It’s here, the time of year when kids run home from school sniffling and everyone in your office is reaching for the tissue box. In eastern medicine we believe that catching a cold is a sign that your body’s qi is weakened. If steps are taken to keep your qi vital, you will not get sick even if you are exposed to bacteria and viruses. Below are 5 practical ways to protect yourself and your family from many of the pathogens in the environment.
Today inflammation has become a buzz word in our sedentary, stressed out lives thanks to its relationship to heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes and autoimmune conditions. However, there is another, lesser-known process called methylation that is linked to the body’s ability to deal with inflammation. Problems with methylation, either over or under, are implicated in various kinds of illnesses. Without getting too technical, methylation is a complex biochemical process that involves many of our body’s functions including: detoxification, antioxidant recycling, immune regulation, and our stress response.
Throughout human history, gemstones have served as symbols of health, wealth, and the sacred. In the ancient world the 12 tribes of Israel were represented by 12 corresponding precious stones placed in the breast plate of the corresponding tribal high priests. In Revelations, John’s visions of the 12 foundations of a New Jerusalem – or sacred city – rest on layers of jasper, sapphire, chalcedony, emerald, sardonyx, sardius, chrysolyte, beryl, topaz, chrysoprasus, jacinth, and amethyst; and the power of stones were attributed to the power of God. The Romans carried cut stones to ward off sickness and bad luck. The Egyptians polished and hammered stones into scarabs, symbols of creation and wore amulets made of amethyst, hematite, jasper, carnelian, and lapis lazuli.
My father is Italian, born and raised on a beautiful farm in the south of Italy. As a child we would travel there annually to visit with my extended family. As an American girl I was uncomfortable with the lifestyle in Italy and can recall it feeling dirty. I was especially afraid to eat some of the food. It was so different than what we ate in America. Our food looked perfect and came in sterile packages. In Italy it had bug bites and all parts of the animals were served as food or utilized in some aspect of life such as the fat of pigs being used as soap. As I grew older, I realized that it was the American lifestyle as I knew it that was dirty and the Italian agricultural lifestyle was pure. Eastern medicine shares many of the values that my Italian family practiced. Unfortunately, many of those values are being lost globally today and humanity is experiencing the affects. Below I have outlined some reasonable measures we can take to integrate practices and values that promote community, health, spirituality, a sense of peace, and, above all love.