Archive for April, 2009

Currently, I am in an animal development class at UW-Madison. I’ve found a very striking similarity between Chinese and Western medicine in regards to how an embryo develops. It all begins with the kidneys. In general, mammalian embryo’s gonadal development also includes the development of a glomerulus (kidney). The kidneys are one of the first organs to develop. In Chinese medicine all channels originate from the kidneys. The kidneys are also our supply of Yin and Yang prior to and at conception (referred to as Heavenly essence). Our Earthly essence is our Yin and Yang supply that comes from food and drink, and the strength of our Spleen and Stomach Qi is vital for that food and drink to be converted into Yin, Yang, Qi, and blood. Returning to our Heavenly essence (Yin and Yang), I want to make note that we can look at the uniting of sperm and egg as a uniting of Yang and Yin. On a molecular level, each gamete (sperm/Yang and egg/Yin) contains genetic material that, upon fertilization, directs embryonic development at all stages. We need both Yin and Yang to generate a living organism, and that initial Yin and Yang originates within the kidneys. Thus, from my understanding we could look at the Chinese kidney as holding all the potential of our system’s genetic material.


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Here in Wisconsin, spring fever is a given. We have endured and survived the winter. After living in California, I know that there is no feeling like the enthusiasm and rebirth of spring in Wisconsin. I love encouraging people to piggyback on this renewal, shedding depression and bad habits, embracing blossoms, freshness and joy.

From a Chinese medicine perspective, the Wood element and liver energy embody spring. A major pathology associated with this is wind. Wind is one of the “six evils” of Traditional Chinese medicine, things that cause disharmony and sickness. These issues involve spasms, twitching, allergies, colds, and reckless or ungrounded energy.

Luckily, many of the first greens sprouting can help us balance these: nettles and dandelion greens in particular are perfect helpers that emerge at this time.

Acupuncture points located around the neck and occiput can also expel wind, and can be stimulated with needles or massage. Protecting these wind portals with a scarf, particularly during breezy weather, is a simple and free way to protect yourself from wind evil.

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