New Years 2012 Newsletter

New Years 2012 Newsletter

Moon and Lotus
Kamala Quale, MSOM, LAc
541-345-2220

IN THIS ISSUE:

 

Year of the Water Dragon and Your Chinese Zodiac Sign

Golden Dragon

The Chinese new year begins on February 23rd. This is the year of the Dragon, and in particular the Water Dragon. Read more to find out about the energy of the dragon for the year and some personality traits of people who were born in a dragon year. To learn a qigong healing form based on the energy of the dragon see the classes section in this newsletter.

The legendary Chinese dragon has a very yang, active and vibrant energy. It represents all of the forces in nature, and symbolizes potent and auspicious powers. Dragons are also a symbol of good fortune and bring four blessings: Wealth, Virtue, Harmony, & Longevity*.

Water calms the Dragon’s fire. Water Dragons are able to see things from other points of view. They don’t have the need to always be right. Their decisions, if well-researched, are usually better since they allow other’s to become involved.

The Chinese zodiac is based on the 12 year cycles of the Planet Jupiter. In correlative thinking, the twelve years of the Jupiter cycle also identify the twelve months of the year, and twelve animals that symbolize the energy of the year.

In addition the energy of the animal is linked with one of the five elements, which influences the energy of the year. So, every 12 years there is a Wood Dragon (1904 & 1964), Fire Dragon (1919 &1976), Earth dragon (1928 &1988), Metal Dragon (1940 & 2000), and Water Dragon (1952 and 2012).

If you were born in any of the above years, your Chinese zodiac sign is the Dragon. When you are 60 years old, the energy of your 60th year is the same as your first year of life. If you make it to 120, you will experience it again.

For more about the personality of the dragon and the other Chinese zodiac signs see:
http://www.chinesezodiac.com/dragon.php
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_dragon

*Ling Gui School of Qigong

 

Four Tips for a Healthy Low Back

Medical Meridians Acupuncture Points

“Since you told me about supporting my low back when I’m . . . it has not hurt at all!”

I’ve heard this from clients lately and thought I’d share some things about back care with all of you. Winter is a great season to pay attention to the flexibility and support of your back. The water element and in particular the Bladder meridian (see illustration) influences the spine, back and brain and is important to strengthen and keep flexible during winter.

The first tip is to pay attention to how you are using your abdominal muscles. The lower abs are directly in front of the low back. There are deep, middle and surface layers of muscles in the abdomen that can support the low back. Consciously try to pull each of these layers in and towards your spine and you will find that your low back lengthens automatically. Holding this posture when you are washing dishes, bending forward, standing and walking supports and firms your pelvis and low back which are your foundation for balance and mobility.

The second tip is to stretch and keep the lumbar muscles at the back of the waist area flexible. When these muscles are tight it is hard to let the low back lengthen. (See self-care section for ideas)

The third tip is to have a regular practice that keeps your back strong and flexible. Both stretching and strengthening are important. Attend a yoga, qigong or tai chi class. Get acupuncture and massage regularly.

The fourth tip is to stay flexible in your mind as well as your body. Avoid rigid attitudes and “posturing” that tightens your back and limits your openness to possibilities. Let go of being driven by unrealistic expectations and ambitions that create exhaustion and weaken the low back and adrenals. Stay humble and wise. Be like water that is essential and seeks the lowest ground. Water flows around obstacles and creates change by continually moving in a soft yet powerful way.

 

Winter Special - Refer a Friend

* This Winter, refer a person who comes in and get a free session yourself!

My business is built around referrals and I have openings for new clients. So please refer your family, friends and colleagues who want:

  • Tension and pain relief, emotional balance, and help with challenging health conditions.
  • A boost in vitality and immune function
  • A holistic look at all the factors that effect their health

We bill most insurance companies that offer acupuncture as a benefit.

 

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Tips for Self Care

Loosening the Low Back

One easy way to loosen the lumbar muscles behind the waist area is to bend your knees and bring your hands to the floor. Keep your feet close together. Then alternately bend one knee and straighten the other and at the same time let your hips and waist area move back and forth. Bend the knees several times right and left, right and left to loosen the low back area.*

Another self-acupressure method is to put two tennis balls in a sock, lay down on your back, and place the balls on either side of the spine between you and the floor or bed. Let your body weight sink and let the balls press into the tight muscles on either side of the spine.

Breathe into any tight places and allow your back and the ball to be more comfortable together. When one place has loosened and the initial sensations or tightness has softened, move the balls up or down to the next place of tension. Be careful to stay within your comfort zone. If you need more help with tension and pain relief, make an appointment with me for acupuncture and we can tailor a treatment to your needs.

*This is part of the first warm-up yoga posture in the Bikram Yoga series.

 

Tips for Meditation

Energize your spine

The spine houses our central nervous system and thus affects our entire well-being. Many wisdom traditions tell us that the spine is the location for subtle energies that open awareness and guide our perception and intuition. There are many movement and breathing techniques associated with opening the energy of the spine. The following method is simple, calming and energizing.

Sit or lay in a comfortable position. Turn your awareness inward and become aware of the expansion of your solar plexus and the rise and fall of your belly with your breath. Keep your breath slow and steady. As you inhale and feel the front of your body rise, allow the breath to fill your back. Start with the low back so that you feel your belly and back expand with the inhale and relax with the exhale. Then extend the expansion from the low back to the shoulder blades. As your breath and your awareness touch in with your back, bring in a smile and a feeling of gratefulness for the intelligence that guides your life.

 

Upcoming Qigong Classes

Walking, Breathing and Moving with Qi

Saturdays: February 4, March 3; 10am - noon

Location: Moon and Lotus yurt, 30 minutes SW of Eugene near Lorane.

Fee: $20 or donation

Monthly classes this winter and spring will focus on methods like horse stance, reverse breathing, shaking and walking, which keep the spine and low back strong and flexible, and tone the abdominal “core” muscles. We will increase vitality and align with the energy of the year by practicing the Fire Dragon form. And we will continue to stretch our tendons, open our meridians and align our hearts with the Jin Jing Gong Fourteen form.

 

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