Posts by Yuval Blum

Year of the Horse – Year of the Heart

Posted by on Jan 28, 2014 in Featured, Health, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Year of the Horse – Year of the Heart

Year of the Horse – Year of the Heart

(Image: ‘The Horse Vigorously To Running Calligraphy Greeting Cards’ by Boians Cho Joo Young/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net)   Many Chinese communities all over the world celebrate the Chinese New Year this week and welcome the year of the horse. A short recap: According to ancient Chinese philosophy, there are two main cycles in nature representing the order of the universe. The first is a cycle of 10 (“stem”) and the second, a cycle of 12 (“branch”). Within the great 12 year cycle, every year is represented by a sign that symbolizes the characteristic of that year, much like the famous zodiac known in the west. Each branch, in addition to its correspondence to an animal, has a deep relationship with an organ in the body. It is important to keep in mind that an “organ” in Chinese Medicine is a wider term than it is in Western Medicine: there is the physical organ and physical function, and it also includes its meridian, and its emotional and spiritual functions. This year is the year of the horse and the corresponding ‘organ’ is the heart. In many ancient cultures and philosophies the horse represents something very spiritual relating to Life force, freedom, and a spirituality and bond connecting the horse and the warrior. In the Chinese classics one finds the reference “the heart is the human heart”. From this, we understand that the heart referred to in Chinese medicine is not the muscle pumping blood and driving the animal body. Rather, this thing we call the heart is the home of the spirit. The human spirit. It is this function that has our body working as a whole and complete entity. To do this, its strongest tool is communication. And humans have a unique ability to communicate through words and speech. So, how can we help our heart function to its full potential? In the eyes of Chinese medicine, disease forms when a part of the body doesn’t follow the spirit. In other words, we can say that the other organs are not following the rules laid down by the heart. Therefore the heart’s most important task is to communicate with all the other organs, to unite them as one complete system. When this doesn’t happen, disease forms. The heart’s “secret” to great communication is being open and empty. We can think of holism as stemming from the word hole.  A hole is something that is open and accepting to all, empty and free from attachments and judgments. To be a hole will allow us to communicate with our own spirit and with the universal spirit. It is that hole that allows us to become holy. The key for health, especially during this year of the horse-heart is communication: ©      With ourselves and with our surroundings. ©      Listening to our intuition and inner voice while at the same remaining open to other people’s ideas, needs and feelings. Isn’t it interesting that the Chinese characters for listening, seeing, and thinking, are all written with the radical heart in them? Wishing us all unity within ourselves and our community, and a great ride on the year of the horse. Yuval Blum, R.TCMP, R.Ac   ...

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To Sense from the Heart

Posted by on Sep 5, 2013 in Featured, Quotes & Thoughts, Uncategorized | Comments Off on To Sense from the Heart

To Sense from the Heart

As humans, we are blessed with the ability to sense the exterior world through our 5 senses. How does this really work? Can we train or sharpen our senses to enhance and improve the way we experience our day-to-day life? Or is it maybe that some of us are gifted with special sensory talents? While it’s true that some of us have a better musical ear or a more sensitive palate able to discern many flavors, I believe with some practice and attention we can all sharpen our senses and enjoy a richer, fuller life. All we need to do is to practice. Sound simple? Well… it is. For example, when practicing yoga we learn how to breathe and how to lead our breath to a targeted area in our body. While meditating we learn how to train our mind and clear our thoughts. We learn how to let thoughts go when they arise, rather than holding on to them. Sensing is a practice pertaining to the heart. When the heart is involved in even little and seemingly banal actions, life can become more meaningful. Teaching the heart to be open and clear can allow us to feel and sense the world in an entirely different way. When giving our full attention to our senses, hearing becomes listening, looking becomes seeing, smelling becomes experiencing, tasting becomes nourishing, and touching becomes communicating. Our senses become embodied and emotional. To feel and be emotional is to be alive. In physiology, as described by ancient Chinese medicine, each one of our senses passes through an internal meridian in the heart before being processed in our body and our consciousness. When we actively operate this channel, we can feel the external world and become united with it. We can then feel truly connected and at one with everything....

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About Maintenance

Posted by on May 15, 2013 in Featured, Health | Comments Off on About Maintenance

About Maintenance

(Image: ‘Girl Doing cartwheel At Beach’ by imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net) Life in the western half of the world teaches us that if something’s not broken, don’t fix it. Therefore, when one is “healthy” there is no reason to go to the doctor. It’s only when one finds one’s self “unhealthy”, that it’s time to go find a cure, see a doctor, take medication(s), do whatever will “fix” the problem. This to many of us is the normal way of things. On the other hand, we’re told that we must have an anti-virus installed on the computer and always have it backed-up; we’ve got to change the filter in the furnace and regularly change the oil in the car. In these examples, we’re exhorted not to wait for something to get broken because it will cost us twice as much. Quite frankly, I don’t understand the logic! When we’re talking about our belongings we need to be proactive but not when it’s about our bodies and our health and wellbeing? Maintaining good health in our bodies is something we all can and need to do. It’s also something we ourselves can take the initiative on through the choices we make. What we put in – what and how much we eat and at what times – and what we put on our body. It’s vital to be physically active, to listen to our body’s limits, to ensure we’re getting enough sleep. These are only a few examples of how our personal actions can benefit our health. That being said, there are many therapeutic modalities out there to assist us in achieving and maintaining great health. Many of us are aware of the great benefits of Chinese Medicine in treating a wide variety of conditions, from pain relief to dealing with allergies, emotional stress, anxiety, hormonal imbalances, infertility, and much more. But did you know that, above all else, Chinese Medicine is a preventative medicine? Chinese Medicine as a whole, and especially the “Stems & Branches” method, is designed to be a preventative type of medicine, first and foremost. The ancient Chinese actually developed different techniques to prevent illness and maintain health, that differ from those used to treat a disease.  In the “NEI JING”- the main classic of Chinese Medicine – it is said that a good doctor will get rid of the symptoms and relieve the patient’s suffering. A great doctor will treat the root of the illness and prevent its recurrence. A real master, however, will identify the illness (by pulse diagnosis) before it manifests in the physical body and prevent it from occurring at all. Also consider, in this system the doctor only is paid as long as the patient stays healthy. When someone is sick or suffers from disease, the treatment is free! In our era where healthcare is so costly, think of how wonderful it would be if this was still the way we operated. So my advice to you is to take an active role in your health.  Live right. Eat right. Sleep right. Find the kind of physical activity that fits who you are and allows you to experience joy. And yes, you can use Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture to make sure you stay happy and healthy. Don’t wait for something to get broken. Trust me, it’s much cheaper and more pleasant if you don’t.   Yours In Health, Yuval Blum...

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Say Good-bye to Your Allergies this Spring

Posted by on Apr 22, 2013 in Featured, Health, How-To's | Comments Off on Say Good-bye to Your Allergies this Spring

Say Good-bye to Your Allergies this Spring

(Image: ‘Bee Collection Pollen’ by Tina Phillips / FreeDigitalPhotos.net) Spring is here!! The sun is coming out and the days are getting longer and longer. It’s time to take ourselves out of hibernation and enjoy nature. It’s the season to be active again: to go hiking, biking, kayaking and all other fun outdoor activities. Unless… you have spring allergies. Then, when it comes to outdoor activities, viewing friends’ and family’s pictures on Instagram is all you get. If this scenario sounds familiar we have some good news for you. Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine are proven to reduce and even eliminate all kinds of allergic symptoms. How does it work? Most allergy symptoms are characterized by hay fever manifesting in irritated, red, itchy and watery eyes; runny and congested nose; and skin rashes and hives. These symptoms are caused by an overreaction of the immune system which releases histamines to fight a substance which is usually harmless. According to Classical Chinese Medicine, all of the above are related to the organ/function called Liver (remember, organs in Chinese medicine are not limited only to the physical organ). The Liver in Chinese medicine is the organ in charge on the immune system, the eyes, and all the body’s mucus membranes.  Through the use of acupuncture and Chinese herbal remedies, the practitioner can affect the function of the liver and harmonize it. By achieving this harmony we see a normal and balanced functioning of the immune system which will not overreact to harmless substances. The wonderful results of such treatment (which is safe and natural) can be life altering to a person who suffers from allergies. So, interested in joining your friends on their next camping trip??       ...

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Year of the Snake- Year of the Spleen

Posted by on Feb 14, 2013 in Featured, Health, How-To's, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Year of the Snake- Year of the Spleen

Year of the Snake- Year of the Spleen

(Image: “Snake In Green Nature” by SweetCrisis/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net) Many Chinese communities all over the world celebrated the Chinese New Year this week and welcomed the year of the snake. A short brief: According to ancient Chinese philosophy, there are two main cycles in nature representing the order of the universe. The first is a cycle of 10 (“stem”) and the second, a cycle of 12 (“branch”). Each branch can be viewed in 3 different perspectives: 2 hours of the day (24 hours divided by 12 branches). 12 months of the year (lunar months). 12 years great cycle. Within the great 12 year cycle, every year is represented by a sign that symbolizes the characteristic of that year, much like the famous zodiac known in the west. Each branch, in addition to its correspondence to an animal, has a deep relationship with an organ in the body. It is important to keep in mind that an “organ” in Chinese Medicine is a wider term than it is in Western Medicine: there is the physical organ and physical function, and it also includes its meridian, and its emotional and spiritual functions. The “Organ” belonging to the year of the snake is the Spleen. The main role of the spleen is to control everything that has to do with digestion. On the physical level it is food and fluids but consider also the digestion of data, thoughts, and information. Why snake? The snake represents a very strong digestive system. So strong that it can digest a prey that was swallowed whole. This year, therefore, the spleen is especially active. It means that it has the potential to be in its full manifestation and strength if we take good care of it. Conversely, it means that it can be easily injured and harmed if we don’t treat it appropriately. So how can we help the spleen this year? As the master of digestion the spleen likes a variety of foods. A diverse and colourful menu, rich with many nutrients will nourish and support the spleen. The one exception are carbohydrates. It is important to monitor the quantity and quality of these to ensure the spleen is “happy” and is not harmed. The spleen is also sensitive to cold foods like dairy products, and uncooked food straight from the fridge. Raw fruits and vegetables should be eaten at room temperature. Ice creams and ice cold drinks should be eliminated!! All of these are truths in every year but more so in a snake/ spleen year. On the mental/ emotional level it is important to keep a relaxed lifestyle as much as possible. The spleen is prone to harm from overthinking and too many worries. Practicing meditation, qi-gong, yoga or any meditative activity on a regular basis will support the spleen. Even things like guilt and avoiding responsibilities can harm the spleen so this year is a great time to take action and ownership in our lives. Regular Chinese Medicine treatments, Acupuncture and herbal remedies designed to nourish the spleen are also highly recommended. Wonder how your spleen is doing? Signs for injured or deficient spleen include: • Gastrointestinal symptoms like IBS, diarrhea, constipation, nausea and stomachaches. • Food allergies and intolerance • Menstrual disorders • Tendencies to bruise easily, nosebleeds, bleeding gums • Hemorrhoids • Collapsed organ/tissues • Severe conditions like anemia and immunity and autoimmunity diseases If any of the above conditions are familiar with you and you wish to address them, please contact us by phone or email. Together we will have a great, healthy and successful year of the snake! Yuval...

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