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Nourishing Fish Soup

Nourishing Fish Soup

Herbs and foods may be taken to nourish the Qi and Blood, support uterine health and help women regain health and vitality. Below is a simple soup that is commonly given to women in China after childbirth but can be eaten anytime as a nourishing tonic. Eat 1 cup daily for 1 month.

2 large white fish fillet, (cod, sole, flounder, snapper etc)

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Fish soup veggies

6 cups fish stock, see recipe below (use less if you add coconut milk)

2 cans full fat coconut milk

4T white miso paste (optional)

4 green onions chopped

4 carrots sliced

3 baby bok choy chopped into 1/2 pieces

Fresh Ginger root- (good quality should be firm) 5 slices (remove before eating,) browned on both sides

Chinese rice wine 1 cup (can substitute any white wine you like)

4 T toasted sesame oil

Salt to taste

Optional Soup Herbs Available at our Clinic: Shan Yao (Chinese Yam root) 30 g, Huang Qi (Astragalus) 30 g, Gou Qi Zi (Lycii Berries) 10 g, Dang Gui (Chinese Angelica) 10 g (boil in broth for 20 min, remove before eating.) These can also just be taken as a tea and not added to soup. They will have a strong herby taste.

Ginger getting ready to be browned. Use medium heat until both sides of ginger are light brown.

Ginger getting ready to be browned. Use medium heat until both sides of ginger are light brown.

Saute ginger and carrots until ginger is brown. Heat broth (pick one from below) until boiling and then reduce to a simmer. Add coconut milk, rice wine (if you are using) and fish. Cook for 5 min. Add bok choy and miso (if you are using). Stir until miso is dissolved. Shut heat off and cover for 2 min. Add salt and sesame oil and serve.

Fish Stock

6 quarts of filtered water
1 lb of fish heads and bones (fish heads alone will suffice)*
1/8 cup raw, organic apple cider vinegar
Himalayan or Celtic sea salt to taste

*Do not use oily fish such as salmon for fish stock or you will stink up the whole house!   Only use non-oily fish such as sole, turbot, rockfish or snapper.

 

Quick and Easy Fish Stock with Bonito Flakes- though low in protein this broth is high in selenium and B vitamins.

Bring 6 cups of filtered water to a boil.

bonito flakes in water

Bonito flakes in water

Remove pan from heat and add 1 cup bonito flakes

Cover and allow the bonito flakes to sink to the bottom of the pot.  This will take a few minutes.

Strain out the bonito flakes and discard.

Add 4 TBL of miso paste (omit if adding to Replenishing Fish Soup)

The broth has a smoky, hearty flavor similar to that of beef stock.

Drink bonito broth by itself, mix with miso or use as a base for seafood gumbo, clam chowder or other similar soups.

You can find the dried flakes at health food stores, Asian groceries, and online.

Simmer on low for 20 min.

(Both broth recipes are from the www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com. More information about fish broth and sourcing products available here.)

lindsey-2017Lindsey Lawson MS EAMP is an Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist and Clinic Director at Glow Natural Health and Seattle Fertility Acupuncture. She is passionate about healthy, happy living and a regular blogger. For an appointment call Glow at 206 568 7545.

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Any of you who’ve been in to see me recently know I been pretty excited about a “new to me” product. I was shopping for groceries and was about to grab a container of chicken broth when I did a double take. There, nestled above the chicken and turkey broth in neat, friendly rows was chicken and turkey bone broth. It stood like a fairytale knight in shining armor proudly saving my family and patients from the dreaded scourge nutritional depletion.

Seriously though I love the stuff and make it myself often. I use either beef or chicken bones and then make soup. It keeps me and my family happy and healthy, especially through the winter season. It’s a great immune system strengthener, high in protein, collagen and minerals and builds the qi and blood. I often prescribe it to my patients but most don’t make and drink it as often as they need to for it to be effective. I especially love it for those struggling with fertility, those with overall weaknbone broth in Seattle WAess, tendon or ligament injuries or postpartum women. Kids love it too and it’s great for those following a GAPS diet.

Here’s the thing. It’s a no brainer. I compared the nutritional content of the regular broth to the bone broth. Regular broth has 1 gram of protein in 1 cup and bone broth has 14!!Are you worried about the taste? Don’t be. The taste is very similar to regular broth and it’s delicious. Now there are no excuses people! If you don’t have time to make it yourself, you can buy it premade. Just heat, add salt (it’s low in sodium), any other yummy veggies or meat (optional) and you have a delicious fortified drink.

bone stock in Seattle WA

The ages old East Asian medical season is fast becoming the next big trend. It’s already hit LA , Portland and even Kobe Bryant is drinking it.

So pick some up at your local market or make some yourself.

Lindsey Lawson Acupuncture in Seattle WALindsey Lawson MS EAMP is an Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist and Clinic Director at Glow Natural Health and Seattle Fertility Acupuncturist and Seattle Pediatric Acupuncture. She is passionate about healthy, happy living, food and is a regular blogger.  For an appointment call Glow at 206 568 7545.

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Chinese Medicine for pregnancy in Seattle WAPregnancy can be a very fulfilling and sometimes overwhelming time. It gives you an opportunity understand and support the natural creative cycle. Each stage relates to an elemental phase of the Dao. Simple practices can harmonize the natural energies that are working through you and your child at that time. No matter what symptoms you may be feeling, or stressors you may have in your life, it allows you a touch stone to return to your path and support the path of your developing baby.

Mothers instinctively feel the womb to be a connection to another world. According to Daoist thinking, the child is a “shaman” bridging heaven and earth.  It is conceived into the watery “world” of the womb. Pregnancy is a creative cycle with the same phases as life outside the womb. Each month a new type of elemental energy is entering into your child and making him or her who she will become. This phase can be supported with specific foods, activities and treatments. Birth marks the death of the child’s “womb spirit” and entrance into the outside world.

In our modern culture we tend to think of a child’s characteristics as pretty much set after conception. The genes of the mother and father have combined into a new life. It has its own preset destiny of brown hair, brown eyes, tall, short, sweet tempered or hotheaded. We avoid things like alcohol, soft cheeses and hot tubs. The ancient Daoists went much deeper. They observed the seasons and the weather. They understood and documented the natural cycles, including the “elements.” They believed it is important to support these natural phases during pregnancy and minimize anything that might disturb them.

Working with the Dao of Pregnancy supports fetal development and the mother’s health. Through years of working with pregnant woman I have become intimately familiar with each phase and the Elements and actions to balance them. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine offers wonderful options in the office. But my time with patients is short. There is more that can be done at home to harmonize the energies for optimal health in pregnancy and for the health of the child once it is born.

We help you have the happiest and healthiest pregnancy, birth, and baby. Take this precious time to connect with yourself, your baby and the nature cycles you are both experiencing. Make an appointment for acupuncture to support your pregnancy today.

Lindsey Lawson Acupuncture in Seattle WALindsey Lawson MS EAMP is an Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist and Clinic Director at Glow Natural Health and Seattle Fertility Acupuncturist. She is passionate about healthy, happy living, food and is a regular blogger.  For an appointment call Glow at 206 568 7545.

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Smoothies for healthy living and detoxingSo here’s the thing. Protein shakes are not traditionally a part of Chinese Medicine. It is a concept borrowed from Western culture to help Western patients make changes in their health. Protein shakes are cold in nature. They overstimulate Vata in Ayurveda. Fruit sugars can aggravate Candida conditions. I don’t recommend them always or feel that they are the end all be all of perfect health choices. Is having a cold smoothie, packed with freeze dried supergreens, powered protein and frozen berries a perfect breakfast? No. Is it better than skipping breakfast or heaven forbid, a fast food breakfast. Hell yes. I’m not talking about the kind you get at Smoothie Land that’s packed with sugar and artificial everything either. I’m talking about the kind made at home with physician grade supplements and organic ingredients. The kind that might be a part of a detox diet.

The issue that Chinese Medicine has with smoothies is that foods which are cold in nature can damage the digestion. The digestion is thought of as a fire cooking food in a pot. If you dump cold food directly into the pot, the fire has to burn hotter to get its job done. This is why water should be taken at room temperature and ice cream should be kept to a minimum and ideally only in the warmer months. Smoothies also contain a fair amount of sugar, albeit in the form of whole fruits. Too much sugar can damage the digestion and particularly the Chinese Spleen. Protein powders themselves can be hard on the digestion. It is important to find one that contains a kind of protein that is easy for your body to handle. I like Rice Protein or Pea Protein.

What a girl to do? Would I like it if everyone sautéed some dark organic greens and ate them with a nice piece of organic beef fillet every morning? Yes. Or better yet, congee cooked with Chinese herbs or egg and rice for breakfast? Yes. Hopefully you have tried some of these yummy non-Western breakfasts because they set you up for an awesome day.

For short periods of time, when protein and other foods might be limited in your daily diet, I think smoothies are great. Take a food and supplement based cleanse for instance. Plunk in 20g pf protein and vitamins in a blender, add greens, probiotics, and detoxifiers and make it tastes like a treat? Great idea. Would I prefer to recommend stews and soups? Yes, and I do. Whoever wants to have those for breakfast with some supplements added let me know and invite me.

So let’s talk about ways to minimize the impact of the cold nature of smoothies. First, don’t add ice. ½ a frozen banana is cold enough and it’ll taste yummy. Second and the easiest thing to do, is to leave your smoothie out for 20 min. or so and let it warm up a bit. This isn’t a gourmet experience people it’s a vehicle for all those delicious, nutritious powders you’re eating.

An important point to consider is the fact that the vast majority of Western patients I see clinically have pathogenic heat and dampness as part of their constitution. Here’s an example. A person has trouble digesting certain foods and a weaker constitution. At the same time they have another pattern of bacterial overgrowth/imbalance or inflammation. In Chinese Medicine we would treat the heat/ damp excess condition first, or at least concurrently, with the weaker digestion root cause. This individual will benefit from a cleanse, complete with cold smoothies in the short term (3 weeks or less). Once a few layers of excess are cleared off it is much easier to strengthen the underlying pattern.

Chinese Medicine has a long herbal tradition of using heat and damp clearing formulas first, to pave the way for tonics later. So see? There is a historical basis for smoothie use after all 😉

Ways to offset the cooling nature of smoothies and add more life

Add warming herbs and good fats: Chia seeds, flax seeds or oil, hemp seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger (fresh or dried) add tons of flavor, add nutrients, warm things up and balance the cooling smoothie.

Warm up your digestion first: Have a cup of hot tea. I like to let the tea brew while I make the smoothie then drink the tea while I let the smoothie warm up a bit.

Lindsey Lawson Acupuncture in Seattle WALindsey Lawson MS EAMP is an Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist and Clinic Director at Glow Natural Health and Seattle Fertility Acupuncturist. She is passionate about healthy, happy living, exercise and food- both functional and delicious. She is a regular blogger.  For an appointment call Glow at 206 568 7545.

 

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Healthy Muscle Length and Strength

exerciseMuscles have one primary function and that function is contraction. The best way to understand muscle contraction is to visualize muscles becoming tense and taut in response to stimulation. When a muscle becomes tense it might actually contract, like your hamstrings or they might stabilize like the core muscles in your abdomen. In both situations muscles might get stuck in contraction due to overuse, under use, trauma or repetitive movement. This continued contraction can lead to muscular spasm, tight ropy bands of muscle tissue and injury at the muscle, tendon and bone attachment.

In most outdoor activities the whole body is engaged. The muscles in your legs and thighs propel you forward, the muscles in arms and shoulder grasp and hold. Even the muscles deep in your abdomen help stabilize your core. As these muscles work and perform their assigned jobs the chance for injury increases.

A good way to avoid injury is to work towards healthy muscle length and strength.

In East Asian medicine (acupuncture), healthy muscle length and strength can be achieved through the concepts of balance and harmony.

When a muscle is out of balance it can become short, tight and constricted. This imbalance causes a stagnation of your body’s vital substances (Qi and Blood), leading to trauma. These constricted muscles also pull on tendon attachment sites (bones) causing injury.

A great activity for balancing the body is cross training. Cross training makes sure you’re not spending too much time in one activity, engaging many muscles groups and body regions. Keeping your body engaged in different activities will balance the muscle groups, enhancing your strengthen and endurance.

Good activities to add to any cross training routine are yoga, tai qi and swimming

Along with cross training, a good pre and post stretching routine is recommended. An added component to the post exercise stretching is a technique I call “active acupressure”. This technique uses acupressure points to help release muscle stagnation and tightness, helping you avoid injury.

Acupuncture is a great way to achieve the harmony needed to recovery from injury. By addressing the entire body, the injury has a better chance to fully heal. Acupuncture works to improve circulation, decrease inflammation and stop the pain associated with trauma.

By giving the office a call and scheduling an appointment, you’ll be on your way to a more balanced and harmonious life.

 Author:

Dr. Derek Kirkham, DAOM, MS, EAMP, LAc is an Acupuncturist, Herbalist and Clinic Director at Glow Natural health Center.

 

 

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shoulder

 

Frozen shoulder can be a painful and often debilitating condition. The main visible sign associated with frozen shoulder is a limitation in range of motion and movement. There can be a number of factors in its development:

1) A history of broken or fractured bones in the shoulder or arm that leads to a lack of movement, eventually causing immobilization.

2) Injury to the rotator cuff muscles. These muscle help stabilize the joint and aid in movement. The injury causes the muscle to stiffen.

3) Post surgery trauma usually involves the formation of scare tissue, which can limit movement.

4) Unknown causes

In all of these situations it’s believed that the initial injury eventually leads to inflammation of the capsule surrounding the joint, causing the signs and symptoms associated with frozen shoulder. This condition can be seen in all segments of the population, however, it’s most common in women over the age of forty.

From an East Asian medical perspective the signs and symptoms associated with frozen shoulder can occur from the same or similar causative factors as mentioned above but how these factors affect the joint and the surrounding tissue is different. The injury tends to cause local stagnation or obstruction of Qi (functional energy) and blood, which leads to the limitation in range of motion and pain.

Acupuncture can help decrease the pain and improve range of motion by removing the obstruction or stagnation, loosing the affected muscle and improving circulation. It’s also helping at decreasing inflammation. Along with the acupuncture treatments, tui na, a style of East Asian bodywork that incorporates massage techniques with movement and stretching can be extremely beneficial. The tui na works in conjunction with the acupuncture to speed up the healing process. Please give the office a call if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment.

Author:

Derek Kirkham, DAOM, MS, EAMP, LAc. Acupuncturist & clinic director at Glow

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facet-joint384Facet joints allow your spine to twist, flex and extend without injury. They are like hinges protecting the spine from excessive movement and trauma. Unfortunately, like all joints in the human body they are vulnerable to injury and degeneration. Some of the symptoms associated with facet joint dysfunction are:

1) localized low back pain

2) low back pain that moves into your gluts

3) pain aggravated by extending your back.

Causes of this type of injury can range from sports injuries, such as running or soccer, all the way to prolonged sitting or repetitive movements.

In acupuncture, there are a series of points that run adjacent to the spine called Hua Tuo Jia Ji points. These points are used to treat the tissues and surrounding structures of the spine. These points can be used to address the signs and symptoms of facet joint pain. Acupuncture can help decrease the pain, inflammation and local swelling seen in this situation. Please contact Glow Natural health Center if you have any questions about acupuncture and how it can help in this situation.

Author:

Dr. Derek Kirkham, DAOM, MS, EAMP, LAc is an Acupuncturist, Herbalist and Clinic Director at Glow Natural health Center.

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