Seasonal Advice Hello everybody and Happy May Day. The month of May is named for the Greek goddess Maia, who oversaw the growth of plants. May is a great month to be outdoors and watch nature grow. Try to be barefoot outdoors if you can, because it helps you to be energetically grounded. By being grounding, our qi descends and calms our nerves to help resolve anxiety, overthinking, and insomnia.
Descending qi is also great for the digestive tract. Ideally, our stomach qi only goes down. When the stomach qi rebels and moves upward, that’s when we get nausea, vomiting, heartburn, or coughing. In addition to stomach qi going in the proper direction, we want the proper temperature in our stomach. In the March newsletter, I mentioned the idea of hot and cold in regards to medicine. Heart burn, stomach ulcers, and some types of nausea are considered to be symptoms of stomach heat. Eating spicy, acidic foods (coffee, BBQ, hot sauce) make symptoms worse. You can reduce heat symptoms by eating cooling foods like coconut, cucumber, watermelon, tofu, and aloe vera.
Medicinal use of aloe vera is ancient. Early records of aloe appear in the Egyptian Ebers Papyrus from16th century BC and Pliny the Elder's Natural History written in the mid-first century AD. Current research shows preliminary evidence that eating aloe vera might be effective in reducing blood glucose in diabetic patients and in lowering blood lipid levels in hyperlipidaemia. Aloe vera contains important enzymes like amylase and lipase which can aid in digestion by breaking down fat and sugar.
Aloe vera is well known for healing skin from sunburns. Did you know the lining of you gut is made out of skin? When your gut is inflamed, has heart burn, or ulcers, eating aloe is one of the best things you can do to heal it. The aloe leaf is made of two parts: the outer green leaf and the inner clear gel. The outer greens are a laxative. If you are prone to stomach heat with constipation, you want to buy aloe vera juice that contains both the inner and outer parts. If you have loose stools or diarrhea, you can choose juice that only contains the inner filet. Avoid aloe juices that contain sugar. They are soft drinks not medicine. If you have some aloe vera growing in your home, slice away the outer part and enjoy the clear gel by itself. I know many people who get great results by adding aloe to their diet and they swear by it. It has a fresh, green taste. If drinking a slightly bitter juice is too much for you, below is a recipe for a delicious cooling drink for your belly.
Recipe Coconut Aloe Juice 3 Large leaves of aloe vera that yields about 1 Tbls of clear gel 4 Oz filtered water 4 Oz 100% coconut juice (no sugar added)
Rinse your aloe leaves. With a sharp knife, remove the rind on one side, along with the inner yellowish rind. Fillet the gel with a knife or spoon and extract the gel. The inner gel will look clear and be free from any yellow or green parts. Place the inner gel only in a blender with water and coconut juice. Blend, pour, and enjoy.
Acupoint Ren 14 巨闕 Great Tower Gate Location: At the junction of your belly and sternum, where the right and left ribs meet, 2 fingers below the bone, in the center of your abdomen Action: Resolve digestive issues like nausea, reflux, acid regurgitation, vomiting, abdominal, and epigastric pain. Reduce heart issues; angina, pain/tightness in the heart area. Help with emotions of manic-depression, muddled thinking, anger outbursts, poor memory, anxiety, palpitations, panic attacks, and epilepsy. Also supports the lungs by minimizing cough and asthma.
This is important: Make sure you are not pressing on your bones. You want to be on belly flesh only. Massage as deeply as comfortable in a circular motion and pressing slightly towards to belly button. This will encourage your stomach to pull away from your diaphragm to create more space and reduce symptoms. Massage for 3-5 minutes.
Exercise Resolve Hiatal Hernia Your esophagus passes through a opening in your diaphragm. Your stomach is directly below the below diaphragm. If the top part of your stomach smashes up through your diaphragm, you can get a hiatal hernia. Symptoms are heartburn, nausea, difficulty eating large meals, chest pressure, and trouble holding your breathe/taking a deep breath. To pop your stomach back down and resolve symptoms, we use water and gravity.
Drink a glass of slightly warm water on an empty stomach. Next, hold your arms at chest level. Then, stand up on your tip toes, and drop down onto your heels pretty hard. Repeat 4-5 times. Immediately after thunking your heels down a handful of times and with your arms still up, pant short quick breaths for 10 to 15 seconds. Repeat once a day or as needed.
The water acts as a weight in your stomach. Spreading your arms up stretches the diaphragm and opens up the hole in the middle. Dropping down on your heels will jerk the stomach down out of the hole. Panting tightens up the diaphragm muscle to close the opening.
Surgery is recommended for very severe hiatal hernias, but only as a last option.
Meditation Decending Qi This is a great technique for helping your stomach to descend and it is very good at calming nerves to help resolve anxiety, overthinking, and insomnia.
Sit or stand and take a few deep breaths. Imagine clean water or pure healing light pouring over the top of your head then down your face, chest, back, stomach, legs, and feet. Image the water or light continues through the bottom of your feet into the ground below you and into the center of the earth. You can also imagine the water/light bringing in pure healing energy and draining harmful energy out. Continue for 5-10 minutes.
Happy May Everybody. I hope everyone is well and happy. I’ll see you at your next appointment.
Dr. Heather Bird