2018: The Year of the Earth Dog

As the Year of the Fire Rooster draws to a close, a year where the rooster exposed many long held secrets, many are excited to welcome the year of the Earth Dog, also known as the year of the Yang Earth Dog.

The year of the dog is a double earth year, it is believed with the earth energy, this upcoming year will be calmer. Some might even find it a bit boring with the double earth energy but many Chinese believe that a boring life is a life of peace and tranquillity.

In this blog, I will provide some highlights for the upcoming year and remedies according to the principles of Feng Shui and Chinese traditions.

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Fertility Issues: Is it Possible to Have A Happy Fertility Journey?

Note that I didn’t call it Infertility, I don’t like that word. Why? Because when I see patients, male or female who have been given the diagnosis of “infertility”, they start to believe that they will either never get pregnant or it’s going to be a very long, tough and expensive journey.

Over the years, I have had success helping patients get pregnant. Some call me the baby whisperer, magic worker and while I do love these terms of endearment, I believe that success on your fertility journey can happen with changing your lifestyle, reducing stress and getting regular self-care like acupuncture treatments.

 “Is your lifestyle conducive to having a baby?”

Five Tips for Your Fertility Journey

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Dragon Boat Festival – Duan Wu Jie 端午节

Dragon Boat Festival is an important festival celebrated by Chinese people around the world. This festival is also known as the Double Fifth Festival as it falls on the 5th day of the 5th month in the lunar calendar. This year it falls on May 30th.

I remember when I was growing up in Singapore, my mother and aunties would start to prepare for the festival a week in advance by making Sticky Rice Dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves.

Dragon Boat Festival

Legend

One of the best known legends regarding the Dragon Boat Festival is about the famous poet Qu Yuan.

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Wilderness Quest – Fear & Worry in Chinese Medicine

 

I am going on a Wilderness Quest. Why? Because the forest and mountains call me.

When I first read about the wilderness quest, a twelve days retreat including four days and nights spent solo in nature, my heart said YES! so fast I did not have time to question it. The fear came later.

Spend time alone in nature? Solitude? Sleep under the stars? Sign me up!

I am going with a teacher whom I have a high regard for. I chose to go with her because she is one of the most organized person I know. I figured if I am going to spend four days in the wilderness by myself, with a tarp and a sleeping bag, and fasting, I want to go with someone I trust, is detail oriented, organized and really knows her stuff. Bonus: her cookies are awesome!

Once I said yes, the fear started creeping in.

Who am I kidding? 4 days in the wilderness on my own? (more…)

What’s that Ringing in My Ears? 5 Tips to Manage Tinnitus

Tinnitus is a condition where you hear a high or low pitch sound in your ears. The sound can be a ringing, buzzing or whooshing sound and some people complain that it sounds like as if there is a cricket in their ears.

The sound can be constant or intermittent. At best, it does not affect your lifestyle but when it is severe, it can impeded your life as it can affect your hearing and might interrupt your sleep. Some of my patients have noticed that it is worse on cloudy days.

Many people suffer from tinnitus but do not seek help early. By the time patients come to see me, they have been suffering for years.

Tinnitus in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) (more…)

Depression – World Health Day 2017

Imagine this, I am at my aunt’s home celebrating my grandmother’s 80th birthday. Everyone is in a joyous mood. We talked, we laughed and although we normally see each other at least once a month, we still have no idea what is really going on in each other’s lives except for our achievements. It is all surface talk.

In the Chinese culture, one does not talk about their emotions. We talk about work, children’s achievements, behaviors and good deeds. Individuality and personal characteristics are not discussed.

In many Chinese families, discussing your emotions is often considered irrelevant and meaningless. If you feel sad or angry, your parents will probably tell you to “buck up” and “don’t take things so personally.”

When you live a life where you are not free to openly express your emotions, it can lead to depression and anxiety. Depression can affect everyone from all walks of life, different cultural backgrounds and all ages.

We all experience changes in our mood. We can be energetic, irritable, sad or happy but for the most part, these moods do not last long and will not affect our daily lives. For people who suffer from severe mental conditions like severe depression or bi-polar disorder, they find it hard to go about their daily lives.

World Health Day is on April 7 this year and the focus is on depression. (more…)

Honoring the Ancestors – Qingming Festival

Qingming festival, also known as “Chinese Tomb Sweeping Day” is the day where Chinese people go to grave sites, cemeteries or temples to pay respect to their ancestors. This year Qingming Festival falls on April 5th.

Growing up in Singapore, every year during Tomb Sweeping Day, our family would go to the cemetery and visit my ancestors’ tombs. We would sweep the area around the tombs, pull out weeds, clean the head stones and make offerings. Offerings included fruit, tea, paper money and paper goods. (See below)

However, in the early 1980s, due to the problem of land scarcity in Singapore, cemeteries were regarded as a waste of resources. By 1985, approximately 120,000 graves were exhumed and the corpses were cremated. Most of the ashes were placed in temples which allow one to go to the temple and honor their ancestors during Qingming Festival.

Qingming Festival 清明

Legend

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Cleanse? Detox? 5 Tips To A Healthy Liver

Lemon water in the morning? Put a whole bunch of kale, asparagus and turmeric in your smoothies? Cabbage soup? (Remember when that was the trend?)

I am often asked if a detox is a good idea. Many people want to do cleanse after overeating and drinking excess alcohol during the holidays or while on vacation.

Spring is the time for rebirth and renewal. While it is a good time to do a 7 or 10 days detox after a long winter, my belief is developing habits and choices that are healthy throughout the year is more beneficial for your body.

Spring and Liver in Chinese Medicine Theory

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory, every organ has its season and the organ that is predominant in spring is Liver.

Liver in TCM

The liver helps to ensure the smooth flow of Qi in our body. When your liver is not functioning well, you can feel stagnated, angry, irritable and frustrated. When your liver is out of balance, your menstrual cycle can be irregular or painful. Hence developing healthy habits can have a positive impact on your liver health in the long term.

To learn more about the functions of the liver, check out this blog.

5 Tips To A Happy & Healthy Liver

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