This is a representation of the Chinese organ clock. It shows the flow of energy, qi (chi) through each organ system in two-hour increments.
Each 2 hour increment is associated with a specific organ system. Every 24 hours, the body’s energy (qi) completes a cycle. Each organ system is associated with specific functions as well as emotions.
11 pm to 1 am is the time of the Gallbladder. The Gallbladder is in charge of decision making and self esteem as well as storing bile to digest fats.
It’s very helpful to be resting while the Gallbladder recharges for optimal clear thinking and self image!
I fluxuate in phases of going to sleep before and after 11:00 pm. This is a great reminder as to why I could really benefit!
This is the first in a monthly feature series I’ll be doing called The Monthly Point. I will feature an acupunture point for you to locate and stimulate for the associated desired effect. Here is a general explanation of how acupuncture works. Let’s get started! (disclaimer: discuss all medical conditions with your health provider whenever necessary)
Each acupuncture point is simply a location on the body. Every point has a precise anatomical location, Chinese name and many have an associated number as well.
Now acuPRESSURE is the act of putting pressure on acupuncture points. You can do this with your fingers or a blunt massage tool. This stimulates the point and creates the associated balancing action/healing action of the point.
Shen Men, or Heavenly Gate, is a spirit calming point. You can rub this point to relax yourself.
It’s located in each ear within what is called the triangular fossa. Before I went to school for acupuncture, I seriously thought all ears were unique. What I learned is that everyone’s ear has the same structures and you can use these structures as a map to find the same point on any ear.
Shen Men is located here in the outer corner of that little triangle in your upper ear.
I am pointing to Shen Men here, using the blunt ended handle of an acupuncture needle. My fingers are wrapped around the plastic protective guide tube.
I just digitally placed a blue-green dot where the point is precisely located:
Place your finger on the point and your thumb behind the ear to support it. Then just rub. Take a few moments to close your eyes and breath deeply. You can kind of pinch the area with your fingers or nail (do not break the skin of course) and rub in a circular or back and forth motion.
I like to stimulate both points at once!
How did you enjoy that?!
Here’s a pinnable tutorial:
Fresh ginger is that minimal but potent ingredient in really fresh, delicious recipes. Knowing an easy trick to peeling it can make it a lot more accessible. I learned this trick in a cooking class we took with Chris’ family on a Caribbean cruise. Our chef just had us peel off the skin by scraping it with a spoon!
It was brilliant. I had spent years whittling down huge chunks of ginger into little nubs that would then be chopped. I would purposely buy large pieces when I knew I only needed a tablespoon.
This technique preserves 99% of the ginger root! Yay! When preparing a stir fry, simmer some ginger with garlic in a bit of oil to flavor an entire dish. It pairs well with garlic and soy sauce.
Ginger is a beautiful medicinal as well. Ginger has a very warming property that aids in soothing digestion. When I say “warming” I don’t mean thermostat kind of heat. I mean the property of an herb as far as what it does to the body. In this case, the warm ginger activates and soothes the digestion.
It is used by pregnant women and those with seasickness to calm nausea. You can put a couple of slices into warm water to calm an uneasy stomach. When you add it to a recipe it can balance out the “cold” nature of other ingredients. An example of this would be adding it to a green juice. Cold, raw vegetables can be harsh on the digestive system. Warming ginger will balance it out.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (I’m an acupuncturist as well as an herbalist) we use it in many herbal formulas for digestive health and temperature balance.
Drinking water first thing in the morning is a ridiculously simple way to start a day with good metabolism, digestion, hunger control, purification and elimination. It’s something my mother has told me to do since forever and I decided to start listening to her in the past couple of weeks. Thanks, mom!
Did you know I was an acupuncturist? One way the ancient Chinese described the digestive system is like a pot on a stove.
The stomach can be the pot. I think of it like this: in the morning as the metabolism gets started, the cold pot slowly heats as your metabolism revs up. If you shock your system with a load of food right away, the temperature of the pot is going to drop and then the food will heat so slowly.
You want to start with room temperature water so the metabolism gets moving. The water in the pot can warm to a simmer and then you can add the food to that simmering pot of water.
The water also “floats the boats through the canal.” This isn’t a new saying! 🙂 This is the greatest way to keep everything regular.
The ancient Chinese had a very euphamistic/metaphorical way to describe EVERY process of the human body. FYI the translation for a goiter (neck swelling lump from an enlargement in the thyroid gland) in Chinese is “jade tea pot.”
Add some lemon to aid in detoxifying. Try it for a week and tell me how it goes!
P.S. You want to know the real, embarrassing reason I got so inspired to do this? Confession: Well, I was thumbing through Giada de Laurentiis’ new cookbook in the book aisle of Target a couple of weeks ago and she says that she does this daily. Giada has beautiful skin and is one of those “perfect” people who is super disciplined in doing what is good for her!
I’m like 30% crunchy for a Californian but to my family from the East Coast, I’m totally a smoothie drinking, yoga doing, hummus eating hippie. Crunchy alludes to granola, as in health-nut, as in…vaccine dodging, coconut oil rubbing, home-birthing kinda people. Now that I’m pregnant, I’m getting crunchier. Here’s a clever Crunchy Scale that makes sense of all this.
Here are some ways to be crunchy, whether or not you’re having a baby:
- Look up your beauty products on the EWG Skin Deep Database (Thanks, Jackie!). Look up some easy homemade beauty products…Pinterest town. BE that girl who used coconut oil to re-attach her left leg after a chainsaw accident. Yes, people really believe in the stuff. It’s good.
- Drink out of stainless steel or other refillable BPA free water containers.
- I even gave up antiperspirant and deodorant (for like the fifth try) for powder I put under my arms. Be strong. If you want to do this, you can, it just takes patience. You just may want to position your yoga mat 5-7 spaces away from mine. No, seriously I smell ok somehow.
- Add fun things where you can like spinach and ground chia seeds to your smoothies or ground/chopped nuts to your salads.
- Totally obvi, but eat organic, reduce/elminate artificial ANYTHING from your diet and regimen where you can. Check into your labels. Here are some easy healthy food ideas.
- See an acupuncturist for stress relief, pain relief, lifestyle modification.
- See a chiropractor to alleviate nerve interfereance and structural imbalance.
- Get massages to…c’mon you know why. Here in LA there are foot reflexology places where you can get a massage for $20/hr.
- Find mediative exercise (this could be sitting on your floor and zoning, jogging, church or yoga).
**If you ARE pregnant, aside from the popular avoidances: alcohol, coffee, sushi etc, look up soft unpastuerized cheeses which I didn’t know where potentially harmful.
When I was practicing acupuncture, I recommended that my patients get some form of treatment weekly. One week, it could be a chiropractic appointment and another it could be a pedicure. I have to take my own advice, right?
I’m still shaving under my arms and eating donuts so no, I’m no Earth Momma. Have you SEEN my grandmother’s recipe for Seven Layer Bars? Yeah, and I’m sure I didn’t go all the way to Paris, to this cafe, to NOT eat a chocolate croissant and whole milk cappuccino. Keep it as crunchy as you can!