(Nearly) sunshine-y greetings to you all! I’m excited to report that May was my busiest month since taking over this practice almost a year ago and I’m so honored to be a part of the health care team for so many wonderful people. Of course, that also meant that here it is June and I’m now sending my May Newsletter!
Memorial Day has come and gone and with it the unofficial start of summer. Great for weekends, and less great for standing on subway platforms in work clothes only to then completely freeze on the subway and in supermarkets. It’s a tricky season, but here are some of my favorite things that come with summer:
CSA! My husband Brian and I got our first farm share of the season (and ever!) While we’ve loved our visits to the various farmers markets near us, we’re embracing adventure this summer and being surprised at what crops up in our box of goodies every Saturday. This weekend was replete with chives, lettuces, spinach, sweet potato, lovely strawberries and my new favorite thing: spring garlic! We had fun researching recipes and discovered the website “WTF CSA?” which helps with tips and tricks. We also had a lovely chat with the farm owner from Fishkill Farms when we picked up our share. Developing a relationship with our food sources is a great way to introduce healthy habits into our lives organically. Farmers markets have set up around the city and are also a fun way to experience this when possible. Choose what looks beautiful, choose a variety of colors. The more colors on your plate, the better.
I love making my own products and this year I've been working on a bug spray using essential oils. We've been reading more and more alarming reports about mosquito and tick transmitted viruses while simultaneously reading more and more about the toxic damage caused by DEET and picaridin to skin. As it turns out the scientific community has been studying this topic rather in depth and essential oils have an repellency strength on par with or within a few percentage points with DEET and picaridin, but only to specific species. So I have researched the species of mosquitos common to our area and formulated a spray to repel them and protect against ticks. If you have been in the office the last few weeks you might have gotten some, if not, come by, they are complimentary for patients. Please note that it is best to reapply every 90-120 minutes. It is formulated for urban areas. IF you are camping or are walking around rural areas with tall grasses, I recomment long pants and shoes/socks which can be sprayed with DEET/picaridin.
DOG DAYS OF SUMMER
Lastly, summer is the best time to get heat into the body and store it there. In the Chinese medicine tradition, warming herbs are mixed with ginger juice and applied to certain points on the back (taped on and left from 30 minutes to 3 hours). It is a type of moxibustion – not using mugwort and flame, but using the ‘heat’ of the herbs and ginger –applied on certain days of the year in order to effectively store the heat of summer in the body, carrying it through the winter. It is known as San Fu moxibustion, and the dates are calculated to be what we have referred to as the “dog days of summer”, thought to be the hottest of the year. I myself get these applied in the summer and have seen an end to my annual winter cold. This is a much studied technique, as traditional hospitals in China have lines out the door on San Fu days. Studies have followed patients through the year and found reductions in winter illnesses from those who get the moxa applied in summer, and most improvement on those who get it done on the actual San Fu dates.
This years San Fu dates are: July 17, July 27, August 6 and August 16. A course of treatment is to come in and get the application for 3 of those dates. I apply the mixture, put tape on to secure it and send you on your way. You will remove the tape and mixture at home. If you’d like to get this done, please reach out and let me know and I will have the supplies on hand and come in for the applications, as two of the dates are on off days.
As always, you can follow me on social media at the following: on Instagram I am ab_acupuncture_nyc My Facebook page is AB Acupuncture – Annalisa Brown, L.Ac as well as Twitter (@ABacuNYC) or LinkedIn under my name. Please like/follow my pages if you are on social media so I can spread the word locally.