Photographer, Xuili Tan

Photographer, Xuili Tan

Understanding the body’s specific blend of characteristics or your body’s “constitution” can further help to understand what the body needs to function in its most optimal and vibrant way.

Early spring, also known as Kapha season, is here so let’s take the time to listen to your body, work to give it what it needs, and prepare to feel your best!

Whether you realize it or not, we all partake in a repeatable ritual to confidently prepare us for the day – yes, waking up, splashing water on your face, brushing teeth, etc counts.

With the early signs of spring appearing, many have already begun a seasonal ritual to confidently prepare us for the return of warmth – SPRING CLEANING! For some of us this includes a huge pile of donations (thank you Marie Kondo) or for others it may be time for a deep-cleaning of the home. Whatever method you choose, all of us can agree that we always feel refreshed and renewed in our “happy space”. That is the beauty of the spring season after all. The joy of new life, beautiful flowers, and happier neighbors anticipating longer days with warmer nights. The excitement of a fresh start.

What if we could not only make our homes feel great but that we could look inward and spend time “spring cleaning” the space within us? The practice of a daily routine is useful to set up for life as a series of fulfilling days. Similar to the confidence created by having your surroundings feel refreshed and decluttered, providing your body with opitmal nutrients and activities as the seasons transition provides vibrant energy from within. I am not talking about a cleanse or detox which usually consists of deprivation. This is more of a way to begin practicing self love and taking the time to be in tune with your body.

Ayurveda is known as the science of life and believed to be one of the oldest healing systems. Harmonizing yourself with your habitat and following the lead of nature is the basis to thrive in this system. Spring is the time when the snow begins to melt, the humidity increases with light showers, and seasonal allergies start tickling our noses. Many of us experience these and would like to know what we can do to prepare for these changes and minimize adverse health effects. So what can we do to joyfully transition into this beautiful season?

In early spring, also known as Kapha season, there are simple lifestyle shifts and food choices that will invigorate our bodies to enable us to flourish just like nature around us. The characteristics of Kapha include cold temperature, heaviness, softness, sweetness, slow pace, and feelings of density and grounding. Signs that there is an increase of Kapha within the body: oilier skin and hair than usual; heaviness and congestion in your throat, head and chest; feeling mentally unmotivated; signs of slow digestion, including feeling lethargic after meals.

Ayurveda provides us with food and lifestyle suggestions to empower us to keep our bodies in balance. Certain recommendations for spring are below.

Food recommendations:

  • Avoid heavy, oily, fried foods
  • Avoid refined grains
  • Avoid most dairy foods – goat milk in small quantities is ok
  • Avoid excessive salt
  • Avoid added sugars – honey is ok (but never added to hot drink)
  • Avoid cold food and drinks – it is best to drink warm or room temperature
  • Eat light meals
  • It is best to include stimulating spices in your foods such as ginger and clove

Lifestyle recommendations:

  • Get plenty of exercise – move daily!
  • Avoid taking naps
  • Avoid fasting or skipping meals
  • Now is a great time to take up a new hobby, challenge your mind with new activities or learn a new skill

Kapha balancing tea

¼ Teaspoon grated fresh ginger (ginger powder is ok too)

1 clove

¼ Teaspoon dill seed

¼ Teaspoon fenugreek seed

1 cup of boiling water

—Mix ingredients together. Add in cup of boiling water – strain after 6-8 minutes and enjoy!

Understanding and practicing a daily ritual designed for your specific needs is beneficial to maintain existing health,  avoid sickness, balance intolerances and alleviate pain within the body. Once you have a clear path of how to modify your diet and lifestyle, you can set these practices into motion and start to experience living your most healthy self. To set up a consultation with Michelle click here.

massage for fertility

As you are working on your fertility, there are many adjunct natural therapies that will support you, holistically, during the process.

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

In a recent study, women who who were experiencing infertility were given acupuncture treatment or acupuncture together with Chinese herbal formulas. Over 50% of the women in the study conceived with these treatments alone, without other biomedical assistance. Women who underwent a combination of IVF with acupuncture had a significantly higher success rate than the standard—42.5% The success rate of IVF is “24% (for 4 or more embryos transferred) as a standalone therapy.”

Cornell University shares research that has also shown acupuncture and TCM causes:


  • Increased blood flow to the uterus and therefore uterine wall thickness, an important marker for fertility

  • Increased endorphin production, which, in turn, has been shown to effect the release of a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), a decapeptide involved in regulating reproduction

  • Lower stress hormones responsible for infertility

  • Impact on plasma levels of the fertility hormones: follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), estradiol (E2), and Progesterone (P)

  • Normalization of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, a key process in fertility

  • A positive effect for women with polycystic ovarian syndrome, a hormonal imbalance present in three percent of adolescents and adults.

Treatment is cost-effective, free of side effects, and provides precious stress relief. Find out more here.


Like acupuncture, yoga is an amazing stress reliever! It can also support fertility by increasing blood flow to the pelvis, releasing muscle tension, and stimulating hormone-producing glands.

Take a look at the short video series that Yoga Instructor, Abby Factor created just for friends of The Nest! These poses support reproductive health in the manner mentioned above.

Maya Fertility Massage

Maya Abdominal Massage was developed by Dr. Rosita Arvigo after apprenticing for ten years with Don Elijo Panti, a master healer in Belize. She incorporated the healing art learned from this master into her 30 years of holistic practice and continued learning.

How does it work? The uterus is held in position by muscles and ligaments. It is easy in our sedentary lifestyles for these muscles and ligaments to become weak and loose in some places and tightened in others. This can also happen in healthy bodies due to trauma. These muscles can then no longer hold the uterus in proper position, resulting in a prolapsed or tipped uterus. If the uterus is not in proper position, the flow of blood, lymph, and oxygen can be constricted and nerve connections can weaken. As with acupuncture and yoga, this external massage on the abdomen and back can restore flow and energy to this area as well correct alignment, strengthen muscles and ligaments, and can aid in breaking up scar tissue and cysts. It has the added benefit of easing PMS pain and can ease digestive issues in men and women.

Give yourself some added support from a caring and licensed practitioner of one of these arts. If you’d like to know how we can help you, please give us a call at 773.267.0248 for a free 10 minute consultation.


Infertility To Pregnancy With Acupuncture & Herbs, Healthcare Medicine Institute
Fertility-Boosting Yoga Poses, Parents Magazine

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I’m sorry to say, you are right. The cold weather can worsen your arthritis pain.


In 2007, researchers found that every 10 degree drop in temperature corresponded with an incremental increase in pain. Fortunately, Traditional Chinese Medicine has two secret weapons in alleviating this particular pain—acupuncture and moxibustion.

Moxibustion is a modality used in Traditional Chinese Medicine that burns the herb mugwart and directs that heat to the part of the body being treated. It creates a subtle, penetrating heat which is healing and therapeutic for muscle aches and pains. Find out more about moxibustion here.

Newschannel 7 reported on a study of 110 people with osteoarthritis. Those in the group who received acupuncture for six weeks reported much less pain and better mobility for up to 18 weeks after the last treatment. Moxibustion alleviates pain while also loosening tight joints. It is a relaxing treatment with no side effects.

Regular acupuncture works, too. A multi-year study of nearly 18,000 patients found acupuncture significantly improved pain—even more so than standard treatment—in patients with osteoarthritis, neck, and back pain.

A distinctive feature of Traditional Chinese medicine is that focus isn’t just on the area of pain. The whole body is considered in diagnoses and treatment plans. Therefore, if your arthritis support group all booked appointments to see a TCM practitioner, each of you would get a unique treatment.

You now have extra motivation to check the weather report! If you see that colder weather is approaching, show yourself some loving care and book an appointment for acupuncture and moxibustion!

Book an appointment with us here! Or call 773.267.0248 Or find a licensed practitioner in your area.


Arthritis Foundation
Weather and Arthritis Pain

Newschannel 7
New Chinese Study That Helps Arthritis Pain

Acupuncture Works! Neck, Back, Arthritis

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