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. 

Sending You a Virtual Hug & Sharing the Power of Thought

What are you thinking right now? If you were to mentally check in with your thoughts every hour, what would the majority of your thoughts be?
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How do you think these thoughts affect your life, your energy?
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Outside of acupuncture, I’ve experienced a few energy sessions. This most current session was quite insightful about my own energy. While laying on a heated table with a few acupuncture points in, the practitioner held her hands gently over my temples and head. They just rested there. While talking to her she mentioned the energy she felt was very well balanced, rocking back and forth in a figure eight/ infinity pattern. This suggested to her the thoughts I was having and words I was saying really held true for me and I had a sense of peace about it. Then as I went off on a tangent of this particular topic (thinking and talking about my known triggers), she noticed the energy pull to one side, suggesting an imbalance.
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The energy in my body was literally disrupted when I had negative thoughts.
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Where thought goes
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This saying has never been so obvious to me.
Friends, we have so many thoughts a day -> around 60,000-80,000.
And the majority of those thoughts are the SAME thoughts we’ve thought the day before, and the day before, etc.-> about 90%.
And the majority of these same thoughts are NEGATIVE-> about 80%.
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Now I’m no math wiz, but that’s a lot of negative thoughts!
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Imagine how engrained these thoughts get; how easy it is to have the same, negative thoughts day in and day out. But imagine, you have the power to change these thoughts, to create new neural pathways in your mind, to create the thoughts you want to have. 
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Now, I’m not saying it’s easy. It can be very difficult. But I know it’s possible. Just like with any natural remedy, when dealing with thoughts, the same thing rings true…
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Consistency is Key
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  • What’s one thought pattern you want to shift?

 

  • What’s one, not- so- nice thing you find yourself telling yourself daily, if not multiple times a day?

 

  • Now turn those words into a positive phrase. I don’t care if you don’t believe it, just humor me. (:

 

  • Commit to saying this positive phrase to yourself every hour. Set an alarm on your phone if you need to. Write it on a post it note and place it on your mirror, your fridge, your desk- wherever you will see it consistently.
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And watch how it actually creates a ripple effect of the thoughts you think, about yourself, about your family, about your life.

I pray you know you’re amazing and you are loved.

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My Bookshelf: Girl, Wash Your Face

0014 Girl Wash Your Face
Girl, what did we do before Rachel Hollis? I love how this lady is changing all the things. Her open and honest communication about her history, family, marriage, and company is just amazing. I know she’s an inspiration to many of us and I’m so thankful she’s taking the time to help bring up so many people with her. Whether you’re a physical book reader, audible or pod cast listener- Rachel’s got you covered. Her content and message is available so many places.
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I was introduced to Rachel Hollis a couple years ago and she’s just so gosh darn empowering- I love it. Girl, Wash Your Face goes through and explains the top lies she believed (which I’m guessing you may be believing or have believed also). These lies hindered her value and self worth. She then provides the strategies she used to work past these lies to live the life she currently wants and deserves.
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LIES & STRATEGIES
Which got me thinking about the “lies” I’ve believed throughout my life. These aren’t meant to be lies or meant to bring us down but they’re someone else’s opinion/ perspective/ reality that we take on for ourselves. However, once you start working on your mindset, you realize you can change the way you think about these lies and how you react to situations and events. Like the saying, “you can’t change other people, you can only change yourself.” I’m pretty sure I hated hearing this growing up (and honestly, even some days recently!), but when you start to fully engage your mindset, perspective, and actions to focus fully on yourself, it’s amazing how things start to shift around you. It’s not immediate, all at once, or completely consistent. But just know, one small shift at a time will create a movement all around you. Please envision a very small pebble being dropped into a still body of water and observe the ripple effect!
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INTENTION & APPRECIATION
I find starting my day with intention is a great first step. Anticipate a wonderful day ahead of you, even if your schedule is not your ideal day. Something which has immensely helped me do this is a practice of appreciation. Appreciation and Gratitude seem to be hot topics lately, and for good reason, the benefits appreciate and gratitude have on the mind, body, and spirit are amazing! It can be weird at first and you may “run out of things to be thankful for” but that’s just because you’re just starting this practice.
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-> Give yourself some grace and just think, say, or write whatever comes to your mind.
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-> I usually start out pretty general with thanking God (universe, high power, or energetic frequencies) for myself (mind, body, spirit, education, experiences), my family and friends (even better to list them individually and go into what you’re thankful for them about), work (physical building, people I work with, the work we’re doing, the people we’re serving), etc.
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-> See how specific and detailed you can get. Even thanking God for the perfect amount of raspberry flavoring in your dark chocolate mocha latte.
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-> Continue for as long as you can, but don’t worry if it takes a little while for things to come quickly for you.
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-> Notice the immediate increase of peace, contentment, and positivity you feel towards yourself, your life, and your surroundings.
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-> Unfortunately, there’s no way to know how long these feelings will last. But know you can start with another round of appreciation any time, any place. And the more you do it, the quicker you’ll think to do this, the easier it gets, and the longer the effects will last.
Remember, life is a journey, not a destination.
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BEING IN THE EMOTION
I do also want to say, sometimes life just sucks. And you need to feel the sucky part of it. There’s great benefit in being in the emotion, whatever it may be, and allowing it. So please be sure to give yourself some grace to allow what you’re feeling, allow yourself to process it however you may need (being that it’s legal and moral of course :)), and trust that you will move forward when it’s the right time. But having a gratitude practice can definitely help with that transition.
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REFLECT
What are some “lies” you’ve allowed yourself to believe? How can you go about changing the reality of those lies? Reflect, journal, or talk about it with a loved one. See if you can help each other eliminate those lies and live the life you want and deserve, unhindered.
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I’m so thankful for Rachel Hollis, her mission, and the way she’s impacting the world.
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Photo Credit: Amanda Sengbusch