We are right in the middle of summer with some HOT days ahead, so it’s more important than ever to prioritize proper nourishment and hydration. Drinking lots of water is a great place to start, but there is more you can do!
Did you know that the water found in fruits and vegetables is more bioavailable and more easily digested than the water you drink from your faucet/bottle/filter? This means that the foods you eat can make a BIG impact on your level of hydration.
TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) categorizes foods by their thermic nature. Some foods have a (yin) cooling effect on the body, while others have a (yang) warming effect. So in the heat of the summer when our external environment is very YANG, we need to consume lots of YIN foods to maintain internal balance and health. Ideally, each meal would contain at least one YIN food item to achieve therapeutic effect.
Yin foods tend to have a high water content and contain lots of potassium, like bananas, zucchini, and watermelon. Here’s a list of YIN foods (BOLD ones are extra great):
In addition to consuming YIN foods, it is important to avoid or minimize YANG foods and substances like stimulants (alcohol, caffeine, sugar). If you are a coffee lover or enjoy an adult beverage on occasion, know that you can use the YIN foods to BALANCE out consumption of the YANG items.
Here are some easy meal ideas using YIN foods
There are lots of ways to answer this question...
1) It's magic.
2) Everything is energy. Yes? Yes. Acupuncturists are like conductors of the energy flowing in your body. They use tools (needles, cups, essential oils, microcurrent, bodywork, etc) to balance said energy (which relieves symptoms caused by a state of imbalance). Symptoms of imbalance = literally any physical, emotional, and/or mental health issue that exists.
3) Acupuncture helps the body return to homeostasis, which is where our body would naturally be in an ideal world.
4) Acupuncture can shift the body from sympathetic nervous system mode (stress response) to parasympathetic nervous system mode (rest & digest). It can stimulate production of red blood cells and white blood cells. It can instigate a shift in hormones & neurotransmitters. It can boost the function of the immune system. It can reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines and increase anti-inflammatory cytokines. It stimulates the release of endorphins for pain relief and mood improvement.
Ready to try it yet?
Did you know acupuncture and Chinese herbs can be used to clear up mastitis?! It's true! If you or someone you know is struggling with mastitis, reach out to your local acupuncturist for help! Here are some things to try at home:
ACUPRESSURE can be a very effective tool to get things moving energetically. Some patients even report immediate relief when applying acupressure at home. For instructions on how to apply acupressure, click here
RED FLAGS (Seek immediate medical attention)
For additional support, contact Caitria or book an appointment by clicking below
We have moved through the deep, nurturing, restful energy that Winter brings and now are shifting to the expansive, driving push that comes with Spring. We see this upward and outward energetic movement reflected in the flowers that bloom straight through the snow. This same energy is at play within our bodies too, affecting our Liver and Gallbladder organ systems most strongly. Symptoms like irritability, PMS, depression, anger, headache, high blood pressure, tendon injury, bloating, reflux, and eye issues all are indicative of Liver/Gallbladder disharmony and may pop up in Springtime.
Here are some strategies and lifestyle shifts to help you harmonize with the expansive energy of Spring:
This week, Raven got sick for the first time (at almost 14 months old). She had what we call in Chinese Medicine a "wind cold"....runny nose with clear discharge, congestion, fatigue, and a low fever. Here's what I did to help her kick it as quickly as possible.
1) Reframe: the first thing I did was take a moment to frame this sickness as an opportunity for her immune system to learn and be strengthened. Often parents get down on themselves thinking they did something "wrong", or spend their time worrying about the sickness getting worse. This makes the whole experience more traumatic for all involved...and is something that can totally be changed! Keep this in mind for the next time a sickness hits your home and notice the difference your mentality can make.
2) Take It Easy: I cancelled all of my obligations for the day that involved leaving the house. We snuggled, she took an extra nap, she nursed more than usual, and we read lots of books. You'd be amazed at how much of a difference it makes to truly slow down....I've seen this decrease the length and severity of illnesses time and time again.
3) Keep Food Simple: when a child (or anyone) is sick, it's best to shift to a diet of hydrating and simple foods to allow as much of the body's energy as possible to be devoted to the immune response, as opposed to digestion. Remove dairy products and processed sugars as well, as these will feed the pathogen and increase mucus production.
4) Chinese Herbs: I started Raven on CQ Jr at the first sign of symptoms, and switched to Sino Relief two days later, when all symptoms had passed except some lingering congestion. (Click the button below to learn more about each herb!)
5) Acupressure: I massaged and pressed on the acupuncture points shown below to support the immune response and increase lung function.
If you have questions about helping your child move through illness with ease, click the button below to connect with me!
I had a thought today. (Fair warning, this gets a little woo woo toward the end....so get ready 💫)
I often hear parents say things like:
🥦My child will NOT eat vegetables.
☕️I could never get my daughter to drink tea.
🧘🏻♀️Sitting still for any length of time just isn’t possible for my son.
All of these are beliefs that we as parents have, on some level, accepted as truth.
My thought today was this: What if we could DECIDE to make something else true?
In asking this question, I already know the answer because I’ve seen it unfold countless times. I’ve seen parents DECIDE to shift what is true for their families over and over again.
I’ve seen a child go from complete unwillingness to be touched for a treatment; to walking in, taking their shoes and socks off, and offering me their feet for acupressure. I’ve seen a child go from daily hyper-energy; to mom telling me “I can’t remember the last time he was hyper.” I’ve had moms come in and tell me their picky eater gets excited when it’s time to take their herbs.
So how does it happen? It starts by asking some questions. First of all, what have you decided is true about your children? (P.s. this same technique can be applied to relationships, business, personal growth, and essentially anything else).
So... what have you decided is true, whether consciously or unconsciously, for your family??
Once you have your answer, you begin to DECIDE to make something else be true. Ask yourself...what feels better? What feels more aligned with the goals I have for my family? What feels like an expression of our fullest potential?? What feels like a stepping stone on our path to health and wellness?
Then, play around with the limiting beliefs and resistance that are holding you in alignment with the OLD thought pattern.
And finally...ENVISION the NEW belief as if it were already true. What would it look and feel like? What would it mean for your child/family/you? Get clear and comfortable there, in that new reality you have just created
There are many truths that act as the foundation of Pediatric Chinese Medicine. This sentence is perhaps one of the most important.
In Chinese medicine, the Spleen is thought to govern the entire digestive process as well as absorption of nutrients. As this quote suggests, children have inherently weak Spleens for many reasons.
👉🏻 Before being born, a baby’s digestive system does not need to perform its function because baby gets all the nourishment it needs from the mother (through the umbilical cord).
👉🏻 Upon being born, a baby’s digestive system (Spleen) is immediately put to work. Eating and absorbing food in order to grow is THE main task an infants body needs to do, and do well.
👉🏻 The amount of food and nutrients a child takes in is quite astronomical in proportion to their small size.
👉🏻Because of the high burden on the Spleen, any small shift or irregularity in the life and surroundings of a child will be reflected in the digestion.
👉🏻 A weakened Spleen can lead to colic, excessive spit up/reflux, constipation, diarrhea, eczema, poor sleep habits, lethargy, failure to thrive, low immunity, food and environmental allergies and MORE.
It is SO crucial to support the Spleen of a child in any way possible. Pediatric Chinese medicine treatments are a great way to do this. If you have a child that is struggling with any of the above health issues, reach out to me to learn more about how Chinese medicine can help!!
The topic of supporting the Spleen (Earth element) will be a heavy focus of my upcoming masterclass, Breaking the Cycle of Pediatric Illness. Click below to get more info!
Western medicine is beginning to realize what Chinese medicine has known for thousands of years....that unprocessed emotions and stress are reflected in the physical body. Chronic disease in adults can often be traced back to roots in unprocessed trauma, grief, fear, and stress.
When it comes to children, it’s possible to catch these patterns early. Children will often act out or become inconsolable when they are in digestive distress. We know this is true of colicky infants. We also know this happens when kids are “sugared up” after a birthday party or perhaps a day at grandma’s house. The Spleen, responsible for digestion and absorption of nutrients in Chinese medicine, can easily becomes weakened by poor diet, over-nutrition (eating too much), antibiotics and other medical interventions, perceived stress, and more!
Placing focus on nutrition and digestive health in children will reap enormous benefits for LIFE (including increased focus, balanced energy levels AND mood, improved sleep, and stronger immune function).
If you feel your child could benefit from some digestive support, and want to know more about what that might look like, click below to schedule a discovery consult with Caitria.
I get so many questions about food. The level of confusion, frustration, and guilt that exists around the subject of food can be really overwhelming, and it’s part of my mission to clear things up. Here are two of the most common questions I get...answered!
❓What age should my child start eating solids?
The digestive system of a young child is very sensitive, and is the foundation of health. Around 6 months, a child can begin playing with and exploring new tastes, textures, and flavors when it comes to food. However, there is no need for nourishment to come from this food until the age of 1 or even later (for a breastfed child). Let your child guide their own journey with food, rather than forcing something they are not ready for.
*this is a basic rule of thumb, and it may not apply to every child. For specific questions with feeding/weaning, reach out to me for a consult. I’d love to help you navigate this exciting time!!
❓Am I depriving my child of a normal life if I don’t feed them the standard American diet?
I get SO passionate about the answer to this question. NO!! By switching Cheeto’s for sweet potatoes and Skittles for raspberries, you are nourishing your child in a way that will allow them to grow, thrive, and become the best version of themselves. You are arming them with the internal tools to fight off disease, learn and retain information in school, and maintain emotional balance. If you feel like you are depriving your child by feeding them healing foods, I challenge you to flip your perspective.
Instead of believing this ⬇️⬇️⬇️
My child is missing out/I am keeping them from some form of normalcy or happiness....
DECIDE to believe this ⬇️⬇️⬇️
I am feeding my child in a way that will allow them to thrive and maintain/achieve optimal health. I show my child love by providing them with the nourishment that their body NEEDS.
If you have questions about ANYTHING related to food and optimal health for children, click the button below to schedule a discovery consult with Caitria.
2019 is the Year of the Brown Pig! There is lots to know about the energetic forecast for this year....here are the highlights:
🐷Pig is the final animal of the 12 animal system, meaning that this will be a year of completion, conclusion, and tying up loose ends in all aspects of life.
🐷A Pig year is a great time to nurture family and friend relationships, and to spend time at home rather than doing lots of traveling. Aligning with these values will have favorable outcomes this year.
🐷2019 will be a positive year for the disenfranchised, as Pig energy is full of generosity.
🐷This is a great year for cultivating skills like cooking, gardening, and home organization.
🐷Cooking with ginger, garlic, green onion, and cayenne pepper will ward off digestive strain and respiratory issues that are on the horizon this year. Eating for Kidney and Urinary Bladder health is important this year too, as Pig is a Water element animal (Kidney and Urinary Bladder are the organs associated with the element of water).
🐷This year is an opportunity to find strength through our yin/feminine nature. Do this by looking inward, processing and expressing emotions, acting with compassion, and nurturing others. Connect to your feminine power, y'all!!!
🐷Being that this year is about cooking, gathering for meals, and spending time at home, it will be important to balance this with nourishing movement like qi gong, yoga, and pilates to prevent weight gain around the midsection like our friend the pig. Moving the qi by receiving bodywork, massage, and acupuncture is also highly recommended.
Wishing you a year of great health and good fortune!
Caitria Thiele LAc MSOM