Our Winter Wellness event was a great success – thank you again to all who attended! Rose and I collaborated to present practical information and useful tools to assist our guests to be physically, mentally, and emotionally well through winter.
For those who I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet, my name is Clancy, and I am the clinic owner and Acupuncturist at Diamond Creek Natural Medicine Centre. I am very excited to be presenting the four-part wellbeing series “In Harmony with the Seasons” with our Coach Rose Babic.
These events reflect the Clinic’s core ethos of being collaborative, informative leaders in our fields and in our local community. The program received government funding, via the Nillumbik Health & Wellness Initiative, supporting us to promote the events to the extended community.
TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE (TCM) | Clancy Street
Chinese medicine is founded on the philosophies and understanding of nature and the world we live in. It looks at the ‘physics and common laws to guide everyday living habits, for disease prevention and health promotion.’ At the very foundational level of this, is the theory of Yin and Yang. This is the theory of opposites. When we look at how these opposite characteristics present in the world around us, it would be said that Yin represents night, cold, inward, female, contracted, slow, winter. Yang therefore represents day, hot, outward, male, expanded, fast, and summer.
Following on from the information shared at the health talk, I will expand on the details of the Winter aspect of Chinese Medicine. If we are guided by the laws of Yin and Yang, we can see that Winter is when Yin is at its fullest (if you look at the Tai Chi symbol, you can see Winter refers to the ‘head’). Winter is when energy is at its coldest, darkest, slowest, most contracted and inward. Therefore, we should be the least active in this season as it is a period of ‘hibernation’ to recover from previous active and expanding seasons. It is a time to heal our body and mind from the ‘doing phases – day phases’.
What does this look like in a practical sense? Well, it may mean that you could be waking later in the morning, eat a warmer breakfast, wearing more layers of warm clothes and reducing your exercise…or not doing any at all! That’s okay. This philosophy of living in accordance with the seasons and promoting health is called Yang Sheng. I made several textbook recommendations in the talk; you can find them at the end of the blog. One of the easiest ways to introduce Yang Sheng into your daily routine is to choose food that is in season locally – which is different to what is available. Your body will thank you for it – it naturally seeks the nutrients from resources that are in season.
The winter foods that are locally in season include:
Looking further into the benefit of these ingredients, from a TCM perspective, these fruits have a Cool, Sweet & Sour flavour and Clear Heat and Toxins. This is especially great for the immune system and getting rid of upper respiratory bugs The vegetables all have a Warm, Sweet & Pungent flavour. Their action is to nourish the digestive energy and keep up sustained.
The most common meal recommended in winter by Chinese Medicine freaks like me… are broths! Particularly chicken due its terrific benefits for the immune system. My gift to you and your family is My Nonna Madelana’s Chicken Brodo.
LIFE COACHING | Rose Babic
Hello! Hats off to Clancy for being able to simplify her vast knowledge of complex Chinese Medicine info, so the rest of us can understand the basics! Hi! I’m Rose – resident Coach at DCNMC. Whether you were able to attend our talk or are learning about it here… congratulations on investing in simple, affordable, and proven ways to support wellbeing. A founding principle in the work I do is that happiness and joy stem from living an aware and deliberate life. If you’ve read this far – it looks like you’re already on your way! At the event I shared five tools to help set goals and stay focussed.
Here is a summary and link to those resources:
Setting goals which are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely have long been recognised as creating a successful framework for clarifying ambitions. In addition to this, goals that are Evaluated and Revised stand a far great chance of being relevant, authentic, and likely to be committed to. For further information of each of these components, try a Google search on SMARTER Goals.
This is powerful tool (pun intended) learnt through my NLP* training to create an authentic goal and assess your current capacity to move toward it. For those playing along at home…this works best with a pen and paper. This activity acts like a checklist, working through each enquiry from the top to bottom. If you are unable to ‘tick’ off the item currently…return to the top and start again, investing more attention at each point. Be patient – this is an exercise in self-discovery.
*NLP: Neuro-Linguistic Programming practices explore our thoughts, and provides tools to choose exactly how we want to feel, communicate, or see the world – by understanding the influence of language on our current life, and our desired life.
The Infinite 1% theory focuses on the exponential growth that occurs when we start to work on a goal and need to get from 0 to 1. This teeny progress is often considered to be ‘easy’ or not worth worrying about, as many of us focus on the ‘big’ outcome (eg to lose 20 kilos) or unhelpful conditions we put on ourselves (I’ll wait until Monday to start; I need a new hoodie to run in, etc). These distractions are the difference between inaction (doing nothing) and action (doing something). Life Coach Kara Loewentheil explains why going from 0 to 1 is EVERYTHING in her blog.
Built on decades of research on behavioural psychology, this is my go-to source for forming and sticking to new habits. It focuses on quick wins by embedding new, teeny habits into your existing daily routines. By tapping into simple behaviour-change processes you can us positive emotions to increase productivity and create happier and healthier days for yourself. I recommend watching BJ Hogg’s 7min TED Talk on Health & Habits to learn more
There is a large body of work exploring the mind’s ability to distinguish between what is seeing, is remembered, or imagined. Our nervous system therefore will respond to our thoughts about a circumstance – whether it is real or being imagined, making it an effective tool for focusing on your goals. Vision Boards can work on both your conscious and unconscious mind – make one today with images or individual words that represent your goals. Place it somewhere you can access it easily and often – perhaps make it your screen saver, or pop it up on your fridge. Commit some time daily to think about and plan your future whilst looking at your collage, but don’t expect changes in your life to occur magically! This resource works best with other strategies for your personal growth plan.
Happy exploring! – Rose