Making the world a better place, but worried you might burn out?
You support so many others; I enjoy supporting you. Often caregivers and changemakers are so busy meeting the needs of family and community, our own health suffers. Let’s work together to help you manage cancer prevention and treatment, stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, chronic pain, burnout, menstrual health, digestion, and trauma recovery. You’ll receive thorough, well-researched clinical care, with safe space, non-judgmental listening, and attention to your whole person.
Traditional Chinese medicine balances the whole person – your body, mind, emotions and spirit. I help you relax and sleep better, to feel calm and focused. When you nurture your own health, your work, relationships and creative projects will benefit. You’ll feel rejuvenated and have more than enough energy for the long haul.
This recipe is actually based on a formula from an herbal classic (金匮要略 Jin Gui Yao Lue, Prescriptions from the Golden Cabinet, by the famous herbalist 张仲景 Zhang Zhong Jing), in which is is called 当归生姜羊肉汤 Dang Gui Sheng Jiang Yang Rou Tang.
The soup is warming, so it’s great for winter, and especially for those with Blood Deficiency (e.g. pale, dry skin, lips and tongue, dry scalp/hair, possible insomnia, dull headaches, and general achiness) and/or Kidney Yang weakness, which manifests as chronic, dull low back pain, frequent clear and copious urine, cold legs or overall body (do you wear more clothes than other people?), looser bowel movements, possible reproductive health issues. READ MORE
Many of you likely heard about one of the winners of this year’s Nobel prize in science. Tu Youyou, a Beijing-based researcher, was awarded the prize for her role in extracting the malaria-fighting compound Artemisinin from the traditional Chinese herb, artemisia annua (青蒿 qing hao). It has been interesting being at a TCM university when this announcement was made – every lecturer seems to have an opinion about it. READ MORE
At a medicinal herb garden in Taiwan looking at Yin Chen Hao, a famous herb used for certain kinds of jaundice, among other indications
I’m still new to the wide, exciting world of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in mainland China and Taiwan, but am sharing my brief impressions here. One reason is that acupuncture and Chinese herbs are so marginal in Turtle Island (i.e. North America), that many people (myself included) grew up with no idea how long-standing, dynamic and rich this medical tradition continues to be.
The extent to which TCM is applied, researched, and integrated into biomedicine in China is mind-blowing. From home-based village clinics to urban TCM hospital emergency rooms, wild-picked mountain herbs to huge herbal factories, family lineages and heritage sites to world-class universities… READ MORE
My apologies for being so out of touch during my sabbatical year in Taiwan! The time flew by quickly and I hope you have been well.
New news: I have been accepted for a full grant towards three years of Master’s studies at the Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine in China, specializing in oncology (cancer care). I arrived in Nanjing a couple months ago, am so grateful for this opportunity to enrich my understanding of TCM, and look forward to bringing further clinical skills and research findings back to you and your loved ones.
For those of you who have asked about the newsletter, unfortunately I have been unable to keep up with my articles about Chinese medicine. I will do my best to share what I can, as I am now exposed to an incredible amount of information and resources here in Nanjing.
I know many of you continue to seek treatments from some of the many excellent practitioners I have referred to in my absence. I continue to provide referrals to past and new clients by email, so please do not hesitate to contact me at any time for more resources for your well-being. I also welcome you to continue letting me know how you’re doing, as it’s always nice to hear updates from old connections! You can, as always, reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“When I experience dadirri, I am made whole again… I can sit on the riverbank or walk through the trees; even if someone close to me has passed away, I can find my peace in this silent awareness. There is no need of words. A big part of dadirri is listening.” – Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann, Ngangiwumirr Elder
Many other traditional healing approaches, besides traditional Chinese medicine, explore how our minds and bodies connect with the rhythms of nature, and how those connections can rupture with physical, emotional or even spiritual trauma. Read Indigenous Approaches to Healing Trauma and watch the video ofMiriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann, for a glimpse into dadirri, a form of deep, contemplative listening that is an integral part of healing trauma in her culture and tradition.
The September 2015 editorial of a medical journal The Lancet Oncology was titled “Cancer Risk in the Transgender Community.” Its writers describe how unique health requirements, lack of appropriate research, and systemic discrimination in health care (both in cancer screening, and in medical care settings as a whole), contribute to a lack of access, information, and supports for many trans people who may be at risk (sometimes perhaps an increased risk) for a variety of cancers.
In a wake-up call for all who are concerned about equity in health care, the editorial concludes “Cancer care for transgender people is a growing concern and health-care services that are both respectful of this population’s differences, and also relevant to and inclusive of them are needed. Moreover, research into how cancer affects the transgender community, as well as how to prevent, screen, and treat cancer in this population, will improve cancer control. Better integration of the needs of people with non-traditional genders and sexualities in health care will help combat enduring health inequalities.”
At my age, many of my friends and family are considering whether or not to start families. As more folks are waiting until later to have kids, fertility support has become an increasingly relevant topic. The Ontario government recently announced they would fund one IVF transfer. For those who are undecided, or still searching for a partner/ co-parent/ intentional community/ other support, I wrote an article (primarily for people who menstruate) about how Chinese medicine can help you manage (and perhaps prolong) your reproductive health.
I will be taking a sabbatical year away from Toronto from September 2014 to August 2015. I have recently received news that I will be receiving a scholarship from the Government of Taiwan. I am excited and honoured for the opportunity to live in Taiwan, deepening my understanding of the Mandarin Chinese language. I also plan to delve deeper into the cultivation and use of medicinal herbs, and the integration of Traditional Chinese Medicine with biomedical practice. For details on measures I have put in place to support my clients and patients during this time, please click here.
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine herbs are used effectively in Chinese hospitals for stroke, hypertension, atherosclerosis, angina, coronary heart disease, and more. Around the world, acupuncturists can help you lower your blood pressure, improve blood circulation, reduce fluid retention, manage diabetes, improve digestive health, promote sleep, reduce stress (balance the nervous system), reduce chronic pain, headache and numbness, or support you to reduce unwanted consumption of alcohol, cigarettes or foods.
In TCM, the body, mind, spirit and emotions have always been seen as interconnected, and are treated simultaneously. In particular, the ‘Heart’ system in TCM is closely connected to mental and emotional balance. Stress, anxiety and sleep are among the many emotional health issues we treat. Sleep and other mental-emotional issues have been linked to increased hypertension, atherosclerosis, heart failure, heart attacks, stroke and diabetes. Check out this handout I just made about TCM and Heart Health, including Self-Acupressure points and Qi Gong exercises!
On June 3 and June 18 in downtown Toronto, I’m offering a free self-care workshop for LGBTQ immigrants and refugees, in coordination with the Griffin Centre’s reachOUT Newcomer Network, and the Centre for Women and Trans People at U of T. Free dinner, ASL interpretation, and TTC tokens are provided, and the location is wheelchair accessible. Click here for details and to register.