Heather Bourne

Traditional Chinese Medicine Practice

Meditation in TCM

"Half an hour of meditation is essential, unless you’re really busy.

In that case, a whole hour is needed.”

St. Francis de Sales

TCM recognises meditation as one of the key instrument to maintain and promote health.

 

Its benefits on the mind, the emotions, and the physical well-being of an individual have been recognised by many.

 

The great thing is that meditation is a practice that is accessible to everyone, regardless of age, background, social standard, religious beliefs, physical state etc.

 

All you need is the willingness to try it out, to make time for it and to persevere… once you notice the benefits, you will not be able to stop!!

 

I really encourage you to try it out and to contact me if you need any tips.

Autumn in TCM

 

Autumn marks a time of slowing down. After the exultation, the warmth, and the sweetness of the summer days, it’s the time to start looking inside ourselves, inside our homes, inside our bodies to make them a place we will want to spend time in, once the cold winter months arrive.

The lungs need to be strengthened in this period, as they play an important role in the protection against illnesses. Strengthening the lungs in Autumn, will also help with allergies that appear in Spring. 

 

This can be done with acupuncture, acupressure, Tui Na massage, Qi Gong exercises.

A good example of easy QiGong exercises can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lT-1tTnw8Vk.

 

Nutrition can also be used to support the lungs.

 

Include some sour (acidic) foods in your diet, for example, apples, pears, grapes, olives, wine, sauerkraut.

These will also help against the dryness of the skin/lips that is often felt in this period.

 

As in other seasons, it is preferable to eat these foods cooked and warm. Here’s an example of a recipe: place pears in a dish (do not remove the skin), cover with red wine, sprinkle with cinnamon and cook until soft. Enjoy the pears in their juice for breakfast or dessert.

Finally, sadness and grief are the emotions of Autumn according to TCM. Allow the sadness you may feel to flow and avoid repressing it. When allowing the emotions to flow through our bodies, we liberate ourselves and we allow space to learn more about ourselves.

 

I wish you a wonderful Autumn.

Immune system

According to TCM, our immune system is governed by three main organs: the kidneys, the spleen and the lungs.

Each of these organs has an emotion associated with it. Kidneys: fear; Spleen: Worry; Lungs: Sadness / Grief.

At all times – and in particular in the current climate - it is essential to avoid succumbing to excessive fear, worry or sadness. This will only weaken the immune system.

Strengthening these organs will contribute to resistance to disease and will also allow a more balanced approach with those emotions.

Here are a few tips on how to take care of these organs:

Kidneys: nourish yourself from what you do in your life, practice meditation, sleep before 11pm, avoid excessive work (physical and mental).

Spleen: eat regularly, eat warm, cooked foods, reduce the amount of dairy products, reduce the sugar, favour cereal and root vegetables.

Lungs: breath! In nature if possible… learn to breath deeply, fully and consciously.

 

If you need any further tips, just contact me… I’d be happy to help!

Common cold and TCM

TCM has very efficient ways of “treating” a cold before it has a chance to settle in the body.

At the first symptoms of a common cold (runny nose, cold shivers, neck stiffness, headache),

the following acupressure point (Waiguan) can help expel the pathogens that are trying to enter

the body. Press and massage this point several times a day. The point may feel sensitive or even

painful. Keep on pressing and massaging as it will activate your defense mechanism.

According to TCM, a common cold enters the body through the neck or upper back. Therefore, it is also helpful to rub the back of the neck with a warming cream (i.e. tiger balm) for example before bedtime. Keep the neck warm and protected from the wind and cold.

 

Soups are also a great way to overcome a cold.

Here’s an example of a soup recipe: fry an onion, garlic, leeks and carrots with a piece of fresh ginger, add water (or vegetable broth), cook for at least 20 minutes and season to taste.

Avoid dairy products.

Ginger and other warming spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, cloves, cumin can help expel the cold. Add them to your dishes. 

 

Please note that this advice may not apply if you are already showing signs of a fever.

I wish you a swift recovery

It’s that time of the year again… time to indulge. Indulge in good food, good wine, good spirits, good company…

Do it presently, do it consciously.

Appreciate the good food. Appreciate the good wine. And if you over-do it, don’t beat yourself about it!!

Here’s a few “TCM” tips to go through the end of year celebrations in a healthy way:

  • Take a few moments each morning to be quiet. Be with yourself. Be thankful. Make the intention for your day to be filled with joy and peace.

 

  • Drink a cup of green tea in the morning (especially after overdoing it the night before!).

 

  • Avoid stress, anger or worrying while preparing your dinner. Prepare the food in good spirits (it’ll taste much better!!).

 

  • Eat consciously. Enjoy your food. Savour every mouthful.

 

  • Laugh a lot - Love even more.

 

  • Go for a walk in Nature.

 

  • After a heavy meal, a few drops of Angostura bitters in hot water will help you digest.

 

If you’ve overeaten, massage your legs, insisting on the lateral side of the shinbone from the knee to the ankle. You can also massage the point “Jiexi”.

 

… Yeah, the family dynamics may be a little difficult to deal with at times… and yes, the absence of loved ones is strongly felt… but when you look around, I’m sure there’ll be at least a handful of gems you can be thankful for.

With all my love and best wishes,

Heather

 

 

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