Thursday, November 1, 2018

Discovering TCM

My friend has been interested in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for a number of years, and she's been telling me about various seminars and books; however, I haven't had any exposure to it myself, aside from going to a couple of acupuncture sessions in 2015. I thought these sessions did make a difference with my tension and stress, but I wasn't sold on the practitioner, so I stopped going and didn't bother to find another one. When my friend and I were at Grail Springs, we chatted more about TCM, and I thought it would be a good time to learn more about it with my newfound freedom. We went to a session tonight at the Ontario College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and it was so interesting and informative!

The session was on How to Thrive in Winter with Traditional Chinese Medicine, and the information presented made a lot of sense to me. The speaker, Aline Yon, encouraged us to think of some takeaways from the presentation that we plan to implement. I really like taking lessons from different disciplines to apply in my own life, so here are the tips I plan to try this winter:

1. Eat more black beans, try cooking millet, and look into recipes that use endive. I already eat a lot of the recommended winter foods (onions, garlic, celery, chicken, seaweed, salt, camomile tea, etc.), but there were three that really caught my attention. I love black beans but don't often cook them, I've never made millet, and I'm curious about recipes that incorporate cooked endive (another tip was to avoid eating raw foods, like salads and smoothies in the winter).

2. Work on getting back to a bedtime of 11pm, or earlier if possible. I used to be good about going to bed at 10pm, but I've fallen off of that with my new routine. I now sleep at around 1am, which is way too late, since I've espoused the benefits of being asleep during the hours of 10pm and 2am.

3. Incorporate yoga practice at least two times per week, give meditation another try, and learn more about qigong. Another item I've essentially stopped doing is strength training, and I would love to get back into doing yoga. I've talked about this a lot--now I just have to do it. I'd also like to look into meditation and qigong, as many sources recommend these tools to develop mindfulness.

4. Try wearing socks at home. Today, I learned the importance of keeping our feet warm in the winter and not walking barefoot on tile. I am not a fan of wearing anything on my feet at home, but that means my feet are often cold. I'm going to try to get used to wearing thick, warm socks in the condo.

Those were the items that the talk inspired me to try! I'd also like to look into TCM more and read a couple introductory books that were recommended at the talk. In case you're interested, the recommended books are:
- The Web That Has No Weaver: Understanding Chinese Medicine by Ted J. Kaptchuk
- Between Heaven and Earth: A Guide to Chinese Medicine by Harriet Beinfield and Efrem Korngold

The speaker also referenced The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Medicine: A New Translation of the Neijing Suwen with Commentary by Maoshing Ni, which seems more esoteric but still interesting. Also, I know it's not winter yet, but it's 11pm, and I'm a keener, so that means it's time for bed. :)

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