Welcome to the premiere of Melissa Carr's health e-newsletters.
If you receive this email it is because I have treated you or at
least met you at some point, or you have requested e-newsletters
from me. My practice is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and my
tools for treatment are acupuncture, Chinese herbs, food cures
(nutrition), tui na massage, western herbs and supplements, and
I'm excited to announce my new website
ActiveTCM.com . It has
quite a bit of information, so take your time wandering through
it. As part of my interest to inform and educate about health, I
plan on sending out regular (I hope! Providing I can find the
time) e-newsletters such as this one on varying health topics. I
am happy to take requests and will do my best to oblige. If you
no longer wish to receive these mailings, please let me know and
I will remove you from my list.
Spring cleaning is for more than your house. Learn how herbs and
food can be used to rid your body of the toxins that have
accumulated from processed foods, poor quality water, polluted
air, and household chemicals.
Spring is a time for renewal-a time to shake off the sleepiness of winter and
feel energized. Traditional Chinese Medicine offers lots of ways to do this with
acupuncture, herbs, food, exercises, and lifestyle changes to help you feel
better from inside-out.
Spring in Your Step
Acupuncture can be used to relieve pain and allow you to get back to the
activities that you love to do as the weather turns sunny and warm.
Helping you help yourself!
To work in partnership with you to bring you to
your optimal health.
Ongoing health, not just temporary relief.
This is active health.
The classic TCM textbook, The
Medical Classic of the Yellow Emperor has a famous saying:
"Instead of exerting great effort to cure disease, a wise man
will take precautions when he is healthy."
The idea here is to stress the importance of preventative
medicine. Because diseases and symptoms are the result of
imbalances between our bodies and the outside forces of our
environment, harmonizing ourselves with the seasons helps to
restore balance and health.
TCM developed in large part by observing nature and comparing it
with our own healthy and unhealthy patterns. Just as springtime
is a time for leaves, blooms, and animals to emerge, so to it is
time for us to shed winter from our bodies.
1. Adjust your diet. It is generally ideal to emphasize foods that are
locally available. Not only are they fresher; they are also more
suitable to our bodies' needs of each season.
As the weather gets warmer, we can start to add lighter and some
cooler foods to our diet. This means, fewer soups, stews, and
heavy foods and more lightly steamed or even raw vegetables.
There are more leafy vegetables and fewer root vegetables. Of
course you should also follow your own constitution, so if you
continue to feel cold, you might be best to continue with more
Time to stretch. Get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Get help
for your allergies as you don't need to suffer through the season
(see "Allergies" below).
3. Let Emotional Clutter Go
"Clear the clutter" is a popular catch phrase, but it should not
refer only to your house (although that can do wonders as well!),
but also to emotional baggage. Talk to a counsellor or other
friendly ears. Take time for yourself to work out issues that are
weighing you down.
Following the patterns of nature, you will feel as renewed as a
new leaf reaching for the sun!
4. Appropriate Wear
As the mother
of a patient of mine is said to have quoted
every spring, "Cast not a clout 'til May is out". What does this
mean? Don't bare too much skin until June arrives. Even though
she did not know TCM principles, she was right. Protect yourself
from the elements by keeping a clothing barrier between yourself
and the elements. Even though the sun is out more often and it
seems warmer, leaving your jacket at home or wearing shorts too
early can cause your muscles to cramp up and your joints to ache.
For women, wear a fashionable scarf to cover your neck and if you
choose to wear a skirt, wear stockings. Men, don't pull your
shorts out of storage just yet; leave everyone in anticipation
Allergies Be Gone!
Traditional Chinese Medicine can
offer you help when the sneezing,
sniffling, itchy eyes, and more hit
you. In addition to treating your
allergies during the season that
you suffer them, it is also helpful
to plan ahead. So, start your
treatments a month before the
season hits. It is also wise to
prep your body in autumn because
that is the time that, according to
TCM, your lungs are most active.
Being prepared will bring you
relief and allow you to enjoy those
new blooms on the ground and in the
Of course, cleaning your house and workspace is important, but
don't neglect your body and mind this year. Here are some scary
About 6000 new chemicals are listed weekly in the Chemical
Society's Chemical Abstracts. That adds up to more than 300,000
new chemicals every year!
Every year we consume an average of 14 pounds of food additives
that include preservatives, flavourings, colourings, emulsifiers,
humectants, and antimicrobials.
We also eat an average of one pound of pesticides and
herbicides every year.
Our bodies were made to be able to eliminate the toxins we
encounter, but not at the level that we are currently
encountering them. Our science has progressed faster than our
bodies can evolve to cope with the changes.
Sounds bleak, but there is hope.
Obviously, the first solution is to try to eliminate some of the
toxins you come into contact with. Quit smoking or drug use.
Avoid excessive alcohol. Eat fresh, non-processed food. Buy
organically-grown foods when possible and wash your fruits and
vegetables well. Drink a lot of clean filtred or spring water to
help your body flush out the toxins. Use simple cleaning
solutions like diluted vinegar, baking soda, and lemon to clean
your house. Read the labels to your personal care products and
try choosing more natural brands. Or, even better, make your own
with foods like oatmeal, avocado, bananas, cucumbers, etc.
Decrease your own impact of adding toxins to the environment by
using your car less often. You'll also get the added benefit of
getting more exercise as you walk, bike, or rollerblade to your
The next solution is to help your body's detoxifying organs---the
liver, kidneys, lungs, and skin. According to TCM, the liver and
gallbladder are the organs that are active during spring, so
adding foods and herbs that support this organ are especially
important. Examples are dandelion (drink it as tea or use the
leaves to make a salad), artichoke, milk thistle, and many green
vegetables. Recognize that if your body is very toxic, you may
experience a "cleansing reaction" which is a temporary worsening
of symptoms or flu-like symptoms before you improve. TCM's
principle is to create individualized detoxification and support
programs suited to the individual. It can also help people to
quit smoking, drinking, or using drugs.
Artichokes, asparagus, beets, green beans, bok
choy, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage,
cauliflower, carrots, celery, collard greens,
dandelion greens, fennel, garlic, green onions,
green peas, kale, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms,
mustard greens, olive, pickles, radish, rhubarb,
scallions, sauerkraut, spinach, watercress
As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, we get
feel more and more like stretching our limbs and being active. At
least I hope you do! The last thing that you need is pain
limiting you and thwarting you from your favourite activities.
Whether the pain is chronic or due to weekend warrior activities,
it is important to do more than simply mask the pain.
Acupuncture has long been known to treat pain, decrease swelling,
and improve range of motion. It is a safe and effective way to
improve your body's healing ability.
Acupuncture can even be relaxing and many people fall asleep
during their treatments!
Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine
email@example.com 604-783-2846 Locations in both Kitsilano and downtown Vancouver
In appreciation of each of your referrals,
starting today I will offer you $10 off of your
next treatment, so don't forget to tell your
friends, family, colleagues, and acquaintances to
give me your name when they book an appointment.
And finally, let me know
so I can
email you a birthday card and gift at the right time!