Winter is the Season of the Water Element

Before learning about Chinese Medicine, I hated winter. I hate (present tense) the cold and probably have a variant of seasonal affective disorder. I used to just grit my teeth and wait out warmer days. The paradoxically good thing about the season is that the shortest day comes at the start of the season. So … Continue reading Winter is the Season of the Water Element

Fall is the Season of Letting Go

In Chinese Medicine, fall is associated with the metal element, as well as grief and the lungs. These may seem a strange combination of concepts, but they all relate. Think of the lungs, they take in fresh air to be transformed into something essential and life sustaining, then also expel compounds which would be toxic … Continue reading Fall is the Season of Letting Go

Sleep from a Chinese Medicine Perspective

As a sleep coach, I have been increasingly building insights from Chinese Medicine into my practice. Before we delve too much into sleep, it is important to note that in Chinese Medicine, there are 5 elements which correspond to many things, including personality. You can take a quiz here which should give you a fairly … Continue reading Sleep from a Chinese Medicine Perspective

Summer is Meant to be the Season of Joy. Can it Still Be?

Joy. What a strange, borderline inappropriate topic to wax philosophical about during a pandemic. But the world still spins on its axis. Literally. And that axial tilt brings in the changing on the seasons without regard to public health, economic collapse, or personal suffering. In Chinese medicine, there are 5 seasons corresponding to 5 elements … Continue reading Summer is Meant to be the Season of Joy. Can it Still Be?

De-Stress with Ear Seeds

Close up with adhesive ear seeds on the spleen and shen men points As Chinese medicine practices become more mainstream, both Good Morning America and the New York Times have highlighted growing interest in using a treatment known as ear seeds for health. I remember when a friend showed up to a hangout with what … Continue reading De-Stress with Ear Seeds

The Chinese Organ Clock

In Chinese Medical theory, there are peak times for activities of the various organs. This concept is useful because when we are out of balance with disease or other issues, sometimes we can find clues based on the time of the symptoms. The above graphic shows us not only when each organ (as conceived in … Continue reading The Chinese Organ Clock

Integrative Medicine and Coronavirus

Caution: This posting is meant to share interesting science coming out related to COVID-19. It is not meant to suggest that you look to herbs or any other form of alternative medicine in lieu of recommended guidelines. Stay home and wash your hands! I mean, really. How can you write about anything else this week? … Continue reading Integrative Medicine and Coronavirus

What is Integrative Medicine?

We at Integrative Alchemists are students and practitioners of integrative medicine, but what does that mean?  There are a lot of terms out there that can cause confusion about approaches beyond traditional (Western) medicine.  Below are some basic definitions. Some of these approaches can overlap in places. Once we’ve defined them, we can talk about … Continue reading What is Integrative Medicine?

What is Qi? A brief introduction…

Qi, pronounced like the “chee” in cheese, is the vital life force energy that animates all life. In the human body, it flows through channels, but cannot be seen or measured. Qi governs the flow of blood, the function of organs, and even our emotional states. In a normal state of health, qi flows smoothly … Continue reading What is Qi? A brief introduction…