Solstice Celebration of Life

Today we celebrate Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year where yang is at its peak. For some of us it signifies the beginning of summer, others Midsummer. The fiery nature of summer has been increasing since Spring Equinox and on this most yang day of the year, we celebrate the Sun and all its life giving properties! We give thanks for the abundance of food, herbs, and flowers that provide all the sustenance we need. We are truly blessed to be a part of this world.

After today the days begin to shorten as yang energy decreases and yin energy once again begins to rise. Enjoy this slow process of moving from Fire into Metal. Observe where you may feel out of balance with this seasonal shift. Rejoice when you feel the passion and joy that summer brings.

With love,

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Jessica

when energy flows, wellness grows

Eating with the Seasons

As Spring approaches next week, it’s time to start our transition from eating the heavier root vegetables of Winter to eating our fresh Spring greens like dandelion and chickweed. To help guide you into eating with the seasons, I’ve included the tastes that correspond with each season.

Spring (Sour): Cleanse the liver with steamed bitter greens, lemon water and fresh fruit and
vegetable juice. Eat sour foods like balsamic vinegar, sourkraut, and kimchi. Help regenerate liver cells with milk thistle seed. Drink herbal teas with burdock root, dandelion flowers/greens and chrysanthemum blossoms. Begin to prepare the body for the long hot summer ahead by cooling the body down and eating less spicy food.

Summer (Bitter): Eat from the farmer’s market!! Eat cucumbers, green beans, and drink fresh watermelon juice to cool yourself from the summer heat (this is optimistic for our coastal summer!) and over stimulation of the long fun days of summer. Stay hydrated and spruce up your water with fresh mint leaves instead of ice cubes.

Late Summer-0r 18 days between each season (Sweet): Mentioned because this is the season associated with the Earth element in 5 Element theory. It is the time to nourish yourself from all the expansion of summer and begin to draw your energy back inward. This is the time for yellow summer squash, corn, yams and other sweet foods that nourish Earth.

Autumn (Spicy): Add a little spice to your life with green onion, ginger and other invigorating herbs to help fight off anything that might be going around. Drink warm broths with astragalus root, oyster and shiitake mushrooms and fresh ginger.

Winter (Salty): Eat root vegetables like carrot, beet, parsnip in hearty soups and stews. Drink warm tea with ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and milk. Stay warm and nourished. Try to avoid too much sugar and caffeine in a time when we should be restorative and quiet.

With love,

jessicabaker

Jessica

5 Elements

The 5 Elements (I prefer to call them Phases or Cycles) of Chinese Medicine are often discussed but not accurately understood. Many people are excited about Chinese Medicine and want to share it, but the lack of depth in understanding Chinese medical theory has left a gaping hole in most of the teachings on Chinese medicine.

When we talk about the 5 Elements/Phases we are not only discussing the dynamic changes that occur within the body, mind and spirit during each season (and during the transition time between seasons), but also the myriad of colors, emotions, spiritual entities and other correspondences that accompany the “elements.”

Our current interpretation of the 5 Elements is from the Warring States period, when 5 factions were fighting for control. This directly affected how we applied the elements to daily life.

I prefer the classical interpretation, when Earth is represented as the 18 day period five-elements-earth-289x270between each season, a time of transition and preparation for the season ahead. This makes more sense to me than Earth as “late summer” where it seems to be placed just to serve ideology instead of seasonal shifts. In a later blog, I will go deeper into the 5 Elements and the emotions, colors, sounds and other associations.

For more information on the theories of Chinese Medicine, check out The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine (NeiJing SuWen) translated by Maoshing Ni. It is the foundational text of Chinese medicine and is a fascinating read.

With love,

jessicabaker

Jessica

when energy flows, wellness grows

 

5 Elements

The 5 Elements (I prefer to call them Phases or Cycles) of Chinese Medicine are often discussed but not accurately understood. Many people are excited about Chinese Medicine and want to share it, but the lack of depth in understanding Chinese medical theory has left a gaping hole in most of the teachings on Chinese medicine.

When we talk about the 5 Elements/Phases we are not only discussing the dynamic changes that occur within the body, mind and spirit during each season (and during the transition time between seasons), but also the myriad of colors, emotions, spiritual entities and other correspondences that accompany the “elements.”

Our current interpretation of the 5 Elements is from the Warring States period, when 5 factions were fighting for control. This directly affected how we applied the elements to daily life.

I prefer the classical interpretation, when Earth is represented as the 18 day period five-elements-earth-289x270between each season, a time of transition and preparation for the season ahead. This makes more sense to me than Earth as “late summer” where it seems to be placed just to serve ideology instead of seasonal shifts. In a later blog, I will go deeper into the 5 Elements and the emotions, colors, sounds and other associations.

For more information on the theories of Chinese Medicine, check out The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine (NeiJing SuWen) translated by Maoshing Ni. It is the foundational text of Chinese medicine and is a fascinating read.

With love,

jessicabaker

Jessica

when energy flows, wellness grows