Moving from Yang to Yin - Tips for a Healthy transition into Fall

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Fall is in the air.

As we approach the Autumn Equinox on September 22, we say goodbye to the intense heat and exuberant social schedule of summer, and begin to embrace the quieter energy of Autumn.  It’s crisp cool air and brightly colored leaves are a welcome change.  For our ancestors, many of whom lived and worked on farms, this was a time of celebration for the bountiful harvest and of preparation for the long cold winter to come.  The Fall Equinox is seen as the transition from Yang to Yin energy ~ or from brightness, warmth, and outward activity to darkness, cold, and inward reflection.  The energy of this season is a drawing in and letting go.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, this season is associated with the Metal Element, and with the Lung and Large Intestine Organ system.  The lungs govern our skin and respiratory system, both of which form boundaries between ourselves and the outer world.  When your lungs are in balance, you will have clear skin, a strong immune system, and the ability to set healthy limits.  The lungs’ paired organ, the large intestine, is responsible for letting go of waste ~ either through healthy elimination, or in the ability to let go of what is no longer serving us.  Weakness in the lung and large intestine organ systems will show up as frequent colds, allergies, spontaneous daytime sweating, low energy, pale complexion, and constipation.  Emotionally, we may experience excessive grief or sadness, and the inability to let go of the past.

Here are some suggestions to support our lung and large intestine systems, and to ease the transition into fall:

  • Clean your closets:  Spend some time creating order, and challenge yourself to get rid of 25 items that you no longer use.  This physical action of letting go will create energetic space and help to stimulate a release of old emotional baggage.  Practice letting go of unhealthy habits, and negativity.

  • Breathe:  Recognize that your breath is your connection to the outer world, and start to bring awareness to your breath in small moments throughout the day.  Practice deep belly breathing.  Shallow breaths taken into your upper lungs stimulate your sympathetic nervous system and the fight or flight response, whereas belly breathing triggers the parasympathetic nervous system which has a calming effect.

  • Nourish:  As the weather becomes colder, start to incorporate more warming foods such as soups and stews.  Also, since this season is associated with dryness, choose foods which are moistening and supportive of the lungs.  Some to try include:

    • White Rice

    • White beans

    • Pears

    • Radishes

    • Sea vegetables

    • Potatoes

    • Cabbage

    • Turnips

    • Parsnip

  • Support:  Bolster your immune system with regular Acupuncture visits, and with a Chinese Herbal Formula designed to strengthen your body’s protective Qi.  Stimulation of Acupuncture Point ~Stomach 36, located one hands width down from the knee, has been found by researchers to strengthen and regulate the body’s immune response. Similarly, the herbal formula Yu Ping Feng San, made up of Astragalus, Atractylodes, and Ledebouriella root, has been shown to boost the body’s ability to fight off respiratory illness.  Clinically, it is used for COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder), spontaneous sweating, frequent colds, fatigue, and to prevent viral infections including SARS.  

Wishing you a happy and healthy transition into fall!

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4540978/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3823765/

 Chinese Herbal Formulas at Therapeutic Bodywork

Chinese Herbal Formulas at Therapeutic Bodywork

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-Pia Mezzacappa Lic.Ac. MAOM is a Licensed Acupuncturist who uses Chinese Medicine, Herbalism and Acupuncture to treat a myriad of imbalances and symptoms. Her specialties include women’s health issues, fertility and pregnancy support, Fibromyalgia and Thyroid conditions.

Pia is available for appointments on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and occasional Saturdays.

Reflexology for Fibromyalgia

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Written by: Charlene Shea, Reflexologist

As we all know, self-care is so important in this day and age as we are exposed to so many things that are detrimental to our health and well being. Whether it be our compromised food, environmental elements, or stress, we are forced to counteract the negative effects by committing to a healthy lifestyle. Often times this includes a regular practice of different healing modalities to maintain homeostasis in the body.

Reflexology is gaining recognition as one of the more profound ways to help balance the body. By working the reflex points in the hands and feet, a Reflexologist is able to stimulate different organs, glands and musculoskeletal parts of the body. It is truly like an internal massage.

For those suffering from Fibromyalgia, Reflexology has been a sought after and incredibly beneficial treatment for a variety of reasons. Below are five ways that Reflexology can benefit those suffering from Fibromyalgia:

  1. Relieves ‘Nerve Pain’ by calming down specific nerve endings.

  2. Helps Fight Fatigue by stimulating your pancreas and adrenal glands.

  3. Helps Digestion by stimulating your stomach and digestive organs.

  4. Promote Better Sleep by stimulating your pineal gland and triggering your parasympathetic nervous system.

  5. Improves Circulation by working the heart reflex and increasing lymphatic movement.

At Therapeutic Bodywork each Reflexology session begins with a warm foot bath and takes place in a Zero Gravity Chair, with a heated Biomat beneath you. We also offer a CBD Enhanced Reflexology session to help combat pain and inflammation in the body.

For a limited time, we are offering a complimentary upgrade to a CBD Reflexology session with Charlene.

Early Fall Specials

Oxygenating - Brightening Facial

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It's time to rejuvenate your summer skin and reverse the sun damage with our power packed, results driven Oxygenating - Brightening Facial! Ideal for treatment of hyperpigmentation, age spots and acne scars, this 3 part intensive treatment drives oxygen deep into skin cells to brighten dull, over-exposed skin. Beginning with a Yogurt Power Peel for deep exfoliation, followed by a Cucumber and Parsley Gel Hydrating treatment to focus on hyperpigmentation + sun damage, and finishing with a stimulating Hungarian Paprika Mask to increase collagen & elastic production. You will LOVE the way your skin looks and feels after this power packed treatment!

*Offered at $139 for a limited time (regularly $155) Expires 10.13.18

 

CBD Enhanced Reflexology

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Haven't experienced the benefits of CBD yet? Known for it's ability to decrease pain, promote restful sleep, help promote immune function and decrease anxiety CBD is quickly gaining in popularity across the world. Experience the profound benefits of adding CBD to your next Reflexology session - gratis.*

*Offer valid on sessions with Charlene only. Expires 10.13.18

Pacify Your Pitta for a Blissful Summer Season

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Happy Fourth of July. For many Cape Codders, today marks the official start of the summer season. This is the preferred season for so many on Cape Cod - filled with long, hot days, endless hours of fun on the beach, and a packed social calendar. However, for those of us with a predominately Pitta constitution, the summer season can be challenging and uncomfortable unless we take mindful and deliberate steps to balance our Pitta.

What is a Pitta constitution? According to Ayurvedic Medicine, which originated in India more than 3,000 years ago, optimal health and wellness depends of finding the delicate balance between the body's three fundamental energies, known as 'doshas'. The three doshas are Vata, Pitta and Kapha and although we may have a blend of two or three of the doshas, the idea is that we are predominately governed by one leading dosha. If you’re unfamiliar with which dosha you are, there are several ‘Dosha Quizes’ available online. (Click here to try a dosha quiz) Determining your predominate dosha could be key in helping you stay balanced and feeling your best.

Each dosha has a corresponding season and finding a balance within each season is critical to optimal health and wellness. If your constitution is dominated by Pitta, you’ll want to be especially vigilant about adopting a seasonal routine during the summer to keep your Pitta balanced.

When Pitta is in balance, life is good and we experience joyfulness, confidence, mental clarity and great energy. But, when Pitta is out of balance, which can happen with great ease in the summer season, symptoms may appear such as; excess irritability, anger, jealousy, skin rashes, heartburn, digestion issues, excess inflammation and overheating. These symptoms can interfere with a fun, summer season – which is why taking these steps to pacify Pitta in the summer months is critical to enjoy a fun filled summer.

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1.  Avoid Hot, Spicy, Salty Food: Keep warming spices to a minimum during the summer months and choose cooling foods such as watermelons, salads, cucumbers, and ghee. Coffee, red wine and red meat are all very heating for a Pitta and should be kept to a minimum during the summer.

2. Go Swimming: One of the best lifestyle practices a Pitta can adopt in the summer months is to stay cool in the water. Get to the ocean, preferably during the cooler times of the day and submerge in the cool water.

3. Don't Sweat it Out:  Swamp out intense exercise for slow walks, yin yoga or a light swim. If you must keep up with intense exercise, make sure it is only during the cooler temps of the day.

4. Stay Hydrated: Drink cooling (not iced) beverages such as coconut water, cucumber juice, watermelon juice. Make cooling, peppermint, iced tea (without the ice).

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5. Rest: One of the more challenging activities for Pittas is to rest. However, one of the key components to staying balanced especially through the summer months is to 'take it easy' and 'stop and smell the roses'. Take a nap, lie in the shade with a book or swing in the (shaded) hammock. Whatever it is – make sure you enjoy part of your day doing nothing.

Remember, to keep pitta balanced in the summer, we want to think ‘cool, easy does it, stop and smell the roses, rest’. This principle is so simple that it’s easy to overlook, but once you apply it to your daily life, you’ll be amazed how quickly you can rebalance your body and mind. Using these principals, my hope is that your love for the summer season will be restored!

Here's to wishing you a balanced, healthy, and cool summer season!