wellness

Dream Journalling: Technique & Interpreting


RECORDING & INTERPRETING YOUR DREAMS

zhaungzibutterfly.jpg

I believe the symbolism of dreams to be very cultural and individualized; for this reason in interpreting dreams the more important take away is any consistent theme i.e. feeling anxious, sad, worried, pensive, joyous. Be as detailed as possible in your recording, for example, knowing that the dream surrounded performance anxiety, instead of just recording general anxiety. The more you know the more you benefit.

In time, you will start to recall more and more dreams (upwards of eight a night), and a clearer subconscious theme will emerge. This can point to things that you maybe feel during the day, but are either unaware of their presence, or things you feel but do not say/express in a healthy way. Ask yourself what is coming up consistently, and gauge how much you relate to that experience in waking, potentially taking steps to better manage those subconscious and fear driven responses.

 

DREAM RECOLLECTION TECHNIQUE

  1. STEP ONE | EQUIPMENT - Keep a dedicated dream journal and stationary next to your bed.

  2. STEP TWO | THE PROCESS - On waking, keep your eyes closed, mentally run through the major details of the most recent dream(s) point by point.

  3. STEP THREE | RECORDING - Open your eyes, then record in point form all major details, i.e. how you felt emotionally, place, interactions etc.

  4. STEP FOUR | INCREASE RECALL - After just a few days your ability to recall dreams will increase from one to as many as 8+ dreams. Record as many as possible.

wellness

Introduction to Pranayama [Breathing Techniques]


ABOUT PRANAYAMA

Pranayama is one of the eight limbs or core tenants of yoga; and It’s meant to prepare the body and mind for other core practices in yoga such as the: asana - physical poses, Yamas - relation to other, niyamas - relation to self, Pratyahara - withdrawal from the senses, Dhara - concentration, & Dhyana - meditation, but where stress is concerned it’s valuable in its ability to shift how we relate with stress, lessen the reactivity of the mind and gain more clairity in thinking.


WHY DO PRANAYAMA?

One of the main reasons that breath regulation is emphasized in pranayama is because it is said to share a special connection between our bodies stress responce and our consciousness / minds; with consistency and practice it aims to restore a sense of still- ness through gaining controlling of the breath, and not allowing it to become irregular.

This connection between consciousness and breathing can be witnessed in how breath- ing becomes agitated immediately with a perception of ‘stress’, it moves instantly from relatively deep and smooth to shallow, rapid, or restrained; whereas when we are at ease (however long ago that might have been) we breath deeply, our pear shaped lungs fill into their reaches, and the tummy fills gently with ease.

In practicing maintaining correct breath during perceived ‘stress’ we provide valuable biofeedback to the body that it doesn’t need to be in a heightened state of ‘flight or flight’ / adrenal / stress responce. The mind becomes less agitated and able to remain calm in the adversities of waking life, the result is that you feel more at ease and less drawn into the reactivity of the mind.

“WHEN WE PRACTICE PRANAYAMA THE VEIL IS GRADUALLY DRAWN AWAY FROM THE MIND AND THERE IS GROWING CLARITY. THE MIND BECOMES READY FOR DEEP MEDITATION” (YOGA SUTRAS OF PANTANJALI 2.52)

THE BENEFITS OF PRANAYAMA


  • CALM & FOCUS THE MIND - Prepare to still the mind for more techniques such as dhyana (meditation) / Ana Pana (breath meditation). This can be used as a stand alone practice or one to compliment a formal meditation sitting.

  • LEARN TO DEEPEN THE BREATH & CORRECT IMPROPER BREATHING - Beginners often experience difficulty breathing deeply, they may find their inhales/ exhales to be choppy or differing lengths, or even a tendency to ‘gulp’ or expel their breath hurriedly instead of breathing in/out calmly and in control.These difficulties can aid in compounding an experience of ‘stress’ in a sort of negative bio-feedback loop.

  • MANAGE STRESS & GAIN MORE CONTROL “FIGHT OR FLIGHT” RESPONSE - These techniques induce a level of controlled (read: workable) stress on the body; this practice teaches us how to relate differently to perceived stressors, in time learning to control the breath as a way of regulating the mind, and its fight or flight response.

  • COMPLIMENT TO THE OTHER LIMBS OF YOGA & A SENSE OF WELLBEING - Pranayama is a great support to all the limbs of yoga; clearing the mind for better understanding of the Yamas - ethical perception with relation to other, niyamas - ethics and perception when related to self; can send the body into a state of Pratyahara - or withdrawal from the senses; increase Dhara - concentration; aid in creating the stillness required for Dhyana - meditation (quells ‘monkey mind’); and of course helps us go deeper and more fluidily through our vinyasa (flows) in the various asanas - or physical postures of yoga.


KEY POINTS ON ESTABLISHING A PRACTICE

  • FIND YOUR “EDGE” / INTERVAL AMOUNT FOR PRANAYAMA TECHNIQUES - Begin with a relatively low interval i.e. 3 sec, and continue building the interval until to reach your “edge” - consider it 90% of how far you are able to go without too much discomfort, take the interval back 10-15% from there, this is the place we work in, a manageable amount of induced ‘stress’ to face and practice with.

  • MAINTAIN CORRECT POSTURE - Having a tall spine and correct posture aids in facilitating a deep breath, it provides the room the lungs need to descend into their lower reaches, when we are slouched there is obstruction in the lungs ability to descend. To correct this, line up and stack your ears above your shoulders, and your shoulders above the hips, rocking back and forth, tilting the head until you find a tall spine.

  • THE PRACTICE OF CONTROLLING THE BREATH & MIND - Try your best to breath as slowly and steadily as possible to meet the interval you have chosen. If you are having too much difficulty i.e. you feel too starved for oxygen, light headed/dizzy, or the breath is becoming very choppy, consider decreasing your interval to a more manageable amount. Tip: imagine sipping the breath slowly as you work with these techniques, imagine sipping oatmeal or honey through a straw, al- ways meeting your breath at the interval you are working with.

  • STAY WITH THE PERCEIVER / BE MINDFUL - Do your best to be mindful throughout the practice, try not to enable your subconscious mind, try not to indulge thinking about later in the day, moments from the past etc. Instead stay with the part of you that is aware, the minds eye as it’s called in yoga, the part of you that perceives the thoughts passing by. When thoughts arise, be gentle with yourself, don’t push them away, just acknowledge and gently return to the technique nothing else.

  • CONSISTENCY & COMMITMENT - Be honest with yourself when deciding how much to commit to; it’s a lot better to
    be consistent with training (i.e. 10 min a day) than consistently inconsistent (aiming too high i.e. 45 min). If you’re only able to do 5 minutes once a day do that, just start somewhere. Give the technique an honest run as well, not just trying it for a day and deciding it isn’t helping, you can’t undo decades of chronic stress and tension over- night.


ELEVATING YOUR PRACTICE - COMMUNITY IS KEY / SANGHA (READ: SUPPORT)

Self Care techniques, like pranayama or meditation, can seem like a chore when you’re first getting started. Remember that no man is a mountain, and the most impactful and lasting changes come when we set ourselves up for success. For that reason, if you are just getting started in a new self care technique, I encourage you to find support from friends, your partner, others in your network who you know are also interested in the practice. This helps in a few ways:

i. accountability & consistency - having a practice partner holds you accountable to consistency in practice, it’s a lot easier to bail on yourself than a friend or partner. maintaining consistency is KEY if you are going to discover if the technique has any real benefit for you.

ii. feedback + learning curve - it helps in overall learning and getting feedback, and addressing questions which are bound to come up along the way. ideally this would be under the tutelage of someone who has practiced longer than you, or at least checking in occasionally with someone who has walked that road before you.

iii. group energy/camaraderie - this last point may be subtle but one i find to be very true in practice. in group even if it’s just two of you there is a supportive air that will help pull you through your set interval... whether it’s just 5 minutes or 45 minutes.

wellness

Free Form Journalling & Stress Management


WHY JOURNAL & HOW TO USE

Journalling can increase awareness of how a seemingly ‘constant’ negative experiences of life, aren’t actually that constant. In time, with consistency, you will become more aware of the many faces of your waking experience - helping you associate less with just the negative perception and idea of the world. Free-form journalling will show you that there is more to your experience daily then you might be aware, it can show you that the same thing you call ‘anxiety’ is actually many things coming together at once and takes many different forms. Becoming more aware of the things that drive your anxiety or other emotional tension, is the first step required in finding ways to manage those feelings.

BENEFITS OF JOURNALLING

  • REDUCE PENSIVE RUMINATION - help manage difficult rumination of thoughts by diffusing via journalling.

  • BRING FEELING TO FORM - Transform the experience of a consuming unidentifiable feeling to something tangible.

  • MAKE INFORMED DECISIONS - systematically make more informed decisions, as you be- come more aware.


FREE FORM JOURNALLING TECHNIQUE

  • AVOID LEDGER STYLE - Avoid making a ledger/agenda account of what transpired throughout the day

  • WRITE HOW YOU FEEL - Write whatever is on your mind, dont think about what you should write, just write.

  • TIP | VERBAL DIARRHEA - Think ‘Verbal Diarrhea’, say the things you didn’t say that day, moments where you felt without a voice, or moments you feel some emotional charge around.

wellness

Cant Sleep? Help Falling Asleep & Combatting Insomnia


WHAT IS INSOMNIA? & WHY AM I EXPERIENCING IT?

Insomnia - or the inability to sleep - can occur for a number of reasons, but is related primarily to a perception of stress or being in a sympathetic nervous state. If you feel very stressed and agitated throughout the day, biologically your body will steer away from it’s rest and digest state (parasympathetic state) and into the fight or flight state (sympathetic nervous state). In our fight or flight state the body diverts our energy away from ‘auxiliary’ functions like resting, digesting, libido, and recovery/rejuvenating our cells (functions not necessary for immediate survival), to preparing us to fight, run or play dead.


INSOMNIA & THE AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM

In this sympathetic state, our bodies are putting things like resting/rejuvenation on hold and replacing the focus to things like seizing/clenching of muscles i.e. when you clench your jaw, raise your shoulders, press your hands into surfaces nervously, etc in moments of stress; changes to breathing i.e. holding your breath representing a state of fright, increasing/rapid breathing indicating preparation to fight or run; release bowel i.e. urinary incontinence/ibs - in moments of continued stress the body wishes to empty the bowel/bladder to be lighter and run more easily; additionally you are being pumped full of hormones preparing you to defend your self like cortisol and adrenaline which are particularly counter to allowing you to rest and fall asleep.


PHYSICAL EXERCISES FOR MANAGING INSOMNIA

yinyogaconstantinetohme

When your body is in this state, tense, rigid and clenching/guarding physically in different areas the mind is unable to be at ease. The body and mind are two sides of the same coin, when the body is tense the mind will be unable to relax as there is a perception of stress the mind is keeping you and your muscles alert, clenched in anticipation of blunt impact or potential attack. It is essential to learn to disengage the muscles and tissues to help the mind and sympathetic nervous system relax.

One of the most direct practices related to this physical response is Yin or Restorative yoga, which has a focus of the physical guarding as it relates to the sympathetic nervous system. Other styles of yoga also include this aspect of physical release, however without close guidance and an instructor willing to walk you through this aspect of release it may be more inaccessible to enter into this state through the more common styles i.e. hatha, vinyasa, iyengar, sivananda, kati yoga etc.


PROCESSING MENTAL STRESS TO HELP REDUCE YOUR INSOMNIA

Anything which helps to take you away from the sympathetic nervous state is going to be particularly useful in helping you get that rest you need. Aside from physical practices you might try and approach your insomnia from the mental aspect of ‘holding’ (guarding) - remembering that they are two sides of the same coin, and ideally circumventing this issue and engaging with both physical and mental techniques in ‘letting go’ or release. Meditation techniques can teach you over time to relate differently to yourself and the outside world, teaching you to not constantly engage in the holding which leads to this same response. As a middle path I would recommend Pranayama or breathing exercises, as a way to learn both about the physical and mental aspects of this response in our body.

I encourage you to use some of the tools mentioned below, but to also seek out other ways of managing your stress and fostering greater support for what you are going through. We are a social species and thrive in community and being supported, isolation and alienation not only do not help foster better mental health but can keep us in stifled and often unhealthy patterns of life. One study found that addiction/addictive behaviour had a very close relationship with isolation and lack of community / support. Broadly speaking we do not become addicted to just external substances, but also to other forms of sedation as ways of managing stress i.e. overeating, binge eating, toxic relationships, mindless hours sedating ourselves in front of a tv or social media. For this reason, I really encourage you to be more vulnerable in your trusted relationships, stick your neck out so to speak and garner who you can have these stronger relationships with, slowly building that support network that we all need.

HOW THESE CAN HELP MANAGE YOUR STRESS:

These tools can help create garner more awareness of your stress triggers and help diffuse emotional charge. They accomplish this by bringing form to what was before formless - an unidentified gross-encompassing feeling of being unsettled to something you can identify; in order to begin working on anything we first must know what that thing is; how we relate to it and potentially enable that behaviour.

SOME TOOLS FOR MANAGING MENTAL TENSION:

  • free-form journalling

  • counselling & psychotherapy

  • cognitive behavioural therapy

  • a meditation/mindfulness practice

  • dream journalling

  • social support (i.e. family, friends, community)


COMBATTING INSOMNIA WITH DIET & MAGNESIUM

In terms of supplements that may help, you can try a calcium magnesium supplement. This can be helpful because of their mutual action in relaxing and contracting our nervous system as well as tissues (remember two sides of the same coin!) - Calcium helps engage the nervous system and contract muscles, while magnesium helps relax the nerves and muscles. This supplement is especially relevant if you happen to have absorption issues, experience lots of cramping, sweat a lot, or are doing a lot of exercise and sweating these important minerals out of your system leaving you at a nutritional deficit when it comes to relaxing the nervous system - I recommend getting a water soluble effervescent powder, they tend to have more bioavailability and better absorption. 

FOODS HIGH IN MAGNESIUM:

Below are some examples of foods with high magnesium content, and a great way to include magnesium without the use of a supplement - it’s always a good idea to consult your wellness practitioner before starting out on a new diet.

  • Almonds, dry roasted, 1 oz - 80mg

  • Spinach, boiled, 1/2 cup - 78mg

  • Cashews, dry roasted, 1 ounce - 74mg

  • Peanuts, oil roasted, 1/4 cup - 63mg

  • Soymilk, plain or vanilla, 1 cup - 61mg

  • Black beans, cooked, 1 cup - 60mg

  • Quinoa, cooked, 1/2 cup - 59mg

  • Edamame, shelled and cooked, 1/2 cup - 50mg

  • Peanut butter, smooth, 2 tbl spoons - 49mg

  • Avocado, cubed, 1 cup - 44mg

  • Rice, brown, cooked 1/2 cup - 42mg

  • Yogurt, plain, low fat, 8 oz - 42mg

  • Oatmeal, instant, 1 packet - 36mg

HOW MUCH MAGNESIUM?

The National Institute for Health (NIH) recommends the following daily values of magnesium, please see link for possible drug interactions as magnesium can interact with certain medications, to be safe always consult your physician if you are taking any medications:

  • Birth to 6months - 30mg

  • 7-12 months - 75mg

  • 1-3 years - 80mg

  • 4-8 years - 240mg

  • 9-13 years - 240mg

  • 14-18 years - 410mg (males) | 360mg (females)

    • 400mg (pregnancy) | 360mg (lactation)

  • 19-30 years - 400mg (males) | 310mg (females)

    • 350mg (pregnancy) | 310mg (lactation)

  • 31-50 years - 420mg (males) | 320mg (females)

    • 360mg (pregnancy) | 320mg (lactation)

  • 51+ years - 420mg (males) | 320 mg (females)


HERBS & TEAS FOR INSOMNIA

As for herbs, you can try valerian, lemon balm, or skullcap teas, as well as a variety of TCM based herbal formulas but this should be done under close supervision of a qualified practitioner. One study suggests that combining both Valerian and Lemon Balm may be most effective when combined for dyssomnia (general sleeping disorders/restlessness) - (1). Melatonin has been shown to have some results in helping with insomnia although research is limited (2).

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis L.):

There is conflicting evidence on it’s overall efficacy, like most botanicals a lot more research will need to be done before we can conclusively say Lemon Balm is effective as a remedy for insomnia. Here is some research showing it’s efficacy with regards to both insomnia and general anxiety; with the results showing that it may be effective at helping both anxiety and insomnia (1).

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis):

Valerian root (extract or tea) has been shown to have some benefit in combatting insomnia, reducing the overall time it takes to fall asleep by up to 20minutes (1). In a meta analysis of the efficacy of Valerian for Insomnia, it was found to be effective above placebo in a number of controlled studies though not on all demographics (differences in efficacy based on relative age and health) (2).


SLEEPING HYGIENE & ETIQUETTE FOR INSOMNIA

GENERAL ETIQUETTE FOR RESTORING YOUR CIRCADIAN RHYTHM (SLEEP-WAKE CYCLE)

Your circadian rhythm is an internally regulated 24hr clock which regulates your bodies sleep-wake cycles - regulating your bodies sense of alertness or sleepiness based on a number of factors. Factors like lightness and darkness impact your hypothalamus, a part of your brain which helps maintain your circadian rhythm. When it’s night, your eyes signal the hypothalamus to secrete the pineal hormone melatonin, which helps us fall into our resting state (further reading). Therefore in helping to restore this cycle do your best to:

  • Follow the Sun & Moon: Look towards the sun and moon to help re-orient your bodies natural rhythm, trying not to sleep in too late, past daylight hours especially in hemispheres where daylight is restricted seasonally - for example during winter in north America/Europe. Instead try to wake up and go to sleep at regular intervals (i.e. not at inconsistent hours).

  • Avoid Late Night Activity & Embodying Yin: Avoid being overly active in the late evening when your body wants to gear down for sleep; especially avoid ignoring fatigue / tiredness when it sets in. ‘Pushing through’ fatigue for deadlines or other perceived obligations can counteract this effect and cause your circadian rhythm to function differently, leading you down the path to insomnia. In Traditional Chinese medicine and Taoism, nighttime is the time of yin, an introspective, silent, slow archetypal force, try to embody this during the time it represents, choosing in the night to do activities which embody this quality i.e. meditation, deep relaxation, quietism, etc.


SLEEP HYGIENE - THE DO’S & DON’TS FOR INSOMNIA SUFFERERS

It’s important to circumvent the issue of insomnia in as many ways as possible, the following recommendations are things that help* your body move into that rest and digest state. On their own, they likely will not be enough for the chronic insomnia sufferer, but do they help push you a little bit further into that parasympathetic state? Yes. Conversely there are certain things that may take you away from the rested state you are seeking. See below:

TRY ME

  • Don’t Work/Eat in Bed: Keep your bed for sleeping, intimacy and resting. Try not to do work, watch tv, talk on the phone while in bed if you are suffering from insomnia, preventing the body and mind from relating this area to one in which you experience stress (activity) can help you feel more at ease here and sleep a little quicker.

  • Comfortable Bedding: When purchasing bedding with regards to deep sleep, I suggest a mattress that isn’t too soft or too hard (go for goldilocks!); Cotton sheets breath easier and will help keep your body from oscillating it’s temperature at night when it wants to cool down; and lastly considering getting a body pillow if you sleep on your side keeping pressure (discomfort/pain) off any joints.

  • White Noise Generator: If you live in a noisy environment, or maybe have a noisy roommate consider getting a white noise generator. Repetitive sound helps dull sudden noises as well as sooth the mind into a state of calm.

  • De-Stress Sleep Journal: If your mind tends to be spinning before bed as you are trying to sleep, consider taking time well before sleep to journal about the things that are concerning you, diffuse that energy as much as possible earlier in the day so you aren’t spending the moments before sleep ‘planning’ or stressing about things.

  • Black Out Curtains: Ensuring the room is dark enough, especially if street lights are shining all night through your window, will help the body produce melatonin and send you into a restful sleep.

AVOID ME

  • Cigarettes: Nicotine is a stimulant, it increases your heart rate, blood pressure and is very likely going to keep you up longer if you smoke before bed.

  • Caffeine: Caffeine is a stimulant, causing the adrenal glands to secrete adrenaline and cortisol, and taking you into your sympathetic state. This absolutely should be avoided or at the very least limited to the early morning.

  • Alcohol: Alcohol is a depressant drug, slowing and sedating the nervous system. While having drinks before bed may help you fall asleep, it also disturbs the rhythm of sleep patterns, and you won’t feel rested in the morning. Additionally alcohol is a diuretic, which can cause you to wake frequently to go urinate, interrupting your much needed sleep.

  • DayTime Napping: Avoid daytime naps if you are suffering from insomnia, though the circadian clock does enter a rest phase in the afternoon, if you are suffering from insomnia this may result in you not being able to sleep in the evening.

  • LateNight Exercise: Try not to overheat or over stimulate yourself close to bedtime, again looking to reorient your circadian rhythm by exercising during the day instead.

  • Sleeping pills: These should be used as a last resort as you can become reliant on them if used long term; it’s always best to discuss the use of these with your physician. Common drawbacks include daytime sleepiness and dependance after long term use.

wellness

Stress Management & Escaping Dualistic Thinking

You can easily gleam the message that is trying to be relayed, one that says we should not judge our current situations with false dichotomies of good or bad, that dualism exists only to help us describe moments in time but falls short in relaying the overall direction or energy a situation may have in our life. I encourage you to remain open, to remain positive and keep striving for a better quality of life in whatever way possible. 

THE STORY OF A FARMER & HIS SON: FORTUNE & MISFORTUNE


1_Wqkpl8SRO36IRS4o3MRkZw.png

One day in late summer, an old farmer was working in his field with his old sick horse. The farmer felt compassion for the horse and desired to lift its burden. So he left his horse loose to go the mountains and live out the rest of its life.

Soon after, neighbours from the nearby village visited, offering their condolences and said, "What a shame.  Now your only horse is gone.  How unfortunate you are!. You must be very sad. How will you live, work the land, and prosper?" The farmer replied: "Who knows? We shall see".

Two days later the old horse came back now rejuvenated after meandering in the mountainsides while eating the wild grasses. He came back with twelve new younger and healthy horses which followed the old horse into the corral. 

Word got out in the village of the old farmer's good fortune and it wasn't long before people stopped by to congratulate the farmer on his good luck.  "How fortunate you are!" they exclaimed. You must be very happy!"  Again, the farmer softly said, "Who knows? We shall see."

At daybreak on the next morning, the farmer's only son set off to attempt to train the new wild horses, but the farmer's son was thrown to the ground and broke his leg.  One by one villagers arrived during the day to bemoan the farmer's latest misfortune.  "Oh, what a tragedy!  Your son won't be able to help you farm with a broken leg. You'll have to do all the work yourself, How will you survive? You must be very sad".  they said.  Calmly going about his usual business the farmer answered, "Who knows? We shall see"

Several days later a war broke out. The Emperor's men arrived in the village demanding that young men come with them to be conscripted into the Emperor's army.  As it happened the farmer's son was deemed unfit because of his broken leg.  "What very good fortune you have!!" the villagers exclaimed as their own young sons were marched away. "You must be very happy." "Who knows? We shall see!", replied the old farmer as he headed off to work his field alone.

As time went on the broken leg healed but the son was left with a slight limp. Again the neighbours came to pay their condolences. "Oh what bad luck. Too bad for you"!  But the old farmer simply replied; "Who knows? We shall see."

As it turned out the other young village boys had died in the war and the old farmer and his son were the only able bodied men capable of working the village lands. The old farmer became wealthy and was very generous to the villagers. They said: "Oh how fortunate we are, you must be very happy", to which the old farmer replied, "Who knows? We shall see!"  

wellness

Treating Seasonal & Perennial Allergies Naturally

Seasonal and perennial allergies can really impact the quality of your life depending on the severity. Before coming for treatment some patients reported breathing through the mouth is the only option they have as they are constantly stuffed up, while some report completely avoiding social event for fear of being exposed to a natural or artificial aggravant. This can really dampen your ability to enjoy various seasons and or social gatherings, and ultimately limit your ability to enjoy yourself and partake in your community.

The most common treatment for chronic allergic rhinitis or congestion related to allergies is the use of cortiosteroids; these immediately resolve acute symptoms but can leave you more prone to infection if used long term. Up to 70% of our immune function comes from our first line of defense, the mucous membrane in the nasal and alimentary canal (intestines/gi tract). The use of corticosteroids and other nasal sprays can thin this lining, leaving us without our barrier to infection. Netti Pot has often been heralded for it’s benefits with congestion/sinus issues, but for the same reason should not be used long term. If your congestion does not subside after 1-2 days, it’s time to look for better options that wont leave you at a deficit / more vulnerable to infection!


Conventional Treatments Available & their risks:

  • Intranasal Corticosteroids: increased vulnerability to infection, thinning of skin and mucous membrane, diabetes, weight gain, hypertension, osteoperosis, fungal infection (thrush), nosebleed.

  • Intranasal/Oral Antihistamines: Drowsiness or sleepiness, dizziness, dry mouth, nose, or throat, weight gain, stomach upset, changes in vision, feeling irritable or nervous.

  • Decongestants: irritation of the lining of your nose, headaches, feeling sick or irritable, dry mouth, rash, uncontrollable shaking (tremor), problems sleeping (insomnia).

  • NettiPot: thins and dry’s the mucous membrane in the nasal passage leaving you prone to infection if continued for too long.

Alternatives & some of their risks - Research Below:

  • Acupuncture: contraindicated if a patient has a bleeding disorder or takes blood thinners, Bleeding, bruising, and soreness may occur at the insertion sites, Unsterilized needles may infect the patient, In rare cases, a needle may break and damage an internal organ. - These risks are extremely rare and avoidable with good practice and a qualified practitioner.

  • Stinging Nettle Tea: Occasional side effects include mild stomach upset, fluid retention, sweating, diarrhea, and hives or rash (mainly from topical use). It is important to be careful when handling the nettle plant because touching it can cause an allergic rash.

  • Pre-Histamine Elimination Diet: If unguided risks of creating a vitamin or mineral deficiency.


STINGING NETTLE TEA [1-2X DAY AS NEEDED]

"The leaves of the plant contain histamine, serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine), and acetylcholine. Although it may seem inconsistent to use an extract that contains histamine to treat allergic rhinitis, subcutaneous and intravenous injections of histamine have been previously used to treat several allergic conditions such as cold urticaria with associated anaphylaxis, migraine, cluster headache associated with vasomotor rhinitis, penicillin reaction, and allergic arthritis [12]. It is also known that during allergen exposure, low plasma histamine levels, and not high plasma histamine levels, are associated with severe reactions [13]. A prospective, double-blind, comparative study of 69 allergic arthritis patients noted a significant benefit with UD versus placebo [14]. A more recent study also showed that UD inhibited proinflammatory pathways related to allergic rhinitis by antagonizing histamine 1 receptor, inhibiting prostaglandin (PG) formation and inhibiting degranulation [15]." Read the full review here [article link]


ACUPUNCTURE FOR SINUS [DISCUSS TREATMENT PLAN WITH YOUR PRACTITIONER]

Acupuncture has also shown very promising results for allergic rhinits; something I have discussed and confirmed with allergists who often recommend acupuncture for allergic rhinitis:

"The ACUSAR study (“Acupuncture in seasonal allergic rhinitis”) in Germany, a multi-center study on acupuncture in seasonal allergic rhinitis with 422 patients, has already been concluded. This study examined the efficacy of acupuncture on symptom reduction and improvement of quality of life in comparison to symptomatic therapy with antihistamines and “sham” acupuncture. The results of this study show a statistically significant improvement of quality of life in the verum acupuncture patients [51]. A second study currently being performed in Korea and China with 238 patients and a comparable study design examines the effects of acupuncture on perennial allergic rhinitis [52]. Here already results in the sense of a significant improvement of the rhinitis complaints and the quality of life have been observed [53]. A final evaluation must also first take place.” Read the full article here [link].


PRE-HISTAMINE ELIMINATION DIET:

Eliminating Foods that contain Histamine or mediate its release; this elimination type of diet is sometimes employed by allergists, but there is some dispute on whether it helps reduce symptoms as the amount of histamines or pre-histamines in these foods are often negligible.

•All fermented foods (soy sauce, soy products, miso etc)
•Seafood (fish, shrimp, lobster, crabs, oyster, mussel, clams etc)
•Fruits sources of histamine: (orange, grapefruit, lemon, lime, cherries, strawberries, raspberry, cranberry, currants, nectarine, apricot, dates, pineapple, raisins, prunes, papaya, peach, plum, fruit jams/jellies)
•Vegetable sources of histamine (tomatoes, eggplant/aubergine, spinach, pumpkin)

•Alcohol (beer, wine, cider, spirits etc. Including foods prepared with alcohol) •Vinegars (include ketchup, mustard, relish, salad dressing and vinegar prepared foods like sauerkraut & pickled foods)
•Tea (herbal and regular)
•Chocolate, cocoa, cola drinks
•Raw egg white (eggnog, hollandaise sauce, milkshake)
•Process, smoked and fermented meats (luncheon meat sausage, weiner, bologna, salami, pepperoni etc.)
•Left over meat (histamine levels build as meat ages. Eat fresh cooked meat) •Fermented cheese, yogurt, buttermilk, kefir
•Bleached flour
•Artificial flavors
•Seasoning (cinnamon, chili, cloves, anise, nutmeg, curry powder, paprika, cayenne, food labels that say spice mixes, baking mixes)
•Preservatives (benzoates, sulfites, BHA, BHT)
•Food colorings (Azo dyes). Food coloring can be present in butter/margarine, vitamin/supplement pills etc.


Ask your nutritionist and doctor on how to properly begin an elimination diet program to help you identify the foods that may or may not contribute to your rhinitis. 

wellness, tcm

Treating Anemia [Iron Deficiency] Naturally with Diet


WHAT IS ANEMIA? & DO I HAVE IT?

There are many different types of anemia, some related to absorption, others to an increased demand your body is having for iron. For that reason it is really important that if anemia is suspected you obtain/interpret blood tests from your GP. 

This Guide is very comprehensive and will help guide you through what your GP discusses in terms of potential anemia. It's important to note that none of these conditions on their own confirm anemia and that blood tests are really the most accurate form of diagnosis. 

If you are diagnosed with anemia or on the low end of having an iron deficiency, I would advise seeing a dietician or practitioner who will properly be able to guide you through integrating changes in diet back home - as your GP may not have the time to walk you through everything.

Common Symptoms of Anemia Include:

  • Easily Fatigued / Tired / Low Energy

  • Shortness of Breath or Headache

  • Dizziness / Light headed on standing

  • Pale Skin / Palor Complexion

  • Leg Cramps

  • Insomnia / Difficulty sleeping

WHAT TO EAT IF YOU HAVE ANEMIA:

AVOID:

  • Tannin rich products inhibit absorption - mainly limit tea and coffee if you drink these regularly. Other examples include: grapes, pomegranates, apples, barley, nuts, chocolate, and many legumes.

  • Phytates - A type fiber can reduce iron absorption by up to 80%. Some examples are: almonds, beans, brazil nuts, hazel nuts, lentils, corn, peanuts, peas, rice, sesame seeds, soybeans, tofu, walnuts, wheat.

  • Calcium can also affect iron absorption. However note that If you are taking calcium for other issues you can just take it a few hours after you've eaten OR at bedtime.

  • Disrupt Iron Balance: Alcohol, Animal fats & Refined Sugar.


EAT MORE:

  • Vitamin C rich foods which helps with absorption, such as: brasaic vegetables (Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower), Green/Red peppers, Spinach, cabbage, turnips, citrus fruits like orange and lemon etc.

  • B12 rich foods like, which helps in the production of iron, like: animal liver or kidney, clams, beef, tuna, trout, fortified nutritional yeast.

  • Iron rich foods - animal liver, red meats, pumpkin seeds, spinach, shellfish, beans and lentils. 


HOLISTIC PERSPECTIVE ON BUILDING BLOOD WITH DIET:

From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective certain foods can help improve the quantity and quality of blood. Combatting Iron deficiency anemia by tonifying the organs related to the production of blood in the body. See the list below and try incorporating some of these blood building foods into your diet in addition to the above recommendations.

  • Grains - barley, oats, corn

  • Vegetables - alfalfa sprouts, artichoke, beetroot, cabbage, celery, dark leafy greens, shiitake mushroom, spinach, watercress.

  • Fruits - apple, apricot, dates, fig, mulberry, go ji berry,

  • Beans - aduki, black soya, kidney; nuts/seeds - black sesame and almonds.

  • Meat - all red meats especially bone marrow and liver of beef/pork/sheep, eggs.

  • Herbs - nettle root, parsley.

  • Condiments - molasses; Beverages - soya milk. 

HERBAL TEA’S FOR ANEMIA & STINGING NETTLE:

Stinging nettle is a herb that may help build blood from a TCM perspective; though there is limited research into whether it actually helps with anemia from a allopathic perspective. In the beginning try small amounts to see how well tolerated this tea is for you.

wellness

Tumeric [Curcumin]: Natures Anti-Inflammatory & How to Use

WHAT IS CURCUMIN [ TUMERIC ] & WHY SHOULD I ADD IT TO MY DIET & INFLAMMATION REGIME


Curcumin, primarily found in turmeric, is a powerful medicinal plant belonging to the same genus/family as the ginger plant. It is usually found dried, ground up and used as spice to enhance the flavour and hue of many curries and cuisines. However the naturally occurring curcuminoids in turmeric have been shown to have many benefits, most notably it’s affects as an anti-inflammatory and powerful antioxidant. These benefits have been extremely well documented and researched - see below for more information with links to peer-reviewed articles on this topic. 

imageedit_22_6284678269.png
 

EVIDENCE BASED ANTI-INFLAMMATORY BENEFITS OF CURCUMIN [ TUMERIC ]

Our bodies inflammation response is completely natural, helping the body fight off disease and infection. However, when the body enters a state of chronic inflammation - or prolonged inflammation, it can contribute to a number of chronic pathologies such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes. For that reason, if you suspect your body is under a state of consistent inflammation (i.e. from injury or stress) or would like to help bolster and protect the body from such a response, finding ways to lower inflammation is advantageous. Curcumin has been found to receive inflammation in the body by inhibiting the activity of enzymes involved in this process (1).

One peer reviewed study compares the anti-inflammatory effects of several compounds - like aspirin and ibuprofen, two commonly prescribed medications to treat inflammation - and found they were the least effective while curcumin extract was most effective in combatting the inflammatory response (2).

The implications of the known anti-flammatory effects of curcumin could have potential benefit in treating other inflammatory related conditions like arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis, asthma as well as getting the body quicker out of inflammation as a result of injury (3). Curcumin has also been found to be have impact on joint pain overall - especially relevant for those suffering from osteo and rheumatoid arthritis by acting as a natural pain killer (4); as well as having implications in reducing nerve related pain (5).


INCREASING THE ABSORPTION
OR BIO-AVAILABILITY OF CURCUMIN [TUMERIC]

When choosing a supplement aim to find one that contains piperine (a natural compound found in black pepper); traditionally black pepper was added to dishes and ayurvedic recipes to increase the absorption of the turmeric (curcumin) One animal study found that the combination of curcumin and piperine together increased the bioavailability of cur cumin by a whopping 2000% (1) . There is also evidence that fermented versions, and varieties adding fats to this product have higher bioavailability (2). 


PRECAUTIONS & POSSIBLE
DRUG INTERACTIONS OF CURCUMIN [ TUMERIC ]

Though a generally safe to consume product be mindful and consult your health care practitioner in you experience - nausea, diarrhea, low blood sugar, increased bleeding, fertility issues, or increased menstrual flow. These are some of the most common side-effects associated with cur cumin use but generally it’s well tolerated (1). If you are anemic, you may want to exercise additional caution in your consumption; one study found that there was a possible association with iron absorption and curcumin consumption (2). If you are on diabetes medication or blood thinners be sure to consult with your physician before using these products as there are potential drug interactions. 


HOW TO BEST INCLUDE CURCUMIN IN
YOUR DIET OR INFLAMMATION REGIME?

Adding curcumin to your diet is relatively straight forward, make sure to see the precautions section to ensure that this is the right choice of inflammation fighting supplement for you (i.e. that you dont have any drug interactions or are anemic). Whether using natural tumeric or a supplement make sure that it includes pepperine (pepper) to increase the bioavailability and get the most benefit out of this naturual product.

You can use Tumeric in your cooking, especially suited to making rich curry dishes, but you can use it as seasoning on baked/cooked meats as well - again making sure to add a pinch of pepper to get the most benefit. I’ve included a recipe for one of the ways Tumeric has been enjoyed traditionally - ‘Golden Milk’ - this tumeric infused latte is soothing and a great way to include it in your diet if you aren’t going to use it as a cooking spice or buy a supplement.


GOLDEN MILK RECIPE (2 Servings)

goldenmilk.jpg
  • 1 cup of organic coconut milk (buy organic full-fat coconut milk in a bpa-free can )

  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric 

  • big pinch of freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 small (1/4 inch) piece of ginger root (peeled and grated)

  • big pinch of ground cardamom (optional)

  • 1/4 teaspoon raw honey added off the heat (optional)

Method: Blend / Whisk all ingredients then warm on the stove. Simmer (do not boil) for 15 minutes if using ground turmeric powder (see notes above). You can blend the ingredients manually by hand or in a high-steed blender for a frothier drink.

tcm, wellness

Water Element: Lifestyle & Acupressure Guide


WATER ELEMENT IN NATURE

watersymbol.png

 

COLOR [BLACK/BLUE]
TASTE [SALTY]
ODOR [PUTRID]
SEASON [WINTER]
CLIMATE [COLD]
CARDINAL DIRECTION [NORTH]

 


WATER ELEMENT IN OUR BODIES

  • ORGANS [KIDNEY & URINARY BLADDER]

  • SPIRIT [HOUSES THE 'ZHI'] - This spirit is housed in the Kidney, and contains our capacity to execute our Will.

  • SENSE ORGAN [EARS]

  • SOUND/VOICE [GROANING]

  • BODY TYPE [ROUND FEATURES, STRONG DIGESTIONS]

  • FACIAL AREAS [JAWLINE & UPPER LIP]

  • PERSONALITY TYPE [LOYAL, ENJOY MOVEMENT]

  • EMOTION [FEAR]

  • EMOTIONAL ADDICTION
    [to be PROTECTED]

  • EMOTIONAL FEAR [to be NONEXISTANT]

 
5element.png
 

HEALTHY EXPRESSION OF WATER ELEMENT


A healthy expression of Water in the body is an emotional outlook that is easy going, free moving, and always choosing a course of least resistance. The spirit of the Kidney/Water is the 'Zhi' Responsible for carrying out the intentions of the Yi (Spleen Spirit of Intellect) and the dreams of the Hun (Ehtereal Soul of the Liver), and the assessments of the Po (Animal Spirit of our body and the Lung). Water types are wise and as deep as the oceans, they relish in alone time, winters where they can re-cooperate. Water Types physically appear more round in shape.

 

PATHOLOGICAL EXPRESSION OF WATER ELEMENT

Physiological

Mental & Emotional

  • Low Back Pain & Knee Pain

  • Sexual Function: Impotence, Low Libido

  • Hearing Issues

  • Tinnitus (low pitched ringing)

  • Developmental Issues

  • Incontinence

  • Spontaneous Sweating

  • Hot Flashes / Night Sweats

  • Feelings of Fear

  • 'Flight or Fight' Mode

  • Developmental Issues

  • Weak Willed/Spirited

  • Poor Memory

 

SUPPORTING THE WATER ELEMENT

Lifestyle

Diet

AVOID

  • STIMULANTS [limit or eliminate Alcohol, Coffee, Cigarette intake]

  • HORMONES IN MEATS [Excess Hormones can disrupt Liver Function]

  • TOO MANY RICH FOODS [Overly rich robust fatty / sugary foods]

EAT

  • GRAINS [Buckwheat, Rice]

  • VEGETABLES [Aduki, Black, Kidney, Pinto Beans; Black Sesame; Kale; Mushroom; Seaweed; Water Chestnut]

  • FRUIT & LEGUMES [Walnut; Mulberry, Pomegranate, Black Raspberry, Watermelon]

  • SPICES [Cinnamon, Clove, Fenugreek, Anise]

TRY

  • RESTORE [Make time for self-care, and quiet introspective pastimes like meditation]

  • QI GONG [Qi Gong Exercise for Clearing the Kidney - see Qi Gong]

  • ACUPRESSURE [Kidney10 - Water Point of Water Chanel, He Sea - see below]

AVOID

  • EXPOSING THE LOWER BACK [Exposing the lower back and kidneys to elements like cold can harm our internal fire (mingmen)]

  • OVERWORKING [Burning the Candle at both ends stokes our internal fire too much; causing it to burn brighter, longer, and eventually become deficient. The Western Parallel to this would be Adrenal Fatigue.

  • HARBORING FEAR [Work with your health care practitioner, mental health professionals, and support community to confront fears and express the Fearless Wisdom of Water].


ACUPRESSURE  FOR WATER element [KD10]

mc3a9ridien-reins-2.jpg

 

  • Treatment: KD10 | Yin Gu | Yin Valley - This is the Water Point of the Water Meridian, and tonifies the Element Water. Also a He Sea pt.

  • Locate Point: To locate this point simply place your thumb on the inner side of your knee joint; palpate until your thumb is between the two tendons (semitendinosis and semimembranosus) this is - KD10 | Yin Gu | Yin Valley.

  • Acupressure: Once located, press the thumb of your opposite hand into the point. Pressing this point, applying more pressure gradually, and start kneading in a clockwise motion.

  • Duration: Knead point on both sides for about 30 seconds each, repeat once-twice daily.

tcm, wellness

Metal Element: Lifestyle & Acupressure Guide


METAL ELEMENT IN NATURE

metal-iconA.gif

 

COLOR [WHITE]
TASTE [SPICY]
ODOR [ROTTEN]
SEASON [FALL]
CLIMATE [DRYNESS]
CARDINAL DIRECTION [WEST]

 


METAL ELEMENT IN OUR BODIES

  • ORGANS [LUNG & LARGE INTESTINE]

  • SPIRIT [HOUSES THE 'PO'] - This least subtle of the spirits, the Po, is housed in the Lung. It's the part of the spirit that dies with our bodies, and expresses our more animal/immediate needs and dense desires.

  • SENSE ORGAN [NOSE]

  • SOUND/VOICE [CRYING]

  • BODY TYPE [TRIANGULAR FEATURES, STRONG VOICE]

  • COMPLEXION [YELLOW]

  • FACIAL AREAS [JAWLINE & UPPER LIP]

  • PERSONALITY [METICULOUS & POINTED]

  • EMOTION [GRIEF/SADNESS]

  • EMOTIONAL ADDICTION [to be in RIGHT]

  • EMOTIONAL FEAR [to be CORRUPT]

 
5element.png
 

HEALTHY EXPRESSION OF METAL ELEMENT


When the Metal Element is in harmony, their is a clear and strong ability to communicate and maintain boundaries. There is also a strong ability in letting go of pain, grief and sadness - an ability to 'roll with the punches'. In balance the Lung and Large intestine organs contribute to a healthy skin/complexion, abundant energy and strong respiratory function, immune function (known as wei qi), and healthy elimination/detox.

 

PATHOLOGICAL EXPRESSION OF METAL ELEMENT

Physiological

Mental & Emotional

  • Shortness of Breath, Cough, Phlegm

  • Sore Throat / Loss of Voice

  • Dry Cracked Lack Luster Skin / Complexion

  • Poor Immune Function & Autoimmune Disease

  • Fatigue

  • Constipation / IBS / Colitis

  • Inherited Conditions

  • Sadness

  • Grief

  • Issues Maintaining Healthy Boundaries

  • How we relate to Self and Other

  • Inability to 'Let Go' or move past Emotional Trauma

 

SUPPORTING THE METAL ELEMENT

Lifestyle

Diet

AVOID

  • STIMULANTS [limit or eliminate your Alcohol, Coffee, Cigarette intake]

  • MUCUS FORMING FOODS [Dairy Products, Processed Sugars]

  • PROCESSED FOODS [Contain chemicals which inhibit circulation and give the Lungs more to process]

EAT

  • GRAINS [Rice]

  • VEGETABLES [Navy Bean, Soy Bean, Almonds, Asparagus, Broccoli, Celery, Cucumber, Mustard Greens, Onion, Raddish, Garlic, Ginger, Horse Raddish, Cauliflower]

  • FRUIT & LEGUMES [Apricot, Banana, Pear]

  • WHITE FOODS [Eat first with your eyes, include some white on your plate to give your lungs/metal that extra boost.]

TRY

  • MANAGE GRIEF [If you're dealing with grief create and seek out support systems, to help reconcile feelings and heal]

  • QI GONG [Qi Gong Exercise for Clearing the Lung - see Qi Gong]

  • BREATHING EXERCISES [see Pranayama]

  • ACUPRESSURE [Lung8 - Moves Lung Qi - see below]

AVOID

  • STRAINING VOICE [Overusing or straining your voice can harm your metal/lungs ability to function smoothly]

  • DRY CLIMATES [Dryness effects the Lungs/Metal, if you live in an apartment with heating or AC consider getting a humidifier]

  • HOLDING ON TO PAIN [Be kind to yourself and try to make amends with any painful memories or losses you have suffered]

ACUPRESSURE  FOR METAL element [LU.08]


Lung-Point-6.jpg

 

  • Treatment: Lung8 | Jing Chu | Channel Ditch is the Metal Point on the Lung Meridian, Tonifies Metal Element, Aids Breathing etc.

  • Locate Point: To locate this point simply place your thumb on the inner portion of your wrist line; just outside that thumbs distance from the wristline is the point - Lung8 | Jing Chu | Channel Ditch.

  • Acupressure: Once located, press the thumb of your opposite hand into the point. Pressing this point, applying more pressure gradually, and start kneading in a clockwise motion.

  • Duration: Knead point on both sides for about 30 seconds each, repeat once-twice daily.

tcm, wellness

Earth Element: Lifestyle & Acupressure Guide


EARTH ELEMENT IN NATURE

earthsymbol.png

 

COLOR [YELLOW]
TASTE [SWEET]
ODOR [FRAGRANT]
SEASON [LATE SUMMER]
CLIMATE [DAMPNESS]
CARDINAL DIRECTION [CENTER]

 


EARTH ELEMENT IN OUR BODIES

  • ORGANS [SPLEEN & STOMACH]

  • SPIRIT [HOUSES THE 'YI'] - This spirit is housed in the Spleen, and contains our capacity for intellectual endeavors, discernment, forming intentions, and concentration.

  • SENSE ORGAN [MOUTH]

  • TISSUE [MUSCLES/FLESH]

  • SOUND/VOICE [SINGING]

  • BODY TYPE [LARGE FEATURES, STRONG LEGS, ROBUST]

  • COMPLEXION [YELLOW]

  • FACIAL AREAS [JAWLINE & UPPER LIP]

  • PERSONALITY TYPE [CALM, GENEROUS]

  • EMOTION [WORRY/PENSIVITY]

  • EMOTIONAL ADDICTION [to be in WANTED]

  • SPIRITUAL FEAR [to be LOST]

 
5element.png
 

HEALTHY EXPRESSION OF EARTH ELEMENT


The healthy function of the Earth element is reflected in the function of it's physiological/physiological counterparts. A healthy Earth element will be expressed as a robust and strong digestive system, able to assimilate nutrients efficiently without fatigue, and a surplus of overall energy as result. Earth types are  known for being nurturing and supportive types, however in a healthy expression there is awareness of self-care and limits in giving.

 

PATHOLOGICAL EXPRESSION OF EARTH ELEMENT

Physiological

Mental & Emotional

  • Diarrhea & Loose Stool

  • Eodema / Water Retention

  • Bruise Easily & Emaciated Muscles

  • Nausea & Vomiting

  • Bloating or Excess Gas

  • Hemorrhoids or Organ Prolapse

  • Heartburn & Indigestion

  • Anemia / Blood Deficiency

  • Excess Hunger / Thirst

  • Fatigue & Low Energy

  • Cloudy Muddled Thinking

  • Worrying

  • Pensivity & Overthinking

  • Co-dependency in Relationships

  • Overwhelmingly Nurturing

  • Inability to stop ruminating Thoughts

  • Daydreaming / Dreamer with little grounding

 

SUPPORTING YOUR EARTH

Lifestyle

Diet

AVOID

  • COLD & UNCOOKED FOOD [Damages your digestive fire and impairs spleen function creating fatigue]

  • MUCUS/DAMP FORMING FOODS [Dairy Products, Processed Sugars, Eggs.]

  • ICE & ICED DRINKS [Same as above, dampens function of Spleen and digestion]

  • TOO MANY SWEET FOODS [A small amount of sweet in diet i.e. carbs, grains, oats, sugary foods, can by tonifying; while an excess amount can be depleting and cause sluggishness or obstruction].

  • OVEREATING [Try to eat Smaller Meals more frequently at consistent intervals/times]

EAT

  • GRAINS [Oats, RIce]

  • VEGETABLES [Shitake Mushroom, Pumpkin, Carrot, Potato, Squash, Sweet Potato, Yam ]

  • FRUIT & LEGUMES [Cherries, Date, Fig, Grape, Longan, Tofu]

  • OTHER [Liquorice, Molases, Honey]

  • WHOLE SWEET FOODS [eat whole and full sweet foods like sweet potato, steel cut oats etc in small amounts to tonify the spleen.]

  • EAT MORE SOUPS [This is a great option for a Earth friendly and supporting meal. Soups are easy to digest, very nutritious, help stoke and resuscitate a weak digestive fire]

TRY

  • SUPPORT SYSTEM [Worry damages the Spleen; finding ways to manage worry like a family/friends support system, Journal thoughts, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or help from a mental health practicioner.]

  • MINDFULNESS MEDITATION [Calms the Shen/and Mind, reduces stress]

  • CHEW YOUR FOOD THOROUGHLY [Manually digest to take the weight off of your Spleen/Digestive system]

  • QI GONG [Qi Gong Exercise for Clearing the Spleen - see Qi Gong]

  • ACUPRESSURE [Spleen9 - regulates the Spleen, 30 Seconds each side - see below]

AVOID

  • HARBORING WORRY [Do your best to reconcile your thoughts using methods mentioned above or other relevant self-care options; excessive worry and rumination harms the spleens function and can create issues.]

  • STRESS/TRAUMA [Create Habits of self care; Establish personal boundaries and limits; Avoid and manage chronic stress]

  • COLD TEMPERATURES [Make sure to insulate appropriately, ingesting cold food and beverages and exposure to cold can both damage the Spleen.]

  • DAMP AREAS [Make sure to dry off properly after showers or swimming, this as well as eating mucus forming foods can lead to dampness and obstruction.]


ACUPRESSURE  FOR EARTH ELEMENT [SP.09]

sp-6_2acupuncture-rhizome-net.gif

 

  • Treatment: Spleen6 | San Yin Jiao | Three Yin Intersection - This is an important and popular point for many treatments; as the Liver, Kidney and Spleen meridians traverse this acupuncture point. It helps tonify and regulate the Spleen, regulate water and dampness etc.

  • Locate Point: To locate this point simply place your fingers on your inner ankle just above the ankle bone; at the top of your four fingers on the inside of the shin bone; palpate this area to find the point that feels most tender; this is - Spleen6 | San Yin Jiao | Three Yin Intersection.

  • Acupressure: Once located, press the thumb of your opposite hand into the point. Pressing this point, applying more pressure gradually, and start kneading in a clockwise motion.

  • Duration: Knead point on both sides for about 30 seconds each, repeat once-twice daily.

tcm, wellness

Wood Element: Lifestyle & Acupressure Guide


WOOD ELEMENT IN NATURE

woodelement-iconA.png

 

COLOR [GREEN]
TASTE [SOUR]
ODOR [RANCID]
SEASON [SPRING]
CLIMATE [WINDY]
CARDINAL DIRECTION [EAST]

 


WOOD ELEMENT IN OUR BODIES

  • ORGANS [LIVER & GALLBLADDER]

  • SPIRIT [HOUSES THE 'HUN'] - Ethereal Soul which leaves our body at death; Organizes our Dreams, Responsible for our ability to live with Clarity, Vision, and purpose.

  • SENSE ORGAN [EYES]

  • TISSUE [LIGAMENTS & TENDONS]

  • SOUND/VOICE [SHOUTING]

  • BODY TYPE [TALL & SLENDER; STRONG BONES & JOINTS, STRONG EYEBROWS AND JAWLINE]

  • COMPLEXION [GREEN]

  • FACIAL AREAS [BETWEEN EYES]

  • PERSONALITY TYPE [DETERMINED]

  • EMOTION [ANGER]

  • EMOTIONAL ADDICTION [to be in EXCITED]

  • SPIRITUAL FEAR [to be HELPLESS]

 
5element.png
 

HEALTHY EXPRESSION OF WOOD ELEMENT


Expressed in our ability to make decisions, Initiate change, and express ourselves emotionally. The Wood element is also responsible for circulation (of qi - via Liver); Physical Development (governs Sinews and Ligaments; Emotional Development (Houses the spirit/soul 'Hun' - the part of our being that carries on after we die. Liver types are known for their tenacity, expressiveness, flexibility, and overall gumption.

 

PATHOLOGICAL EXPRESSION OF WOOD ELEMENT

Physiological

Mental & Emotional

  • Headaches & Migraines

  • Menstrual Issues & PMS

  • Vision, Dry Eyes, Floaters

  • Poor circulation

  • Muscle Spasms

  • Cold Hands & Feet

  • Tendonitis

  • Tinnitus (Ringing in Ear)

  • Sighing

  • Fatigue

  • Indecision

  • Depression

  • Feeling Frustrated Regularly

  • Lack of Motivation / Initiative

  • Angry Outbursts

  • Daydreaming / Dreamer with little grounding

 

SUPPORTING YOUR WOOD ELEMENT

Lifestyle

Diet

AVOID

  • STIMULANTS [limit or eliminateyour Alcohol, Coffee, Cigarette intake]

  • HORMONES IN MEATS [Excess Hormones can disrupt Liver Function]

  • MUCUS FORMING FOODS [Dairy Products, Processed Sugars]

  • TOO MANY RICH FOODS [Overly rich robust fatty / sugary foods]

  • PROCESSED FOODS [Contain chemicals which inhibit cirulation]

  • OVEREATING [Try to eat Smaller Meals more frequently]

  • LATE NIGHT EATING [At night your blood goes to the Liver to be cleaned, avoid overloading it with meals during this time]

EAT

  • GRAINS [Rye, Quinoa]

  • VEGETABLES [Onion Family, Mustard Greens, Romaine Lettuce, Arugula, Green Lentil, Mung Bean, Lima Bean, Green Bell Pepper, Green peas, Zucchini, String Beam, ]

  • FRUIT & LEGUMES [Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit, Avocado, Plum, Brazil and Cashew Nut]

  • SPICE [Bay Leaf, Basil, Cumin, Fennel, Mint, Dendelion]

  • SOUR FOODS [a little sour can clear stagnant liver qi and increase circulation, too much sour can cause issues in vision]

TRY

  • SUPPORT SYSTEM [The Liver's Qi is easily harmed by emotions like stress, anger and frustration. Create network of people who are supportive that you can confide in when upset or give free-thought journaling a try.]

  • MINDFULNESS MEDITATION [Calms the Liver/and Mind, reduces]

  • REGULAR EXERCISE [Improves circulation of Liver Qi & Blood, aim to do exercise at least 3x week]

  • QI GONG [Qi Gong Exercise for Clearing the Liver - see Qi Gong]

  • ACUPRESSURE [Liver3 - Moves stagnant Liver Qi, Shu Stream, 30 Seconds each side - see below]

AVOID

  • HARBORING ANGER [The liver is directly affected by holding unprocessed feelings of anger. Don't "take the poison expecting the other person to die"; anger is a poison to our being, do not hold on to it, finding supportive friends or other outlets like journaling can help 'move' that Anger and the Liver Qi once it has stagnated.

  • STRESS/TRAUMA [Create Habits of self care; Establish personal boundaries and limits; Avoid and manage chronic stress]

  • INFLEXIBILITY [The wood Element and Liver likes to feel free, that it has options that is upward rooted]


ACUPRESSURE  FOR WOOD ELEMENT [LV.03]

liv3.png

 

  • Treatment: Acupuncture Point Liver3 | Tai Chong | Supreme Surge - This point is indicated for a Liver Qi stagnation, but can also be used for other issues.

  • Locate Point: To locate this point simply place your index finger or thumb on the top of the foot; find the groove between the big toe and second toe, palpate to find the point that feels most tender; this is - Liver3 | Tai Chong | Supreme Surge.

  • Acupressure: Once located, press the thumb of your opposite hand into the point. Pressing this point, applying more pressure gradually, and start kneading in a clockwise motion.

  • Duration: Knead point on both sides for about 30 seconds each, repeat once-twice daily.

tcm, wellness

Fire Element: Lifestyle & Acupressure Guide


Fire Element in Nature

firesymbol.png

 

COLOR [RED]
TASTE [BITTER]
ODOR [SCORCHED]
SEASON [SUMMER]
CLIMATE [HOT]
CARDINAL DIRECTION [SOUTH]

 


FIRE ELEMENT IN OUR BODIES

  • ORGANS [HEART & PERICARDIUM] - As well as the yang organs Small Intestine & Triple Heater.

  • SPIRIT [HOUSES THE 'SHEN'] - Consciousness Or the Mind.

  • SENSE ORGAN [TONGUE]

  • TISSUE [BLOOD VESSELS]

  • SOUND/VOICE [LAUGHTER/RISING-FALLING]

  • BODY TYPE [POINTED FEATURES, SMALL HANDS]

  • COMPLEXION [FLUSH] - complexion can reflect health or be symptomatic.

  • FACIAL AREAS [NOSE, CHEEKBONES, TONGUE TIP] - Also the Upper Lip - Small Intestine.

  • PERSONALITY TYPE [QUICK, ENERGETIC]

  • EMOTION [JOY]

  • EMOTIONAL ADDICTION [to be in LOVE]

  • SPIRITUAL FEAR [ISOLATION/Loneliness]

 
5element.png
 

HEALTHY EXPRESSION OF FIRE ELEMENT


Expressed in our experience of Joy. Those who harbor enthusiasm and passion, while maintaining a tranquil & peaceful mind. Their complexion is radiant and rosy, their faces expressive, their eyes clear and beaming showing an attentive Shen (mind). Charismatic, Outward, expansive. Two classically listed physical characteristics belonging to the Fire Element are small hands, and pronounced or especially pointy facial features.

 

PATHOLOGICAL EXPRESSION OF FIRE ELEMENT

Physiological

Mental & Emotional

  • Palpitations & Chest Pain

  • Poor Circulation / Complexion

  • Spontaneous Sweating - especially palms and soles of feet

  • Autoimmune Disorders (Triple Heater)

  • Posture: Shoulders Rolled Forward (Protecting Heart)

  • Tongue: Especially Pointy, Red Tip

  • Nose: Cleft in Nose Cartilage

  • Feelings of Gloom or Anxiety

  • Restlessness, Mania, Excessive Laughing

  • Mental & Physical Fatigue - "burnt out"

  • Overactive, Listless, Poor Concentration

  • Poor Long Term Memory

  • Aphasia & Difficulty Speaking (Pericardium)

  • Ability to Discern (Small Intestine)

  • Problems Maintaining Boundaries (Pericardium)

 

Supporting your fire

lifestyle

Diet

AVOID

  • STIMULANTS [limit your Alcohol and Coffee intake]

  • THERMAL DRINKS [Stoking Hot Beverages]

  • COLD DRINKS/FOODS [Harm Fire & Digestive Function]

  • EXCESS SPICES [Use Sparingly, can scatter the Mind]

  • MUCUS FORMING FOODS [Dairy Products, Processed Sugars]

  • TOO MANY RICH FOODS [Overly rich robust fatty / sugary foods]

EAT

  • GRAINS [Maize, Popcorn, Amaranth, Quinoa]

  • VEGETABLES [Asparagus, Brussel Sprouts, Chives, Endive, Okra, Scallion]

  • FRUIT [Apricot, Guava, Strawberry, Persimmon, Peach, Cherry]

  • SPICE [Chillis and Any Curry]

  • NEUTRAL & WARMING FOODS [Aim to eat a meal that is warmed]

  • BITTER FOODS [a little bitter can clear excess fire or increase circulation, too much bitter can impair sexual function and disturb the heart.

TRY

  • BE MINDFUL OF INTERNAL DIALOGUES [Take note of harmful self talk, and depressive thoughts as they arise]

  • MINDFULNESS MEDITATION [Help Calm and Center the Shen/Mind]

  • REGULAR EXERCISE [Warms our fire and our bodies, aim to do exercise at least 3x week]

  • QI GONG [Qi Gong Exercise for Clearing the Heart - see Qi Gong]

  • ACUPRESSURE [Ht8 - Ht Qi, Ying Spring, 30 Seconds each side - see below]

AVOID

  • SCATTERED MIND [Limit activities that scatter your mind, such as Cell Phone use]

  • OVERWORKING [Mentally & Physically]

  • STRESS/TRAUMA [Create Boundaries & Respect Your Limits]

  • TEMPERATE REGIONS [Avoid both extreme Cold or Heat, Dress appropriately and limit sun exposure]

  • EXCESSIVE SWEATING [Avoid activity that induces excessive sweating; sweat is the hearts fluid and losing too much can be depleting.


ACUPRESSURE  FOR FIRE ELEMENT [HT.08]

HT8-HT9.jpg

 

  • Treatment: Heart8 | Shao Fu | Lesser Mansion. - This point is indicated for a heart Qi deficiency, but can also be used to clear Heart heat.

  • Locate Point: To locate this point simply curl your pinky finger in, where it lands is - Heart8 | Shao Fu | Lesser Mansion.

  • Acupressure: Once located, press the thumb of your opposite hand into the point. Pressing this point, applying more pressure gradually, and start kneading in a clockwise motion.

  • Duration: Knead point on both sides for about 30 seconds each, repeat once-twice daily.

tcm, wellness

Before & After Treatment: The Do's & Don'ts


BEFORE YOUR TREATMENT

  • KNOW YOUR MEDICAL HISTORY - Be aware of your past medical history; time spent recalling can take away from valuable minutes on the treatment table. Make sure to share any major life incidents as well as current symptoms, so that your practitioner has a complete picture of your health.

  • MEDICATIONS & SUPPLEMENTS - It's vital that your practitioner has this information, especially with regards to pharmaceuticals. Sharing this information is important to avoid possible bad reactions to the use of Acupuncture or Herbal Medicine. Quick Tip: Take pictures with your phone of each medication/supplement you are currently taking to show your practitioner.

  • WEAR LOOSE/COMFORTABLE CLOTHS - Tight clothing not only can be uncomfortable during treatment, but more importantly can obstruct the flow/circulation we are trying to induce in Acupuncture and other therapies. Some acupuncture points can be difficult to reach on their own, adding tight clothes can take away from the flow of treatment, making it even more difficult to reach these points.

  • AVOID TAKING STIMULANTS - Restrain or limit stimulant intake such as coffee/caffiene, alcohol, cigarettes etc before treatment. Stimulants like this can skew the overall presentation of your constitution, but also will make it more difficult for you to settle into the treatment.

  • NO TONGUE BRUSHING/SCRAPPING - In Traditional Chinese Medicine tongues are observed and looked at as one of our diagnostic tools. We look at the body, shape, coat and any other features we observe. Brushing / Scrapping your tongue before treatment removes a part of the picture we use to diagnose.

  • EAT BEFORE YOU TREAT - Coming to an Acupuncture treatment on an empty stomach can result in nausea, lightheadedness, and in extreme cases fainting (i.e. in a hypoglycemic patient). Avoid this by having a small meal or snack before treatment - Try not to over eat as this can have a similar effect and take away from your treatment.

  • ARRIVE 15MIN EARLY - Simple but overlooked, arriving 10-15 minutes early (especially for initial clients) ensures that any paper work or checking in doesn't take away from your treatment time. Also your practitioner will love it when you're patients on time!


AFTER YOUR TREATMENT

  • PLAN ON RELAXING - Commit to doing nothing, or at least limiting activity after your treatment. Instead plan on relaxing on your own; preferably in a horizontal position as you'll likely welcome the idea of laying on a bed or couch for some much needed 'you time'.

  • AVOID SCATTERING THE MIND - Avoid things and activities that can take away from the stillness and relaxation of your treatment. Use this time in stillness to exercise your power over things like technology, cell phones, tablets and strenuous mental work.

  • LIGHT EXERCISE ONLY - Acupuncture and other manual therapies can leave the body it's tendons, ligaments, muscles looser and more limber. Doing strenuous exercise or lifting heavy weights can lead to injury as your range of motion is more open than before; you risk over extension in joints as well as harming ligaments. Exercise should be light - things like tai chi, qi gong or yin yoga are more appropriate at this time.

  • AVOID TAKING STIMULANTS - Restrain or limit stimulant intake such as coffee/caffiene, alcohol, cigarettes etc before treatment. Stimulants like this can make it more difficult for you to settle into the effects treatment.

  • EAT A NOURISHING MEAL - Use this post treatment meal as an opportunity to continue the healing. Acupuncture helps move qi/blood/circulation and detoxify, don't undo that work with a hard to process meal (i.e. greasy, fried, fatty, mucous forming food).


OTHER TIPS FOR TCM PATIENTS

  • ASK PRACTITIONER DIET/LIFESTYLE ADVICE - A Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner is a cornicopia of not only treatment knowledge but prevention. Practitioners may sometimes hold back from overwhelming clients with lifestyle advice, (1) because they know lifestyle changes can be difficult to achieve, and (2) because patient compliance, or how much advice the patient is able to incorporate in their lives, is extremely variable. Asking your practitioner for lifestyle tips will cue them, and show that you are ready to take the next steps towards your health/wellbeing.

  • GET REGULAR TREATMENTS - Whatever the ailment is you can assume that you will need some consistency and a reasonable frequency of treatments. This is especially true of chronic conditions; generally speaking the more long standing an issue is the more treatments will be required. Talk to your practitioner about a treatment plan, so you can get a general idea of what the road to recovery looks like (i.e. how many treatments, frequency, lifestyle/diet changes etc).

  • CREATE A SELF CARE JOURNAL - Use a journal to be more aware of your experiences and feelings; with regards to getting treatments journals can help you evaluate what has and hasn't worked for you. Try using numeric scales where applicable i.e. Pain in shoulder in May was 9/10, June 6/10.

tcm, wellness

Hydrotherapy for Pain, Swelling & Detoxification


WHEN TO TRY HYDROTHERAPY

  • DETOXIFICATION & SPRING TIME - The spring is the best time to try detoxifying techniques like hydrotherapy. Spring is also the time of the Liver, and a great time to start anew.

  • INFLAMMATION & SPORTS INJURY - Aches and pains, bruising, inflammation, attributed to help with pain management, as well as improving circulation in areas applied.

  • SWELLING / PUFFINESS / WATER RETENTION - Hydrotherapy helps manually pump lymph glands; one of our primary systems of elimination, aiding in its process of filtration - swollen limbs, edema, puffiness and inflammation can be reduced with Hydrotherapy.


WHAT IS HYDROTHERAPY

This technique uses hot and cold water to move and mobilize blood. Applying hot water expands blood vessels and moves lymph fluid, blood circulation increases superficially in the extremities. Alternating to cold water contracts blood vessels, moving the blood and fluids inwards towards organs. The alternating between hot and cold creates an external pump moving blood inwards and outwards; improving circulation and aiding in lymphatic filtration.


AT HOME HYDROTHERAPY TECHNIQUE
 

TUB SOAKS
(local swelling/Injury)

IN THE SHOWER (detox/inflammation)

HOT WATER TUB (10MIN)

Fill a basin or tub with hot water to the furthest you can tolerate - without causing pain or burning. Dunk area i.e. elbow, foot, limb in tub for 3-5min.

ICE & COLD WATER TUB (5MIN)

Fill a tub 50-75% ice and add cold water - depending how much you can tolerate. Soak limb here for 1-2 minutes.

REPEAT (2-4X)

Repeat this technique 2-4times (30min-45min) daily or immediately following exercise for best results.

HOT WATER (4MIN)

Raise your showers heat gradually to the furthest you can tolerate - without causing pain or burning. Make sure to increase heat gradually to avoid burns.

COLD WATER (2MIN)

Change the water temperature to the coldest setting you can tolerate- bathe here for 2-3min minutes soaking and brushing all areas thoroughly.

REPEAT (2-3X)

Repeat this exercise 2-3 times (12min-18min) daily with your first shower of the day.

tcm, wellness

Preparing Your TCM Herbal Formula: Decocting at Home


METHODS OF PREPARATION

There are many ways herbal medicines have been prepared over the ages (e.g. tinctures - alcohol based, syrups - sugar based, balms & liniments, pills and granules). Decocting (Herbal Tea) is one of these methods, using water to draw out therapeutic properties of herbs - These are the finer details to decocting in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Use this guide for best results. 


CHOOSING THE RIGHT POT

The best choice for decocting is a glazed Ceramic or Glass pot - you can find these in you local China Town. if you don't have a ceramic/glass pot, not to worry you can use a stainlesss steel pot too [try to avoid using Teflon, and especially do not cast Iron pots which can react negatively with herbs].


COOKING THE HERBS

  • STEEP - Cover herbs in water by about 2 inches.

  • ADD HERBS & SOAK - Optionally soak herbal formula in water for 30min*

  • BOIL - Cover formula (to prevent loss of essential oils) and bring to a boil, then lower to simmer for 20-30minutes

  • STRAIN - Strain with cheesecloth or fine collander and separate fluid from and herbs. Save herbs for resteeping.

Soaking herbs is optional. Be sure to add herbs in order instructed
by your practitioner*


ENJOYING YOUR CHINESE HERBAL FORMULA

  • RE-STEEP YOUR FORMULA! - Enjoy your formula a second or even third time. In Traditional Chinese Medicine the first steeping is said to effect the patient on the qi level (more superficial in nature); while the second and third steeping can bring the formula deeper into what's known as the blood level (innermost level).

  • TEA TOO BITTER? - Many Chinese formulas are delicious and have a rich flavor profile, however there are some that can taste very bitter or unpleasant. When the correct formula is prescribed the patient will often develop a taste for the once unpleasant tea. But in the event that you 'just cant' there are a few options: (1) water down and consume in a few cups versus one, (2) honey can also be added to sweeten the formula with consent from your practitioner.

  • WHEN TO TAKE FORMULA? - Herbal formulas are best taken 1-2 hours before eating to maximize the digestion and absorption of the herbs. Sedating formulas for calming should be taken a few hours before bedtime.

tcm, wellness

Hickey Removal Guide: Getting Rid of Cupping Therapy Marks Quickly

If for whatever reason you need those cupping marks gone quickly, here are my tips for cupping hickey / blemish removal. Using things you already have at home, I show you how to help break up and loosen blood in the area, assist in healing, and of course help quickly disperse any marks left from cupping.


8 QUICK METHODS TO REDUCE HICKEYS

AT HOME GUASHA - Take any object with a smoothed edge (e.g. a ceramic wonton spoon, the side of your phone, thick plastic mixing spoon); press the object gentle into the area and move it along the area  while keeping consistent pressure, in stroking gestures. This helps move pooled blood, and makes the bruise less conspicuous.

TRY ESSENTIAL OILS - Essential Oils such as frankincense, myrrh and peppermint have an stimulating effect dilating blood vessels. This improved circulation helps to heal the blood capillaries, and thereby the blemishes from cupping therapy and gua sha. Apply the essential oil gradually; there may be tingling as the oils start to move blood in the area.

ALOE VERA -  Aloe Vera which is known for its anti-inflammatory effects and healing properties, and can reduce sensitivity of the affected area. Also, it has soothing qualities that boost the healing of the broken capillaries.

VITAMIN K - Try a lotion or cream with Vitamin K; known for having a potent anti-coagulating effect that prevents the clotting of blood and aids in the re-absorption of pooled blood.

SCRUB / LOOFAH - While having a shower, use a loofah with some soapy water in the shower and gently scrub the affected areas. Repeat the process for 5 to 10 minutes. Brushing helps to stimulate blood flow on the hickey, ensuring that the clot is reabsorbed faster. Importantly, apply a cold compress to the area after brushing.

HYDROTHERAPY - Contrasting-hydrotherapy aids in circulation of blood and lymph, detoxification, swelling, inflammation, sprains and strains and other sports injury application. The improved circulatory funciton and manual pumping of blood, can help speed up healing of cupping/gua sha hickeys. Use [this guide] to try contrasting hydrotherapy at home.

COLD COMPRESS - Use some ice cubs wrapped in cloth or freeze some spoons and apply; gently rub the affected area. This helps to break the blood clots, which constrict and freezes the ruptured blood capillaries, improving blood circulation and swellings. 

HOT COMPRESS -  Heat is extremely efficient in dilating the blood capillaries and help to ensure a flow of fresh blood to the hickey, which clears the clot. To use this method, take a warm towel and apply it on the affected area for about five minutes; repeat the process three times every day to aid in fast hickey removal.

design, woodwork

Anamorphic Parquet Tables [Cont.]

An anamorphic parquet table top on polished industrial copper piped frame; the pattern shows depth through the geometry and contrasted tones on this industrial minimal table. I'm really looking forward to doing other literal 'anamorphic' patterns on a larger scale, to intensify to the effect of 3D depth.

lifestyle, design

Renovating a Live/Work Loft [Pt.2]

Earlier on I went into the more horrific details of 'Renovating a live/work loft pt.01' - [READ ABOUT IT HERE]. This time I reveal the work that's been done, the fruit of my labors, and go into some of the styling features I've added in the past few years, restoring one of the last live/work hard lofts in Toronto.


Living Room [Featuring. Indoor Swing Benches]

Folding Semi-Opaque Partition: Constructed out of double corrugated coroplast

Minimal Geometric Wooden Table: Minimal Geometric Parquet Table on sleek steel frame [see more here].

Indoor Swing Benches: Two Indoor swing benches constructed out of beams left in the space.

Ornaments: Distressed antique frames with aged acupuncture charts.

Parquet Wall Features: The large wall leaning panel can be seen [here]; the two on the bathroom hallway can be seen [here].


Kitchen + Dining space


IMG_6711.JPG
IMG_0615.JPG
IMG_0617.JPG

Master Bedroom

[Left] Pallet Platfrom bed; Parquet Headboard / Wall Feature; Two Edison Bulb side lights on retractable arms; [Center] Small work table which folds up when not in use; [Right] Double tiered industrial gas pipe clothing dolly on castor wheels; antique steamer trunk for clothes out of season; Small niche for ornaments.

 

The walls are also chalk paint, occassionally I pick up the chalk and have a go, as seen below, an illustraition I drew from 'The book of Life' by Rev. Master Jiyu Kennet.