Spring It on!

Greetings!

Spring is a magical time of year, as Mother Nature begins to awaken, the earth warms, and blossoms unfold toward the sun. Nature makes it appear so effortless, but for people the transition seems a bit less elegant from one season to the next, especially from winter to spring. More often we find ourselves feeling heavy and sluggish, like a grumpy grizzly bear reluctantly coming out of hibernation. We have included some tips to help make the shift a little easier. 

 

Eating for Spring

Traditional Chinese medicine is based on the principle that we are all an inherent part of nature. Eating locally according to the seasons keeps us in sync with the natural ebb and flow of the world. Because when seasons change, so do we. Spring is the natural time for growth and regeneration. Now that spring is upon us try to consume foods that help you transition naturally into this season:

 

  • Leafy green vegetables (chard, spinach, kale, mustard greens, bok choi)
  • Young plants such as asparagus, pea shoots and chives
  • Sprouted beans and grains (alfalfa, clover, mung bean sprouts, wheat grass)
  • Flavorful herbs like rosemary, dill, and basil
  • Light teas: green, rosebud or chrysanthemum

 

These foods are filled with the energy of spring and particularly useful as we enter this season. The best ways to enjoy these foods is to lightly steam or saut´┐Ż this helps to preserve the nutrients and makes them easier to digest.

 

It is also best to avoid heavy foods during spring, they tend to bring the body into an inactive, sluggish state.

 

 

Farmers Markets & Organic Gardening  

 

The best and easiest way to eat locally with the seasons is to visit your local farmers market. To find a farmer's market near you, visit  www.localharvest.org , and enjoy the bounty of spring!

 

If you prefer a more hands on approach, March is the time to plant bare-root plants and many garden perennials.  There are many vegetables that can be directly sown now including chard, spinach, onions, peas, dill, parsley, turnips, radishes and broccoli.  Lettuces and other greens can be directly sown toward the end of this month.  Our favorite place to buy organic and heirloom vegetable seeds is Kenyon Organics. They are based in Salt Lake and have an amazing selection  http://www.etsy.com/shop/kenyonorganics 
Beat seasonal allergies 

Now is the time of year to get out in front of your seasonal allergies.  Before the air is thick with pollen, begin to build your immunity. Here are 3 safe & natural ways that won't leave you with the drowsy feeling that comes with over the counter remedies.

 

  • HONEY - Eat locally collected, unpasteurized, unfiltered honey. Studies have shown that by daily eating 1-2 tablespoons of local honey before and during allergy season will greatly reduce your allergy symptoms to local flowering plants. By ingesting these pollens regularly, your body becomes accustomed to them, and when the same pollens are present in the air, your body does not react as though they were foreign bodies. A great place to find local honey is at Farnsworth Farms
  • NETI POT - Nasal irrigation is an ancient technique that has been used in the yogic and Ayurvedic traditions for generations. In the past few years, the Neti Pot has gained tremendous popularity in our Western world and can be purchased at most local drugstores.   Research has demonstrated that nasal irrigation is a safe and effective way to flush away allergens and sinus mucus.
  • ACUPUNCTURE - Acupuncture is a great way to both treat symptoms of seasonal allergies, stuffiness, headache, itchy eyes, etc. and bring the body into balance so that you don't suffer seasonal allergies in the future.  When the body is in balance, symptoms disappear and health is restored. The main benefit of acupuncture is bringing a person into balance so that the body may heal itself. 
Yoga Seasonally 

According to the Chinese Five Element theory, our bodies are made up of the same five primary elements that exist in nature, Wood, Fire, Metal, Earth and Water. Each element relates to a different organ, and will affect us physically and psychologically. The wood element is strongest in the spring time which correlates to the liver and gallbladder, so stimulating the meridians or energy channels of the liver and gallbladder will bring balance to these organs.

 
  Traditional yoga poses are based on bringing energy (chi or prana) to the meridian channels located through-out the body. Some spring time Yoga poses will help bring balance to your body and life during the shifting season.

  In Light on Yoga by BKS Iyengar, poses to tonify Liver and Gall Bladder include inversions, back bends, twists and forward bends. Yoga poses like paschimottanasana(seated forward bend) salabhasana(locust pose) and bhujangasana (cobra posa) can tone the liver and gall bladder.

 

 

POSH-ee-moh-tan-AHS-anna 
Step by Step

 

  1.   Sit on the floor with your buttocks supported on a folded blanket and your legs straight in front of you. Press actively through your heels. Rock slightly onto your left buttock, and pull your right sitting bone away from the heel with your right hand. Repeat on the other side. Turn the top thighs in slightly and press them down into the floor. Press through your palms or finger tips on the floor beside your hips and lift the top of the sternum toward the ceiling as the top thighs descend.
  2.   Draw the inner groins deep into the pelvis. Inhale, and keeping the front torso long, lean forward from the hip joints, not the waist. Lengthen the tailbone away from the back of your pelvis. If possible take the sides of the feet with your hands, thumbs on the soles, elbows fully extended; if this isn't possible, loop a strap around the foot soles, and hold the strap firmly. Be sure your elbows are straight, not bent.
  3.   When you are ready to go further, don't forcefully pull yourself into the forward bend, whether your hands are on the feet or holding the strap. Always lengthen the front torso into the pose, keeping your head raised. If you are holding the feet, bend the elbows out to the sides and lift them away from the floor; if holding the strap, lighten your grip and walk the hands forward, keeping the arms long. The lower belly should touch the thighs first, then the upper belly, then the ribs, and the head last.
  4.   With each inhalation, lift and lengthen the front torso just slightly; with each exhalation release a little more fully into the forward bend. In this way the torso oscillates and lengthens almost imperceptibly with the breath. Eventually you may be able to stretch the arms out beyond the feet on the floor.
  5.   Stay in the pose anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes. To come up, first lift the torso away from the thighs and straighten the elbows again if they are bent. Then inhale and lift the torso up by pulling the tailbone down and into the pelvis.

 

Sha-la-BAHS-anna  

 

Step by Step

  1.   For this pose you might want to pad the floor below your pelvis and ribs with a folded blanket. Lie on your belly with your arms along the sides of your torso, palms up, forehead resting on the floor. Turn your big toes toward each other to inwardly rotate your thighs, and firm your buttocks so your coccyx presses toward your pubis.
  2.   Exhale and lift your head, upper torso, arms, and legs away from the floor. You'll be resting on your lower ribs, belly, and front pelvis. Firm your buttocks and reach strongly through your legs, first through the heels to lengthen the back legs, then through the bases of the big toes. Keep the big toes turned toward each other.
  3.   Raise your arms parallel to the floor and stretch back actively through your fingertips. Imagine there's a weight pressing down on the backs of the upper arms, and push up toward the ceiling against this resistance. Press your scapulas firmly into your back.
  4.   Gaze forward or slightly upward, being careful not to jut your chin forward and crunch the back of your neck. Keep the base of the skull lifted and the back of the neck long.
  5.   Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then release with an exhalation. Take a few breaths and repeat 1 or 2 times more if you like.

 

 Boo-jang-GAHS-anna

Step by Step

  1.   Lie prone on the floor. Stretch your legs back, tops of the feet on the floor. Spread your hands on the floor under your shoulders. Hug the elbows back into your body.
  2.   Press the tops of the feet and thighs and the pubis firmly into the floor.
  3.   On an inhalation, begin to straighten the arms to lift the chest off the floor, going only to the height at which you can maintain a connection through your pubis to your legs. Press the tailbone toward the pubis and lift the pubis toward the navel. Narrow the hip points. Firm but don't harden the buttocks.
  4.   Firm the shoulder blades against the back, puffing the side ribs forward. Lift through the top of the sternum but avoid pushing the front ribs forward, which only hardens the lower back. Distribute the backbend evenly throughout the entire spine.
  5.   Hold the pose anywhere from 15 to 30 seconds, breathing easily. Release back to the floor with an exhalation.
Neighborhood Acupuncture and Healing Arts
~Healthy Living from the inside out~

12582 South Fort Street, Draper, Utah 84020
801-662-8610 www.naahac.com
info@naahac.com
In This Issue
Eating for Spring
Beat Seasonal Allergies
Yoga for Spring
Spring into Health
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Neighborhood Acupuncture and Healing Arts
12582 South Fort Street
Draper, Utah 84020
www.naahac.com
801-662-8610
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