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East West Blog

Ancient Wisdom, Modern Science, for Today's World

St. Valentine's Day Special

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February 2017 promises to be a Fire month! it is marked both by St Valentine, love Fire day, and by the Chinese New Year, starting January 28th, which this year is a year of the Rooster, a Fire sign according to the Chinese zodiac. The Heart, in Chinese Medicine, also belongs to Fire energy.

From an energetic point of view, we all know that Fire is a positive radiating energy that brings warmth, love and reaches out to others. No fire ever keeps its warmth for itself. It naturally spreads. Its positive heart qualities in human beings therefore are love, enthusiasm, generosity, zest for life and gentle joy and compassion. Fire is also a purifying energy as we know when we burn anything we want to get rid of. Scorching is a way for the earth to renew itself. Fire can burn obstacles, boundaries and knows no frontiers. Fire purification ceremonies or simple “cleaning up” are therefore good practices to get rid of clutter in our environments and hearts.

When Fire is out of control however, as we also well know, it brings destruction. Fire is a

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Sweating sunSummer heat is wonderful: it is an expansive energy that makes us want to go outside, get up early or stay up late to enjoy morning and evening freshness...midsummer nights, in particular, as Shakespeare well knew, vibrate with magic...fireflies are dancing, it is warm and pleasant. Evenings are long and lend themselves to social gatherings. Everywhere we see picnics, people travel and go to the beach or the mountains, seeking both freshness and ways to enjoy this special time of year.

Like any season or climate, though, summer heat has both positive and negative aspects and is considered one the six external and climatic pathogens in Chinese Medicine. It belongs to the energy of Fire, that can weaken the Heart when out of control. Symptoms of Summer Heat ? diarrhea (often called “explosive diarrhea”) and digestive upsets are the most common. Summer heat can easily spoil food, in particular meat and fish. It is also easy to get caught in a summer storm and suddenly get chilled. People who leave for long hikes without preparedness might suffer from that. We can see that easily in the Western desert in higher altitudes where there is such a difference between day or

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Today, in this little blog, let me just tackle the most common question: “what is acupuncture good for?” or another version of it “Can it treat X, Y, Z…?”

In a way, that is like asking “What is medicine good for?” While acupuncture in the West is best known for its pain applications (knee, shoulder, elbow, lower back and all kinds of arthritic pains) its uses cover a much wider scope.

The best way to understand acupuncture is to see it as a resetting of the deep electrical wiring sending signals to all our tendons and joints but also and every single one of our organs and cells. This is why acupuncture can reach anywhere along this electrical grid and different points can relieve headaches as well.