedding on June 5th, 2009.  It’s been a time of big changes here at Five Seasons and I’m sure you all have news of your own to share.  Both Marie and I will be in the office this summer, we’d love to hear from you.  

Love,
Sharon


Sharon’s Summer Office Hours

Starting July 6th, I will be in the office on Mondays from 2-7:30pm
and Wednesdays from 8am-2:30pm. Marie will continue to see patients on my behalf on Thursdays and the remaining times on Mondays and
Wednesdays. In the fall, I will be adding more hours.

To schedule an appointment, please email info@fiveseasonshealing.com
or call 917.538.5755.

 


Summer: Heal the Heart and Body


I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s excited for the start of summer. I love the warmer weather and the wealth of opportunities to be outdoors.

In Chinese Medicine, summer is a yang season during which the body has abundant energy that allows for vigorous metabolic (body energy) processes. It’s no surprise that it is also associated with the element of Fire.

Our bodies are inextricably influenced by the warmth in the environment, and so it is quite easy to overheat during this season. That is why it is especially important to keep the heat balanced within our bodies and minds. When the fire element is in balance, the heart is strong and healthy, the mind is calm and sleep is sound. A fire imbalance may show in the form of either a lack of joy(depression) or an excess of joy (mania). Other indicators of a heart imbalance include agitation, nervousness, heartburn, and insomnia.

In Chinese medicine, the Fire element rules the heart and small intestine. Healing the heart means healing both the organ itself and our mental and emotional core. As Paul Pitchford points out in Healing with Whole Foods, the Chinese word for heart is xin, which translates to “heart-mind.” In healing the heart, we also calm and heal our mind. Summer is a time of activity, growth, joy, and spiritual awareness.

Spirit-clarifying or spirit-focusing  exercises such as  meditation, mantras (chanting), affirmations, and silent contemplation on uplifting images are good to practice during this season.

Here are some tips to help you maintain a balance and make the most of the summer’s fiery energy:

    * Wake up earlier in the morning.
    * Go to bed later in the evening.
    * Rest at midday (an official excuse to take a siesta).
    * Drink plenty of fluids.
    * Add pungent and bitter flavors to your diet to help cool you.
    * Stay calm and even-tempered if possible.


Cooling Foods

Food with cool and cold properties can clear heat, reduce toxins, and generate body fluids. One great way to keep yourself cool throughout the day is to sip water with slices of lemon and cucumber in it.  Many vegetables and fruits are cooling in nature. Some examples include:

Apricot
Asparagus
Broccoli
Cantaloupe
Chinese cabbage
Cilantro
Corn
Lemon
Mint
Orange
Peach
Snow peas
Spinach
Sprouts
Summer squash
Watermelon
White mushroom

While it’s great to eat plenty of foods from this list, remember, be sure to balance them with warming foods because overcooling your system can create digestive issues as well.

For more info on nutrition and diet, visit the Five Seasons Healing website!


Clearing your Head is a Walk in the Park

We’ve all heard that a walk around the block can help clear the mind and lower stress, but several recent studies show that a walk in the park actually does a lot more for you than a stroll through an urban area.

In a study at the University of Michigan, researchers performed two experiments to test how interactions with both nature and urban environments affect certain mental processes.

First, a group of volunteers completed a task designed to challenge memory and attention. Then they took a walk in either a park or in downtown Ann Arbor. After the walk, volunteers returned to the lab and were retested on the task.

Not surprisingly, performance on the memory and attention task greatly improved following the walk in the park, but did not improve for volunteers who walked around downtown.

In the second experiment, volunteers who simply viewed nature photos after completing the task did much better on the retest than volunteers who looked at photographs of urban environments.

Another study conducted at the University of Illinois even shows that children with ADHD demonstrate greater attention after a 20-minute walk in a park than after a similar walk in a downtown area or residential neighborhood. Researchers are now looking more deeply into the way “green” time can reduce ADHD symptoms.

While ideally, we would all be able to take a stroll amidst the greenery, even hanging pictures of flowers, trees and other calming nature scenes around your office or home can be beneficial. Either way, it’s good to get a little fresh air and move around every few hours.

Taking a mental health break is always important!

 


Treating Traumatic Injury with Chinese Medicine

While spending so much time being active outside, sometimes we may injure ourselves. A twisted ankle is no fun but can be effectively treated with acupuncture.

These kinds of traumatic injuries-twisted ankle, sprained wrist-go through many stages in healing. Different treatments are needed for these different stages. Receiving the right therapy at the right time is very important.

I was fortunate to study with Tom Bisio, an inspiring teacher who specializes in treating traumatic injuries. I have taken much of his teachings to heart, and find that he sums his philosophy up quite nicely in this passage from his book, A Tooth From the Tiger’s Mouth:

“Health is a balancing act, a constant series of small shifts back and forth to maintain a general sense of equilibrium. When the body moves out of balance, medical interventions must be chosen carefully, with the goal of returning the body to a balanced state.” (14)

Through proper care throughout the healing process, a minor injury can be prevented from developing into a chronic ailment.

 


Calling all chronic asthma patients!

There is a special treatment in Chinese medicine given during the height of the summer  (generally the last two weeks in July) that helps ‘pack in’ heat into the lungs.  For a person who suffers from asthma, this can help lessen the effects of asthma once the cold kicks in.  So be sure to come in this summer.


Contact Five Seasons Healing

Five Seasons Healing: Acupuncture and Herbs
Founder: Sharon Yeung M.S., L.Ac., Doula
Marie Amato, M.S., L.Ac.
80 East 11th Street, Suite 407
New York, NY 10003
917.538.5755
www.fiveseasonshealing.com
info@fiveseasonshealing.com
Feel free to get in touch with us with any inquiries or to schedule a complimentary 20-minute phone consultation.