Licensed Acupuncturist
Traditional Japanese & Chinese Medicine
Health & Wellness Educator
February 1, 2010

“Yang Qi is engendered in the spring, and our skin, which has been closed up during the winter, softens as the surface Qi gradually opens up.  Nevertheless, the year’s remaining cold is still intense and exposure to the wind’s chill is still dangerous….protect yourself, and you should not experience the discomfort of colds and coughs.  Even the growth of the grasses and trees is easily damaged by the lingering cold.  Thus, according to the moment, you should exercise, aid the circulation of the yang Qi and encourage its generation.”

~ Yojokun (Life Lessons of a Samurai, p. 190)
by Kaibara Ekiken (1630-1714),
samuarai, acupuncturist, herbalist


Happy New Year, Happy Spring and welcome to the year of the Tiger.

Here in the Pacific Northwest we are already celebrating the signs of Spring. The weather is fluctuating each day, bulbs are blooming and the first vegetables of the season are about to be planted. We are emerging from the darkest time of year into the light.

While it is a welcomed change to move from storage and hibernation to new growth, bugs and viruses benefit from the same opportunity. Allergies will soon appear along with Spring coughs and colds. And, the fluctuating weather patterns can aggravate chronic conditions like arthritis, migraines or PMS.

The same strategies still hold for Spring that served us well in the fall: wholesome, seasonal food, wearing clothing that is appropriate to the season (not the fleeting periods of warmth), sufficient sleep, regular exercise, hydrotherapy, moxibustion and acupuncture tune-ups. Skin brushing or vigorous rubbing with a terry cloth can also stimulate the immune system and the circulation of your Lung Qi.

For more information, take a look at this list of tips for staying healthy.

Food as Medicine: Fermented Foods

While winter foods still apply at this time (root vegetables, hearty dark leafy greens), it is  an important time to reinvigorate the balance of bacteria in your digestive system by incorporating more fermented foods (sauerkraut, miso, kimchi, kombucha) or pro-biotics supplements into your diet. These foods contain Yang Qi and the sour flavor supports the Chinese Liver – the organ most associated with spring from a 5 element perspective.

Homemade sauerkraut or fermented vegetables are best since they are not pasteurized and therefore contain the necessary bacteria for health.

In a 1999 study published in the Lancet, Swedish children who ate lacto-fermented foods regularly and had a history of infrequent use of anti-biotics and vaccinations showed a lower incidence of asthma, skin problems and other atopic disorders than other children. Read more about this study.

If you are looking for more recipe inspirations, maybe this will help:

Making the Most of Winter Harvest: Creative Recipes for Winter Vegetables
Mon, Feb 22, 7-8:30pm, The Kitchen, 609 SE Ankeny

Celebrate Chinese New Year

Celebrate Chinese year at the Chinese New Year Celebrations at Lan Su Chinese Garden. The Year of the Tiger celebration includes lion dances, puppet shows, martial arts and demonstrations sharing the rich culture and history of Chinese New Year.

This two-week celebration culminates with traditional lantern viewing on February 28th. Feb 14-28, daily from 10am-5pm.

May 2010 be filled with good luck, prosperity and well being.

~ Tracy

Tracy Thorne Wellness, LLC
1235 SE Division Street, Suite 115
Portland, Oregon 97202

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