March 2011

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Though the cold (and occasionally snowy) weather here in Chicago may make us doubt, Spring is truly right around the corner. As the seasons shift, our bodies need to shift and adjust along with them—practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine can observe these shifts by examining the pulse. A change of season causes the rate, rhythm, volume, and tension of the pulse to vary. The pulse tends to be taut in spring, full in summer, floating in autumn, and sunken in winter. TCM physicians will take this into account when distinguishing the abnormal pulse from the normal.

In the parlance of TCM, Spring is the season of new birth and new growth, belongs to the wood element, and dominates liver functioning. If we don’t adapt to the changing climate in spring, we may be susceptible to seasonal health problems, such as flu, pneumonia, or a relapse of chronic diseases.  The midwest region has been hit hard this winter with lingering upper respiratory illness, so those of us here need to be extra mindful in taking care of our bodies during this shift in season.

To help our clients (both existing and new!) stay healthy this season, The Nest is offering a Spring special: 3 Seasonal Balance Acupuncture treatments for $250 ($30 savings).* The treatments will specifically focus on balancing, strengthening, and harmonizing the 12 energetic meridians of the body.

Call 773.267.0248 today to schedule your Seasonal Acupuncture tune up!

*Note this special is for SEASONAL BALANCE TREATMENTS ONLY. A seasonal session with an acupuncturist can help improve overall health by enhancing the body’s immune system to keep illness at bay.  It can also provide a boost in energy levels, lifting mood and improving a person’s sense of well being, allowing the body to function more effectively.

According to TCM philosophies, if we consume seasonal foods that are similar in nature to the external environment, we remain in harmony with the environment, adapt better to the weather changes, and remain healthy. Examples of recommended foods for the spring include onions, leeks, leaf mustard, Chinese yam, wheat, dates, cilantro, mushrooms, spinach, and bamboo shoots. Fresh green and leafy vegetables should also be included in meals; sprouts from seeds are also valuable.

In addition, uncooked, frozen and fried foods should only be taken in moderation since these are harmful to the spleen and stomach if consumed in large amounts.

And to help you inject some delicious greens into your diet, here is a beneficial recipe featuring an underappreciated wild green: Dandelion!

Salad of Dandelion and Fresh Goat Cheese
adapted from Uncommon Fruits and Vegetables by E. Schneider

1 bunch dandelion greens, cleaned and dried
about 1/4 pound fresh white goat cheese, cut into ½ inch cubes
1/3 cup or so of chopped red onion, or chopped scallions
2 T sherry or other light vinegar
2 T walnut or other nut oil, can use a good olive oil if that’s what’s on hand
½ t sugar
3-4 T toasted and coarsely chopped walnuts
Cut off and discard stem bases. Cut each stalk into 2-inch pieces. Pile on a serving dish; intersperse with cheese. Sprinkle with onion to taste. In small, non-aluminum pan combine vinegar, oil, and sugar; bring to a boil, stirring. Pour over salad and toss lightly. Sprinkle with nuts and serve at once.

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