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Tag: fatigue

Constipation: Whats the hold up?

by Clark Zimmerman, LAc.

One of our teachers used to explain bowel function by comparing it to a sailboat traveling down a river. The boat is the stool, the colon is the riverbed, the water is the moisture in the colon, and the wind is the smooth muscle movement, or qi that propels the boat. In order to have healthy bowel movements, you need each of these factors to be functioning properly. If one or more factors is unhealthy, it can result in constipation.

The “boat” or the stool is mostly made from the food that we eat. Depending on our diet, our boats can resemble a sleek speedboat or a crude log raft. If we mostly consume a diet that is low in fiber and high in foods that are cloying and mucous producing, such as dairy products, sugars and gluten foods, we produce sticky stools that are difficult to move through the colon. (Did you ever notice the word gluten contains the word “glu”?) If we eat a diet that is high in fiber and low in foods that cause sticky stools, we are more likely to create well formed stools that move through the colon with ease.

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Finding your Middleway

by Ann Zimmerman, LAc.

In a time when we are constantly feeling pulled between the desires to get more done and to relax, finding the “middle” is an ongoing daily effort.  To find your personal balance point between more or less is to find your “way.”

When trying to understand the concept of balance, it is helpful to approach it through very simple questions.  For example, is it good to never eat or to eat all the time? No. The pendulum here can swing from gorging yourself to starving yourself.  Those are the two extremes of the pendulum: the yin and the yang, expansion and contraction, and non-doing and doing.  If you are in balance, you eat when it is time to eat in a way that maintains the health of your body.  To do otherwise is to waste energy dealing with the effects of eating too little, too much, or eating the wrong foods for you.  

Extreme behaviors begin to carve grooves in our landscape that we get stuck in.  As a result, we spend much of our energy on the effects of the extreme behaviors.  Our extremes teach us what imbalanced behavior patterns feel like and why we do not always stay up super late or eat the whole chocolate cake.  I love the saying, “Everything in moderation, including moderation.”  My 99 year old great Aunt Dot attributes her long life to this saying.  

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Wired & Tired


by Ann Zimmerman, LAc.

The combination of feeling both wired and tired is one that we see daily in our clinic and seems to be a current cultural trend.  Many of us, especially women, tend to have trouble unwinding or being restful, even at night. The combination of symptoms of fatigue, anxiety, and insomnia are way too common.

Our culture considers success to be a measure of how much we can get done in a day or how much money can be made.  This fast pace combined with the ups and downs of life’s stress has many people feeling wired and tired.

In Chinese medicine the inability to rest, to be still or to sleep well at night is a reflection of lack of YIN energy. YIN represents literally the shady side of the mountain, the Talent/Ashland side versus the sunny Medford side of the valley.  Our YIN represents our quiet, still, moistening, substantial, anchoring, slower side of ourselves, versus the opposite of these qualities, which is the YANG.

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