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East West Blog

Ancient Wisdom, Modern Science, for Today's World

Waking up at 2am | Ask Dr. Liliane

Question

Why do I often wake up at 2:00 in the morning? Sometimes I can go back to sleep but sometimes I cannot or will stay awake for a long time.

Answer

Two o’clock in Chinese medicine is right in the middle of “Liver time” which goes from 1:00 to 3:00 in the morning. I would say 80% insomnia patterns fit into that pattern.

Organ hourly clock:

  • 11:00 PM - 1:00 AM : Gallbladder time
  • 1:00 Am-3: 00 AM: Liver time
  • 3:00AM-5:00 AM : Lung time
  • 5:00 AM to 7:00 AM : Large Intestine time

Those hours correspond to a biological clock of inner organ recharge. At night, those organs need to be nourished by deep Yin and Blood. For our Liver Tree in particular, there is a need for recharging its “sap” in the form of Blood and Yin water (Our liver filters one liter and a half of blood every minute). If, for any reason, we are too Yang and too fiery, our spirit, like a plane that cannot land, continues to swirl and get exhausted -  unable to find a resting place and reach its airport to recharge fuel and batteries.

The reasons?:

  1. The most obvious is
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Different Types of Fasting and Recipes

Here is an excerpt from our booklet “Spring cooking, Liver cleansing” where you will find many tools as well as recipes to guide you into a process of liver cleansing that fits your needs.

The Different types of fasting

  1. Fruit Juice Fasting -  Fruit juice fasting is very common and is often based, although not exclusively, on apple juice (diluted in water)
    • Advantages: fruit sugar gives you energy, usually helps avoid serious detox symptoms, which is why you might often find a combination of hiking and fasting, very common in France and Europe.
    • Drawbacks: not the best solution for diabetics or for those who are hypoglycemic; not a good solution either for people suffering from candida. Fruit juice fasting often exacerbates sugar cravings at the end of the fast, thus erasing the advantages of the weight loss for example. Sugar craving is a common phenomenon reported by those who go on a “grape diet”, popular in France for instance. The detox symptoms are less important but the changes are also less profound.
  2. Green Juice fasting -  Usually a combination of celery juice and cucumber juice in equal amounts. One also adds some leafy greens in lesser quantity (parsley,
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Spring Cleansing | What to do and not to do

All over the world, people seem to agree on at least one principle : Spring is a time of inner cleansing and renewal. Lent time is the Christian remnant tradition, Pessah’ the Jewish one and Ramadan the Arabic one . We find spring cleansing rituals in many other traditions as well, from Celtic to American Indian.They all involve a relationship to a form of food restriction and cleansing of body and environment.

Chinese medicine helps us to relate spring time to our Liver and Gallbladder energy, something, again that people seem to know intuitively in most parts of the world. Let’s fast forward to today. What can we do to support liver cleansing? How can we fit those spring rituals into our busy lives?

GOLDEN RULE : USE WISDOM AND KNOW YOURSELF!

  1. Assess your needs and resources truthfully and realistically. Have you done fasting before? Is it your first fast? Can you take time off from work or not? What obligations do you have in your life? Can you have support and do you need it?
    • These questions are important in that they will enable you to determine the kind of spring and liver cleansing that you can choose. Cleansing
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Eco-Medicine: Taking Care of Our Inner Tree

Spring and Liver Cleansing

 

Liver Cleanse

Have you ever wondered why, all over the world, spring is considered a “cleaning” season and people choose that particular time to do an inner cleansing as well?

Do you know that, in Chinese medicine, spring is associated with Liver functions ? Liver and Gallbladder energy are ascribed “Tree” and “Wood” energy.

Why, you might ask.

The ancient Taoists might not have known the word “ecology” but their whole philosophy and medical principles were based on it, not just as a poetic image but as a deep understanding of how our body and nature interact and how each one is contained within the other one.

How can that knowledge help us?

It is my deep conviction that this ancient model of medicine is more than ever necessary and adapted to our times. Cutting our forests like we are doing is, literally, cutting the brand on which we are sitting. Our livers are suffering as much as our trees and forests are.

If we reconnect to that deep image of the Tree and its significance, we can glean from it not only a deep understanding of our Liver and

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New ebook on Liver and Gallbladder Health

Fantastic Spring Cooking Liver Cleansing booklet

with Dr Papin and Chef Didier Cuzange

Filled with information, this booklet provides great recipes to keep our Liver happy. It also provides a solid and simple theoretical handle of the Chinese medicine approach to Liver and Gallbladder health. Spring cooking refers to the association of our liver functions to the spring season; but also to the inner spring of our steps, bodies and spirit provided by a healthy liver with its promise of youthful energy through constant cleansing, renewal and growth.

In this booklet, you will find an array of cooked as well as raw plant-based recipes; description of various fasting and cleansing methods; simple “how to” guides for sprouting and fermentation; recipes for vegetal cheeses and non dairy-yogurts; and great desserts. This is a booklet packed with goodness and links health to delight for our taste buds and liver.

Purchase now for only $10!

Beets for Liver Health

BEETS

  • Beets have many health benefits. Chinese medicine considers that they nourish liver blood, which is hardly surprising given their color. That means that they are good for anemia and for replenishing and cleansing the blood of a tired and toxic liver. For that purpose though, the beets need to be in a liquid form, either juice or soup.
  • Beets are also a unique source of phytonutrients, they have many anti-inflammatory properties and they provide great support for detox; 1 or 2oz of juice a week are sufficient to make a difference.
  • Beets contain a high concentration of betalain (pigment red or yellow that makes a natural dye), which are natural anti-oxidants and protect the liver from toxins among a long list of many health benefits
  • Do not throw away the greens: they offer even a higher concentration of phytonutrients! As you can see, beets are a great ally of our liver functions!

WAYS TO PREPARE BEETS

  • When you go to France beets are almost always served cooked and it is actually the most common way you find them in grocery stores: cooked and packaged, greens thrown away of course. It is always a treat to find them in their
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St. Valentine's Day Special

Get a gift certificate for massage, treatment, cupping or home-made chocolate goodies!!!

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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  • Hypertension
  • Hypotension
  • Arrhythmia,tachycardia or bradycardia
  • Anxiety
  • Lack of concentration and memory
  • Stroke
  • Cardio-vascular accidents

These are some of the all too common symptoms or diseases that refer to our heart and its’ physical or emotional suffering. Actually, within the Oriental model, you cannot distinguish between the two. A broken heart is a reality and hurts our heart organ. A weak heart will make it more difficult to withstand emotional challenges. In the Oriental model, our heart houses our “Shen” or spirit and is always affected by all our emotions while all of our emotions are affected by the health of our heart.

We know from all of our cardiology wards today, that meat, saturated fats, cheese, greasy foods and alcohol are common culprits damaging the delicate drum within our chest. Hearts like light vibrations. They enjoy rivers of blood that flow easily and nourish them with that nutrient rich red color that is the color of a vibrant and healthy heart.

Emotionally, our hearts resonate with warmth, gentle joy, love and zest for life. Oriental medicine associates our hearts with the Fire energy. Our hearts are literally the suns of our body’s inner planetary system. Because they are our inner

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Make health part of your resolution because it is the center of your life. As we all discover at some point, without it, everything else falls apart…dreams, projects, travels…In French the traditional New Year greeting is “Bonne année, Bonne santé” (Good year, good health). There is much wisdom in that greeting.

The team of East West Holistic Medicine is here to wish you “Bonne année, bonne santé” and support you in achieving “vibrant health”. The ancient Chinese define as health way beyond the mere absence of symptoms…herbal remedies, food therapy, massage, energy work, acupuncture, online consultations, Qi Gong and Yoga…all of it at your disposal!

Make Qi Gong for Kidney part of your 2016 New Year resolution toward health!

human kidneysJoin us on Monday January 11, the day we are beginning our 3 week challenge and practice of Qi Gong for Kidney. Many of you asked for it, you got it!

The event starts at 7:00 in the park, every morning from Monday through Friday, just like before. Well…if it is really cold, we will compromise this time and practice in the Community Center.

This is a Free event!…the third of its kind in

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Three Treasures Series

Qi, instrument of our health and destiny

 

Qi can wear many hats, from mundane “air” (you put “Qi” in your flat tires), “function” (the “Qi of the Heart” makes it beat) to”activity”, “strength” or “life” as no qi means death. It also includes modern concepts of “energy” “electricity,” or “electromagnetism”

The main medical role of Qi in our body is “transformation,” metabolic and enzymatic functions being its modern names. Our Lung, Spleen/ pancreas and liver constitute its main “transformers”.

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Three Treasures series

Shen, radiance of our spirit and flame of our soul

Shen is the most subtle of the three treasures. Often translated as spirit, Shen can also mean soul, mind, character, personality, emotion, charisma, talents or radiance. Shen resides in our Heart and its nature is Fire. Heart health and Shen are therefore closely connected. Interestingly enough Oriental medicine assigns to the Heart many of the functions that we assign to the brain. Concentration for example is a function of our Shen. The separation between mind and heart is of our making!

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Three Treasures Series

Jing, source of our longevity and vitality

Oriental medicine lists 3 fundamental treasures essential to human health: Jing, Qi, Shen. “Treasure” means something precious and unique to be cherished and protected, like our. national parks designated “national treasures” to protect them from mindless exploitation. Treasure entails the necessity of conscious care and awareness of irreplaceable value.

Jing is the first of the three treasures, sometimes translated as “kidney essence” but much wider than that. Some other Western terms could include “vital energy,” “DNA,” “constitution,”. “body fluids and lubrication” or “libido.”

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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.