Monthly Archives: November 2013

Juli’s Corner: Staying Healthy During The Autumn Season

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, autumn is associated with the element metal and the organs of the lung and large intestine. One of the most important functions of the Lung is to absorb the oxygen into the blood stream. Without oxygen circulating our internal organs simply would not function.

It is said the Lungs are weakened by grief, sadness and illness. Take extra care to breath deeply in hard times and let go of the things that no longer serve us.
Heat is believed to boost the immune system and prevent colds and sickness. The sudden change in temperature and the Holiday Stress can make our immune system weak.

Here are some hot tips to stay well:

Holiday Stress: If you feel overwhelmed take a step back and to break down big things into smaller more manageable pieces. And don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Keeping our Gut warm: Keeping the solar plexus (your front torso) and kidneys (lower back) warm at all times is crucial to staying healthy. Take particular notice of whether or not your stomach “feels” cold as this is a first sign that your immune system might be weakened. Drinking warm fluids will help.

Keeping your feet warm: Second to keeping the upper body warm is to keep the feet warm at all times. Slippers are worn inside the house often with socks. The feet are referred to as the “second heart” which if kept warm, will pump energy throughout the whole body, continually boosting your immune system.

Protect your nose and face: Wear a face-mask or a neck warmer covering the mouth and nose. Keep your nasal passages moist and humid to avoid catching a cold. A healthy nose uses moist mucous to trap and destroy germs. If your nose dries up then you can more easily catch a cold.

Wash your hands frequently: Washing your hands with good old soap and water actually works brilliantly in killing germs before you have a chance to scratch your nose or touch your mouth.
What to do when you catch a cold? Drink lots of warm fluids, eat easy to digest foods and take your herbs. Unless you use UPR as one of the Pills of topic, it will be hard to take ? herb. Please add in some info of the UPR, D12 and Gum Wall tea.

Keep warm, Juli

Healthy Kidneys Are the Key To Strong Reproductive System

BrinkleyWhen I talk about the health of human sexuality, I can’t help but think of one of the most legendary rogue doctors who ever lived in America, Dr. John Brinkley. He made millions of dollars during the Great Depression era selling goat testicles to man with erectile dysfunction. You may think, “What have goat testicles got to do with erectile dysfunction?” Probably nothing, except for the fact that goats were associated with strong masculinity and sexual vitality. That’s it. But with his uncanny ability to persuade through skillful nationwide marketing campaign, Dr. Brinkley was able to successfully attract hundreds of men to his clinic and convince them that goat testicles were the cure they had been looking for. But, he didn’t sell them for consumption. He actually sold “Goat Testicle Transplant Treatment” to men who desperately needed the cure. As strange as it sounds, many man were happy to pay outrageous amount of money to replace their own testicles with the ones from goats. And he was only one who could provide hope to men with this crazy idea. Not to mention, he is now regarded as one of the biggest and longest running medical frauds in US history.

mantisIt is true that tens of thousands of men suffer from erectile dysfunction. And many of them would do anything to regain the control over the ability to satisfy the nature of human sexuality. In other words, their desire to have sex, which is the most fundamental human instinct to reproduce has to be fulfilled at any cost. But, erectile dysfunction makes it almost impossible to perform such a task. This is why Viagra has become the one of the most popular drugs among men as well as women (their partner) who indirectly benefit from the sudden, but temporary improvement of men’s sexual performance. Is it safe? I don’t know the answer, but I can say it with certainty that it is against the nature of human body to artificially stimulate to produce erection that may or may not last “More than 4 hours”. But, heck, who cares about men’s long-term health, right? Male species are happy as long as they can satisfy the sexual needs of female counterpart. Take a look at the world of the praying mantis and some species of spiders. A male will gladly offer himself to be devoured by female after the mating. I am truly grateful for the fact that my wife is not a mantis.

As I mentioned, a fear of not being able to perform (erectile dysfunction) or desire to have sex derived from the human instinct to reproduce. How about women? What could be women’s fear based on the same assumption and logic? I must say it is the fear of not being able to conceive – infertility. Unless you’ve been trying to conceive for several years without success, you may never notice, but infertility treatment has become a thriving business in recent years. People are willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars for the hope of having a baby before woman’s body becomes too old to conceive. Again human instinct to reproduce is definitely the main force behind this movement. It explains why the cost of treatment is no longer an issue for those who are desperate to conceive. At Hen Sen Herbs, Juliana has also noticed that more and more people are seeking help for their problems with reproductive system.

So why are so many women having infertility problems? And why are so many men afflicted with erectile dysfunction? Oversimplified answer would be this: Their level of overall health has deteriorated to the point where individual organs and the system can no longer be able to perform the proper functions. In other words, people have become noticeably unhealthy for whatever the reasons. Without a doubt, years of abuse, including smoking, drinking, bad diet and lifestyle for example, can definitely affect human health negatively for both men and women. For women, the use of birth control pills is the prime suspect for damaging reproductive system. Use of powerful medication can also override the function of healthy organs and weaken the ability to perform its functions. Or a hazardous environment may have played a role in causing extensive damages to your body. Continuous severe stress can block the flow energy necessary for the body function properly. There are unlimited number of possible reasons for people to be ill. Bottom line is that you must regain optimal level of health before you can achieve desired outcomes – being pregnant (for women), being able to get erection (for men) without the use of Viagra. So it is Juiana’s (the herbalist) job to approach it holistically and prescribe herbs that would cleanse and strengthen the damaged part of the body and ultimately bring the perfect harmonious balance between organs and the systems. A man might get tempted to use the substance (whether it is natural or synthetic) that might temporarily fix the problem by overstimulating the system. Or a infertility treatment might be able to forcefully help you conceive whether or not your body is strong enough to conceive. But without healthy organs and the system functioning harmoniously within the body, the effect can be short lived if not damaging.

Having said that, if I were to pick one single organ that is the most responsible for the reproductive sexual functions, it would be the kidneys. The most commonly known function of the kidneys is to regulate water metabolism. Everyday, the kidneys process about 200 quarts of blood to sift out about 2 quarts of waste and water which are then sent down to to bladder as urine. Another less known but one of the most important functions of the kidneys in Traditional Chinese Medicine is “Storing essence and controlling human reproduction.” This essence is called Kidney “qi” which is the foundation of human body and greatly influence the ability of reproduction, growth and development. Basically the level of abundance of Kidney “qi” determines how strong your sexual energy is. Woman’s menstruation begins and becomes regular in her early teen when this energy becomes abundant. And then menopause begins when the “qi” begins to deplete. And she is no longer able to conceive. For a man, kidney “qi” becomes replete in his mid teens. He becomes full of semen and capable of causing conception during intercourse with a woman. Naturally his “qi” becomes exhausted in his mid 50’s and rest of his body start to grows old.

Issues related to reproductive system are the possible symptoms of kidney imbalance, though other factors other than kidney may have influenced it. In general, premature aging, greying of the hair or hair loss, urinary problems, water retention, hearing loss or ringing in the ears are also the signs of debilitated kidneys.

Do you know what the most reliable indicator of weak or imbalanced kidneys? Juliana taught me to pay attention to the area just below the eyes. If you see the big bags under the eyes. It is very likely the kidneys are exhausted. So if you see the bags under eyes along with some of the symptoms listed above, it is definitely time for you to start taking care of your kidneys. How? At Hen Sen Herbs, Juliana recommends ‘DTF – Kidney Support and Cleanse’ to those who wants maintain strong and healthy kidneys. Oh, one more thing, if you notice “swollen feet or ankles” or are experiencing severe health imbalance like diabetes (which is also strongly related to the health of the kidneys), please consult Juliana for advice. Phone: (206) 328-2828 or Email to:

Kaz Isogai

How To Take Better Holiday Photos

The holidays are upon us! With Thanksgiving comes family gatherings, company parties, and neighborhood socials. Well, I have seen enough bad photos recently to know that despite digital photography and expensive cameras in our hands, we all need a little help taking better photographs.Lucky for you, dear readers, I have 13 years of experience in photography. I’m excited to share a few handy tips for how to take better photos and how to look better in the ones you’re in!

3 Tips For Taking Better Photographs:

1. Eyes – we all look better when a camera is level with our eyes. Even animals look better when you photograph them at the eye-level. What to do when you’re photographing a group of people? Do the best you can to get everyone’s faces on the same plane or horizon line. Then shoot for the middle of the group.

2. Get cozy – when photographing a large group or small group of people, they generally look better the closer you get their faces. This will avoid awkward hands and body language. Sometimes asking everyone to put their arm around another’s shoulder helps bring the group together.

3. Light – The most important tip for photography is to look for the light. Where is it coming from? Is it from the sun or a light indoors? Generally speaking, you want the light to be in front of people. If the light is too dark or inconsistent like with Christmas lights, for example, you can use it behind people and get a fun effect or “bokeh” as it is called in photography.

Examples below: Top Photo shows me photographed from my son’s short point of view, and the light source is behind me, making my face distorted and dark. Photo on the bottom shows my photo taken at my eye level with the light source in front of me, fully lighting my face.



2 Tips For Looking Better In Photographs:

1. Stand at an angle toward the camera. Never stand facing the camera directly. This is the secret of modeling. If you look closely at magazines, models rarely stand perfectly square to the photographer. A good rule of thumb is to stand at a 45 degree angle. If you stand at too much of an angle it will make you look bigger than you are!

2. Do the turtle neck! That is not an official name, but this move reminds me of a turtle who sticks it’s head out of it’s shell. So, what you do is slide your head forward over your chest. Don’t slide it down to touch your chest or you will look like you have no neck. But, if you remember the turtle neck, you’ll reduce or avoid any double chin from forming!
You can practice how to pose in front of a mirror, or practice these tips with your children and friends. At the end of the day, the holidays are about having a good time with family and friends.

Warmly, Holli Margell, Editor