Anxiety affects many of us and has recently been linked to increasing chances of a heart attack. One study found that anxiety was associated with a 26% increased risk of coronary heart disease and a 48% increased risk of heart-related death over the follow-up period, even after adjusting for known heart disease risk factors like smoking and exercise. Another study in Stockholm, Sweden, found that anxiety disorders are predictive of future heart disease even after controlling for other risk factors such as blood pressure and smoking. Anxiety more than doubled the subsequent risk of developing coronary blockages or having a heart attack. They examined data on 50,000 young Swedish men evaluated for military service between ages 18 and 20, with a follow-up of about 37 years.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, each season is related to an emotion and an organ. For instance, spring is related to anger, which is related to the liver. That doesn’t mean you can’t be angry in the winter or fall, but you may be more likely to have an angry outburst in the spring if your liver is off balance. Spring is a season of growth, dandelions and tulips bursting out of the wet soil, dying to be expressed after long months of cold and snow. People also tend to hibernate in the winter, especially before modern civilization. So when spring arrives, we come bouncing out and unearth ourselves and sometimes, when the liver is out of balance, we can feel angry, resentful, impatient, frustrated, negative, or impulsive. When these emotions aren’t expressed but repressed, we can feel depressed.
Now that there is more and more proof that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are more dangerous than thought to be in the past, there is more reason to try alternatives to treat pain. As a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine, a medicine in which there are 5,776 herbs in the Chinese Materia Medica, an herbalist’s bible, I have been prescribing herbs for over a decade for a vast array of symptoms, including pain. I feel comfortable knowing that these herbs, especially in combination with other herbs, have been used for thousands of years and proven not only effective, but safe if used correctly.
I’m convinced my son has some mild anxiety. Since he was a baby, as soon as he started to cry, if he didn’t see me within 1-2 minutes, he would get hysterical and actually throw up. He had terrible stranger danger, and didn’t like anyone else holding him, not even his extended family. Now he is 6 and has outgrown a lot of the normal anxiety signs in children but according to his tongue diagnosis, he still shows signs of anxiety. (An anxious tongue in TCM has a red tip and may have a crease on the tip, almost looking like a heart.)
Growing up, I would watch my Aunt make dumpling filling with all sorts of vegetables and spices. She would mix in onions, carrots and cabbage with some pork and make a big mash of stuffing. Then, together, we would scoop a spoonful of the mixture into a dumpling wrapper and then fold it together and thumb press the sides. I loved doing this with her. Also, they always turned out delicious whether she steamed them or fried them.
For kids at Robert W. Coleman Elementary School in Baltimore, Maryland, the answer is yes. This school has recently been implementing an after school program, called Holistic Me, which focuses on providing high quality yoga and mediation to students. Instead of sending misbehaving kids to detention, they send them to meditation. Has it worked? So far so good! The school has reported zero suspensions last year and this year. A nearby high school that also implements this program says that their suspension rates have dropped and their attendance has increased.
Cupping is one of the treatments my 8 year old daughter will routinely let me do on her. In the past, she would be anxious if anyone saw the cupping marks. Now, thanks to some high profile athletes and celebrities showing off their cupping marks, cupping has become more in the know and peaking the interest of more and more people. Super athletes like Olympian swimmer Michael Phelps, Mets player Daisuke Matsuzaka and USA gymnast Alexander Naddour have all been very public about their fondness of this ancient treatment. Alexander Naddour told USA Today: [It’s] the secret that I have had through this year that keeps me healthy…[cupping] is better than any money I’ve spent on anything else.”1, Other celebrities like Gwenyth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston have been doing cupping for years now and have not been afraid to show up on red carpets with red round cupping marks.
I recently got into a car accident and totaled my car. It was snowing out and the roads were bad, slippery and a white wash of a mess. I must have been driving too fast because I was stressed about being late for my next patient and then boom! I hit a pole. I realized that the last few months I had been taxing my body, stressed since Christmas time and have had very low energy. I had given up doing yoga, totally forgotten about meditation, and was more focused on managing my family and their activities, my work, and my work out at the gym. Basically, I had let the ball go on my real health and I had let the stress of life take over. I realized I had to get back on track and DE-STRESS.
This is one of my favorite meals to make for my gluten free husband and my picky kids. It’s also been requested by my close friend Mimi and her hubbie Mark!!! I include organic noodles for the kids and replace the noodles with thin slices of butternut squash for my husband and me. I include some of the super thin slices of squash on the kids’ side of the lasagna and they usually eat it, although my son will eat around it sometimes….argh!!!! I may try pureeing the squash so he can’t pick it out in the future. Also, I sometimes substitute the ricotta cheese for tofu. It tastes just as good because neither of those ingredients actually have a strong taste so it’s all about how to flavor it! My sauce is made from scratch and has lots of onions and other vegetables which helps make this lasagna extra tasty and healthy!
Ladies, you are not alone if you feel like your sex drive is low. In fact, according to Chinese medicine, it is part of the natural cycle of aging. Now that doesn’t mean that we can’t do anything about it! It does mean that we shouldn’t blame ourselves or our partners. If your sex drive is low, it may be related to your vital organs being depleted, in particular, your kidneys.