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!

 

CBD - What's It All About?

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There is a new buzz word on the streets and if you’re not familiar with it, you soon may be. It’s called Cannabidiol, CBD for short, and it’s generating a lot of interest among scientists, healthcare practitioners, and consumers who are discovering the myriad of health benefits associated with the cannabis plant.  

WHAT IS CBD? 

CBD is a non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant, which touts over 60 naturally occurring, active compounds. Perhaps the better known compound is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive part of the plant that is associated with getting people ‘high’. One of the most common mistakes people make is confusing CBD with THC. Although they are both derived from the cannabis plant, "CDB does not have any psychoactive properties and is legal in all 50 states," according to Licensed Acupuncturist, Paul Salazar from Acupuncture & Herbs on 6A. Salazar is one of the many practitioners who are starting to utilize CBD in their practices.  

Dr. Paul Anastasio, Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine and owner of the Harwich Health Center, has also seen great results with CBD since he’s brought it into his chiropractic practice. When we asked Dr. Anastasio who can benefit from CBD he replied, "that’s like asking who can benefit from fresh air." 

HOW DOES CBD WORK? 

CBD works by helping to regulate the endocannabinoid system. This system, discovered in 1992, is said to be one of the most important systems for maintaining overall health. According to Salazar, "it helps regulate sleep, mood, immune function, pain, and appetite to name a few. When this system is in balance, the body is in a state of homeostasis." 

THE USES   

There is currently extensive scientific research and clinical studies that are exposing the benefits of CBD on issues such as; inflammation, arthritis, depression, anxiety, diabetes, epilepsy, and many more. In addition, there are current studies looking into the benefits of CBD as an anti-cancer treatment.  

According to Jody Dietz, owner of Instant Karma in Hyannis, the majority of her customers seeking out CBD are using it for pain relief and are 60 years of age and older. "We are seeing a lot of people in here who are looking for natural ways to relieve their pain." She adds that her customers are also getting a lot of relief from their anxiety and using CBD products to treat insomnia.  

CBD comes in many varieties including tinctures, salves, capsules, oils, fruit snacks, to name a few. Pet products and beauty care products made with CBD are also hitting the market.  

Both Dr. Anastasio and Salazar emphasize checking with your physician if you’re taking any medications before starting CBD.  

LOCAL SOURCES  

As the interest in CBD grows, regulating the industry and sourcing high quality products is paramount. There are several sources on Cape Cod committed to the research of sourcing organic, pure and high quality products.  

Acupuncture & Herbs on 6A, West Barnstable  

Harwich Health Center, Harwich  

Instant Karma, Hyannis 

Therapeutic Bodywork, Cotuit 

Cape Cod Nutrition Corner, Hyannis  

 

 

 

 

Water and Fire: A Closer Look at Digestion

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The American public is confused. Over the past decades, latest research and trends have sent us through a rollercoaster of fat free diets, sugar laden evils, carbohydrate fears, water frenzies and more recently, anti-inflammatory everything. It is no wonder that we have become a culture of disease and discomfort. We are confused and unsure which direction to choose. 

It is at these times that it can be wise to look at our human history. In certain ancient medicines across the world, there has always been a certain truth: the key to health is centered in digestion, in our metabolic fires.  

In Chinese Medicine, ice is like a sin, a blatant misdeed to the health and strength of the body, and more specifically the digestion. Why?  How could a nice iced drink in the heat of the summer be damaging? Simply stated, ice threatens our digestive metabolic fires.  

In Ayurvedic Medicine, health is centered around the concept of “agni” or again, our metabolic fires. In Indian cooking, nearly everything is warmed, cooked or laden with spices to help guard, protect and support our metabolic fires. All health is rooted in digestion.  

To take a closer look, we may use the analogy of the element of fire to better comprehend how we as a culture are failing to maintain health. There are 2 simple ways to put out a fire: one, pour water upon it; and two, surround it in a cold wet environment. 

The first brings into question the idea that we must all drink 8 glasses of 8 ounces of water per day. Fact or fiction? The truth of the matter is that everyone is different. If our metabolic fire is weak then this idea can be seriously detrimental to our health. In Chinese Medicine, thirst is first required before water is needed. In a healthy person, one consumes water, our digestive fire receives it and cooks it to create a fine vapor that mists the organs and tissues of the body to create proper hydration.  

In contrast, for a person with a weak metabolic fire, there is often little thirst because the fire is not sufficient enough to cook the fluids and create healthy water in the body. Instead, they drink and further risk putting out its flames and in doing so, also creating pathological fluids in the body in the form of water weight, mucus and congestion, edema, arthritis, frequent urination (hint: yes, we are talking about those of you who drink and have to instantly urinate), etc. They are also potentially encouraging mucky waters that provide the proper breeding grounds for microbes [for example, candida, skin conditions, etc.] and disease. The fact is simple, drinking more does not always create intracellular hydration. 

Now on to number two, surrounding your flames in a cold wet environment. As New Englanders and Cape Codders, we are already surrounded in a cold wet climate a good portion of the year. Our internal flames already receive sufficient threats. Then to add to the matter, we eat ice cream, iced beverages, salads (yes, salads!), foods directly from the cold refrigerator, smoothies (ahem), etc. There is a reason why ancient cultures always cooked their food and not just for anti-microbial reasons. By adding spices and cooking your food, you ensure that the metabolic fires are safeguarded in the long run. 

Lastly, if your metabolic fires are faltering (poor thirst or appetite, gas, bloating, weight gain, indigestion, poor skin, frequent urination, joint pain, etc.) then one must look for ways regain its strength. If you do not have the assistance of a qualified healthcare provider, then consider a few simple techniques: 

1.Drink warm or previously warmed water at room temperature. If this idea is too absurd, then challenge yourself to regain your thirst instincts over the course of one month- drink only when thirsty 

2. Eat more simply and blandly. We do not all need 3 full meals with 3 or more different items at each sitting. 

3.Include more spices. Spices do work and free up your metabolic fire from burden. A pinch of turmeric in your oatmeal, eggs, rice or milk can go a long way. 

In conclusion, in the confusion of modern times, it is often wise to keep to the basics. Start simply with your day to day choices. No amount of medications, fasting or supplements will ever compete with maintaining a strong and healthy metabolic fire. 

*Please note that certain medications and conditions may make the above article seem contrary. When the body is diseased the above is not always so black and white and may require the assistance of a qualified healthcare provider to help separate out the pure from turbid. 

 

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Dr. Deb Salazar is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine (NM) and Licensed Acupuncturist who specializes in women's health, fertility, and difficult/stubborn/chronic/recalcitrant disease. Deb uses Oriental Medicine as her vehicle to access health, balance and harmony. Besides the traditional tools of acupuncture, gua sha, cupping, moxa, herbs and bodywork, she also enjoys working with Ayurvedic Medicine, Western Herbalism, Homeopathy and Essential Oils.

Deb is available for appointments on Tuesdays + Wednesdays + Saturdays

 

Boost Your Immune System - Naturally

The cold and flu season has been long and arduous this year. The age of microbes is upon us as we avoid germs like the plague. With thoughts on immune boosters like elderberries and Vitamin C, we attempt desperately to avoid sick days and rest. As a culture, we have become fearful of sickness, as though with it, comes disease. In a time where sleep is limited, stress is constant and disharmony prevalent, our immune systems have fatigued. New solutions are needed. Today, we are experiencing the rise of the essential oil movement and for some, the intro into the medicinal mushroom revolution: added solutions have arrived to help strengthen our bodies and improve our resiliences.

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With companies like Doterra and Young Living, the knowledge of the antimicrobial aspects of essential oils are becoming common knowledge. Essential oils help form the immune system of the plant protecting it against the constant onslaught of microbes like bacteria, fungus and viruses. Diffused into the air, essential oils provide us with these same benefits. It is common knowledge that little else thrives beneath the presence of a cedar tree. Its potent essential oils ward off "evil" and bugs.

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The same is true of medicinal mushrooms. In gardening, the presence of fruiting mushrooms is a sign of good soil microbial health. Mushrooms ward off insects and disruptive microbes that feed off fruits and vegetables. Their ability to infiltrate, permeate and transmute material is profound. Mushrooms like Reishi has been recorded in Chinese Medicine for thousands of years, gaining the name of  "Mushroom of Immortality". In ancient Greece, Agarikon, another mushroom, is reported to cure tuberculosis. Research is even being done into the use of mushrooms and halting the decline of bees. Mushrooms may be the future of the health of this planet and the answer to solve the terrain imbalances of our own human bodies. Dr. Deborah Salazar: Licensed Acupuncturist, Doctor of Oriental Medicine (NM)

This month only at Therapeutic Bodywork, we are offering 10% off all Floracopeia Essential Oils and 10% off all Host Defense Mushroom products**. We are challenging You to do the research, to try and discover their immune enhancing effects and how they may help You in health.

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 These products are available in store only and not found online. Come visit us and learn more about these immune enhancing products. The Wellness Shop is open Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm and Saturday 9am - 3pm.

 

**Offer expires March 31st, 2018

 

 

Year of the Dog - What Does it Mean?

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Friday, February 16th, 2018 marked the Chinese New Year. This it the largest celebration of the whole year in China, where people crowd the street wishing one another good luck, health and prosperity for the year ahead. 

This year marks the Year of the Dog on the Chinese Zodiac calendar. The Chinese Zodiac calendar moves in a 12-year cycle, meaning those born in 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006 and 2018 are all considered Dogs. According to Asian astrology, the year you are born and the animal that year represents, says a lot about your personality.

Those born in the year of the dog are known for their loyalty, sincerity and honesty. They tend to do anything for the person they think is most important and are always willing to help others before taking care of their own interests. With their needs met, a quiet life and a good family, the Dogs can easily forget about the any bad or evil in the world.

Dogs are attentive and great listeners. They give great advice and are compassionate by nature. The dogs are the people you turn to when you need a good shoulder to cry on. They tend to be happy people who enjoy good health and a good disposition. Most dogs are not motivated by power or money, therefore they often feel less stress and tension around their professional lives.

It is believed that the year of the respective animal doesn't necessarily bring good luck to that animal during that year. In fact, it is thought to be more of an unlucky year. However, due to the good nature of the dogs, they tend to fare much better than other animals.

Check out the Chinese Zodiac Chart below to find your zodiac animal:

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