Tag Archives: Traditional

Surviving The Summer Heat To Keep Your Skin Young

Older generations pass on to us the wisdom they have learned throughout the years of their life. Since summer has started, I wanted to share some advice my grandma shared with me when I was young. How to keep youth and beauty:

Avoid The Sun

A suntan does not prevent skin damage— it is skin damage.

One of the most important tips that many Chinese women follow is avoiding the sun. This helps keep our skin from developing wrinkles and staying pale. Carrying around umbrellas, hats and wearing very thin jackets to make sure we aren’t exposed to the sun’s rays as much as possible. It’s well known that the sun’s rays (UVA and UVB) damage the skin and can cause wrinkles.

Keep It Natural With Herbal Medicines & Teas

Herbal medicine is a huge part of our lifestyle to stay healthy and increase immunity; likewise, tea is also a major aspect of our routines. In Hong Kong there are Herbal Medicine Tea shops, the teas are prepared in fountain dispensaries but since living in the states grandma would prepare the teas. Prunella Herbal tea has been well known as the heal all tea, it clears the liver heat, clears the acne. Even when summer is hot, teas are also served including the beneficial green tea which has antioxidant properties and stimulates one’s metabolism.

Eat More Fruits & Vegetables (& Less Meat)

Diet consisting of mostly fresh fruits and vegetables is a huge part of a Chinese woman’s life. The preparation of fresh vegetables are cooked with little to no oil or fats, and fruits that are in season as desserts. Grandma preferred to serve minimal amounts of spicy foods, as she says that the heat can cause pimples, and sugary foods to avoid gaining weight. Heat foods are chips and dried crackers, roasted nuts and seeds, once you start eating them, it is hard to stop.
The choice to eat less meat is more complex than simply keeping a figure. Meat is expensive in China, so many view it as a luxury than an everyday food.

Exercise Is Gentle, But Important

This may be an obvious healthy beauty tip, but for Chinese women, it is very important to keep active. Walking after meals to help digestion and stay fit or get massages.

Enjoy Spas and Massages

Everyone seems to get massages in China. People go together with friends, or even alone. Getting massages is not seen as a luxury, but as a way to stay healthy and young. Chinese believe that routine massages will ensure proper blood flow and keep them sturdy and fit. Every week I have a deep tissue massage and cupping session, it helps me flush out toxins from my body, so that my skin is clean and hydrated. Enjoying a massage, spa, or having your spouse (exchange program) can also lower one’s stress level, which can be a reason people may have bad health or troubled skin.

Start Young

Many of the techniques my grandma taught me to avoid the sun was also being taught to my children. Chinese begin to protect their children while they are young. This ensures that they will grow with healthy, undamaged skin instead of trying to fix it when they are older. It never hurts to think about how a child might benefit from these teachings.

Although my grandma is no longer with me, I still treasure all the great memories with all the care and love she has given me. The love is so deep that it makes me strong, and the need to pass on all that she has taught me to you.

Love, Juli

No Reset Button For Carpal Tunnel

Since it’s creation in the early 60’s, video games have been seen as a common hobby for both kids and adults alike. Often branded as a hobby for “nerds” or nonathletic individuals, video games have grown into something more than a standard at home activity.

Competitive gaming (Esports) once seen as an underground community, has grown to a now multi million dollar industry and even has articles in ESPN branding video games as a now, legitimate sport. Sponsors such as Redbull, Gatorade, and even the phone company HTC now offer contracts to competitive gamers making this once childhood fantasy, a reality. As a competitive gamer myself I’m happy that Esports has grown to such heights. Even I know however, these companies won’t just sponsor anyone.

I follow and play a game know as Super Smash Brothers Melee. Since it’s existence in 2001, this game’s competitive community is now bigger than ever. With it’s fast paced movement and style, people always ask the question. “How can a player move that quickly?” When tested, top professionals such as Adam “Armada” Lindgren and Aziz “Hax$” Al-Yami can average up to 900 inputs per minute. What may look like common “button mashing” to the average viewer are actually precisely timed inputs to make the players character move so quickly and efficiently. Inputs are the amount of times a player taps a button to cause an action in the game. With each match lasting around three to four minutes and played in sets of 3 and 5, one can imagine the toll it can take on ones hands by moving so quickly. I mentioned earlier how the game has been played for over 15 years with new and old players still going strong. As for the older players however, the toll of using such quick reflexes for years, is finally catching up to them.

Hax$ first got onto the world’s radar in 2008 by placing 9th at his first major tournament. At just 14 years old, he proved to be a rising star placing within the top 8 at almost every tournament (Participants ranging from 300-1,000+). In January 2015 seven years after making his debut he was forced to take his first hiatus from the game due to a nagging hand injury. An injury that would later develop into Carpal Tunnel syndrome.

Carpal tunnel syndrome causes numbness, tingling, and other problems in your hands due to pressure within the nerves of your wrists. The name strives from the area that your tendons run through and connect to your wrists. There are many causes for it as it has links to arthritis, diabetes, and even pregnancy. Unfortunately for Hax$ he developed carpal tunnel due to the excessive and repetitive inputs from his fingers causing his carpal tunnel to swell up and make the tunnel tighter. Seeing it as just a nagging hand pain, Hax$ took a hiatus from the game to ice and rest his hands. Three months later he returned to the scene for no more than a handful of tournaments before he found the pain coming back. Concerned about the constant pain, Hax was then diagnosed with Carpal tunnel syndrome and spent over half a year icing his wrists, not touching the game at all, and even wearing a splint to help heal his tendons before they got worse and his nerves would develop long term damage. Finally after months of treatment Hax$ returned in April and got 3rd at his first National since his diagnosis proving he could still hang with the best. This also however may mark the end of the road for Hax$ as he announced that his hands were in so much pain during the tournament he has no choice but to get surgery. It was a success but we all question when and if he may return to full time competition again.

Hax$ isn’t the only one concerned with retirement from their profession. Players all around the Esports community have expressed concern about their own hand pains and there are even talks of having on sight doctors at tournaments. Much like the NFL’s concerns with concussion/brain damage from excessive head trauma, Esports competitors although just playing a game, are at more health risk than one might think. I fear the day I develop such injuries, but when and if I do, I’ll remember the story of Aziz “Hax$” Al-Yami and the precautions I shall take.

It’s always good whether you’re a gamer or not, to ice, stretch, and flex your tendons throughout the day. A simple exercise you can do to strengthen your hand is to wrap a rubber band around your finger tips and stretch each finger 5-10 times. Take breaks often, and take time to flex and extend your wrists. Make sure your hands stay in a neutral position when typing on a computer, also keep your hands fresh and loose and this will definitely be better for you in the long run. So remember, video games are fun for everyone, just remember to give your hands a break, they deserve it more than you know.

~Bryan

Surviving Mosquito Season

Seattle has definitely hit the record high for rainfall, the endless soggy weather for winter 2015-2016.

Spring is now upon us, trees are blooming, the grass is growing and so are those runny noses, swollen red eyes from allergies.

Allergies are miserable and frustrating. Pollen, aches and pain have arrived again and the scariest of all is the warm weather, which puts small creatures like the mosquito is back in action. Mosquitoes that hibernate need warm weather to become active, while mosquitoes that spend the winter as eggs need rainfall to flood the eggs and make them hatch.

Since Mosquitos loves me and my kids, those tiny bites are brutal. They itch like crazy, then turns into a big red inflamed patch. Takes days to clear up. Finally bouncing around the chair itching the bite I use Ultra Potent Ping On Ointment – an effective mosquito repellent and stops itching. Before you get out there, apply the Ping On Ointment so you won’t itch, it’s that season. I have noticed a lot of media about different virus that is from mosquito like dengue fever and Zika Virus.

Dengue fever is an acute infectious disease caused by a virus and transmitted by the yellow fever mosquito. It usually occurs in tropical or subtropical climates. Varies the Zika Virus spreads through mosquito bites.

Using traditional Chinese diagnostics and herb therapy, the results are better than using modern drug therapy (no specific therapy).

Let’s prevent all the itching and the virus transmission (that is why I recommend Ping On Ointment).

In Wellness,
Juli

The Year Of The Monkey

If you could see into the future, your health and well-being would be top of the list. What’s your Chinese Zodiac Sign? The 12 animal signs, representing the year of birth are the most commonly known aspect of Chinese astrology, but it’s just one small piece of the puzzle. Each sign is heavily influenced by one of the five elements: water, fire, metal, wood and earth.

On February 8th, we celebrate Chinese New Year and the year of the Monkey. The cheeky Monkey is considered to be witty and protective. Issues with the respiratory system and small intestine are most common with this metal sign.

Chinese New Year’s Day is an occasion for Chinese families to gather for the annual reunion dinner. It is also traditional for every family to thoroughly cleanse the house, in order to sweep away any ill-fortune and to make way for good incoming luck. Windows and doors will be decorated with red color paper cuts with popular themes of “good fortune” or “happiness”, “wealth”, and “longevity”. Other activities include lighting firecrackers and giving money in red paper envelopes.

Gong Hei Fat Choi roughly translated as “Congratulations and be prosperous, now give me a red envelope!” – in hopes of bringing luck. The red envelope almost always contains money, usually varying from a couple of dollars to several hundred. Children and teenagers jokingly use the phrase. Children are taught to be in their best behavior and as they approach adults and say,”Gong Hei Fat Choi” with a big smile they are given a red envelope. It is a important celebration.

Happy New Year!!!

Monkey see monkey do! For this New Year my focus is to give more directions from better eating habits, preventative herbal remedies, and most important is to create daily exercise routines that will bring greatness to our health and stronger immune system. My father has once said that to not under estimate our bodies ability to heal, we make our patients body strong therefore our body can fight off diseases and heal. The best herbalist is the ones that can prevent illnesses.

My patients are strong and we practice together, we will build a strong village and not only that, we will have good health, even for the younger ones.

Happy New Years, Juli

Finding A Healthy Balance During Seasonal Changes

For thousands of years, Chinese philosophy has held that good health is a result of five elements, Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water, being in harmony. Getting in touch with the elements can help us find better balance, in our bodies and our lives, and help us feel more connected to the natural world.

Earth is unique among the five elements. Earth is linked to times of change throughout the year: those few weeks between seasons in which autumn changes to winter, winter to spring and spring to summer. The Earth element is associated with the spleen, pancreas and stomach, the organs of digestion and nutrition. The stomach receives the food you eat and starts to break it down. The spleen and pancreas then distribute the nutrients throughout the body. The pancreas also regulates your blood-sugar levels.

Also pay attention to how you eat, not just what you eat. Eating calmly and slowly and having reasonably sized portions will let your stomach and spleen work best. A good rule of thumb is eating until 70% full, and try not to snack before the main meal to avoid over eating. After eating, take some time to relax and move the body, because movement aids the digestion, assimilation and distribution of nutrients. Thanksgiving is in season, we should take time to make sure everything pure and necessary is used and maximized, and that anything unnecessary or wasteful is eliminated.

I also wanted to touch base with the change from Autumn (Metal) to Winter (Water). Autumn is associated with the Lung and the Large Intestine which both deal with purification and elimination. The lungs take in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide through breathing. The large intestine absorbs water and completes the absorption of nutrients, minerals and vitamins. It also holds and eliminates waste.

Eating vegetables and whole grains is necessary for our bodies year-round. Because they serve as cleansers for the intestines, however, they have added significance in autumn. A balanced autumn diet consists of hearty, rich and warm foods, including meats, cooked nuts, fish and oils.

Sauerkraut (natural fermented probiotic) like other preserved foods, provides a source of nutrients during the winter and restores gut flora. Root vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, garlic and onion, are particularly healthful metal foods. Ginger promotes good digestion and elimination. Do weight training to make good use of muscles, building from the protein you crave as winter comes.

You might also try practicing a form of breathing meditation for the health of your lungs. Prepare for the change of weather and store up on our cold and flu regimen. Focus on relaxation in the evening hours as you get ready for sleep.

Change is inevitable, but we must try to embrace this to thrive on this roller coaster of transition. Let’s have a ride of your life, and I will meet you on top!       

Love, Juli

Kung Fu Stretches To Help You Get Through Your Day

Do you ever suffer from unbelievable back pain, joint or muscle aches, or even muscle tension? Being only 20 years old, I’ve had numerous jobs where the main point of the job is heavy lifting, standing all day, constant walking back and forth, or even sitting all day. My back, as I have come to find, has many years of stress put on it. The most tension has been embedded deep in my shoulder blades and mainly my lower back. Highly active jobs can really take a toll on your body, and after years of being in the workforce, I decided it’s about time I do something right for my body. So, I got my first professional massage.

It was magnificent at first. Laying on the long massage table, getting my back rubbed gently and listening to smooth jazz, then all of a sudden, “OW! OH, MY GOD!”  The masseuse takes her elbow and grinds it into my shoulder as if she was kneading the knot right out of me. After the all intensive body manipulation, it was time to bring on the cups! For those who don’t know what cupping is, cupping is a form of Chinese therapy in which heated glass cups are applied to the skin along the meridians of the body, creating suction as a way of circulating the blood flow in your body. On a side note, personally I like the after dots that come with this massage. Honestly, how many people do you know that wear polka-dots on their body? Not very many I bet! Anyway, the cupping was a way better experience than the body massage. My whole back was stretched by these small cups and each cup was on a specific pressure point, evaporating the toxins that have inhibited my body for so many years. When I was relaxed enough, I started breathing deeply and let out all that pain, but it got me thinking. What could I have done to prevent this pain? What can I do now that will help my body feel better so I won’t have to feel this pain again? The solution was simple. In fact it was so simple that it has been easily over-looked my whole life!

Stretching of course! It’s so easy and it has so many benefits. Just taking a little time away from your busy day is highly essential for your body. The constant go, go, go adds stress to all parts of your body, not just muscle pain. It causes a domino effect on your system because your whole body is linked together. For         example, when your back hurts, it sends stress signals to your brain, which makes you feel bad, so it affects your mode negatively which in turn, causes strain on your head.

Some have time for the gym and some don’t, but you don’t need a gym membership to stretch. The benefits of stretching include helping improve flexibility which increases your range of motion (remember the days when you use to do cart-wheels or touch your toes?). Stretching corrects posture by lengthening tight muscles that pull areas of the body away

from their intended position due to the extended amount of time on our computers; many of us have tight chest muscles which pull the shoulders and head forward, leaving us with hunched shoulders. Stretching has the potential to decrease injury by preparing muscles for work before activity. It increases blood and nutrient supply to muscles, thereby possibly reducing muscle soreness!

It even does wonders for your mind. In a short amount of time (10-15 minutes) of stretching calms the mind, provides a mental break, and gives your body a chance to recharge. It’s important to take time for yourself and let your mind relax. With all the different events that prolong through the day, that 10-15 minutes for yourself is vital.

Let’s try this relaxing exercise to help begin the stretching process. Take your hands and place them gently on your stomach (above the belly button, right below your chest). Now take a deep breath in for 4 counts (breathe in 1.2 .3 .4) and then breathe out for 4 counts (breathe out 1. 2. 3 .4). This should be really slow and your shoulders should feel relaxed and not tense at all. Do this 5 times. Now doesn’t that feel a whole lot better? Just doing this calms your heart rate and regulates your breathing which brings oxygen to your lungs. Now you are ready for some stretches! These stretches have been practiced by ancient Chinese farmers for centuries,  with kung fu martial arts, and in yoga.

Stretch 1: Exercising the Shoulders, Arms Lower Back

Forward Stretch

Forward Stretch

Starting Position: Find somewhere to balance yourself like the couch arm rest or your office desk, take one large step back away but to a point where you can still reach it. Spread your feet  shoulder lengths apart.

Movements: Bend forward reaching toward whatever your support is. Keep your head facing straight (look at a specific object and keep your focus on that), and really stretch those arms. You should also feel a stretching tension in your legs and lower back. After you stretch forward come back to the beginning position.  Do this stretch 10 times, but with each stretch take your time and really feel it. (see figure 1)

Stretch 2: Circling Single Arm

Starting Position: Take a left “bow step” with the left leg bent at the knee and the right leg stretched behind and place left hand on left knee. While the right arm hangs at the side. Or if you don’t want to look like a weirdo in the office/and or can’t bend too far, just stand up straight with your feet shoulder length apart and place your left hand on your hip.

Arm Stretch

Arm Stretch

Movements: Move right arm forward, upward and backward in a circular motion, counter clockwise. Then reverse the direction and go clockwise. Do each direction 10 times. Repeat these movements with the left arm but with your right foot bowed or with your right hand on your hip. Be sure to keep your arms straight and your shoulders relaxed. (see figure 2)

Stretch 3: Exercising Leg Pull

Knee stretch

Knee Stretch

Starting Position: Lean against the wall if you have to, this stretch is easy, place one hand against the wall and  simply lift one leg behind you and balance on the other. This stretch mainly focuses on your thighs.  Stretch for 1 minute. Do the same processes with the other leg (see figure 3)

Stretch 4: Exercising Leg Stretch

Starting Position: Stretch your leg out and place it on top of your nearest stable support (chair, table). Then stretch down to touch your toes, its not crucial to touch them if you can’t but eventually you will be able to. Do this stretch 10 times.

Front Leg Stretch

Front Leg Stretch

These are just a couple of basic stretches that will help your body immensely. Just keep in mind that with each stretch, you are doing your body a favor. These stretches won’t take too much time out of your day. Find a quite spot for yourself and stretch out that tension. Remember to breathe deeply, and while you stretch imagine pushing all that negative energy out of your body. Keep your body stress free and happy!

– Shaila Suleman

The Reason Why Boy George & Culture Club Should Go Into Pickle Business

Active Culture Club

Active Culture Club

In 1982, the British band, Culture Club, lead by flamboyant Boy George released their first album “Kissing To Be Clever” in UK. The third single “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?” was a huge international hit. They became the first band since the Beatles to have 3 songs from debut albums listed in the Top 10 in Bill Board’s Hot 100. Their second album “Color By Numbers” was also a huge international success, with the single “Karma Chameleon” hitting number 1 in chart in numerous countries.

I must have been around 12 years old when I first heard Culture Club. Growing up in Japan, I was not quite interested in foreign pop rock at all. However, a tidal wave of British pop music was hard to ignore even for a child whose only interest was to play outside with his friends. But, I simply could not resist it when I heard Boy George sing,  “Karma, karma, karma, karma, karma chameleon….You come and go…you come and go….” Seriously, who could have resisted it? It was such a great sing-along song even for someone like me who didn’t know a word of English at the time.

Unfortunately, as with most of the rock stars, he and his band became a victim of drug addiction. Not only did the band lose their way musically, they actually lost one of the members because of heroin overdose. After peaking in popularity around 1986, Culture Club was never able to duplicate the same level of success. They even made several attempt to reunite and tour without much success up until recently. It is very likely Boy George and Culture Club would never ever be in the spotlight again.

But I think I found the way to help Boy George and Culture Club regain the same level of popularity as before. And possibly help him make a lot of money along the way. If Boy George ever asked me what he could do to become as successful as before, I would tell him to:

Sell Pickles, And Sell A Lot Of Them!!

Why picckles? Glad you asked. All pickles and Boy George have something in common. Pickles contain or are at least made with live Cultures. And Boy George was lead singer in Culture Club. They both have a word “Culture”.  Do you see where I am going with this? It is not one of my silly jokes. It is a pretty serious marketing plan. A plan to make him and Culture Club a household name again, really!. What I am trying to say is that even though the band is not popular musically anymore, the name “Culture Club” is still alivenand well. So he should take advantage it. The name “Culture Club” was once a household name worldwide. And still a lot of people instantly recognize the name. So why not use it?  It’s a perfect name for pickles. Especially the pickles with live CULTURES, get it? It is simple, but I think it would be very effective.

So he should simply call his line of products “Culture Club”. Yes, the exact same name as his band. His band is no longer active, so maybe his products should be called “Active Culture Club.” The word “Active” is quite important here when it comes to differentiating his products from others inferior pickle products. Wanna know why? Many of the pickles you see on the shelf of supermarkets are dead. What I mean by “DEAD” is the they don’t actually contains Active or Live Cultures anymore. All the beneficial bacteria (cultures) are killed through pasteurization process. Nothing wrong with pasteurized pickles with no active culture, but you would not be adding beneficial bacteria to your digestive system when you eat it, (more on that later) So I would suggest Boy George focus on selling only pickles with Live Active Culture. And all of his pickles will be sold through the brand name “Active Culture Club”.  And his face is still very much recognizable all over the world,  so he should slap his face right on the jar of pickles and other products for instant recognition and familiarity. After all, people love to buy products with a familiar face, just like every Newman’s Own products has Paul Newman’s face on it. It works, even though he has been dead for quite some time. I guarantee his pickles will be a instant hit among those who understand the value of active live cultures.

So what the heck is Live Culture? Live cultures, also called active cultures, refer to the microorganisms typically found in foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and dill pickles. These beneficial microorganisms (bacteria) naturally present on the surface of the cabbage and, in fact all fruits and vegetables.  Most pickles are made by a process called lacto-fermentation. For example, when salted cabbage releases liquid (brine),  the bacteria begin to convert sugars in the cabbage into lactic acid which acts as a natural preservative that inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria. They say these bacteria actually increases the nutrient content and digestibility of vegetables, and also increases immune system functionality. And I find it very true though I have no way of scientifically prove it. My digestion has been so much better, and in fact  ever since I made a habit of eating sauerkraut with live culture (not pasteurized one) my allergy condition has improved dramatically too.

So folks, please make sure to eat the one that has not been pasteurized. Why the heck do they even pasteurize it, killing all the beneficial bacteria in the process? The answer is quite simple. As long as bacteria is present, and as long as there is enough sugar for the bacteria to feed on, it gives off gas as a byproduct of fermentation process. It is simply impossible to contain the gas in a jar without causing any bulge in the lid.

There are two ways to make sure you are eating the right kind of pickles (with live culture).

First one of course is to make your own pickles. I have not done it myself yet, but it seems very easy to make. Also they say it is very hard to mess up. As long as you don’t pasteurize it through canning process in an attempt to preserve if for a long period of time, you are good to go.

Second option is to buy the ones with live culture. This could be a little challenging depending on where you live. One day my wife came home with sauerkraut that she bought at local farmer’s market. And it was exactly the kind of sauerkraft I had been looking for. The first thing I noticed immediately was a bulging lis with a label saying “LIVE CULTURE, Natural Fermentation may cause lids to bulge – KEEP REFRIGERATED”. The lid was literally bulging and looked as if it was about to explode. It was a godsend since I didn’t want to go through the trouble of making it myself. The name of the product is called “Britt’s Caraway Kraut” made by Britt’s Pickle in Seattle. They have variety of other pickles. Unfortunately, their pickles are only available in natural food stores in Northwest region, including Whole Foods. I found another brand called “Farmhouse Culture Kraut”. Their sauerkraut also still contains live culture and are packed in breathable pouch; so it releases the gas caused by the fermentation process, so it will never explode.  Looks like they are available at Whole Foods nationwide. So far they are only 2 brands I trust (and easily available)so far. You should definitely try their pickles to see how your digestion improve. I will remain a loyal customer of both brand of pickles until, Boy George & Culture Club take my advise and start selling the line of pickle products worldwide.    

Kaz Isogai

What You Didn’t Know About The Way You Eat May Be The Cause Of Your Digestive Problem

Digestive disorders are extremely common, not only in the United States, but also in any parts of the world where modern Western way of living dominates. Unless you have your own farm (by the way, that’s one of my dreams), grow your own vegetables and fruits, raise your own livestock, our access to high quality 100% organic foods are very limited. If you are lucky enough, you may have a resource to acquire high quality food on the daily basis without worrying about your bank account. But your busy lifestyle may prevent you from preparing and eating the kind of food you should be eating. This is why many people end up dining out more than they should, or eating store-bought processed foods. It has become normal part of daily life to eat the food on the run or consuming food while you are working. And not surprisingly, a stressful lifestyle causes you to crave for richer, saltier and sweeter unhealthy foods. I must admit, I am certainly guilty of this problem.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the way or the spirit in which food is eaten is very important. While eating, you must focus on the activity of eating without any distraction. Worrying and stressing will cause the harm to your body. You should also take your time and really enjoy your meal. Too much talking can disrupt digestion. For example, my kids tend to talk too much, asking me so many question while I am trying to eat. I found myself very stressed and not enjoying the food at all. It may sound counter-intuitive, but I believe eating alone slowly in silence is so much better for your digestion than busy talking or being distracted by others. So, I trained my kids not to even bother me while I eat after long day of work. I usually get bombarded with their stories and questions afterwards, but that’s okay.

Returning right back to stressful work or physical activities will greatly inhibit the digestive process. Again, I am very much guilty of this crime. I’ve struggled so many years. And I’ve definitely noticed my digestion has become very weak over the years because of eating while at work or stressing right after eating (or maybe I am just getting old.) My solution is to skip a lunch. No eating at work. Period. But, to be honest that’s not working out quite well either. It seems that “Stress” somehow gives you permission to do whatever is harmful to your digestive system – like eating junk snacks while working, or drinking alcohol after work (to release stress). I guess you already know what I am talking about here. We all know it’s bad for you, but can’t seem to control or break this habitual pattern.

Traditional Chinese Medicine views the chronic digestive disorder as the result of food stagnation. The word ‘Dampness’ is often used to describe the food stagnation. Feeling of fullness in the stomach, bad breath, acid reflux, belching are the symptom of this Dampness in the digestive system. One of many causes of Dampness (food stagnation) is the diet mainly consists of Cold foods. Eating raw foods like salad or fruits is a typical example. Many patients here at Hen Sen Herbs claims that they eat very healthy because they eat nothing but salads and other raw foods. They believe that raw food contains much more live enzymes to aid digestion, which true, and no argument there. However, what they do not understand is that our digestive system is like ‘Fire’ that cooks the food to break down into small bits our body can convert into energy. Just imagine a pot full of cold foods (inside of your tummy) being cooked by Fire (energy to breakdown foods). It will take a lot longer and a lot more energy to breakdown foods into small digestible pieces. So, consuming Cold foods is like a pouring water into Fire. It immediately puts strain on your digestive system and causes food stagnation. If your body is young and strong – full of Fire, or living in the very warm climate, your body can handle Cold foods without a problem. But, if your health is less than ideal, or living in the cold climate, you should definitely avoid Cold foods altogether. Watermelon is the typical example. It should be consumed when your body is overheated during very hot weather. Cooling property of the watermelon effectively cool off your body. However, if you do this when the weather is cold, the Fire (digestive system)will be put out immediately. It will result in harming your digestive system, and you will be more susceptible to the common illness. Worrying about eating more enzyme rich foods is understandable. But if you are harming your digestive system with Cold foods (not to mention drinking Cold beverages), your body’s ability to produce enzymes is greatly compromised. So, your focus should be first to protect and reduce the strain on your digestive system with warm easily digestible foods so that it can function at an optimal level. In order to compensate for the loss of enzyme from cooking, fermented food should be always be added to your regular diet. Look at any traditional diet of countries with highest longevity. Fermented foods are always a staple of their diet. Even a hamburger come with tiny slice of fermented food tucked in between the buns: the Pickle. Unfortunately, the amount of fermented foods that average Americans consume is way too low, and typical American foods are too acidic or hard to digest.

Fire Energy required for digestion.

Fire Energy required for digestion.

There are so many other factors you should consider when it comes to maintaining a healthy strong digestive system. With so much information is available online, and it can be very confusing. And, many of them are misleading. So, be very careful. If you really want to learn about your health and digestion., go find someone who is 100 years old or older, and study how he eats, sleeps, exercises and everything about his lifestyle. I bet you will learn so much more about digestion and health overall than just reading research papers. If you can’t find such a person, next closest person you can depend on is experienced Chinese herbalist who have acquired wealth of historical knowledge complied by past great herbalists over many centuries. You need someone who understand the truth about human health. The truth that withstand the test of time. In other words, what was good for human health centuries ago should still be true today, and will be true centuries from now. So, stop chasing current fad diet or reading scientific researches that deals with only small aspect of human health. Good luck.

P.S. If you are too lazy to cook healthy meals or actually dread eating healthy food. Make sure to take Taifu Plus regularly. It will help break down nasty hard to digest junk out of your system. Less strain on your digestive system, better it is for your overall health!

Digestive disorders are extremely common, not only in the United States, but also in any parts of the world where modern Western way of living dominates. Unless you have your own farm (by the way, that’s one of my dreams), grow your own vegetables and fruits, raise your own livestock, our access to high quality 100% organic foods are very limited. If you are lucky enough, you may have a resource to acquire high quality food on the daily basis without worrying about your bank account. But your busy lifestyle may prevent you from preparing and eating the kind of food you should be eating. This is why many people end up dining out more than they should, or eating store-bought processed foods. It has become normal part of daily life to eat the food on the run or consuming food while you are working. And not surprisingly, a stressful lifestyle causes you to crave for richer, saltier and sweeter unhealthy foods. I must admit, I am certainly guilty of this problem.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the way or the spirit in which food is eaten is very important. While eating, you must focus on the activity of eating without any distraction. Worrying and stressing will cause the harm to your body. You should also take your time and really enjoy your meal. Too much talking can disrupt digestion. For example, my kids tend to talk too much, asking me so many question while I am trying to eat. I found myself very stressed and not enjoying the food at all. It may sound counter-intuitive, but I believe eating alone slowly in silence is so much better for your digestion than busy talking or being distracted by others. So, I trained my kids not to even bother me while I eat after long day of work. I usually get bombarded with their stories and questions afterwards, but that’s okay.

Taifu Plus for digestive aid.

Taifu Plus for digestive aid.

Returning right back to stressful work or physical activities will greatly inhibit the digestive process. Again, I am very much guilty of this crime. I’ve struggled so many years. And I’ve definitely noticed my digestion has become very weak over the years because of eating while at work or stressing right after eating (or maybe I am just getting old.) My solution is to skip a lunch. No eating at work. Period. But, to be honest that’s not working out quite well either. It seems that “Stress” somehow gives you permission to do whatever is harmful to your digestive system – like eating junk snacks while working, or drinking alcohol after work (to release stress). I guess you already know what I am talking about here. We all know it’s bad for you, but can’t seem to control or break this habitual pattern.

Traditional Chinese Medicine views the chronic digestive disorder as the result of food stagnation. The word ‘Dampness’ is often used to describe the food stagnation. Feeling of fullness in the stomach, bad breath, acid reflux, belching are the symptom of this Dampness in the digestive system. One of many causes of Dampness (food stagnation) is the diet mainly consists of Cold foods. Eating raw foods like salad or fruits is a typical example. Many patients here at Hen Sen Herbs claims that they eat very healthy because they eat nothing but salads and other raw foods. They believe that raw food contains much more live enzymes to aid digestion, which true, and no argument there. However, what they do not understand is that our digestive system is like ‘Fire’ that cooks the food to break down into small bits our body can convert into energy. Just imagine a pot full of cold foods (inside of your tummy) being cooked by Fire (energy to breakdown foods). It will take a lot longer and a lot more energy to breakdown foods into small digestible pieces. So, consuming Cold foods is like a pouring water into Fire. It immediately puts strain on your digestive system and causes food stagnation. If your body is young and strong – full of Fire, or living in the very warm climate, your body can handle Cold foods without a problem. But, if your health is less than ideal, or living in the cold climate, you should definitely avoid Cold foods altogether. Watermelon is the typical example. It should be consumed when your body is overheated during very hot weather. Cooling property of the watermelon effectively cool off your body. However, if you do this when the weather is cold, the Fire (digestive system)will be put out immediately. It will result in harming your digestive system, and you will be more susceptible to the common illness. Worrying about eating more enzyme rich foods is understandable. But if you are harming your digestive system with Cold foods (not to mention drinking Cold beverages), your body’s ability to produce enzymes is greatly compromised. So, your focus should be first to protect and reduce the strain on your digestive system with warm easily digestible foods so that it can function at an optimal level. In order to compensate for the loss of enzyme from cooking, fermented food should be always be added to your regular diet. Look at any traditional diet of countries with highest longevity. Fermented foods are always a staple of their diet. Even a hamburger come with tiny slice of fermented food tucked in between the buns: the Pickle. Unfortunately, the amount of fermented foods that average Americans consume is way too low, and typical American foods are too acidic or hard to digest.

There are so many other factors you should consider when it comes to maintaining a healthy strong digestive system. With so much information is available online, and it can be very confusing. And, many of them are misleading. So, be very careful. If you really want to learn about your health and digestion., go find someone who is 100 years old or older, and study how he eats, sleeps, exercises and everything about his lifestyle. I bet you will learn so much more about digestion and health overall than just reading research papers. If you can’t find such a person, next closest person you can depend on is experienced Chinese herbalist who have acquired wealth of historical knowledge complied by past great herbalists over many centuries. You need someone who understand the truth about human health. The truth that withstand the test of time. In other words, what was good for human health centuries ago should still be true today, and will be true centuries from now. So, stop chasing current fad diet or reading scientific researches that deals with only small aspect of human health. Good luck.

P.S. If you are too lazy to cook healthy meals or actually dread eating healthy food. Make sure to take Taifu Plus regularly. It will help break down nasty hard to digest junk out of your system. Less strain on your digestive system, better it is for your overall health!

Digestive disorders are extremely common, not only in the United States, but also in any parts of the world where modern Western way of living dominates. Unless you have your own farm (by the way, that’s one of my dreams), grow your own vegetables and fruits, raise your own livestock, our access to high quality 100% organic foods are very limited. If you are lucky enough, you may have a resource to acquire high quality food on the daily basis without worrying about your bank account. But your busy lifestyle may prevent you from preparing and eating the kind of food you should be eating. This is why many people end up dining out more than they should, or eating store-bought processed foods. It has become normal part of daily life to eat the food on the run or consuming food while you are working. And not surprisingly, a stressful lifestyle causes you to crave for richer, saltier and sweeter unhealthy foods. I must admit, I am certainly guilty of this problem.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the way or the spirit in which food is eaten is very important. While eating, you must focus on the activity of eating without any distraction. Worrying and stressing will cause the harm to your body. You should also take your time and really enjoy your meal. Too much talking can disrupt digestion. For example, my kids tend to talk too much, asking me so many question while I am trying to eat. I found myself very stressed and not enjoying the food at all. It may sound counter-intuitive, but I believe eating alone slowly in silence is so much better for your digestion than busy talking or being distracted by others. So, I trained my kids not to even bother me while I eat after long day of work. I usually get bombarded with their stories and questions afterwards, but that’s okay.

Returning right back to stressful work or physical activities will greatly inhibit the digestive process. Again, I am very much guilty of this crime. I’ve struggled so many years. And I’ve definitely noticed my digestion has become very weak over the years because of eating while at work or stressing right after eating (or maybe I am just getting old.) My solution is to skip a lunch. No eating at work. Period. But, to be honest that’s not working out quite well either. It seems that “Stress” somehow gives you permission to do whatever is harmful to your digestive system – like eating junk snacks while working, or drinking alcohol after work (to release stress). I guess you already know what I am talking about here. We all know it’s bad for you, but can’t seem to control or break this habitual pattern.

Traditional Chinese Medicine views the chronic digestive disorder as the result of food stagnation. The word ‘Dampness’ is often used to describe the food stagnation. Feeling of fullness in the stomach, bad breath, acid reflux, belching are the symptom of this Dampness in the digestive system. One of many causes of Dampness (food stagnation) is the diet mainly consists of Cold foods. Eating raw foods like salad or fruits is a typical example. Many patients here at Hen Sen Herbs claims that they eat very healthy because they eat nothing but salads and other raw foods. They believe that raw food contains much more live enzymes to aid digestion, which true, and no argument there. However, what they do not understand is that our digestive system is like ‘Fire’ that cooks the food to break down into small bits our body can convert into energy. Just imagine a pot full of cold foods (inside of your tummy) being cooked by Fire (energy to breakdown foods). It will take a lot longer and a lot more energy to breakdown foods into small digestible pieces. So, consuming Cold foods is like a pouring water into Fire. It immediately puts strain on your digestive system and causes food stagnation. If your body is young and strong – full of Fire, or living in the very warm climate, your body can handle Cold foods without a problem. But, if your health is less than ideal, or living in the cold climate, you should definitely avoid Cold foods altogether. Watermelon is the typical example. It should be consumed when your body is overheated during very hot weather. Cooling property of the watermelon effectively cool off your body. However, if you do this when the weather is cold, the Fire (digestive system)will be put out immediately. It will result in harming your digestive system, and you will be more susceptible to the common illness. Worrying about eating more enzyme rich foods is understandable. But if you are harming your digestive system with Cold foods (not to mention drinking Cold beverages), your body’s ability to produce enzymes is greatly compromised. So, your focus should be first to protect and reduce the strain on your digestive system with warm easily digestible foods so that it can function at an optimal level. In order to compensate for the loss of enzyme from cooking, fermented food should be always be added to your regular diet. Look at any traditional diet of countries with highest longevity. Fermented foods are always a staple of their diet. Even a hamburger come with tiny slice of fermented food tucked in between the buns: the Pickle. Unfortunately, the amount of fermented foods that average Americans consume is way too low, and typical American foods are too acidic or hard to digest.

There are so many other factors you should consider when it comes to maintaining a healthy strong digestive system. With so much information is available online, and it can be very confusing. And, many of them are misleading. So, be very careful. If you really want to learn about your health and digestion., go find someone who is 100 years old or older, and study how he eats, sleeps, exercises and everything about his lifestyle. I bet you will learn so much more about digestion and health overall than just reading research papers. If you can’t find such a person, next closest person you can depend on is experienced Chinese herbalist who have acquired wealth of historical knowledge complied by past great herbalists over many centuries. You need someone who understand the truth about human health. The truth that withstand the test of time. In other words, what was good for human health centuries ago should still be true today, and will be true centuries from now. So, stop chasing current fad diet or reading scientific researches that deals with only small aspect of human health. Good luck.

P.S. If you are too lazy to cook healthy meals or actually dread eating healthy food. Make sure to take Taifu Plus regularly. It will help break down nasty hard to digest junk out of your system. Less strain on your digestive system, better it is for your overall health!

– Kaz Isogai

The Art of Gua Sha

When I was little, whenever I would get sick, my Grandma would treat me with Gua Sha. Gua sha is a traditional Chinese medical treatment in which the skin is scraped with a smooth edge coin or jade to produce light bruising, while using a lubricant like Kwan Loong Oil, until the skin becomes red. This helps opens the blood scapular and increase blood circulation and healing, basically to scape the illness away. Even today, I still perform this for my family and patients.

This method works for the common cold. We can try to not catch it, but a cold is the most common infectious disease in humans and accounts for more time lost from work or school than any other disease. It is an acute viral infection that generally causes inflammation of the upper respiratory tract Gua Sha treatment works on the thermal dynamic principal, which is when heat opens and cold closes. As we catch a cold, the pore closes, but Gua Sha stimulates and increase volume and flow of the blood cells. The heat opens and is able to move the stagnant blood.

Gua Sha is also commonly used to treat pain and such conditions as asthma, bronchitis, cold, flu, fever, heat stroke, fibromyalgia, strains and muscle spasms. Gua Sha helps restore the body’s natural biological balance.
As I am writing this I watched a movie called, “The Gua Sha Treatment” that was made in 2001. I believe it is worth watching as it opens your eyes to China’s culture conflicts and experiences in Chinese Families here in America.
Being raised in Seattle Chinatown, my grandma was well known for performing Gua Sha and Cupping, She would always have me take preventive cold/ flu herbal teas as we went through the change of seasons.

In China, it is common for the family medicine cabinet to include preventive herbal teas, and there are even herbal tea shops that precooks the teas, made to go. You can pick up our prevention cold and tea regimen on Hensenherbs.com or simply call us and we can send you what you need.

Love,
Juli

Maintaining Health This Winter

In Traditional Chinese Medicine our health has close ties linked with nature.  In the spirit of healing with the seasons, winter is one of two most extreme seasons and the toughest to maintain health.

Within the 5 elements, the element water is the winter season. Water is an element capable of stillness or momentum. Simply be still and quiet, retire early and get up with the sunrise, which is later in winter. Preparing stew and soups with winter’s root vegetables such as turnip, carrots and rutabaga are ideal. It is very important to cook healthy comfort foods and warm fluids during the cold season. By making the appropriate dietary and lifestyle changes advised according to the seasons, it’s possible to prevent illness. 

On our website there is the cold and flu regimen as well as an explanation of the UPR Pills that teaches Why the Lungs matter. I encourage you all to read it.

Every December is a time I review the lessons my father pass

ed down to me, because it is the month of my father’s passing. I am still treating my heart, keeping it warm and safe. I miss my father dearly, and I continue staying strong and taking good care of myself and all family and friends as well. As we celebrate the end of 2014 and welcome the coming New Year, take a moment review the good lessons that the year has taught to you and implement it.  Happiness to all of you and warm hugs.

Love,
Juli