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Ayurvedic Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep

Ayurvedic Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep

Why sleep is so important

Sleep plays a very important role in our health along with eating healthy and exercising regularly. It influences very much how emotionally stable, mentally clear and physical fit we are. A good night’s sleep gives our body the possibility to begin its night-shift work. During sleep our body can heal damaged cells, strengthen our immune system and recharge our heart, cardiovascular and nervous system for the next day. Deep and sufficient sleep is one of the keys to long-term health and the basis for a functioning immune system. 

Ayurveda and sleep

Ayurveda or Ayurvedic medicine, contains a lot of wisdom for a life in balance, including restful sleep.

Ayurveda is about harmony and balance, especially the balance between the three doshas Vata, Pitta and Kapha. They also play an important role in our sleep. At what time we go to bed, what we do before and after bedtime, and of course what and when we eat. This all influences our bioenergies, and thus contributes to a healthy sleep. 

The role of the Doshas in your sleep rhythm

From an Ayurvedic point of view, sleep is the most important regeneration phase of the day. Between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. our Pitta energy wants to clean the body, picking up the dirt from the furthest corners. Then between 2 and 6 a.m. our Vata energy is very active, transporting the dirt and toxins to the excreting organs. The most important prerequisite for this cleansing process is that the digestion of the last meal is finished before 10pm.

That’s why it is important to have an early light dinner, at least three hours before you to bed. If this is not the case, the body sets the priorities differently and focuses on digestion. As a result, our whole system powers up instead of shutting it down for sleep and cleansing. Consequently, we don’t get tired so quickly, we fall asleep more difficult and may wake up at night and get up in the morning exhausted. 

Apart from the last meal, our general lifestyle also has an impact on our sleep. Every sleep problem arises from the fact that there is too much movement, too much Vata, in our internal system. Consequently the body does not find its way deep enough into the relaxation mode. An overactive sympathetic nervous system means too much movement or Vata that is caused by stress, lack of time and an unsteady lifestyle. If we snack between dishes, do everything differently today than yesterday, don’t get enough sleep, travel a lot and eat foods that elevate Vata, we may not fall asleep and, above all, not sleep through the night.

When we take a look at the different Doshas, we see a Vata imbalance tending to sleep irregular and light. They often wake up between 2 – 6am, but when very exhausted can profoundly sleep. Whereas Pittas sleep can be disturbed by vivid and active dreams or nightmares and difficulties to fall asleep as their mind is too busy. When Pittas wake up, they normally go back to sleep easily. However, Kapha types are generally good sleepers but when out of balance, they sleep too long which makes them sluggish and heavy.

Do you want a better and more aligned life to achieve deeply desired results? A life with more energy, a peaceful mind, and habits that go toward lifelong health and wellness? Discover my health and lifestyle program Embody to Thrive

How can the Ayurvedic way of life be beneficial for our sleep?

The most important keys points are a steady rhythm, diet and stress reduction. The optimal rhythm from an Ayurvedic point of view is three meals at similar times on most days, with the main meal at lunch and a light, early dinner. Of course, it is incredibly valuable to adjust the diet so that we can find a balance based on our constitution. It is also recommended that you go to bed and get up at similar times each day.

But we should also adjust our daily work and stress levels. Stress, regardless of what caused it, lets our nervous system run in a mode that is actually only intended to protect us in dangerous situations. But if we often feel tense, agitated and rushed, we prevent the part of our nervous system that is responsible for regeneration, metabolism and sleep from doing its job.

As a result, we may have permanent elevated cortisol levels, our stress hormone, that can lead to anxiety, hormonal imbalances, increased appetite, obesity and other issues. That is why in Ayurveda we not only focus on nutrition and lifestyle, but also on meditation, yoga and other methods of stress reduction. Therefore the Ayurveda approach is holistic and matched with ones unique constitution.

ayurvedic food for sleep

How diet affects your sleep

The most important tip is to move the main meal to noon and eat it lightly and early in the evening. From an Ayurvedic point of view, early and light means before 7 p.m. and with little fat and protein and not too complex in the composition. Raw vegetables should also be eaten at lunchtime. This is very contrary to some modern-day opinions, but it works. Soups, stews or vegetables, perhaps with a little grain, are ideal for the evening. Especially one-pot meals are easy for our metabolism.

In order to have an early and light evening meal, of course we need to have a good lunch, otherwise we are too hungry. Since the body has the strongest digestive fire at lunchtime – also from a conventional medical point of view – we can digest it well at that time. From an Ayurvedic point of view, our lunch should not consist of a small salad or a sandwich on hand, but of a healthy and rich meal in which we satisfy our fat and protein needs. Interestingly, after such a meal, we are hardly hungry in the evening and can easily get through the night with a small supper until breakfast in the morning. And the body thanks us with a deep and restful sleep.

What helps if we have difficulty falling asleep?

The easiest way for the body to fall asleep is when it is relaxed and not struggling with a heavy meal. Ayurveda recommends establishing an evening routine that automates this process. Everything that prevents falling asleep needs to be reduced: Screen time or very exciting books, an extremely high pace during the day, in the worst case until late in the evening, keep us awake. The thoughts are circling in our head and our energy is moving too much. After an early light dinner it is ideal to enjoy the time with loved ones, to go for a walk or to take a bath. But any other non-digital hobby like writing a diary, drawing, perform handicraft works, is great too.

An important factor is the time we go to bed. Kapha energy is dominant until 10 p.m. The energy of Kapha helps us to wind down and to notice the first signs of end-of-the-day fatigue. Its energy is heavy, steady and calm and perfect for preparing ourselves for better quality rest and a peaceful min. From 10 p.m. the Pitta energy takes over the lead. This energy rises and makes us active and mental busy. Ayurveda therefore recommends going to sleep during the Kapha time, this means before 10 p.m. It makes a big difference for our quality and quantity of sleep.

In addition, the following tools are extremely valuable to help us to come to rest: Gentle yoga exercises that ground and bring our energy down such as Yin Yoga, slow pranayamas such as alternate nostril breathing or meditation. Otherwise, it is recommended to massage the feet with warm sesame oil and an essential oil like Lavender. This also help to descend the energy in our body. And finally, the golden milk or turmeric milk (also made with plant milk) should be mentioned, which make it easier for us to fall asleep.

Are there specific sleeping tips for the individual Doshas?

In addition to the tips for Vata and Pitta that are already mentioned, the duration of sleep is also crucial. Vata needs the most sleep of all. They are not doing well without the mandatory eight hours. With a lot of stress, maybe even more. The eight hours are perfect for pitta, even if they usually don’t like it because they have so much to do.

Less sleep is recommended for Kapha only. Kapha usually has no problems falling asleep and sleeps well through the night. However, they find it difficult to get up. So it is important for them to get up before 6 a.m. As mentioned, the Vata movement principle is dominant between 2 and 6 o’clock in the morning. This movement gets us up more easily. But from 6 a.m. Kapha takes over again. And this energy makes it very difficult for us to get out of bed. With Kapha there is also the fact that a maximum of 7 to 7.5 hours of sleep is better and more relaxing than a longer sleep. This makes them too heavy and sluggish.

Do you want to learn more about your unique constitution, your Dosha? Take the quiz here

BONUS: Yoga and meditation videos for better sleep

Yoga Nidra Tibetan Singing Bowls Sound Bath for Anxiety Relief & Relaxation

Yoga For Bedtime – YUMMY sleepy time yoga with Adriene

A guided meditation for sleep from Deepak Chopra

Fibroid Diet – Best and Worst Foods and Drinks for Shrinking Fibroids

Fibroid Diet – Best and Worst Foods and Drinks for Shrinking Fibroids

Fibroids: What are they and how are they detected?

Uterine fibroids, also called myomas, are benign tumours which mostly appear on the inner and outer wall of the uterus in the pelvic cavity. These tumours can be as small as a sunflower seed and can grow bigger than a sweet melon. Some women have just one fibroid, whereas others have multiple at a time. These bulky masses can even enlarge the size of the uterus if left untreated.

Risk factors for uterine fibroids

Black women are two to three times more at risk to develop fibroids. Early menarche, overweight or obesity and fewer or no pregnancies can increase the risk for fibroids due to the longer or higher exposure to oestrogen.

Other risk factors for developing uterine fibroids are: Poor estrogen metabolism; exposure to xenoestrogens like plastics and pesticides; vitamin D deficiency; high blood pressure; a diet high in red meat; drinking alcohol regularly; a diet low in green vegetables. 

Symptoms of fibroids

Some women don’t show symptoms at all, only to discover the fibroids during a pelvic exam or prenatal ultrasound at the doctor. Depending on the size and location of the fibroids, they can cause symptoms such as:

  • pain in the pelvis or lower back
  • pressure or fullness in lower abdomen
  • bleeding between periods
  • pain during sexual intercourse
  • heavy menstrual bleeding with clots
  • spotting or bleeding between periods
  • prolonged menstruation
  • miscarriages
  • difficulty getting pregnant
  • cramping
  • urge to urinate
  • frequent urination

Foods and drinks to avoid when you have uterine fibroids

Avoid oestrogen rich foods when suffering from fibroids

Fibroids are hormone dependent and as oestrogen stimulates development of the uterine lining, too much of it can promote the growth of fibroids. Therefore avoid foods that have high levels of oestrogen, such as:

  • soy milk
  • soy beans
  • tofu and tempeh
  • high-fat cheese, cream and butter
  • ice-cream
  • chocolate
  • red meat
  • red wine
  • animal fats
  • all hormonally treated meats from factoring farming

These foods should be eliminated from your diet

  • refined carbohydrates e.g white bread, pasta, white rice, bread, etc.
  • hydrogenated and refined oils like margarine, fried foods. etc.
  • foods containing gluten like wheat, spelt, etc.
  • refined sugar
  • alcohol
  • dairy products
  • foods high in salt
  • fruit juices
  • caffeine
  • high-fat, processed meats
  • artificial sweeteners like aspartame and acesulfame potassium

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Foods and drinks that shrink fibroids

The best organic foods to eat when suffering from fibroids are:

  • fish, oysters, mussels and clams
  • modest consumption of eggs
  • consume several times a week lemons and limes
  • vegetarian foods rich in iron like spinach, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, broccoli, apricots, amaranth
  • cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, etc.
  • beetroots, radish, parsnip
  • cooked glutenfree whole grains like brown rice, millet, amaranth, etc.
  • green leafy vegetables to help the liver to detox  and to eliminate excess oestrogen
  • legumes such as black beans and lentils
  • beta-carotene rich foods like carrots, sweet potatoes, leafy greens and butternut squash
  • fresh culinary herbs like basil, chives, parsley, etc.
  • herbal teas with liver relieving properties like milk thistle, artichoke and dandelion
  • herbs like bladder wrack and Irish moss
  • essential fatty acids like olive oil, pumpkin seed oil, etc.

Another very efficient way to support the treatment of fibroids, and improve common symptoms which go with it like weight-gain, digestion problems, cysts and menstruation problems , is to regularly consume congee, a rice porridge. But instead of white rice you take a mix of brown rice and millet (50/50). You can find more information and the recipe in my article: “Congee – The Healthy Rice Porridge to Boost your Health”

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How would it feel to free yourself from your symptoms?  Ready to change and invest time and energy to get to the root of your problem? Then book your session now. I am looking forward to meeting you!

Vitamin D and your Health

Vitamin D and your Health

Let’s talk about the “sunshine” vitamin D, which is crucial for so many processes in the body. Besides improving energy levels, mood, bone mineral density and wound healing efficiency, it’s also an important element in strengthening our immune system.

What are the causes and symptoms of a deficiency? What can you do to boost it?

What is vitamin D?

Vitamin D is actually a hormone rather than a vitamin and holds a special position amongst all vitamins. Unlike other vitamins, it can be produced by pre-stages that are present in the body. The body produces it in response to the sun’s radiation on the skin (UVB light exposure). Compared to the vitamin D provided via food, it plays a significant role in supplying us with a sufficient supply. The kidneys and liver convert vitamin D (produced in the skin and taken up in the diet), into the active hormone called calcitriol.

It regulates the calcium and phosphate metabolism as well as the bone metabolism. Furthermore,  it is involved in other metabolic processes in the body and has an impact on muscular strength. It also can help in regulating insulin flow and balancing blood sugar levels, resulting in balanced natural hormone cycles. In addition to that it is said to help decrease the risk for autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s disease.

What can cause a deficiency?

  • inadequate exposure to sunlight
  • not eating vitamin D rich foods
  • impaired gut health
  • liver diseases
  • renal diseases
  • inefficient production in the skin
  • using sunscreen when going out
  • having dark skin
  • being overweight

What are the symptoms of a deficiency?

  • decreased testosterol level
  • lower oestrogen level
  • abnormal pituitary cell growth
  • increased parathyroid production
  • bone, back and muscle pain
  • hair loss
  • getting sick or infected often
  • fatigue and tiredness
  • depression
  • impaired wound healing
  • bone loss

This doesn’t mean that you need to rush to your nearest pharmacy for a high-dose vitamin D supplement. It’s only necessary to take if you are already deficient. If you are not, overloading your body with it could actually do more harm than good.

How to find out your vitamin D level?

A common way to measure your levels is the 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood test. A level of 25 to 80 ng/mL is considered normal for healthy people. But these numbers slightly vary depending on in which country you live.

How can you increase your level?

  • spend time in sun light
  • take a supplement
  • try a UV lamp that emits ultraviolet radiation
  • through diet
  • healthy gut

Which foods are rich in vitamin D?

  • salmon
  • herring
  • sardine
  • mackerel
  • tuna
  • cod liver oil
  • beef liver
  • calf’s liver
  • egg yolk
  • wild mushroom
  • fortified foods

Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption, which plays a pivotal role in maintaining bone strength and preventing osteoporosis. Spending enough time in the sun is the best way to get your daily dose of vitamin D. However, getting a sufficient supply just from your diet may be very difficult. People who follow a vegan diet need to make sure that they are exposed enough to sunlight.

How would it feel to free yourself from your symptoms?  Ready to change and invest time and energy to get to the root of your problem? Then book your session now. I am looking forward to meeting you.

Weight loss with Chinese Medicine – lose weight and keep it off for good!

Weight loss with Chinese Medicine – lose weight and keep it off for good!

How to lose weight and fight obesity with Chinese Medicine

Weight loss with Chinese medicine wisdom means you can finally reach your feel-good weight and maintain it. The added benefits are that you’ll not just reach your desired weight, but you’ll also feel more energised and self-confident.

How many times have you tried a diet but failed for different reasons? Maybe you lost some weight but then put it back on again? Are you ready to quit trying yet another diet? Maybe you belong to the group of people who have tried a bunch of different diets and could write a book about the experience.

The restrictions and varied advice from internet “experts” include everything from: cutting out carbohydrates, drinking 3 litres of water per day, to eating low-fat products. The short term results are often accompanied by feelings of frustration and disappointment.

How Chinese medicine views overweight and obesity

Being overweight is often linked to incorrect eating habits from the perspective of TCM. An excess of strong cooling foods such as large amounts of raw foods, dairy products, tropical fruits, fruit juices and sweets, weakens our spleen which belongs to the earth element in TCM. The spleen is responsible for transporting and transforming the food we eat to nourish our system and to keep our “digestive fire” burning. The stronger it is, the better our metabolism.

If our spleen is weak, the transformation process can no longer be completed as the body fails to transform the dampness in the body and therefore stores it as additional body weight. Consequently, it promotes the formation of dampness and phlegm. As a result, we feel tired, listless and we’ll suffer from indigestion and heaviness. If this condition persists, water retention, cellulite, swollen face and hands in the morning and obesity can result. We also speak here of a weak spleen-Qi in Chinese Medicine.

Another reason why losing weight does not work can also be stagnation in the body. In this case, it’s the liver that is usually affected as it tends to stagnate under stress, time pressure, recurrent anger, lack of exercise and regular intake of alcohol and deep-fried and grilled foods.

Fortunately, there is a range of foods that strengthen our spleen, and help to move and drain dampness-phlegm and eliminate stagnation. In addition to that we can achieve a lot by avoiding unfavourable habits.

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9 Top Tips for Weight loss with Chinese Medicine wisdom

1. Don’t skip any dishes
Eating regularly, and ideally at similar times, is important to keep your blood sugar level balanced. This will prevent any cravings for sweets and other unhealthy foods and keep your “digestive fire” burning. It will also produce Qi to keep your metabolism burning calories and fat.

Therefore, never skip meals to save calories as it is counterproductive. Often I hear people telling me that they are not hungry in the morning. That ́s a result of a weak spleen-Qi. After eating small quantities in the morning for several weeks, the sense of hunger will come back.

2. Excessive drinking without thirst
In TCM it differs for each single person how much water intake is healthy. From the point of view of TCM, the spleen has the ability to absorb excess liquids, which we consume through our food. However, if the spleen is weakened then too much water will not be excreted via the kidneys but stored in the tissues. People suffering from a weak spleen-Qi should not drink more than 1.5-2 litres per day. If you are not feeling thirsty, you should drink less.

3. Drinks for eliminating dampness and strengthening the spleen
Barley tea is a wonderful drink to eliminate dampness from the body. Every day about half a litre of it can help the body excrete the existing damp-phlegm and to dissolve stagnation.
As an ideal thirst quencher and to strengthen the digestive strength, I recommend hot, boiled water. This can be drunk in the long term and helps to dissipate the moisture and thus detoxify the body.

4. Avoid dietary products
Light products, reduced-fat foods and diet products often contain flavour enhancers and artificial sweeteners that increase appetite, are difficult to digest and strain digestion. They are often found hidden on the ingredients list under E numbers, maltodextrin, oligofructose and sodium nitrite.

5. Avoid bread
Bread is difficult to digest and produces dampness. As a result it won’t be completely digested and stores the remains as dampness in the body. Many people experience gas, bloating and soft bowels after consuming it. The more moisture the bread has, the worse the impact.

6. Avoid foods that produce dampness
As explained in the beginning, Chinese medicine considers that accumulated dampness is a factor that causes weight gain. Dampness within the body is produced when we are eating too much, too greasy and the wrong foods and when we are under stress. As a result we can become overweight, and so therefore, we must eliminate this dampness.

Foods and ingredients to avoid include: White sugar and sweets, ice-cream, noodles and bread, overconsumption of raw foods esp. salads, tomatoes and cucumbers.

Furthermore, avoid fruits like: Pineapple, kiwi, rhubarb, lemon, banana, kaki, mango, papaya, watermelon and honey melon lead to dampness.

Drinks that weaken the spleen: Cold drinks, soft drinks, fruit juices, algues and soy products.

The same applies for cow milk products like: yogurt, cheese and others.

Instead you should consume more vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fish which are abundant in calcium.

7. Start your day with a cooked breakfast
Do you love your yogurt bowl with fresh fruits in the morning? Do you often catch colds and feel tired despite having a healthy breakfast? Maybe this “cold” combo in the morning is completely wrong for your organism.

The most active time period of the stomach and spleen is between 7 and 11 am, according to the Chinese organ clock. Therefore, the most important meal of the day is breakfast. The ideal breakfast is a warm cooked meal that will fuel your digestive fire, and provide a good basis for the metabolism throughout the day.

Finally, If you belong to the group of people who skip breakfast, you may expect a weakening in your spleen.

8. No snacking in between
Many diets recommend five or more meals a day. Studies show that this leads to weight gain. In order to burn fat optimally, three meals a day are better with 4-5 hours between them. In addition to that, the blood sugar level is much better balanced (does not apply to diabetics). Eat more wholesome foods because they simply fill you up longer.

Be patient and you will get there

Instead of going on a crash diet, a diet change is better. You will be supplied with all nutrients and the metabolism of the body will not be slowed down, as it is the case with radical diets. Weight loss with Chinese Medicine will not only help you achieve your desired weight, but will also help you maintain it and avoid the yo-yo effect.

How would it feel to free yourself from your symptoms?  Ready to change and invest time and energy to get to the root of your problem? Then book your session now. I am looking forward to meeting you.

Acne and Pimples – Finding relief with the right Diet and Chinese Medicine

Acne and Pimples – Finding relief with the right Diet and Chinese Medicine

Acne and larger pus-filled pimples that are sometimes even painful and itchy can indicate a profound imbalance in the body. The specific areas of the face and body where the acne is found, can indicate precisely which organs have fallen into disharmony. The most affected areas are the face, chest and upper back.

Periods of hormonal changes, stressful times, bad nutrition, climate and lifestyle changes or inner emotional conflicts can all lead to outbreaks. As a result, women and men who are affected often experience shame, low self-esteem and despair when the acne and blemishes persist long-term.

Even humidity and hot weather can create skin issues and a new outbreak of pimples.

Sometimes, skin care products help to reduce the severity however, improvement in nutrition and other internal factors is essential for profound healing of acne and pimples.

Your emotional health affects acne

Acne is most commonly present during adolescence, a period with psychological instability. But, also after this life span it can affect women and men in all kinds of ages.

Jacques Martel explains in his book “Le grand dictionnaire des malaises et des maladies” the related emotions and inner conflicts that are often seen with acne.

According to him, the face relates to our individuality and the harmony between what I live internally and what is happening externally. The face is that part of us that faces others first, the one that allows us to be accepted or rejected. Thus, acne is often associated with a lack of acceptance of oneself. It can relate to feelings about ourself or others of:  irritation, criticism, resentment, rejection, fear, shame or insecurity. In some cases the affected person may even find herself ugly or disgusting. The inner lived conflict is manifested by a revolution of pimples. Instead of experiencing liberty and movement in life, the person withdraws herself in her inner world, feels stuck and frustrated. She may even be afraid of losing her face when telling someone what she feels and fears the judgments someone could make about her.

The back represents our past, habits, old fears and anxieties. When it is on the upper back, it represents repressed anger or irritation that needs to be relieved. On the chest, it represents the future and what is planned for me.

As a result, we need to give our inner emotional wellbeing as well the needed attention for healing our skin.

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Acne as seen by TCM

According to Chinese medicine, acne results from heat in the lung or stomach meridian and / or blood heat and stagnation in different energy pathways. As more heat is present, pimples can become redder, itchier and more inflamed.

Another important factor can be phlegm. A clear sign of phlegm is seen if the skin shows thick pimples, boils, swellings and fluid-filled blisters.

In this article, I would like to show you which symptoms can be seen at the different disharmonies of acne and blemishes and which simple nutrition changes can help to relieve symptoms.

Lung heat symptoms

  • dryness of mouth and nose
  • predominance of acne near the nose and lower cheeks
  • sometimes slight itching
  • often red tongue in the first third with a thin yellow coat, pulse may be rapid and floating

Disorder in the chong- and ren mai with blood heat

  • excessive emotional disturbances
  • chin, jaw and chest area are mostly affected
  • sometimes excessive hair growth
  • skin gets worse before menstruation and better when period sets in
  • may experience fullness of stomach or nausea
  • may experience premenstrual symptoms (PMS)

Stomach heat symptoms

  • constipation or dry stools
  • foul breath
  • aversion to heat
  • pimples around the mouth, shoulders and back
  • slight sweating
  • large appetite
  • increased thirst and a preference for cold drinks
  • normal or redder in the centre of the tongue with yellow, sometimes sticky coating, pulse may be rapid and forceful

Blood heat and blood and qi stagnation symptoms

  • emotional trauma and disturbances
  • long persisting severe acne with often scar tissue
  • dark red and inflamed eruptions which resemble pustules
  • flushed face
  • strong aversion to heat
  • dark urine and dry stools
  • red tongue with often redder tip and dry yellow coating, rapid pulse

All of these imbalances can be seen as well with dampness-phlegm. If this is the case you will also see:

Dampness-phlegm symptoms

  • deep, thick and fluid-filled pimples
  • swollen pimples
  • oily skin
  • thirst with no desire to drink
  • purple or red tongue with a greasy or sticky coating
  • pulse may be slippery or wiry

Diet and lifestyle changes for relieving acne and pimples

Most importantly when suffering from acne is to change the nutrition and lifestyle habits to reduce heat in the body. As seen above, heat and sometimes in combination with dampness are the causing reasons for acne. Consequently, you need to avoid foods that produce heat and eat more foods that cool down the heat. In addition to that dampness-phlegm causing foods need to be cut out. Luckily, there is a variety of foods that can be easily consumed every day.

Avoid foods that produce heat

  • chocolate and cacao
  • spices like cinnamon, pepper, piment, chilli, ginger and ginseng root, anise, rosemary, muscat, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, tabasco
  • onions and garlic
  • vinegar
  • lamb, mutton, sheep, goat, deer, sausage
  • overconsumption of meat
  • deep-fried, grilled and smoked foods
  • foods containing sulfur
  • shellfish especially shrimp
  • horseradish and leek
  • chai tea
  • alcohol especially red wine and high-percentage alcohols
  • coffee – also see my article “Coffee – Is it good or bad for your health?”

The best results are seen when you cut off these foods for at least 10 weeks and then continue to eat them very scarcely.

Other heat producing factors

  • stress and time pressure
  • suppressed and excessive emotions produce heat especially anger, frustration, sadness and dissatisfaction affect the skin health
  • eating too quickly
  • lack of sleep and going to bed too late (after 11pm)
  • hot weather

Foods that help to reduce heat

  • steamed and cooked dishes, soups and stews
  • rice, also see my article and recipe for a “Congee” 
  • amaranth, quinoa, millet (high content of silicon), polenta
  • small quantities of duck
  • steamed and cooked vegetables
  • watercress, radishes
  • sage, melissa
  • chamomile, orange flower and rose flower tea
  • peppermint and dandelion (be careful when suffering from digestive problems and a general feeling of cold)
  • apple and pear compote
  • berries like strawberry, blueberry, currant, cranberry, gooseberry
  • fresh sprouts such as brokkoli sprouts
  • small amounts of quark, sour milk, sour cream and kefir
  • legumes (be careful if you suffer from digestive problems)

If you suffer besides heat symptoms as well from dampness-phlegm you need to

Reduce foods that produce phlegm-dampness

  • overconsumption of raw foods esp. salads
  • drinking while eating
  • excessive drinking without thirst
  • white sugar and sweets (one of the most seen reasons!)
  • honey, sweets and ice-cream
  • noodles and bread
  • wheat bran, wheat sprouts
  • tomato, cucumber
  • yogurt, cheese and other milk products
  • cold drinks, soft drinks, fruit juice
  • pineapple, kiwi, rhubarb, lemon, banana, kaki, mango, papaya, watermelon, honey melon
  • dried fruits
  • algues
  • shellfish
  • soy sauce, tofu and other soy products
  • agar-agar
  • mineral water, wheat beer
  • too many eggs (more than 4 per week)
  • overconsumption of coconut milk
  • greasy foods
  • red meat
  • salt

Other dampness-phlegm producing factors

  • stress
  • fast food
  • smoking
  • drugs especially marijuana
  • humid and hot weather

Eat more reducing dampness-phlegm foods

  • eat small quantities of bitter salads like arugula, chicory, radicchio
  • basil, parsley, cardamom, curcuma, caraway seed, oregano and majoram
  • celery, black radish and cabbage
  • adzuki beans, kidney beans
  • all mushrooms especially mu-err and shiitake
  • apple and apricot
  • sardines

Clients who are suffering from acne and pimples are often very impatient to see quick results. It’s important to mention here that the longer the acne already persists the longer it will take to see results. Therefore, when the acne already exists for more than six months and has entered deeper layers, I use in my practice Chinese herbs and acupuncture to relieve symptoms quicker.

Also see my article: Gua Sha Facial Massage – Get rid of Wrinkles and Pimples Naturally

Many people suffering from acne and pimples have deep emotional conflicts which produce heat in the body. Besides the emotional aspect, stress and constant time pressure can lead to excessive heat in the body as well. Consequently, it should be looked for relaxation exercises or therapist and coaches who can help to adequately express emotions.

How would it feel to free yourself from your symptoms? Ready to change and invest time and energy to get to the root of your problem? Then book your session now. I am looking forward to meeting you.

 

References

Acupuncture Case Histories from China; Chen Jirui, M.D. and Nissi Wang, M.Sc.;

Le grand dictionnaire des malaises et des maladies; Jacques Martel;

Mit der 5-Elemente-Ernährung zur Wohlfühlfigur; Barbara Temelie;

Die 8 außerordentlichen Gefäße in der traditionellen Medizin; Barbara Kirschbaum;

Menopause Hot Flashes & Sweating: 6 Natural Ways To Control It

Menopause Hot Flashes & Sweating: 6 Natural Ways To Control It

What is menopause?

In the years before and after the last menstruation, women are in their menopausal years. It indicates the transition from the life phase, in which women can have children, to the phase of life in which no pregnancy is possible.

Menopause usually begins in the mid-40s. The ovaries gradually produce fewer hormones, ovulation is less frequent and consequently, fertility decreases. An indication: the menstrual bleeding is more irregular. The cycles are often shorter at first, later often longer. Finally, the menstrual bleeding ends completely.

The very last menstrual period is called menopause and the timing varies greatly for all women. In some women, the period stops at the age of 45 or earlier. Others do not experience menopause until the mid-50s. Years can go by until the hormonal change is complete.

Menopausal symptoms

There are many women who come through menopause relatively easily and have little or no problems. Menopause is not a disease but a normal life phase. However, because the level of the female sex hormones, progesterone and oestrogen, changes during this time, symptoms can appear such as: sweats, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, sleep disorders, mood swings, restlessness, period cycle changes, and a change in weight may occur. How likely and how strongly women suffer from menopausal symptoms is very different in each case.

What causes hot flashes and sweats during menopause?

The reason for hot flashes and sweating in menopausal women is probably the fall in oestrogen levels. This oestrogen deficiency causes an increase in stress hormones such as adrenaline. It is believed that a sudden increase in such stress hormones can lead to heat attacks and sweats.

Menopause relief for hot flashes and excessive sweating

Many women struggle with recurring hot flashes with strong sweats during menopause. Most of the time, a heat wave suddenly spreads over the face, neck and upper body. The face reddens and it follows a sweat that lasts a few minutes, then it often sets in a chill. Even at night, some women sweat increasingly during menopause. This can disturb the sleep as well. As a result, some women experience psychological and physical discomfort.

Is there a way out? Read on for some natural remedies and lifestyle tips that can help you to get it under control.

Hot flashes and excessive sweating: What you can do

Nutrition

Avoid spicy and deep-fried foods and don’t consume:

  • anise
  • fennel
  • cardamon
  • oatmeal
  • ginger
  • turmeric
  • nutmeg
  • thyme

as they are considered to have warming and heating properties according to Chinese medicine.

Eat more cooling foods like:

  • zucchini
  • spinach
  • eggplant
  • tomat0
  • watermelon
  • radish
  • cabbage
  • cucumber
  • sprouts
  • soy products

Your preferred cooking method should be steamed and boiled in water.

A very efficient way to reduce heat and sweating in the body is eating regularly “Congee”:

Congee – Health benefits and how to make this rice porridge

Coffee and alcohol only in moderation

Caffeine and alcohol can lower the oestrogen level and thus irritate the temperature controller. Anyone who has hot flashes and sweats should, therefore, reduce their coffee and alcohol consumption.

Check my article: Coffee – Is it good or bad for your health?

Herbs and medical plants

There are some herbs which can help to relieve hot flashes and sweating. These include, for example, lycopodium which is rhythm-strengthening, cooling and reduces anxiety and restlessness. Ribes nigrum (black currant) has hormone regulating effects and also helps with other menopausal symptoms. Sage is antiperspirant, cooling and balancing while strengthening the feminine aspect (Yin).

Please note that herbal medications can have interactions with other medications. Therefore, please consult an herbalist.

Breathing exercises

Breathing is vital. The body is nourished with fresh oxygen and carbon dioxide is exhaled from the body. But not only that, your breath also changes depending on your mood: If you are stressed, you breathe rather quickly and flat. If you come to rest, the breath slows down again. Deep and proper breathing is therefore important to reduce stress hormones and promotes good health and well-being.

6 Breathing Exercises to Relax in 10 Minutes or Less

Hot/cold showers

Many menopausal women find relief with alternating shower temperatures between hot and cold. At first, you need to start with a warm shower. Then put cold water on the bottom of the foot and bring the shower up the outer leg and back on the inside. Then repeat on the other side as well as the arms with the same procedure. After warming up with a hot shower, repeat the cold showers twice more. The treatment should end with a cold shower.

The right clothes

When suffering from hot flashes and sweating, the right clothes are important and a sweat proof undershirt can do miracles. Wear two to three thin garments over each other. You can then quickly take off a jacket or sweater during a hot flash and have a pretty women’s undershirts on. If you get cooler, put the other things back on.

How would it feel to free yourself from your symptoms?  Ready to change and invest time and energy to get to the root of your problem? Then book your session now. I am looking forward to meeting you.