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. 

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

My Cold & Flu Medicine Cabinet

IMG_1901
* photo credit: Amanda Sengbusch

Who knows at least one person who has been sick already this year!? It seems like each year more and more people are getting sick and the symptoms are lasting longer and longer! I’m so thankful for all the categories of medicine, but I do have a very special place in my heart for more natural remedies.
.
EXTERNAL PATHOGENIC INVADER
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), external pathogenic invaders (EPI) are what we refer to as cold and flu viruses/ bugs/ illnesses. In any given season there are EPIs floating about in the world. The health of your internal defense system, also known as wei qi “way chee,” will determine if you develop symptoms and become sick or if you’re able to fight off the infection and remain symptom free.
.
-> If the EPI is strong and your wei qi is also strong, you may develop some symptoms but your body is most likely able to fight off the EPI.
-> If the EPI is strong but your wei qi is weak, you will get sick.
-> If the EPI is weak and your wei qi is also weak, you will get sick.
-> If the EPI is weak but your wei qi is strong, you most likely won’t get sick.
.
This gives some reasoning behind why a variety of people can come in contact with a person with an EPI but only a select few develop symptoms and get sick. Luckily there are a whole host of things one may do to enhance their wei qi (future post to come).
.
COLD & FLU MEDICINE CABINET
We all have our own ways of handling colds and flus. Whether you’re one who continues to work through it and just hopes to get better, or you take the very important time to rest while implementing the whole kit and kuboodle… here are my items I’m sure to give a try to battle the EPI:
.
Herbs are individual to each presentation and require a diagnosis from a licensed acupuncturist/ herbalist:
– Gan Mao Ling
– Herbal ABX
– Minor Bupleurum
– Yin Qiao
.
Supplements & Oils:
– C grams (vitamin C) from Advocare – or Vitamin C from your local drugstore
– Congaplex from Standard Process – a whole food supplement
– Essential Oils: eucalyptus, frankincense, immupower, lemon, peppermint, thieves
– Gypsy Cold Care Tea from Traditional Medicinals – most grocery/ health stores
– Immuno Guard from Advocare – a supplement with the health benefits of mushrooms
– Oscillococcinum from your local drugstore and Amazon – a homeopathic remedy
– Sambucol – from your local drugstore – the healing properties of black elderberry
.
I’ve been using these products for years for all of my cold and flu like symptoms. Usually after using and alternating the products above, I’m able to keep the cold/flu symptoms in check. Some of these products are able to be purchased at your local drugstore at your convenience but remember it’s best to check with your licensed acupuncturist for which herbs to use along with your medical physician to determine the best products for you.
.
What do you like to use to help get feeling your best during the cold and flu season!?
.
Always feel free to stop into your local, favorite acupuncturist to help keep you healthy and talk about alternative ways to beat the colds and flus circulating this year. I’m sure they would love to share some of their favorite tips and tricks with you as well!
.
**The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.

Acupuncture Ally: Thieves Essential Oil

young living thievesTo continue our talks about the season of autumn and colds and flu, an essential oil I’m sure to never go without is Thieves from Young Living Essential Oils. 

Thieves essential oil includes clove, lemon, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus, and rosemary. It’s known to help support the immune system at the onset of colds, flu and candida. It may also help with sinusitis, coughing and sore throats.

I really like diffusing thieves in the diffuser, as it smells amazing and reminds me of Christmas. If you don’t have a diffuser, you can put a drop on a cotton ball and inhale it periodically.Others will apply thieves topically to their feet with a carrier oil, such as sweet almond oil or coconut oil.

I also will add 1 drop to about 16 oz of water in a glass bottle (do not use plastic with essential oils, as the oils break down toxins, and will break down the plastic). This can have quite an intense taste, but when paired with peppermint or lemon essential oils, it dilutes it down a little. I will start using Thieves the moment my throat becomes sore, which can be a pretty good sign that an illness may be attempting to break through. Usually after one day of use my throat is relieved and I’m feeling better.

Please note: repeated use can result in extreme contact sensitization and can cause extreme skin irritation. Use with caution during pregnancy.

***The posts, testimonies and information provided on this site are not intended to treat, cure, diagnose or prevent any disease or illness. Please be sure to always check with your health care professional before altering any prescription medication or starting a new health care regiment regardless. The suggested use of essential oils on this page are YOUNG LIVING EXCLUSIVE. We cannot be held responsible for damage done through the use of off brand or synthetic essential oils, supplements or homeopathy suggested on this page. INGESTING SYNTHETIC or PERFUME GRADE essential oils is highly dangerous. These bottles are labeled “NOT for internal use”. Young Living essential oils are MEDICINAL grade, used internally in over 50 U.S. Hospitals and, will be noted on the label as “GRAS” by the FDA for internal use or as a food additive.