Stay Well! Don't Ignore the Transition Period Between Summer and Fall

"...the Earth element governs the change in the seasons, and ... thus the Earth element’s season, by definition, is the transition point between all seasons. By this logic, a weakness in the Earth energy of the body (which governs our Spleen, Stomach, and digestive function), could lead the body to be susceptible to outside illnesses when it is dominant–the time between all seasons." – from "Why Do I Get Sick When the Seasons Change?" by Marcie Griffith Bower, Lic.Ac., MAOM, Dipl. OM


The next transition or "between seasons" period begins July 20 and lasts until August 6 when Fall begins according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Just as it's wise to live in harmony with Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter, let's not ignore the "between seasons" periods! One of the five for the year is about to begin.

We are an inherent part of nature. We are not separate from it. Logically speaking, living in harmony with nature will assist us to have physical bodies that are in harmony in all its internal systems. We will eat in a certain way, exercise in a certain way, sleep and wake accordingly, give, love, contemplate, and nurture ourselves in alignment with the ways of the Earth season in TCM. Not only our physical bodies will benefit with health and vitality thereby preventing illness, our mental, emotional and spiritual aspects will be kept on balance and thrive as well. See also our blog post of July 15, 2016.

The element associated with this transition period is Earth, the color is yellow, the organs are stomach and spleen, and it's now the time to think about harvesting what we have sown throughout the summer. It's a time of "decrease" or slowing down and at the same time, abundance, when we can:

  • realize the fruits of our labor (in the relationships we enjoyed this summer, in our exuberance of life, in the care of our hearts, both literally and figuratively);
  • begin again to nurture ourselves in whatever way that looks;
  • to intend to digest not only our food very well but our thoughts and emotions enabling them to reach our minds and spirits;
  • start slowing down and gathering in all that we have created throughout the Summer;
  • recognize the bounty of the earth as harvest is about to begin and to see how we can be bounteous in our lives in our giving to others;
  • contemplate the harvest aspect of our lives to see the areas that are bearing fruit and which are not; then to determine in the Fall (beginning August 7) which ones can be let go or given focus;
  • determine what is truly necessary in our lives and what is superfluous and a distraction then take steps in alignment with our discoveries; this is important as we prepare to enter the Fall season where letting go is paramount;
  • observe and mirror nature at this time of year; the metaphor of the cycles of nature has much to teach us; now is the time to begin contemplating how the seeds we plant (both physically and metaphorically) reap corresponding harvests; we can contemplate the seeds we have sown and realize that every harvest bears the seeds for the next one.



20 Tips for "No Makeup" Beauty

  1. Live in harmony with the seasons; according to the ancient Chinese Internal Medicine classic called the Neijing, living in harmony with the seasons is one of the most powerful things we can do to resist disease!
  2. Stimulate circulation in the face with the simple face massage technique in the video to the right with PHYTO5® Institute's Director and Trainer Gina Cassisi Canas.
  3. Exfoliate regularly; check out our blog post of April 29, 2016 for one super cheap way you might not have thought of!
  4. Moisturize; check out our May 2, 2016 blog post.
  5. Use a serum to hydrate, mineralize, restructure, provide antioxidants, and tone and lift the skin.
  6. Drink hot water and lemon for fresh skin.
  7. Get enough sleep and take naps if you feel to.
  8. Vitamin C works wonders for beauty and vitality; it's probably the least understood vitamin with the most potential.
  9. Get the right nutrition. What you eat shows up on your face. Go vegetarian and better yet, go vegan. Let a plant-based diet radiate through your skin.
  10. Practice good grooming habits. Use natural origin products wherever possible–without synthetic ingredients including synthetic fragrance.
  11. Adopt a casual look. Then when your hair looks a bit messy, you did it on purpose!
  12. Detoxify. Drink detox teas and green juices.
  13. Add a little lip gloss every day.
  14. Drink water (and consume high water content foods) to glow, right through your skin!
  15. Practice eyebrow grooming. Stop plucking and work with the natural shape of your eyebrows. Get them waxed inexpensively by a professional or check out eyebrow threading. It's becoming more popular and has been effectively practiced for thousands of years.
  16. Apply a bit of natural, organic castor oil to your eyelashes for six weeks and notice the results.
  17. Practice yoga, tai chi or qi gong.
  18. Smile.
  19. Watch your posture. Nothing is more beautiful than erect posture. It signals confidence and inherent beauty.
  20. Own it. Own who you are, own your age, own your style, own your method of dress. Double down! Believe in yourself.

The 6 Big Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness Qigong

In view of the inadequacies of mainstream treatments for anxiety disorders, we suggest that qigong, an ancient oriental mindful exercise, may be a useful adjunctive treatment. We base this on a biopsychosocial model for health.

Evidence suggests that the benefits of exercise on personal well-being can be explained using six theories:

► cognitive behaviour;
► distraction;
► social interaction;
► cardiovascular fitness;
► amine;
► and endorphin theories.

To date, not much has been done to employ these theories to analyze the benefits of mindful exercises. We try here to reorganize these theories into psychosocial and physiologic perspectives and integrate them with the “mind regulation,” “body regulation,” and “breath regulation” components of qigong. We propose, because of its potential therapeutic effects, that qigong can be considered as an alternative therapy to help meet the increasing demand of nonpharmacologic modalities in achieving biopsychosocial health for those suffering from anxiety in the general population.
— Biopsychosocial Effects of Qigong as a Mindful Exercise for People with Anxiety Disorders: A Speculative Review; Yvonne W.Y. Chow and Hector W.H. Tsang. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. November 2007, 13(8): 831-840. doi:10.1089/acm.2007.7166.

More on the 6 Big Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness Qigong:

  1. COGNITIVE BEHAVIOR = Feel more positive and better about yourself and your life!
  2. DISTRACTION = Qigong leads us deeper into concentration, and to remain within the requirements of the practice. It becomes a joyful discipline. (The thoughts that create distractions cause the practitioner wander away from the practice come from what is often termed, "Monkey Mind.")
  3. SOCIAL INTERACTION = Make friends while practicing making life an even richer experience!
  4. CARDIOVASCULAR FITNESS = Get and stay healthy!
  5. AMINE = Counteractive to ill effects of pharmaceuticals
  6. ENDORPHIN THEORIES = Qigong is an effective pain and stress fighter.

#consciousness #meditation #qigong #holistic


Pay Attention to Your Inner Dynamic Duo!

In Chinese medicine, your liver and gall bladder are paired. This means that anything you do to strengthen one will strengthen the other...

Gallbladder is the yang organ for Spring according to the 5-Element Theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Best eating practices to maintain a healthy gall bladder are:

  • Eat fiber rich foods;
  • Consume fresh fruits and vegetables;
  • If you eat meat, make it lean!
  • If you eat dairy, make it low fat!
  • Add walnuts and almonds to your diet. Some studies have shown them beneficial in preventing gallstones;
  • Research suggests moderate amounts of coffee may also help prevent gallstones;
  • Keep your weight in check.