Living With the Season: Summer

Hi Friends!

Oh summer. The hours of sunlight are lengthening and the temperatures are rising. It’s the perfect time to check in with your daily habits and lifestyle to see if you are adjusting for these changes. Just like everything in nature needs to adjust to the season, so do we.

“In the three months of summer there is an abundance of sunshine and rain. The heavenly energy descends and the earthly energy rises. When these energies merge there is intercourse between heaven and earth. As a result plants mature and animals, flowers, and fruit appear abundantly.”

0075_ The Yellow Emperors

According to the Yellow Emperor, now is the time to:

  • Go to bed somewhat later (compared to the Spring Season), while still getting up early.
  • Refrain from anger.
  • It’s important to be happy and easy going and not hold grudges so the energy can flow freely and communicate between the external and internal.
  • Stay physically active to prevent the pores from closing and the qi from stagnating.
  • One should not overindulge in sex, although one can indulge a bit more than in other seasons.

These things will help prevent illnesses in the fall.

orange lily

Photo Credit: Amanda Sengbusch

“The transformation of yin and yang in the four seasons is the basis of the growth and the destruction of life. The sages were able to cultivate the yang energy in the spring and summer and conserve the yin energy in autumn and winter. By following the universal order, growth can occur naturally. If this natural order is disregarded, the root of one’s life will be damaged and one’s true energy will wane.

Therefore, the change of yin and yang through the four seasons is the root of life, growth, reproduction, aging, and destruction. By respecting this natural law it is possible to be free from illness. The sages have followed this, and the foolish people have not.” 

I really appreciate the awareness to realize we are part of nature and nature is a part of us. Therefore, we need to live our lives accordingly. Our bodies are able to withstand all sorts of stress and imbalances, but imagine if you just chose one thing to focus on this summer to better live with the season. I would be very interested to see your observations about the quality of your life.

With faith, hope, and love,

Emily Kappelman

When God Winks at You Book

My Bookshelf: When God Winks At You

Hi Friend.

What a time in history this is. Whether you’re one to watch all the footage, news reports, and media, or one who consciously takes in what you’re able to handle to better serve the community, I’m with you. Being aware of what is going on in the world and all of our history is so important. Know better, do better- in all areas of life.

The most important thing I feel I can “do” is pray. Pray for the victims. Pray for the victims’ family and friends. Pray for the community. Pray for the attackers and aggressors. Pray for the system. Pray for all those in power and in charge. Pray for the betrayed. Pray for the powerless. Pray for good, positive change. Pray for the world.

The more I’ve learned about the power of prayer, the more I know prayer to be the best thing to do. Yes, of course, there are other actions and steps that need to be taken. But prayer is always a wonderful start.

This book helps illustrate the power of prayer. It’s no secret I love feel good books, movies, and tv shows. Life can be difficult enough on it’s own, so it’s nice to be reminded of all the good in the world. This book, When God Winks at You by SQuire Rushnell is just that. It consists of many people’s own personal godwinks. What is a godwink you ask?

Godwink quote by SQuire Rushnell

When God Winks at You, p.3

I love this. The more life experience I gain and the more I learn about quantum physics, the less I believe in coincidences. I know there to be a Creator, God, and as pointed out in this book, “you’re always on His GPS- a global positioning system I like to call God’s Positional System” (p.4).

The following includes some of the quotes that stuck out to me, with a little elaboration by yours truly. 🙂

GODWINK LINKS

“God uses others as unwitting messengers of godwinks to each of us. In fact, we all become deliverers of goodness to others without the slightest clue that God is using us that way” (p.15).

  • What a beautiful image. We all have served and will continue to serve as godwinks for others. In ways we are completely unaware of. This is so magical. Imagine if we could one day see all the amazing godwinks we received and were a part of! Wow. I think we would be overcome with awe.

“Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” James 1:2-3 NKJV

  • Ugh… this verse. Yes, on the outside this makes sense and it truly is amazing when you get to the point of counting your trials as joys because you are able to see the growth, bigger picture, and understand you’re developing all sorts of amazing qualities (patience and humility are the big ones that come to my mind). But my dear friend, it can be SO DIFFICULT to get to this spot. I truly don’t know how people could get to this point without believing in a higher power. Regardless of where you are, give yourself some grace for whatever stage you’re at. And I pray, one day you too will count your trials as joys.

 

IMG_9345

CATCHING HOPE

“Hope is a powerful force in life. It’s like going into the kitchen, turning on the faucet, and being surprised by the water pressure. You almost jump back, giddy that there’s so much energy pouring out. Your hope is stored up inside and wants to burst out of you the same way. You need to turn on the faucet of your faith and then feel the surge of hope that springs forth. If you are fully hopeful, you’ll cause other people around you to almost jump, happily splashed with your enthusiasm. Reinforced by the wonderful godwinks that happen to you, hope is contagious. Go ahead. Spread it around!” (p. 45-46).

  • What do you think of this? Some days I would feel there was no hope in my pipes to come gushing forward. But what this quote points out is that, “you need to turn on the faucet and then feel the surge of hope that springs forth.” If you have faith, it will lead to hope. But you also have to allow yourself to be hopeful. Sometimes we may need to be in the dark area of no/ limited hope, to process things. But I pray you don’t stay there for long. Hopelessness is a terrible place to be.

 

  • What’s really helpful is hope is contagious. And I would encourage you, once you’ve allowed yourself the time and space to process whatever you need (being hopeless), start the journey towards hope again.
    • One of my favorite ways to do this is to reverse the hopeless comments/ sentences that you’re saying/ thinking…
      • “what if it doesn’t work” to “what if it DOES work!?”
      • Continue stating the reverse of the hopeless sentences, preferably out loud and see how much better and lighter, and hopeful you feel!

“Deep within you… nothing is hopeless. You are a child of God, and hope has been planted in you by God.” – Norman Vincent Peale (p.47)

  • Another wonderful image. While we may go through stages of our life with more or less hope, it’s always there. It’s in our human make up.
June Flower

Photo Credit: Amanda Sengbusch

TRANSITIONS

“At times of transitions in your life, you seem out of sorts- lost” (p.59).

  • Amen! I realized a few years ago that I can have a hard time in the transitions. Meaning, whatever I’m doing in the moment I want to continue doing. If I’m watching episode after episode on Netflix, I want to continue. If I’m having a great day at work, I feel I could just keep going. etc.
  • Whether it’s the daily transitions from home to work, rest to activity, eating to not eating :), or bigger transitions of a life path… transitions can be hard!
  • If you feel out of sorts during transitions, I really appreciate Brendon Burchard’s recommendations.
    • During the daily transitions:
      • MOVE
        • stand up, get some water, stretch, and take some deep belly breaths.
      • OBSERVE
        • make a mental observation of what you just completed.
        • what are your wins?
      • INTENTION
        • state your intention for this next part of your day.
      • ACTION
        • Do it!
    • During the bigger, life transitions:
      • REFLECT
        • JOURNAL- you’d be surprised how you write things differently than you may think them. Journaling often clues me into how I really feel about things or provides points I didn’t think of previously.
        • MEDITATE- in times of stillness and quiet, we are better able to receive (guidance, ideas, godwinks, intuition, etc).
      • TALK IT OUT
        • confide in a counselor, therapist, family, or friend.
      • WALK OUTSIDE
        • I believe connecting yourself to nature really helps open the line between you and your intuition.
      • SLEEP
        • Never underestimate the power of sleep! It can make or break your day. Far too many of us have trained ourselves to function on less than 7 hours of sleep a night. But friend, if you’re not sleeping 7-9 hours of sleep every night, there are objective detrimental effects occurring in your body. (If you’re a parent to a young child, you get a pass… because life! But really try to incorporate other periods of rest in you day!)
      • NOURISH
        • Eat plenty of good food and drink half of your body weight in ounces of water each day. I know, I know. This is always my suggestion, but we are what we digest. And what we eat and digest makes up our being, which contributes to how we feel, which will manifest in how we think and what we do.

“Perhaps you are more sensitive, more attuned to God’s messages at those moments” (p.63).

  • Moments when we are out of sorts may provide an interesting time to be more sensitive and more aware to God’s messages and our own feelings.
  • This would be an example of when your trials can turn into your joys. You may be out of sorts during a transition, but due to this, you are more attuned to God’s messages and possibly more in tune with yourself. Which is truly amazing.
When God Winks at You Book

Photo Credit: Amanda Sengbusch

Well friends, those are some of my favorite quotes from When God Winks at You.

I would love to know your thoughts about godwinks.

What are some of the godwinks you’ve experienced?

With faith, hope, and love,

Emily Kappelman 

Acupuncture needles on round lid

Turning the Tables

Hi friend!

A common question I received when I was going through acupuncture school was if I’ve had acupuncture before. While some people began acupuncture school prior to having their first treatment, I’ve had countless acupuncture treatments before school. While every treatment is a different experience, I want to share one that I’ve never forgotten. This treatment took place while I was in my second year at North Western Health Sciences University.

Acupuncture needles on round lid

Photo Credit: Amanda Sengbusch

 

I began having some eye issues. After a while, I went to the eye doctor to ensure everything physically was okay. I was told all was fine and that my issue may be a form of a migraine- since I was also experiencing headaches and nausea. Also, I have naturally larger pupils that my be contributing to the blurriness and halos at night. They gave me some drops to try to help and sent me on my way. Now, I completely own up to not using the eye drops regularly, but the eye issue continued.

I made an initial acupuncture appointment with one of my instructors at his acupuncture clinic. This treatment was unlike any other. To start, his initial intake was super quick. He was able to read so much from feeling my radial pulse and looking at my tongue. Granted, this was what we were going to school for, but to see it in practice and see just how much you can tell from the pulse and tongue, was so amazing!

He asked me a few questions and after just a couple minutes of talking, I hopped up on the table and tried to relax. You’d think I’d be super calm when getting an acupuncture treatment, especially when I was currently going to school for it!… But this was not the case. I usually would have sensations of a cold sweat and minor shakes… but I was able to relax once the needles were inserted. I felt de qi with each needle (de qi– is a dull ache sensation- which is a good thing- this means the qi has been activated:)). He then sat at the head of the table and got ready to do the acupuncture point Urinary Bladder 1 (UB1). This point is at the medial side of the inner canthus of the eye. If you rub your eye from the outside inward to your nose, where your finger lands is essentially UB1. So I held my eyes shut and tried not to think so much about needles being threaded so close to my eyes. (The saying, “stick a needle in your eye” never seemed so true!) I do want to be sure to say though, he did NOT stick the needle in my eye, this point is just quite close to the eye and super effective for a variety of issues.

He then made sure I was comfortable and let me rest. During the time resting it was relaxing and nice. For a while there I actually felt like the table was rocking back and forth in a figure eight pattern. I felt like I was on a boat. It wasn’t bad, it was just unlike any other treatment I’ve experienced.

During the second part of the treatment, he did cupping on my upper back. The suction of the cups were intense but relaxing. If you haven’t experienced cupping, I’d definitely recommend it (and you can read more about different acupuncture modalities in my post about Traditional Chinese Medicine Terms). It’s a wonderful way to relax your muscles and relieve pain, along with many other benefits.

We continued with bi- monthly treatments and herbs for a couple months and my eye issue decreased and I haven’t had it since!

Comparison of acupuncture needles to sewing needles

Photo Credit: Amanda Sengbusch

Every acupuncture treatment is different, from what the person is coming in for, to the practitioner, to what the patient experiences. Most times it’s nice and relaxing but other times it’s a little more intense. Now being out of school and practicing for five years, hearing what patients experience during the treatments is one of my favorite things! Sometimes people don’t notice much, sometimes they notice all sorts of things. 

Whatever the patient notices, I can say, it’s completely worth it!

If you’re interested in experiencing all the amazing benefits of acupuncture, feel free to contact Feel Good Clinics in West Des Moines, or check out my blog post, How to Find a Licensed Acupuncturist to search for a licensed acupuncturist near you!

With faith, hope, and love,

Emily Kappelman 

Lemon; Lemon Essential Oil

Recommendations for Spring Health

Hello Friend!

It’s mid may and it sure is looking and feeling like spring. The trees and flowers are budding (all on their own time), the weather goes from 40 degrees and rainy to 70 degrees and sunny (that’s a big change for our bodies to handle!), and we have more daylight hours! Such a wonderful transition from the winter. As mentioned in Oh What A Spring about living with the season of spring, while winter was a time of yin, spring begins the shift to yang.

The properties of the Yin Yang Theory are:

  • While they oppose each other, they also support one another.
  • Neither can exist without the other.
  • They are infinitely divisible in each other.
  • They are dynamic.

These principles are visible in our every day world: in nature, in our own bodies, and even in the emotions, feelings, and experiences of life. This is nicely explained in chapter four of Between Heaven and Earth by Harriet Beinfield and Efrem Korngold… (which I plan to blog about in the near future :)).

Between Heaven and Earth Book; Bird Image

Photo Credit: Amanda Sengbusch

Specific Examples of Yin & Yang: 

Yin: cold, dark, female, hard, heavy, hidden, midnight, moon, still, water (element), winter

Yang: hot, light, male, soft, light (mass), revealed, midday, sun, movement, fire (element), summer

With it being in full swing of spring, we need to ensure we are living with the season, and not in opposition to it. We are moving from yin within yin (winter) to yin within yang (spring).

Something I truly appreciate about Traditional Chinese Medicine is the theory… behind everything. Really, you look outside, and there are the elements and principles which one may find the patterns of your own health and wellbeing. While it takes years of studying to master, the medicine itself is intuitive once you know it.

Spring= Wood= Wind=Liver/ Gallbladder= Green= Anger= Eyes= Tendons

So, friend, spring is the perfect time to help support your Liver health.

The Liver is in charge of free flow of Qi (chee) throughout your body. As explained in Between Heaven and Earth, “The Liver Network is to monitor flow, maintaining evenness of emotions and clarity of judgment, giving grace and flexibility to the physical and mental body.” As you could imagine, if your Liver Qi is imbalanced, all sorts of issues may occur. That being said, living in modern America, it’s very common to have an imbalance of Liver Qi due to our busy, hectic, constantly moving lifestyles.

Some ways to help smooth your Liver Qi:

  •  Breath
    • Honestly, everything could be improved upon with breathing!
    • When you do slow, deep, belly out, inhalations you are allowing your lungs to expand fully since you’re helping your diaphragm move the way it’s intended.
    • The Liver can easily get tight and tense. And the Liver Qi, as is all Qi in the body, is impacted by the breath. The breath fuels our lungs with the oxygen it needs to keep us alive. When our body has the oxygen it needs, it will be less tense and more relaxed.
  • Drink your water!
    • Oh water. Something that is so healing and nourishing, yet so many people seem to forget all the amazing benefits of simply drinking water.
    • Basically we’re about 70% water, so we need water to survive and thrive.
    • The Liver will benefit from ample water intake due to having enough hydration in the body to ensure proper flow of fluids, lubrication of joints, flushing of the system, and plump organs.
  • Dry Skin Brushing
    • This is a wonderful method to help the lymphatic system of the body.* When you help the lymphatic system, you also assist the Qi in moving more smoothly throughout the body. When you help the overall Qi of the body move smoothly, you help the Liver.
    • You can purchase a Dry Skin Brush at most local health stores or online for $10-20.
    • You want to dry skin brush only on completely dry, closed skin.* Before you bathe is usually most ideal. It’s also recommended to dry skin brush in the tub, to catch any dead skin that may flake off.. I know I know… sounds lovely, but it feels wonderful!
      • Be sure to start at the hands and feet and work towards the heart.
      • For your stomach, back, and armpits brush in a circular clockwise motion.
      • You can do anywhere from 5-15 passes on each section.
      • Use enough pressure to feel it, but don’t rub your skin raw… that’s NOT the goal. It should feel almost like a good itch. Be sure to go gentler on more sensitive areas.
      • Continue with your shower and moisturize appropriately.
      • Repeat every few days to every day, depending on your need.
      • Even if you only remember once a week… do it! Once a week is better than not doing it at all.
    • *People with open or inflamed should avoid dry skin brushing. Never dry skin brush over burns, rashes, infections, open wounds, etc. Always consult with your health care practitioner before adding this into your routine.
  • Lemons
    • Lemons have amazing benefits for overall health and wellbeing.
    • Lemons can help your body with it’s natural detoxing abilities. And when you think of detoxing, you think of the function of the liver.
    • You can use the food (a slice), the juice (~1tsp), or the essential oil (1 drop)* per glass of room temperature water.
  • Massage
    • When you move your body, you help the Qi move.
    • Passive movements of your body (as in when someone else is doing the moving for your body) provide wonderful benefits to unblocking stagnation within the body and helping to open up the channels.
    • Plus it feels amazing!
  • Mindset/ Prayers/ Reflection/ Appreciation
    • Yes, mindset/ prayers/ reflections/ having appreciation can help your Liver Qi!
    • The thoughts you think create your feelings and emotions.
    • When the Liver is imbalanced, the emotion you may be feeling more of is anger, irritability, rage, and/ or depression.
    • When you can take stock of your thoughts, you can observe what you’re thinking and how you’re feeling. From there you can shift your thought to more accurate thinking or more positive thinking- whichever is better suited for you.
    • Traditional Chinese Medicine realizes that emotional issues can cause physical issues and physical issues can cause emotional issues.
    • So when you take your thoughts and emotions into account, you can change your physical health, and improve your Liver Qi.
  •  Move & Stretch
    • The Liver governs the tendons, so the health of your tendons are a reflection of your Liver Qi.
    • When you move and stretch, you strengthen, lengthen, and nourish the tendons. This will help balance the Liver Qi.
    • Moving/ exercising/ having an active lifestyle will help ensure your Liver Qi is flowing smoothly.
    • When you are stationary, your Liver Qi can easily get stagnant.
    • Human beings were made to move.
    • Move your body = move your Liver Qi!
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine
    • Acupuncture
      • When you insert needles into the body, it creates a micro-trauma. This micro-trauma signals to the brain to increase it’s healing mechanisms.
      • Acupuncture helps the body heal itself.
      • When utilizing needles/ laser/ pressure, a licensed acupuncturist can help direct the flow of Qi in the body.
      • If your Liver Qi is imbalanced, your practitioner can help detect this and perform the proper treatment.
    • Herbs
      • Taking herbs is like having a daily treatment specifically to your needs and patterns.
      • Herbal formulas are wonderfully balanced in their ability to help regulate the energy of the body and bring the body back to homeostasis.
      • Herbal formulas should only be prescribed by a qualified herbalist.
    • Check out FeelGoodClinics.com to schedule.
    • Check out my blog post to find a licensed acupuncturist near you!
Needles on Wood

Photo Credit: Amanda Sengbusch

Those are my top suggestions to help balance your Liver Qi. I suggest adding one thing at a time to see how it works for you and to establish more of a routine, but feel free to do what you need.

I hope this offers some support to your health during the season of spring!

With faith, hope, and love,

Emily Kappelman 

*The suggested uses in the above post apply only to the use of therapeutic grade, Young Living Essential Oils. Not all essential oils are the same! Be sure to consult with the product label or healthcare practitioner for correct usage of essential oils. 

Reliving My Trip to China

Prince Gong's Mansion

Prince Gong’s Mansion

In my second year in grad school I had the amazing opportunity to travel to China for a school trip. We were in China mid April to early May. This was the first time I traveled overseas and I remember never being so sore from just sitting! It was nice to get to watch many movies but for someone who needs to move regularly (to move my Liver Qi)… the flight to and from China was intense!

The moment we landed I think we all felt like we were on another planet. The air was a yellowish smog color and we apparently landed in a section of the airport going under construction, so it was vacant and it felt very eerie.

I kept a journal during these 3 weeks so I will provide some insight to where we went, what we learned about in the hospital, cultural lessons, random happenings, and some of my thoughts. Journal entries are bulleted:

  • It’s already an overwhelming experience.
  • I feel completely out of it.
  • After a nights sleep I feel a lot better and ready to take on Beijing!

BEIJING

Prince Gong’s Mansion

  • Buildings have a step at the doorway where you have to step over it, with your right foot, to ensure you keep the devils out!
  • One building would have been stocked full with 4,000 tons of gold!
Prince Gong's Mansion

Prince Gong’s Mansion

 

Prince Gong's Mansion Ceiling

Prince Gong’s Mansion Ceiling

National Theater

  • Huge dome building with a moat around it.
National Theater with Tao

National Theater with Tao, quite windy!

Forbidden City

  • Amazing… hard to grasp all the history it’s seen.
  • Crazy busy.
  • People taking pictures of us and with us.
The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City

IMG_3681

Bei Hai Park

  • Gorgeous area with willow trees lining the lake, such beautiful flowers.
  • Music and dancing! We had a blast.
  • I almost got ran over by a little vehicle.

The Great Wall

  • I forgot to count the steps!
  • Jenna and I did a handstand at the top of the Great Wall.
  • A classmate brought her hula hoop so we all hula hooped. 🙂
  • It was basically a big party on the Great Wall.
The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China

IMG_3749

Lock of Love on The Great Wall of China

Lock of Love on The Great Wall of China

The Jade Factory

The Jade Factory

Pretty Trees at a Tao Temple Beijing, China

Pretty Trees at a Tao Temple Beijing, China

IMG_3861

The Silk Factory

  • It was so awesome to see the silk worms and the process. The silk feels like clouds.
The Silk Factory

The Silk Factory

The Market

  • Wow, needed some warning for that… You had to bargain for everything. They totally crowd you. It was intense. But I got some good purchases.

The Temple of Heaven

The Temple of Heaven

The Temple of Heaven

TIANJIN

First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine 

Topics we learned about in lecture and in the hospital- in and out patient:

  • Wen Jing Decoction “Warm Menses Decoction”
  • Treatment of stroke: They will treat inpatients two times a day for stroke with great results.
  • Depression
  • Pediatric Tui Na
  • Knee Osteoarthritis “Xi Bi”
  • Skin Diseases: acne, herpes zoster, verruca plana  (HPV), alopecia, psoriasis, vitiligo, eczema
  • Fire needling… it’s as it sounds!
  • Scoliosis
  • Prolapsed lumbar disc
  • Muscle meridians
  • Back pain
  • Orthopedic care
  • Herbal treatments: topical patches, treatment tables with venting areas for herbs under the table to vent up to treat the patient
  • Lung cancer
Entering the Hospital

Entering the Hospital

Cultural Lessons

  • The traditional four closed courtyard is where people live. The north side (facing south) is water and where the elders live. The east side is wood and where the son lives, to grow big and strong, wealthy, and to eventually leave. The west side is metal and where the daughter lives, to stay and have wealth but to get married. The south is fire and no one lives there since fire ruins things, but guests may stay there. The courtyard is earth and where they have apricot and pear trees, a pond and a bucket of fish.
  • When taking photos, the peace sign is a very common sign. It represents “victory.” If you do a thumbs up, that means “great.”
  • Beer is a staple at every meal.
  • People sit in the front seats of the cab even if they’re by themselves.
  • The fashion is either really trendy or really interesting. 🙂
  • People spit and pass gas whenever they feel like it.
  • When an American is introduced to a Chinese person, they say their American name first. But we always asked for their birth name. 🙂
  • When they present you with a little shot glass size of alcohol at the beginning of the meal… this is NOT A SHOT. You’re supposed to sip it with the food. Our teacher/ supervisor was a little surprised we all took it as a shot. Ha!
Tianjin Food Market

Tianjin Food Market

Beijing Olympics Building

Beijing Olympics Building

Random happenings

  • The first day, after we exchanged money we went to a little shop to buy water and a little boy at the store hugged my leg, he kept hugging me, so cute and random. It lifted my spirits.
  • A man grabbed a friend’s boob as we were walking.
  • Bikers don’t wear helmets or have lights on at night.
  • It took forever for us to find a cab in one situation. One man in a suit said he could take us in his unmarked taxi… yeah no.
  • I ate a scorpion- crunchy, crispy, salty… not bad!
  • After our first week in Tianjin it was the Tianjin Parade! We were in the parade, we were gifted sweatshirts to wear and given blow up angry birds mallets. We were a little confused but did as we were told.
Tianjin Parade

Tianjin Parade

Tianjin Parade

Tianjin Parade

  • We visited Bei Men Hospital, they presented us with a presentation and then a performance. Like a legit performance: dancers, singers, acrobats, gymnasts- very talented.
Bei Men Hospital Performance

Bei Men Hospital Performance

IMG_4357

  • Observing in the clinic, there was a tv crew following us around talking pictures and videos. I was photographed cupping a patient (yes, my parents have a copy of the newspaper clipping hanging up at home :)) Due to Kate and I having the lightest colored hair, we were interviewed and our Chinese buddy, Maria interpreted for us. We were on the local station that night.
  • One of our free days we tried to get lunch at a restaurant. They sat us in the corner and ignored us. Eventually we left.
  • 85 degree Celsius bakery is delish! It was a common stopping place, maybe even two times in a day. The bakers began to expect us.
85 Degree Celsius Bakery

85 Degree Celsius Bakery

  • Night cruise on a river that runs through Tianjin. It used to have cargos that would sail on it. It has 72 curves in the river!
Tianjin River Boat Ride

Tianjin River Boat Ride

  • Learned how to test if pearls are real.
Pearls

Give me all the pearls 🙂

  • One of our last days we went out to a couple bars and clubs. Dancing in a foreign country with people from literally all over the world to cultural music was seriously my happy place!

My thoughts: 

  • This food is amazing.
Breakfast in Beijing

Breakfast in Beijing

Amazing Chinese Food

Amazing Chinese Food

Hai Di Lao Hot Pot

Hai Di Lao Hot Pot

Delicious Chinese Food

Delicious Chinese Food

Colorful Chinese Food

Tao ordered this soup for the group to help keep us healthy. Tasted like an egg drop chicken noodle soup… delicious and nutritious!

  • I constantly feel people staring and taking pictures.
  • It’s weird not having any idea what people are saying.
  • The city is really pretty at night.
  • It’s cool learning about all their history and reasonings for things… too much to write.
  • A week in, my mom and dad called. It was so nice to hear their voices. I about teared up. They were so excited to talk, as was I! They were just making sure I was in China… haha!
  • Starbucks is our oasis: jazz music, clean, and comforting familiar drinks.
  • It’s amazing learning about Chinese Medicine in China!
Original Acupuncture Tools

Original Acupuncture Tools… No Thanks!

Herbal Department

Herbal Department

  • Never have I seen so many cars, bikes, walkers and not one accident! It’s really quite amazing.

Anyways, that’s a little taste of my experience in Beijing and Tianjin China in 2013. It was truly unforgettable and I’m so thankful for the opportunity. I truly believe the more you travel the more you get to observe humanity and all the variations of this amazing life we live.

With faith, hope, and love,

Emily Kappelman 

Baking Tea with Cup; Plant

The Meaning Behind: Being Well and Balanced

Hi Friend!

I know it sounds like a simple name but I would love to share with you why I chose Being Well and Balanced. The definitions are from Google:

Baking Tea with Cup; Plant

Photo Credit: Amanda Sengbusch

BEING: “existence, the nature or essence of a person.”

I intentionally chose “being” because in today’s society of “doing” I wanted to create a conscious awareness about “being.” There’s so much to do, there’s so much to not do, and I know it’s very easy to get overwhelmed with all the options. So I invite you to “just” be for a moment. You, “just” being, is enough. You are enough because God created you as so. He loves you, not for what you do, but for who you are because He made you in His image. This is soooo difficult for me. I’m a recovering perfectionist and I greatly associate what I DO with who I AM. So this name reminds me every day, be who are you and the rest will follow. 

WELL: “in a good or satisfactory way, in a thorough manner; in good health, free or recovered from illness; sensible, advisable.”

Sometimes I use the fanciest words I can think of, other times I appreciate the more simple words. My mission and message to empower each and every person to live their best life needs a simple, thorough, sensible word. A word everyone knows and can relate to. It’s even better that the word “well” also pertains to health, as in being in good health and free from illness. When you are well, you’re more likely to live up to your highest potential.

BALANCED: “arranged in good proportions; taking everything into account; fairly judged or presented.”

There are so many sides to every story. While there is a universal truth, many other things may be relative. This is a huge theory in Traditional Chinese Medicine, while there is yin and yang, there is also yin within yang and vice versa. And variables are always in motion and constantly changing. This makes balance a goal, but at sometimes also an illusion. A podcast with Dave & Rachel Hollis talked about how balance is an illusion because things are always changing and you most likely will never be balanced because it’s a journey. It’s not a destination. You don’t wake up one morning and go, “I’m balanced. There is nothing more for me to do.” I believe, as long as we are on this earth, we will be constantly striving for balance.

Being Well and Balanced, Blooming Tree Image

When strung all together, to me, it means:

Being your true, authentic self.

Being open to learning, improving, and growing.

Striving for your own balance, one moment at a time. 

I would love to hear your thoughts on this and also the reasons behind the names you’ve chosen for your website, company, blog!

With faith, hope, and love,

Emily Kappelman 

 

Sidewalk Chalk Art to Brighten My Day

Hi friend,

Have you been getting outside? Depending on your location, the answer can vary greatly. I’m thankful I get to take the pup out for walks. During these walks I’ve noticed an increase in sidewalk chalk art. And I’m very thankful for all the artists who take the time to color the sidewalks for us walkers, joggers, runners.

Keep up the inspiration!

With faith, hope, and love,

Emily Kappelman 

"Nothing in nature blooms all year, don't expect yourself to either" quote

Fertility Suggestions from an Acupuncturist

Hi friend!

This week is Infertility Awareness Week. Being a licensed acupuncturist, there’s so many things I want to tell my patients coming in for fertility treatments. But mostly, I just want to give them all a big hug.

There are so many things that can play into fertility health for a couple.

Acupuncture needles on blue dish

Photo Credit: Amanda Sengbusch

ACUPUNCTURE & HERBS

I’m an acupuncturist so of course I really value what acupuncture and herbs can do for the mind, body, and spirit.

It’s recommended to commit to regular acupuncture treatments (4-8 times/ month) for three full months. The benefits of acupuncture and herbs will do more than just increase fertility. Both partners are encouraged to receive acupuncture and herbal supplement for optimal results.

While we are working to regulate the female’s cycle during those first three months, it’s also recommended to abstain from trying to conceive (TTC). This allows us to treat you more effectively at all stages of your cycle.

TRACKING OVULATION

If possible, it’s also quite helpful if you’re able to chart your Basal Body Temperature (BBT). This helps us see your patterns according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and treat accordingly. You can purchase a BBT thermometer at most drug stores and online. Instructions should come with. But I also really appreciate Lisa’s podcast, Fertility Friday. It’s a podcast about all things fertility and women’s health. She has multiple episodes going into all the detail with BBT. Fertility Friday is really about empowering women to know their bodies and the signs our magnificent bodies give us! Lisa also wrote the book, The Fifth Vital Sign, which is hands down, the best book for women’s health!

An ovulation test I recommend is Fertile Focus. It’s a mini microscope that’s the size of a small lip stick that can show you when you’re about to ovulate. It’s 98% effective, about $30 on amazon, and can be reused indefinitely. And… it’s inconspicuous, so if you’re traveling, it’s very discreet.

Keep in mind, while some people want to change up and incorporate everything all at once, most people may do better with one change at a time. Find what works for you and your spouse. Some couples may need to improve only one area of their life, while other couples may need to improve all areas. And some of those couples who improve ALL THE AREAS may still need additional testing, medications, surgeries, and treatments.

The 5th Vital Sign Book

Photo Credit: Amanda Sengbusch

GREAT LIFESTYLE IMPROVEMENTS TO INCORPORATE AT ANY TIME:

  • Increase veggies, healthy fats, clean protein.
  • Drink your bodyweight in ounces of water daily.
  • Eliminate caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine.
  • Eliminate any other foods that seem to be a trigger for you.
    • Common culprits: gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, corn, sugar
  • Move regularly: walking, yoga, qi gong, tai chi.
    • Intense workouts are not the best (unless you’ve been doing these regularly for a good amount of time, but if you’re struggling to conceive, incorporating more gentle workouts may be very beneficial).
    • Do not add in any new intense workouts or workout schedules.
    • Walk 20-30 minutes 4-7 days a week
  • Keep your feet warm.
    • Meridians in your feet circulate directly to your reproductive organs.
    • Cold feet means poor circulation to your reproductive organs.
  • Add in breathing exercises.
    • There are so many types of breathing exercises, search for one that fits you!
    • Or just breath in for 4 counts, hold 4 counts, breath out 4 counts.
    • Make sure your belly goes out with inhalation, and belly goes in with exhalation.
    • Repeat breathing exercises for at least a couple minutes a couple times a day. It will get easier to remember 🙂
  • Prioritize your amount and quality of sleep.
    • Sleep helps your body rebuild, repair, detoxify, and regulate hormones.
  • Journal about your dreams.
    • This may help you realize and unblock limited thoughts and beliefs that manifest in your dreams. The act of writing things down is very revealing and healing.
  • Journal about anything and everything.
    • Walking the fertility journey is no joke and it’s not for the faint of heart. It’s hard, with lots of ups and downs, twists and turns. Journaling can help reveal things and help heal yourself by “getting it out.”
    • Journaling to your intuition is a great way to help trust your instincts and intuition while walking this journey. There’s so many options presented when you start the fertility journey, it can be overwhelming. But I’m a big believer that you know your own answer. It may just be very deep, down.
      • Get out a blank peace of paper.
      • Take a few deep, belly breaths and try to relax your mind.
      • Just write whatever comes to you.
      • Write your question.
      • Wait in silence until you feel an answer coming to you.
      • Record the answer you hear regardless of it’s answer.
      • Continue as long as you have questions.
      • It may take a little while to ‘get in the flow’ or you may even feel silly trying to do this, that’s ok! The more you do it, the smoother it should become.
  • Confide in kindred spirits.
    • Some couples may wish to keep their journey to themselves, while others are very open right away. Talk to your spouse about how you wish to handle these conversations.
    • Finding loved ones to share this journey can be very healing. But know, since we’re all human and on our own journey, they may not say or act how you need them to. So be honest with them and tell them if you need someone to confide in and listen, or if you want to know their opinion, or you only want positive thoughts and prayers.
  • Prioritize you mindset.
    • The power of thought is amazing.
    • What you think about impacts your life.
    • Detox your thoughts. When you find yourself thinking all the thoughts ask, especially if they’re tending toward the negative side, stop that thought and reverse it.
      • “What if this doesn’t work” turns into —> “What if this DOES work!?”

WHILE MENSTRUATING:

  • Refrain from sweating and excess physical work.
    • There’s a saying in Traditional Chinese Medicine about when you’re bleeding, you shouldn’t be sweating. Blood and sweat are fluids of the body, and within fluids is Yin. If you deplete yourself too much during your menses due to the bleeding and the sweating, chances are you’re unnecessarily depleting the Yin of your body. This can lead to many imbalances of the body, and it’s definitely not ideal for fertility.
  • Eat nourishing, whole foods.
  • Limit caffeine, alcohol, nicotine.
  • Continue drinking your body weight in ounces of water each day.
  • Allow yourself rest.

"Nothing in nature blooms all year, don't expect yourself to either" quote

WEEK OF OVULATION:

  • Eat nourishing, whole foods.
  • Limit caffeine, alcohol, nicotine.
  • Continue drinking your body weight in ounces of water each day.
  • Be sure to have sex regularly, every other day is most recommended, and remember to make it fun!
  • It may be beneficial to stay laying down for a least 30 minutes afterwards.

AFTER OVULATION:

  • Consume 100g of protein daily.
    • This can help with the endometrial lining.
  • Eat nourishing, whole foods.
  • Limit caffeine, alcohol, nicotine.
  • Continue drinking your body weight in ounces of water each day.

Phew, I know that’s a lot to take in. But friend, just breath.

You don’t have to do all of this, or any of it! These are just suggestions from a natural stand point of lifestyle shifts that could improve your mind, body, and spirit. And when things are balanced, all body systems work smoother.

If you’re wanting to implement some improvements into your daily life and feel you need some support and guidance, I would love to help you get started. Please contact Feel Good Clinics to schedule a Health Coaching Session with me (either in person or virtually with Telehealth, whatever you are most comfortable with)!

You’re not alone, and some day you will be able to see the graces you’ve developed from this struggle. You are a warrior!

With faith, hope, and love,

Emily Kappelman

Pink Rose; Joy Essential Oil

The Pains of Infertility

Hi friend,

The week of April 19 is Infertility Awareness Week. 1 in 8 couples suffer with infertility.

Pink Rose; Joy Essential Oil

Photo Credit: Amanda Sengbusch

If you have gone through or are going through an infertility journey, my heart goes out to you. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. As a licensed acupuncturist, I’ve had my fair share of experiences with couples trying to conceive. I’m blessed with being able to have many women confide in me about their journey, and while their stories are unique to them (as with all things), some underlying feelings and emotions are quite similar.

A conversation regarding fertility:

“I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.”

“Actually if everyone could experience just a little bit of this, there would be a greater understanding of the pain that comes with the uncertainty of fertility.”

While I know there to be great graces with going through suffering, whatever form of suffering you may have experienced, the suffering part of life can be very devastating. Especially during the seasons of suffering. But I pray it’s only that… a season. And I pray your season blossoms into the most beautiful life you could imagine.

"The journey toward hope often begins with desperation" quote

COMFORT DURING INFERTILITY

If you are suffering, please take some comfort in knowing you’re not alone. If you’re not ready to talk about it or reach out to friends or family, there’s a lot of support in readings, devotions, bloggers, and health professionals. While everyone’s experience is different, for so many reasons, I believe the more you hear other stories, the more opportunity for you to help heal yourself.

PAINS OF INFERTILITY

  • The shock when you realize starting a family is taking longer than expected.
  • The disbelief in that this is actually happening.
  • The anger when you realize what you have wanted for your whole life, might not happen.
  • The researching into all the treatments, diets, protocols, supplements, herbs, meditations, medications, blood tests, surgeries, etc.
  • The depression, if even for a moment in time.
  • The loneliness felt at baby showers and birthday parties while trying to put on a brave face.
  • The sadness you feel when your friends and family are getting pregnant and you still don’t know why you’re not able to conceive.
  • The shame you feel for how you’re feeling about other people’s joy.
  • The upward turn when you find a new treatment, or a new reason as to why it maybe hasn’t happened before.
  • The acceptance that all things will work out, even if not how you previously envisioned.
  • The hope that it will be this cycle.

"My feelings and my faith will almost certainly come into conflict with each other" quote

HOW TO SUPPORT LOVED ONES THROUGH INFERTILITY

If you’re not going through this journey but you know friends or family members who are, as a licensed acupuncturist, my best recommendation would be to ask them what they need from you. They may not even know what they need from you, or their need may change daily, but just asking shows them that you don’t know what to do or say because you know nothing will make it better or change their outcome. And sometimes that’s all that’s needed. Just love and support. No one else can fix their situation but they just want other people to know… it just sucks.

With Faith, Hope, and Love,

Emily Kappelman 

Loose leaf in a tea cup; lemon and ginger essential oil

What Brings You Joy?

Hi Friends,

What brings you joy?

Some of you may know immediately. For others, you may have no idea… and that’s ok. I would start by giving yourself some grace, but then I would start to brainstorm and reflect on what brings you joy! Joy is such an important part of life and I feel it all too easily gets pushed to the waste side for the “more important things.” And especially with everything going on in the world right now… now is the perfect time to find the JOY!

Loose leaf in a tea cup; lemon and ginger essential oil

I really appreciate other peoples’ experiences and recommendations on what works for them, so I’m going to offer a couple different avenues to assist you in generating more joy. Brendon Burchard gives a great analogy of an energy plant… just as an energy plant doesn’t have energy, it generates energy. I would like to take this analogy and apply it to joy as well: Just like you have to generate energy, you have to generate joy.

MAKE A JOY LIST

This can be a list in your phone, in your calendar book, wherever you can look at it daily. This is a simple list of all the things that bring you joy.

My Joy List:

  • utilizing essential oils, herbs, and tea
  • blasting some upbeat music
  • dancing to said music
  • moving– walking, yoga, tai chi
  • calling a friend or family member
  • going for a walk
  • saying out loud all the things I appreciate
  • cuddling my dog or cat (they aren’t necessarily besties to allow both at once…yet)
  • reading about faith and mindset

MAKE A “MAKE ME LAUGH” PHOTO ALBUM

This is recommended by Brendon Burchard and with today’s smart phones I think this is such a brilliant idea! Go through your photos and videos and create a separate album purely to make you smile and laugh.

My Make Me Laugh Album Includes:

  • our dog, Zeus
  • our cat, Chip
  • all our nieces & nephews
  • my sisters, besties, and road trips 
  • of course my husband

MAKE A “PUMP ME UP” PLAYLIST

This is a recommendation from Rachel Hollis. She suggests creating a musical playlist of your favorite music to get you pumped up for your day. She mentions she’ll be listening to her playlist before she goes onstage at one of her many events.

While listening to exciting music is awesome, I prefer to take it one step further and dance/ move/ sing along. I’ve danced the majority of my life, and while I may not dance in a studio or on a dance team anymore, you just can’t stop dancing. Marie Forleo also says, “movement is magic” and dancing to music is so healing- for the entire mind, body, and spirit. I would have to say, I 100% agree with her.

My Pump Me Up Playlist Includes:

  • Andy Grammar- Honey, I’m Good
  • Ariana Grande- 7 Rings
  • George Ezra- a variety
  • Girl Talk- a variety
  • Songs from The Greatest Showman
  • Gusttavo Lima, Lenny, Dyland- Balada 
  • Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull- Dance Again
  • Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Justin Bieber- Despacito- Remix 
  • Maroon 5- a variety 
  • Shakira- Waka Waka
  • Tiesto, Icona Pop- Let’s Go
  • And a bunch more… 

I love how every person could do these three suggestions and have something completely different! You can make these lists work for you, and only you! I encourage you to reflect on what helps you generate joy in your life. And I know the more you incorporate external avenues to help bring joy to you, it’ll be easier to generate the joy yourself.

It is however, completely possible, sometimes you may need to mix and match items from your lists. Sometimes one thing from my joy list may just not cut it… I’m human, with human emotions. But if you layer up on a couple different avenues or items, the joy has a better chance of increasing and snowballing. Hoping you can Bring The Joy this season.

With faith, hope, and love,

Emily Kappelman

*Photo Credit: Amanda Sengbusch