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Weekly Inspiration: What’s Your Legacy?

April 18, 2016 /

Last week I went to a special celebration in honor of the retirement of my college mentor, advisor, and friend. I made a short video sharing with you about the experience and how it inspired me to think about what I want my legacy to be.

After you watch the video, I’d love for you to share in the comments a little bit about what you want your legacy to be!

Water Element Time: The Mid-Afternoon Lull

April 13, 2016 /

We are now halfway through our journey through the Chinese Clock and today we will dive into Water Element Time, which begins at 3PM when energy peaks in the Bladder Meridian.

Most people experience this shift into Water Element Time as a drop in energy and a time when we often crave a cup of coffee or an energy drink. This is because this is Kidney recovery time, when the kidneys go through their daily renewal. Although we may crave caffeine at this time, it is a very bad time to consume it. Our Kidneys represent our storehouse of energy and we do not want to exhaust that energy or we lose our vitality.

Water Element Time courtesy freedigitalphotos.net

The best thing to do during this time is to rest and to hydrate. Drink lots of pure, clean water with a focus on the water entering into the cells of your body. This will help your kidneys stay happy and you will sleep better at night because much of the cause of insomnia is actually dehydration. A power nap during this time will also help to replenish your Jing, or life force. This is why many cultures take an afternoon siesta.

The psychological and emotional tone of this time of day is prudence and retraction. We will feel a sense of purpose and willpower during this time of day and enjoy satisfaction in being alive and acceptance of things as they are. If our Water Element isn’t balanced, we will often feel fear, terror, irritation, or timidity during this time of day.

During Water Element Time, we also have a fluidity in response to circumstances and others. Taking our midday rest/quiet time can be used to focus our intent.

Stay tuned for next week’s post on Ministerial Fire Time and the Pericardium and Triple Heater Meridians!

 

Fire Element Time: The Peak of Your Day

April 6, 2016 /

I hope you’ve been enjoying our journey through the Chinese Clock and learning more about our various times in our daily cycle. Today, we dive into Fire Element Time, which focuses on energy peaking in the Heart and Small Intestine Meridians.

Fire Element time begins at 11AM, when the energy begins to enter the Heart Meridian channel. The Fire Element is all about energies peaking in the body, much like the sun peaks at mid-day.

Fire Element courtesy freedigitalphotos.net

Studies show that close to 70% of heart attacks happen between 11AM and 1PM. Because the focus is now on the heart, this is a period of time when excess conditions of the heart (like coronary artery disease) are usually the most symptomatic. When the arteries (or even the emotions) of the heart are blocked, the heart is most vulnerable around midday. The heart is also vulnerable to heart attacks at the opposite side of the Chinese Clock, Gall Bladder time, which is from 11PM to 1AM.

Emotionally, Heart Time is a great time to focus on opening your heart, allowing it to express love and compassion for everything and every one. It is a wonderful time to find resonance and empathy with others. An unbalanced or blocked heart can be dominated by the emotions of extreme sadness or extreme joy.

At 1PM, the energy shifts out of the Heart Meridian and into the Small Intestine Meridian. This is a great time to eat lunch, which in many cultures is actually the main meal of the day.

The Small Intestine energy is about absorption- both of food and of our daily life experiences. It has the job of separating pure from impure, with what is “pure” being taken into the kingdom of the heart and what is “impure” being taken to the colon to be eliminated.

Small Intestine Time is a good time of day for group projects and cooperative ventures, as well as to elect priorities and to share information. We can often brainstorm and problem-solve well with others at this time.

Next week, we will dive deeper into Water Time and the Kidney and Bladder Meridians.

Earth Time: Digestion

March 30, 2016 /

Last week we learned about the Metal Element and the Lung and Large Intestine on the Chinese Clock. This week we dive into Earth Element Time and the Stomach and Spleen Meridians.

At 7AM, Earth Element time begins and until 11AM, the spotlight is on our digestive system. This is when energy is most available to digest our food! However, people who have digestive problems or people with weight issues tend not to eat during this time, contributing to the persistence of these issues.

Earth Element courtesy freedigitalphotos.netProperly nourishing ourselves between 7 and 11AM will help set the appetite and sequence for digestion for the entire day, making it very important to eat your breakfast. The best type of food to eat at this time is warm meals that are high in nutrition. Not eating at this time contributes to metabolism not working properly- meaning it goes into starvation mode because your body is hungry.

In our modern world, there is a tendency not to eat a large lunch because we are busy working, so we eat something small and do so quickly. This contributes to getting to dinner time VERY hungry and then we tend to binge on food because our bodies are starved for nutrition.

In addition to helping us digest food, Earth Element time is about assimilating life. Stomach issues are often connected to not being able to “stomach something” in our lives.

After Stomach time comes Spleen Time, beginning at 9am. The function of the Spleen Meridian is to distribute the elements of nutrition to their proper destinations throughout the body, as well as to contain and compartmentalize the constituents of our diet (sugars, fats, and proteins) in their appropriate metabolic sequence.

From a psychological and emotional point of view, Earth Element Time is about a calm, centered approach to the opportunities on our immediate horizon. This is a great time of the day to consider new ideas or projects before taking action on them. If the Earth Element is out of balance, we will experience feelings of disgust, despair, or low self-esteem.

This time of day is characterized by intelligence blended with understanding and an appreciation for the sweetness of another day and of life itself.

Stay tuned for next week’s blog, when we dive into Fire Time and the Heart and Small Intestine Meridians!

 

Metal Time: Meditation and Reflection

March 23, 2016 /

Last week’s blog post was an introduction to the Chinese Clock, a daily cycle of energy through the meridians that helps to govern our daily rhythm. Today, we dive deeper into Metal Element Time, which represents when energy peaks in the Lung and Large Intestine Meridians.

The daily energy cycle starts at 3am with Lung Time. The lungs are called a “reactive” organ because of their relationships with the environment. We breathe in the world/life as we breathe in air. If there is a toxin or allergen present, the lungs and upper respiratory system react immediately, resulting in things like runny nose, cough, wheezing. or hives. When the lungs work well, we can fully inhale and exhale.

Metal Element courtesy freedigitalphotos.net

The lungs are about more than just reactivity, though. They are also about vitality because as they disperse air and energy throughout the body, they energize the entire meridian system. In Chinese medicine, it is said that the lungs are responsible for dispersing Qi, so without the action of the lungs, there is no Qi distribution.

The lungs also help us process sadness and grief. If you find yourself waking up between 3am and 5am, you might be struggling to process sadness or grief or you might have a lung condition.

At 5am, the energy moves from the Lungs to the Large Intestine Meridian, rising to its peak at 6AM. This is the best time of the day to move the bowels, as well as to wash your body and to comb your hair (some say combing the hair clears stuck energy from the mind). In addition, the Large Intestine Meridian is about letting go. Letting go is not just about eliminating biological waste but also letting go of things like letting go of our emotions. If things are out of balance, emotions of defensiveness or feelings of being stuck could arise.

Metal Element Time is a time for quiet reflection and/or restful sleep. Some people like monks will actually get up around 4am to begin to meditate as this time has been proven good for such activity.

A healthy and balanced person is focused, has a sharp memory, and finds strength in solitude at this time of the day. In addition, a person who is well-balanced within Metal processes grief and loss appropriately.

Metal Element Time also represents maximum contraction (Winter is Metal time on an annual cycle). At this time in the daily cycle, the heart rate, breathing, and brain activity have been shown to dip significantly.

I hope you’ve found this week’s post about Metal Element Time useful in beginning to understand your body’s daily cycle.

Your Daily Rhythm: The Chinese Clock

March 16, 2016 /

Some of you might know that I have been diving deeper into understanding the wisdom offered to us through Chinese Medicine by studying the 5 Elements and energetic acupuncture. I truly love the ancient wisdom of the Eastern understanding of our healing and how it makes so much sense. I love that I get to work with this understanding as a key part of the BodyTalk System. Chinese Clock

One of the fascinating aspects of the Chinese system that I would like to dive deeper into through a series of posts over the next few weeks is something called the Chinese Clock.

What is the Chinese Clock? It is the flow of Qi (energy) through the acupuncture meridian system in 2 hour windows over the course of each 24 hour periods. When we look at this clock, we can get greater insight into the rise and fall of energy in our daily cycle.

When we say that, for example, 1am to 3am is “Liver time,” that doesn’t mean that the other acupuncture meridians are empty of energy but it means that during that particular time, there is the highest concentration of energy in that particular meridian. This means that that time can be a particularly good time to address certain imbalances.

This Chinese Clock system also means that at the opposite side of the clock, so again for example, 1pm to 3pm, the Liver energy is at its lowest. That in turn means we might see Liver symptoms appear at that time as well.

Over the next few weeks, I plan to dive into different time segments (divided by 5 Elements Theory) of the Chinese Clock to help you understand what is at its peak and what is at its low during that time- and, more importantly- how you can use this understanding to work with your daily rhythm for your health and well-being!

Stay tuned for next week’s post where I dive into Metal Time, which focuses on the Liver and Large Intestine energies as the beginning of the daily energy cycle.

The Call of Spring: Raw Cleanse

March 9, 2016 /

IMG_0314Guest post by Kathy Peterman

For many cultures spring is the beginning of their calendar year. It sometimes feels more like a new year to me too. With all the plants coming to life, the buds and bulbs showing their beauty as the dormant winter says “goodbye” for now.

Spring is a great time to recommit to better eating. I’ve been doing seasonal raw cleanses for spring, summer and fall now for five years. In winter, I declutter my house instead.

So what does a raw cleanse look like? I focus on an abundant amount of whole alive foods and take out all the things that can cause inflammation in the body.

This cleanse is not about restriction, so feel free to eat and drink as much as you need to feel satisfied. It’s about nourishing your body with colorful, living plants as a way to bathe and flush out the cells.

I cleanse to:

  • Kickstart better eating
  • Reduce bloating and puffiness
  • Have clear skin
  • Have improved energy
  • Lose weight
  • Enhance my connection to my body
  • Improve creativity and mental clarity

I know some of these things sound kind of woo woo, but I’ve led cleanses for four years and I’ve seen these benefits in my participants time and time again.

I encourage folks who are new to this, to do a six-day cleanse. I say this because the first three days can have some challenges as your body shift gears. The true benefits show up around day three or four…so you’ll want to go beyond the hardest part into the good benefits part.

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It’s also advisable to stay up in the 1,500 to 2,000 calorie range, to not get tired, cranky and possibly give up. Even if you are aiming to lose weight, you will do far better at this calorie range and you still will lose weight and often even more inches than expected. It’s best for metabolism to not drop too low in calories and these meals and snacks will be nutrition packed!

So I hope you might consider a raw cleanse for yourself.  Here is a free guide to give you further guidelines, recipes and tips.  We do spring cleaning of our homes, why not our bodies too!

 

Note from Lyn: There are many different approaches to cleansing out there. Some bodies tolerate a raw approach and some people do better with not going raw but using similar principles with cooked veggies. Make sure you find the approach that works best for you.

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Kathy PetUmbrella Face Onlyerman is a blogger for My Best Year. She retired at age 55 and is now helping others to create a life that’s simple, intentional and soulful. She leads online groups in decluttering, raw cleansing and having their best year.

 

 

 

Are the Mind and Body Separate or Connected?

March 8, 2016 /

courtesy freedigitalphotos.netWay back in the 17th Century, philosopher Rene Descartes blocked the idea of a mind-body connection by positing instead that the mind and the body are separate and distinct from each other… and the legacy of his work has been haunting us ever since.

The legacy of this mind-body dualism has shaped how Western medicine treats people for different issues- if you have a physical health issue you see one type of doctor and for mental health issues you see another (a psychiatrist). Often times if someone is seeing both types of doctors, the don’t even communicate with each other, although this has been changing in more modern times.

But are the mind and body distinct? Can we draw a dividing line at the neck and say from there up we are dealing with the mind and from there down we are dealing with the body?

My answer would be an emphatic no! 

Have you ever been really worried about something and you worried so much that you got a stomach ache or upset stomach? Or have you ever stressed out so much that you gave yourself a headache? I certainly have and I know that I am not alone. These are just 2 simple example of how the mind and the body are interconnected.

In my work with clients, I often see that the body expresses for the person what is going on mentally and emotionally. Often times we get mad at our body for aches, pains, and other physical symptoms when they are simply the way that the body is able to try and communicate with us and get our attention.

When physical issues and symptoms arise, rather than getting frustrated or irritated, It can be helpful to take a few slow, deep breaths and simply ask your body what it is trying to communicate with you. You might be surprised what happens in both your awareness/understanding AND with resolving the physical symptom by this simple process.

If you are curious about the Mind-Body Connection and want to dive deeper into the topic, join me on Monday, March 21st for a FREE webinar!

Auto-Immune Diseases: Why Are They on the Rise?

February 8, 2016 /

Auto-immune diesase courtesy freedigitalphotos.netAuto-immune diseases affect more than 23 million Americans, making them the third most common category of illness after cancer and heart disease. Some of the most common auto-immune conditions include rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, lupus, Hashimoto’s thyroid disease, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, and asthma.

And the incidence of these diseases are on the rise. Since the 1950s, the number of people with celiac’s disease has increase 4 times, lupus rates have tripled, and type 1 diabetes has increased 23 percent in the last decade.

First of all, let me just give a quick definition of what an auto-immune condition is so that we are all on the same page. Auto-immune diseases are disorders where, instead of focusing on attacking things that are invading the body like viruses, bacteria and other pathogens, the immune system actually starts targeting the body’s own tissue.

So what is behind this increase in various auto-immune conditions? What can we do to help make sure we don’t develop one of these illnesses?

In a nutshell, the increase in auto-immune conditions has a lot to do with changes in our environment in the last 100-200 years. With the rise of antibiotics and anti-bacterial products, our immune system is exposed to less frequent challenges that it needs to fight off and defend us from. While this might sound like a good thing at first, those challenges actually help train the immune system to do its job properly. It is interesting to note that auto-immune conditions very rarely occur in poorer nations with different hygiene and sanitation standards.

In addition, things like antibiotics and anti-bacterial products kill off the diversity of the GOOD bacteria in our bodies as well as the bad.

So one of the things that we can do to help decrease our likelihood of developing an auto-immune disease is to try and avoid taking antibiotics unless they are truly necessary and to not use anti-bacterial products. Give your immune system the chance to actually work to defend your body so it gets the training it needs.

If you are curious about this topic and want to learn more, I’d love for you to join me on Monday February 29th for a FREE webinar on the rise of allergies and auto-immune conditions. Registration is simple- just click here and input your email!

 

 

New Space!

January 29, 2016 /

After working on painting and decorating my new office space, I’m excited to share a few pictures with you! I especially love the soft and warm yellow walls, the eggplant chairs, the soothing fountain AND I bet you’ll love the heated treatment table!!

Now through February 29th, take 25% off your first session with me! Call me at 503-347-0258 or email lyn (at) heart-fire-healing.com to schedule today!

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