Category: Mental Health, Self Care & Wellness

Wuxing Nutrition Therapy Workshop

Join me on a wonderful journey of self discovery with the Five Elements Nutrition Therapy Workshop

What is Wuxing nutrition therapy?

The Wuxing nutrition therapy is Five Elements nutrition therapy, created on the principles of the ancient art of Chinese nutrition. Please read the article for more information.

Wuxing nutrition therapy, is about self-discovery, self-transformation and self-healing. It puts YOU back in control of your food intake.

What is in the workshop?

We will look at foods, beverages and cooking methods according to the laws of Yin and Yang and the Five Elements and classify them into categories based on thermal energy, taste, flavour, area of influence in the body and the way cooking methods can influence them.

We will learn about seasons, constitutional factors, how food can influence our health and well-being, and how to create recipes for better health and vitality.

Who can benefit from this nutrition therapy workshop?

Anybody who is interested in learning about the ancient Tao healing art of nurturing themselves in accordance to the principles of the Five Elements is most welcome.

Will I have to cook and eat Chinese?

Absolutely not! One of the important rules of Wuxing nutrition therapy is that it encourages the consumption of local foods. You will learn how to combine them based on the Wuxing principles so that you can start cooking for your own personalised needs and preferences.

What if I am vegan or vegetarian?

Wuxing nutrition therapy works with who you are, physically, emotionally and spiritually, to help you transform in the best version of yourself. If you are vegan, you are free to stay vegan, but it will help you be the best version of you as a vegan.

However, please note that the workshop will make mention of all food groups, including meat and dairy products.

Please read the disclaimer before enlisting for the workshop.

DISCLAIMER

The Wuxing Nutrition Therapy workshop has been designed to familiarise you with the principles of the Five Elements nutrition, as they have been written down in the Chinese medicine literature, so that you can become more aware of your daily food intake, enhance well-being, and enrich your relationship with food and food preparation.

One must consider the fact that Wuxing nutrition therapy must be accompanied by other therapies and lifestyle changes in order to become most effective.

The workshop does not enable you to complete a Chinese medicine diagnostic on yourself or others.

The workshop does not present any specific food cures related to any illnesses or medical conditions and it is not a substitute for professional consultation and treatment from a qualified Chinese medicine practitioner, other nutritionist practitioners or your doctor.  

If you have concerns about your health or if you have to follow a special diet due to various illnesses or diagnosed medical conditions, it is recommended that you consult your healthcare team before you make any changes in your diet.

The information contained in the workshop are by no means a substitute, replacement or alternative to any form of medication you may be taking for your medical conditions.

This workshop is designed for personal use.

If you are a professional, you will be able to receive a CPD certificate of attendance, but it will not qualify you a Chinese medicine nutritionist, nor will you be able to use it to get insured as such a nutritionist, unless you are already qualified as a TCM practitioner and/or TCM acupuncturist.

All participants to the workshop will sign a copy of this disclaimer at the moment of their training.

Wuxing Nutrition Therapy

One of my favourite teachers at the Chinese medicine college used to say:

“This person needs nourishment, not punishment!”

Food, glorious food!

As human beings, we have a special relationship with food. Food is not just fuel for the body, food is much more than that.

Our first relationship is with our mothers, through feeding, both in the womb and after we are born. 

We break bread only with friends and family, and many of our first dates include food.  An old proverb says that love passes through the stomach, and they are not far from the truth, considering that the Heart meridian is paired up with the Small Intestine in Chinese medicine.

We use food and eating metaphors to describe how we feel, “full of zest for life”, “with no appetite for anything”, we take in “the sweetness of life”, or “life can be bitter sometimes”.

Food is one of our greatest pleasures in life. Some take pleasure from eating it, some take pleasure from cooking it. For some, food is a hindrance, for others, a sin.

What is nutrition therapy?

Nutrition therapy is one of the Tao Healing Arts also known as the arts of the Mountain or the Alchemy arts. It does not belong to the arts of Medicine. In fact, it is the precursor of herbalism, as physicians developed the herbal remedies from the foods and herbs they were eating.   

According to the principles of Tao Healing Arts, nutrition plays a very important part in preserving and restoring our health. Food is not just a means to nurture our bodies, but it represents a vital part into maintaining a healthy balance of the spirit.

As all the other healing and metaphysical arts of the Tao, nutrition is first and foremost an instrument for preserving health. It was considered one of the most powerful forms of self-transformation and self-healing arts.

Food as an instrument of health preservation

As part of the ancient Tao healing arts, nutrition therapy uses the same fundamental principles to analyse foods and their effects on the human being.

Foods, drinks, spices and cooking methods are differentiated according to the following principles:

  1. Energy/thermal energy. This is related to the Yin or Yang nature of the nutrition. Thus, we have hot, warm, neutral, cooling and cold energy. Hot and warm influence Yang, cooling and cold influence Yin and neutral can be either.
  2. Taste or flavour. Here we have five aromatic categories, corresponding to the Five Elements (Wuxing) and also to the five pairs of Zang-/Fu organs. The five flavours or tastes are: sweet, pungent, salty, acrid/sour, and bitter.
  3. Qi affecting properties. This represents the way in which a certain food or drink affects the movement of the Qi. We have foods that move the Qi upwards, foods that move the Qi downwards, foods that keep the Qi at the surface and foods that sink the Qi deep in the body.
  4. Area of influence. In this category we find foods that support the Qi, foods that nourish Blood or nourish the Bodily Fluids and foods that supplement the Essence (pre-natal Qi)
  5. Cooking methods. The way we process the foods can enhance their properties or destroy them

We are not what we eat, we eat who we are

Since no two people are exactly identical, what we eat and how we eat should be as individual as ourselves and should help us preserve our health and cure us when needed.

Choosing to follow the principles of Wuxing nutrition therapy means to learn about our unique constitutional profile, our strengths and weaknesses, what our symptoms mean, and eat our way back to balance. It is a journey of a lifetime. As we change, so should our nutrition change to support the new us. It is a very personal path and nobody can walk it for us. 

Many people think that they will have to start cooking and eating Chinese or they have to change their dietary regime. Far from the truth. Wuxing nutrition therapy works with who you are, physically, emotionally and spiritually, to help you transform in the best version of yourself. If you are vegan, you are free to stay vegan, but it will help you be the best version of you as a vegan.

Wuxing nutrition therapy, aka Five Elements nutrition therapy, is about self-discovery, self-transformation and self-healing. It puts YOU back in control.

If you want to learn this ancient art, join me for the Wuxing Nutrition Therapy workshop. Private consultations also available.

10 Years

10 years

Another life, literally.
Got my PhD, got promoted to Lecturer, became the LCCI Centre coordinator at the uni.
Wrote several books and a handful of research papers (28 in total)

Thought I had everything figured out. I thought I was happy and loved and safe.
Then burnout and PMDD arrived, bringing “happy” thoughts of a world that would be better off without me in it.

All I knew about UK was that the weather was horrible and the food not much better.
But this a wonderful man opened his heart and his house to me
And he told me I can be anything I want to be.
So I took a giant leap of faith and I jumped and never looked back.
I patched my cracked pot of a heart with gold from his love. And he stood by me through thick and thin and he taught me the real meaning of love

I am proud of my Transylvanian heritage and my battle scars. And my quirky accent.

I know I’m not everyone’s cup of tea and I’m happy with that. I tried that once and nearly killed me.

I’ve learnt that:
1. Not getting what I wanted was indeed a wonderful struck of luck
2. A kick in the butt is a step forward
3. What doesn’t kill you does make you stronger but it also gives you a sick sense of humour
4. Acupuncture is proof that getting stabbed in the back can be a very beneficial thing
5. English food is actually not that bad

Happy New Year everyone! Keep the ball rolling!

Mind full or mindful?

The choice is yours

The human mind can be a wonderful servant or a terrible master. As a servant, it can turn you into the most accomplished warrior. As a master, it can turn you into the most accomplished worrier.

One of the most successful people in the world are the ones who made their minds work for themselves instead of allowing their minds to control their pain, thoughts or emotions. If we look at their lifestyle habits, they all seem to have one thing in common: they meditate.

Are you looking to improve your life? Would you like to enjoy better health and more wealth?

The practice of mindfulness, developed by the ancient cultures, such as the Buddhist and Zen practitioners, is now available at Purple Jade Holistics. All you have to do is choose the package that is best suited for your needs (click to find out more). 

Yes, it’s all in your head!

Scientific studies have demonstrated that mindfulness and meditation do actually change the brain chemistry and how we react to stimuli.

Did you know?

The corporations in Japan have interior gardens built within the premises so that all their employees can spend time in contemplation every day. Many of them will also spend at least one week in Buddhist or Zen retreats, because they believe that mindfulness not only helps maintain good health, emotional balance and general well-being, but it also makes them more successful in their professions, leading to wealth and prosperity.

This art of contemplating the present moment, as it is, without trying to change anything about it, without judging or trying to quantify it in any way, has many benefits.

The act of gently guiding the mind to the present moment is not only grounding, but it also helps deal with an overactive mind, stress and anxiety.

Mindfulness relaxes the mind and helps it become open and aware, which improves the memory and focus.

A relaxed mind is also better equipped to handle pain. Mindfulness can be a very important instrument for people who struggle with chronic pain and inflammation, such as arthritis or fibromyalgia. Also, by releasing stress, mindfulness can help with strengthening the immunity and lowering the blood pressure.

One of the first effects people notice when they start practising mindfulness is a significant improvement in their sleep patterns. Mindfulness not only helps them fall asleep faster, it also helps them stay asleep, and the quality of the sleep is much improved as it assists in the reduction of nightmares.

One of the fundamental principles of mindfulness is to explore everything with new and curious eyes. This helps develop creativity and problem solving skills. This is why people who meditate and practice mindfulness tend to be more relaxed, creative and more successful.

Another interesting side-effect of mindfulness is that people practising it seem to feel less lonely. Being present and aware of the surroundings and looking at everything with new eyes and a vivid curiosity renders one feeling connected not only with themselves, but to the world at large. Plus, by attending mindfulness group sessions, one is prone to meet like-minded people and make new friends.

Mindfulness is able to regulate the moods and the responses one has towards external and internal stimuli. A regular daily practice of mindfulness, even just for a few minutes, will prevent the stress build-up.

In a nutshell, it puts YOU in control of how YOU choose to respond to the events inside or around you.

Mindfulness can become an empowering tool by putting YOU in control of your mind and your life.

Can you afford NOT to give mindfulness a try?

Packages start from just £30 (click to find out more)

Tai Chi for Health and Well-being

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Please be advised that it is always recommended that you consult with your GP and other healthcare specialists before starting ANY Tai Chi programs

Tai Chi belongs to the great family of physical exercises designed with the purpose of cultivating and preserving the life force Qi.

With roots in martial arts, developed by the Chinese monks in order to counterattack the long time spent immobile in meditation and mindfulness, Tai Chi, alongside QiGong and other forms of Qi cultivation and preservation, presents many forms and styles, all created with the same principles in mind: the integration of body and mind by controlling the movement of the body and the breathing, thus cultivating the life force and rendering the human being in total harmony with themselves and with the Universe. 

The slow, soft moves were created to build and reinforce fitness, agility and balance, both in body and mind. The mind is present and aware of every move the body makes.

Benefits of Tai Chi:

  1. Reduces pain. From the Chinese medicine point of view, Tai Chi enables the free flow of Qi, Blood and Body Fluids. The moves are especially designed to follow the natural flow of Qi along the meridians and collaterals, thus restoring the healthy flow of Qi and the elimination of stagnant energy and pain. A good flow of Qi also leads to a good flow of Blood and Body Fluids which nourish the muscles and the joints, which means less pain and stiffness and more mobility.
  2. Promotes mindfulness. Because the mind is present and aware of every move the body makes and it focuses on the breathing at the same time, Tai Chi is in fact moving mindfulness. It makes you aware of your body and breathing in the present moment, helping you control the mind from wandering off. This calms the mind and helps you think more clearly.
  3. Reduces stress. The classes do not measure progress in any way. All the participants are there to enjoy themselves while moving within their own range of mobility and comfort. This contributes to a very a relaxed state of mind.

Tai Chi for Health programs developed by Dr Paul Lam combine Western medical science with Oriental wisdom. The programs are designed especially for medical conditions, such as: arthritis and fall prevention, diabetes, rehabilitation and so on.

It is a known fact that people in pain and elderly people are more prone to accidents due to lack of balance.

Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention contains twelve simple and easy to follow moves that have been chosen for their ability to increase muscle strength, balance and confidence in people suffering from:

  • Arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • MS
  • Post-stroke rehabilitation
  • Asthma

Benefits of Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention:

  • Increases strength and flexibility
  • Decreases pain in joints
  • Decreases stress
  • Helps reduce high blood pressure
  • Increases a sense of well-being
  • Improves balance
  • Improves lung capacity

The program is endorsed and recommended by many international health organisations, such as CDC in America and Arthritis Care in UK.

If you are interested in joining any of the classes I teach in Tameside, please drop me a line 🙂

Your Transylvanian Tai Chi instructor and TCM coach,

Daciana

The troubles of the Mind – the Shen disorders

[…] we won’t establish peace of mind just by praying for it. Dalai Lama

 

The principle of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is to restore balance in the being by restoring the free flow of Qi, Blood, Bodily Fluids and Shen (Spirit).

Stagnation in the body can manifest itself on several levels and can have multiple symptoms. The most important symptom is pain. This pain can be physical pain or it can be emotional distress.

When we suffer from mental issues, this pain comes in a multitude of forms, because each individual copes with emotional distress in their own unique way.

According to Chinese medicine, there are many complaints that belong to this category of disorders of the Spirit (Shen). Some of them are:

  • Sleep disorders: insomnia, restless, interrupted sleep, dream disturbed sleep, sleepiness
  • Disruptive mental episodes: lack of focus, overthinking, lack of vision, memory lapses, inability to make decisions, procrastination, lack of creativity, OCD, psychotic episodes
  • Emotional distress: anxiety, anger, jealousy, panic attacks, traumatic events, flashbacks (PTSD), depression, unjustified sadness, hyperactivity, inappropriate language and manners, phobias, inability to form meaningful relationships, low self-esteem, lack of trust
  • Female disorders: PMDD, post-partum depression, hormonal fluctuations, menstruation complaints, infertility (some cases)
  • Addictions: alcohol, nicotine, drug abuse, over-medication, gambling, eating disorders

However, it is not just in your mind. The Shen disorders can even be felt as physical pain. This pain can be in the form of a headache, backache, stiff neck, TMJ, chest pain, tight throat, eye strain, coarse voice, vertigo and dizziness, IBS and other digestive issues, to name but a few. If the physical ailments do not seem to be confirmed by scan or test results, one can almost safely assume they are of emotional or mental origin. At the same time, certain confirmed physical ailments can be improved once the mental state of the individual is improved.

So, if just praying for a peaceful mind won’t cut it, what can we do to improve our mental balance and restore mental health?

It is always recommended to combine alternative therapies with medication and professional therapy and counselling, especially in the case of severe manifestations. Once the critical stage has been dealt with and the mind has settled, the treatment can be extended to alternative medicine, art therapy and other forms of therapy designed to help maintain an optimal level of mental balance.

Acupressure or acupuncture, combined with mindfulness and massage therapy can be a very effective combination in restoring and maintaining a healthy mental state, provided the treatment is backed up by dietary and other lifestyle changes.

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