Dymystifying Clark Zimmerman

by Barbara J. Stankus

For eight weeks, a group of OLLI students settled into their chairs in Room D in anticipation of Clark Zimmerman’s lively discussions of some of the fundamental ideas behind the mysteries of Chinese medicine. Clark’s exuberance and enthusiasm lit up the room as he led us through the fundamentals of Qi, Yin and Yang, Chinese herbs, tongue and pulse diagnosis, acupuncture, moxibustion, and the 5 phases/elements. He explained why an acupuncture is placed in the foot to treat a headache, but he really got our attention when he told us that one of Qi’s functions is to protect us from “evil pernicious influences.” Who among us does not need such protection?

Just who is this spirited, dynamic, and playful individual? Clark and his 5 siblings grew up in a loving and supportive environment in Indianapolis. Interestingly, his parents and stepfather were Western medicine practitioners! Following in his parents’ footsteps, Clark was a pre-Med student at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio until his senior year when he switched majors to English Literature.

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Local Food: Nature’s Best Medicine

by Clark Zimmerman, L.Ac.

Everyone seems to love spring! It is the season where everything wakes up and the potential of the coming year is evident. The fragrant blossoms remind us of the sweetness of life, and of new possibilities. Spring also marks the beginning of gardening season. Gardening has been a longtime love of mine. I enjoy seeing the seeds transform from tiny mysteries into sturdy plants and again into fruits and seeds. It’s one of the most tangible examples of magic that I know. Whether you grow your own food or you buy from a local farmer or market, eating locally grown, organic, in-season food is truly one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself.

We are so fortunate to live in the Rogue Valley where the climate is favorable for growing a huge variety of fruits & vegetables. Add in the availability of fresh seafood, wild mushrooms, and humanly raised dairy, eggs, and meats, and you have an entire medicinary of options. I encourage everyone to grow at least a little of their own food, even if you only have room for a few potted plants on the porch. I also recommend joining a local Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA. ACSA is an amazing way to enjoy local, organic food throughout the entire growing season. The way it work is: you “invest” in the CSA up front in the spring, the farms then use this capital to plant, maintain, harvest, and deliver a fresh assortment of organic food to a pickup site. Once a week you pick up a box of organic produce. Ann and I always joke that it feels like opening a birthday present every week. It is a thrill to see what goodies are going to be in the box from week to week.

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Immune Support: What to take?

by Ann Zimmerman, L.Ac.

A healthy immune system protects you against seasonal cold’s, flus, and the wear of day to day stress. The witer seasons puts added pressure on your immune system with it’s cold damp weather, limited sunlight and increased time spent inside. It is during winter that we often notice the limitations of our immune system and look toward that will protect us from illness.

At Middleway, we believe that acute illness patterns are treated differently, depending on the presenting symptoms. However, when we are not acutely ill, there are some general recommendations and products that seem to be universal in their ability to strengthen the body and lessen the effects of stress.

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