Kurrajong Natural Medicine Centre
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Kurrajong Natural Medicine Centre
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by Dr Danny Siegenthaler
The concept of Yin-Yang is probably the single most important and distinctive theory of Chinese Medicine. It could be said that all Chinese medical physiology, pathology and treatment, eventually, be reduced to Yin-Yang.
At it’s most basic, Yin and Yang are opposites or dualities, for example Yin is Cold and Yang is Hot. Yin is Day and Yang is Night, etc. However, the concept of Yin & Yang is a lot more complex than it first appears.
For example while Hot Water is considered to be Yang and Cold Water is Yin (with respect to the Hot water), Hot water is Yin when compared to Steam, which is considered Yang (or more Yang than just Hot water). Similarly, Cold water is Yang when contrasted to Ice.
Yin and Yang can be seen as two sides of the same coin. For example, a day (24 hours) is made up of day-time and night-time; day being Yang in nature, while night is Yin in nature, however, as the hours move along the time continuum Day slowly turns to Night and vice versa. Mid-day is considered the most Yang time of the day, mid-night, in contrast is the most Yin. Each of these extremes are however only very short points in time, so as Mid-night becomes dawn, Yin-energy decreases while Yang-energy increases until it reaches it’s peak at Mid-day. The same is true for the yearly cycle of seasons. Winter is extreme Yin, while Summer is extreme Yang, Autumn is a balance of Yin and Yang, as is Spring. The difference here is that in Spring, Yang-energy is on the rise and the Yin energy is in decline, while in Autumn the Yin energy is on the rise and Yang is declining.
As with seasons and days, etc., our body also has cyclic Yin-Yang energy waining and gaining as the day/seasons change. It is important to remember that neither Yin or Yang can exist in isolation. The interdependence of Yin and Yang is represented in the Yin/Yang symbol
When Yin and Yang are in balance, there is good health of mind, body & spirit, however, when Yin/Yang are out of balance, disease manifests.
In Yin Excess (true Cold) there is too much Cold in the body and the person craves heat. The Yin energy is in excess, while the Yang energy is at a ’normal’ level. An example of this is Arthritic pain that is exacerbated by Winter, application of heat packs or hot baths relieve the pain and aching joints.
In the case of Yang Excess (true Heat), the person is feeling hot and bothered. This is often seen in people with hypertension (high blood pressure) who has a red face, gets angry easily, is generally irritable and loud.
When considering Yin Depletion (false Heat) the heat experienced is transient. Menopause is a classic example of Yin Depletion, hot flushes, sweating at night, mood swings and so on. The Yin energy in the body is unable, at times, to control the Yang (hot) energy in the body, so every now and then the heat flairs up and hot flushes result.
The Yang Depletion (false Cold) is spontaneously deficient. The decrease of Yang energy leads to cold, chilliness and other symptoms which, to an extent, are similar to Yin Excess.
Without getting too technical, the body’s organs are also said to be either Yin or Yang – Yin Organs are the Heart, Lungs, Spleen, Liver and Kidneys; while the Yang Organs are the Pericardium (sack around the Heart), Stomach, Small and Large Intestines, Gallbladder, Bladder and Triple Heater (a ‘curious organ’ in Chinese medicine, connecting the upper, middle and lower parts of the body). Each of the organs may develop a deficiency or excess of either Yin or Yang resulting in health issues.
Similarly, the body’s surfaces are also divided into Yin/Yang as is seen in the image on the right.
As is becoming obvious, Yin and Yang are not merely opposites but they control, generate and balance each other.
So, what the big deal is about natural skincare?
Let’s have a look at some very good reasons why using natural skincare products is a healthier and environmentally friendlier choice than using the alternatives.
Truly natural skincare products are usually composed of natural and organic ingredients such as herbal extracts, essential oils, natural cosmetic butters, and so on. These ingredients also contain naturally occurring vitamins, essential fatty acids, minerals and other ‘skin foods’ that are absorbed easily and quickly by the skin.
Well formulated, natural skincare products give your skin the nutrition it needs to maintain a healthy, youthful complexion, without exposing you to the potentially harmful ingredients contained in many of the popular non-natural skin care brands.
However, quite apart from the health benefits to your skin, there are several other direct and indirect benefits to using natural skincare products. One of these is the effect they have, or rather don’t have, on our environment. You see, the ingredients used in natural skincare products are far less harmful to us and our environment than the synthetic or potentially harmful ingredients used in many of the well-known department store brands.
Natural ingredients usually break down more easily and do not cause any stress on rives or the environment as a whole. This is unlike some of the other types of products that contain ingredients such as formaldehyde, DEA, EDTA, Diazolidinyl, Urea, and other nasty chemicals, which can build up in the environment and cause pollution in our rivers and the surrounding ecosystems. Not to mention the real possibility of these chemicals entering into the food chain and ultimately on our dinner plate.
Natural skincare products also have other additional benefits. Because the ingredients are usually extracted from herbs and essential oils, etc., they do not require to be manufactured by chemical companies. Herbs and essential oils are easily extracted from the plant and the pulp that remains, after the medicinal properties have been extracted, can be reused to produce fresh, nutrient rich compost. No potentially toxic waste products here…
As demand for organically grown herbs and essential oils increases, more and more farmers are switching to sustainable and organic farming methods. Again this benefits us because there are less pesticides and herbicides being sprayed and the fertilisers used on organic farms are mostly natural and/or organic. This is better for the soil and resulting plants, the surrounding environment, the air we breath and of course you, the end user of the product.
Another, additional benefit is that most ethical manufacturers of truly natural skincare products do not test their products on animals. Why? Because the herbs and essential oils used in their products have stood the test of time and have been used in herbal medicine and Aromatherapy for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. They are known to be safe and effective and therefore there is no need to test them on animals.
When we consider the number of chemicals we use just to have a shower and wash our hair, which get flushed down the plug and end up in our waterways, I think you’ll agree that the less harmful these chemicals are, the better for the environment. Sewage treatment plants are simply not designed to remove these types of chemicals and invariably these slip through the system into our rivers and dams from where we get out drinking water…
So you see, natural skincare products are not just great for our skin, but they are also much better for our natural environment – that’s what I’d call a win-win.
by Susan & Danny Siegenthaler
Body re-alignment therapy is the use of a combination of techniques. At its heart, it utilises all the different remedial massage techniques, including: stretches, passive movements and where applicable deep tissue massage.
In addition, body realignment therapy incorporates exercise therapy. This is the use of specific exercises that help to balance and realign muscles that are too tight/flaccid in an attempt to relieve resulting immobility, stiffness or pain.
Unlike chiropractic or osteopathic treatments, joints are not adjusted by force or manipulated, rather the body’s muscles and the exercises are realigning the skeletal system and balancing the muscles and the tension in the ligaments and tendons. This occurs over time and is therefore long lasting.
Initially your therapist will take a case history focusing on your particular issue. You may be asked to undergo a structural alignment assessment. This is usually you standing relaxed, wearing minimal clothing, while the therapist checks the various alignments of your body structure. In this way, for example, the therapist may be able to detect a scoliosis (curvature of the spine) or other alignment issues. These may be key to why you are experiencing pain or discomfort in your body’s musculoskeletal system.
Once your therapist has identified the imbalances, he/she will most likely give you a remedial massage specifically designed to address the structural imbalance. During the massage you may also have to do some work… Yep, the therapist will likely ask you to participate in some resistive movements/stretches. These are designed to re-balance muscle groups in the area relating to your specific issue.
Once the physical therapy side of your treatment is complete, the therapist will teach you how to do specific exercises that will realign and balance your musculoskeletal system. You will most probably need to attend several of these treatments to get the best results and to ensure that the treatment programme is working as designed. Some adjustments may be necessary over time to optimise the end result of your body’s realignment.
To find out more or make an appointment call 4573 0784
by Author(s) Unknown
The universe is always offering us signs to help us, we just need to slow down and pay attention.
The universe can often relay messages to us through signs. Often, we are too busy to stop and consider what may or may not be a sign. We may ask the universe for guidance, yet fail to recognize the sign it sends us in response. Learning the subtle language of signs can help you interpret the guidance the universe sends your way. We all have been blessed with a connection that allows the universe to communicate directly with us. To be able to understand the information relayed over that connection, however, it is necessary that we learn to pay attention and know what to look for.
To see and correctly interpret a sign, you must open your heart and mind to the universe and invite its guidance into your life. Many of us are blind to the signs we receive because we expect angels or our spirit guides to speak to us in a booming voice and tell us exactly what we need to hear. But signs are usually of this earth and therefore easier to encounter. A song lodged in your mind or a number that seems to pop up everywhere you look after you’ve asked the universe for guidance can both be signs.
Signs may come through the animal world, from strangers, or jump out of a book in the form of an insightful passage. A sign may be a direct answer to one of your questions. Other signs may point you in the right direction, warn of impending difficulties, or show you a different way. If you want the universe to send you a sign, tell it that you are ready and willing to accept its guidance.
Not everything you hear or see will be a sign. If you are receptive and patient, however, the signs you receive will become easier to recognize. It is important to listen to your intuition. A sign can mean many things to different people, and only you can decipher a sign’s meaning is for you. As you practice reading the signs and following their guidance, the universe will send more of them your way.
We hope you enjoyed this Edition of our Wellness Magazine. We are always open to constructive feedback and ideas for future articles. If you have a particular topic you would like us to cover relating to yoga, alternative medicine, meditation, etc., please let us know and we will include it in an up coming Magazine