Tuesday, February 23, 2010

2010 Year of the TIGER - Health Forecast

Here's another interesting posting from Dr MoaShing Ni - on how you can take a proactive approach to enjoying good health in the Year of the Tiger.....


Welcome to the year of the Tiger! For nearly 20 years I've given yearly forecasts based on the ancient Tao system of the Five Elements energetic phases, which predicts the global trends that affect each of us on a personal level.

How do you benefit from this forecast? By taking note of the predictions for health, relationships, and finances, you will be able to minimize the negative tendencies and make the most of the positives!

Year of the Tiger: Big Changes Ahead

In Chinese astrology the tiger is one of the most dynamic and powerful signs. Its nature is unpredictable, courageous, and explosive. Therefore, the year of the Tiger is usually associated with big changes and social disorder; 2010 is likely to be a turbulent year—on both a global and a personal level. However, those who gain an understanding of it through this article and their own spiritual awareness can cultivate the flexibility to adapt to changes and keep a steady hand on the keel through these rough waters. When you meet the challenges head on and get proactive about your health, you will be all the stronger for it by year's end.

Prediction for your health
In the Chinese calendar 2010 is represented by the elements metal and wood. The elemental interaction is symbolized by an ax (metal) cutting down a tree (wood).

The metal element corresponds to the lungs, colon, skin and the immune system. This means that this year, you may be much more prone to developing sinus allergies, infections, asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, colitis, irritable bowl syndrome, diarrhea, constipation, rashes, compromised immunity or autoimmune inflammatory conditions such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and eczema.

The wood element correlates to the liver, gall bladder, and the nervous system, which means this year may be marked with increased stress and tension, depression, anxiety, gallstones, hepatitis, and cirrhosis.

Now that you know the future possibilities for this year, you can make some changes to sidestep potential issues affecting your immune, respiratory, digestive, and nervous system conditions.

1. Eat right for 2010
The foundation of Chinese medicine is that you can avoid illness by eating foods that possess healing properties.

* For this year, I would suggest increasing your intake of the following foods: daikon radishes, turnips, beets, Asian pears, persimmons, papayas, pineapples, cherries, grapes, blueberries, almonds, pine nuts, and flax seeds.

* Keep your liver healthy by eating lots of green leafy vegetables, especially collard greens, Swiss chard, kale, dandelion greens, and mustard greens. Also: barley grass, seaweed—anything high in chlorophyll. Artichokes are a powerful liver protector, due to their silymarin content.

* Also, eat herbs and spices that cleanse and perk up your immune system: dill, oregano, cilantro, rosemary, sage, peppermint, turmeric, basil, coriander, fennel, anise, cardamom, ginger, and parsley.

* Avoid: dairy, alcohol, caffeine, sugar, wheat, deep fried and fatty foods, processed and refined foods, excessive red meat, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and potatoes.

2. Exercise tips for Year of the Tiger
Overall, consistent and regular exercise will help you to strengthen your respiratory and cardiovascular systems.

* I especially recommend learning and practicing mind-body exercises like tai chi or qigong, an all-in-one workout. These gentle, but powerful exercises engage deep breathing to strengthen your lungs with the added benefit of lowering your stress hormones—effectively reducing stress and tension. To learn tai chi and qigong, you can work with a teacher or use instructional DVDs.

* Take walks and get out in nature to refresh your lungs.

* Practice stretching, yoga, or tai chi: being physically flexible can promote the same trait in your personality

3. Protect with herbal and nutritional supplements

Being proactive with your health also includes using herbal and nutritional supplements appropriately to support your health. Herbs and nutrients have been a part of my family's diet and used effectively for prevention for many years.

* For this year, I plan on taking herbal formulas that contain Chinese herbs supportive to the health of my organ functions, such as astragalus, magnolia, chrysanthemum, Chinese peony, and others. I will take perpetual shield to boost my immune system, internal cleanse that will assist my liver in detoxification, and exquisite skin to keep my colon clean, thereby keeping my skin clear.

* Round out your nutritional program by maintaining a regular intake of fish oil, probiotics, and digestive enzymes. You may even try my family's own whole food liquid multi-vitamin supplement, which will nourish and strengthen your organ systems. (Greensleeve's note: If you are a vegetarian/vegan you may want to skip the fish oil recommended here).

4. Cleanse your body

Undertake cleansing and detoxification programs at the start and throughout the year to support your liver and peak body functions. You can find a whole detoxification regime in one of my earlier Yahoo blogs, the 5-Step Detox to Revitalize You.

5. Develop patience
Finally, cultivate patience, kindness, and peace so that your interactions with others can promote harmony and love. Some ways to do this are to make daily lists of all the things in your life that you are grateful for, volunteer your help to others in need, and practice stress-release techniques that bring you peace.

In summary, the Year of the Tiger will bring about more change, even turmoil in the world and in your life. However by using this as an opportunity to shape your life, like sculpting a beautiful and useful object out of raw wood or molding from metal you can ride the tiger triumphantly towards your goals so that you can manifest balance, wellness and fulfillment in 2010.

May you live long, live strong, and live happy!

-Dr. Mao

(This blog is meant to educate, but it should not be used as a substitute for personal medical advice. The reader should consult his or her physician or clinician for specific information concerning specific medical conditions. While all reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that all information presented is accurate, as research and development in the medical field is ongoing, it is possible that new findings may supersede some data presented)

For more details on Dr Mao, please visit :

Healing Power of Herbal Tea

Gong Xi Fa Cai and a Healthy and Prosperous Lunar New Year to one and all.....

After a week of visiting friends and relatives during the holidays and enjoying all the yummy tidbits and food, it's time to slow down and take stock of our health and well-being for now.

I was reading on some postings by a Dr Maoshing Ni (a Yahoo! health expert in Chinese medicine) and sharing with you this interesting item on the goodness of tea........ enjoy it with a cuppa!

By : Dr Maoshing Ni

Tea goes back to China almost 5,000 years ago. Herbal teas were specially blended from plants that exhibited medicinal properties to maintain health and prevent illness. Find out what makes tea so beneficial and how you can craft your own custom blend to stay healthy!


Technically speaking, tea is the dried and processed leaves of Camellia sinensis, and includes four main varieties: black, oolong, green, and white tea.

Black tea, produced when tea leaves undergo an oxidizing process that turns the leaves black, has the strongest flavor and the highest content of caffeine—about one third the caffeine you would get from the same cup of coffee. Oolong tea is slightly less oxidized and has less caffeine. Green tea is steamed, rolled and dried immediately after harvest, which halts the oxidation process, allowing the leaves to retain their green color. White tea undergoes the least processing—the young tea buds are picked and then air-dried. All of these varieties have different health benefits, with green tea and white tea leading the pack.

Experts believe that flavonoids are the key health-promoting ingredient in tea. These polyphenol antioxidants are present in many foods and plants, including tea leaves, and have been found to help prevent cell damage. Recent research suggests that tea may protect against heart disease and many types of cancer.

What about herbal tea?

Well, herbal tea is not really tea at all, but actually an infusion or tisane made from various leaves, flowers, fruit, or herbs. Herbal tea is sometimes enjoyed for its delicious taste and many times enjoyed for its medicinal properties.

While real "tea" boasts many healthy benefits, a major pro to herbal tea is that it is caffeine-free. Also, you can tailor your tea to your needs by selecting herbs and plants that address the health issue you want to target.

The list of tea recipes that follow are just a few combinations to help you heal.

1. Warming tea for cold hands and feet

For a warming tea from head to toe, make cinnamon and clove tea by putting 2 cinnamon sticks and 1 teaspoon of cloves in 3 cups of water and boil for 15 minutes. Strain and drink 3 cups each day. Drink one cup in the evenings to warm your insides, which encourages a good night's sleep.

Specially blended Winter Tea makes use of herbs that expel cold while warming and tonifying your kidneys.

2. Pore-opening tea for combating a cold

This is a traditional Chinese remedy for a "wind cold", which usually occurs during seasonal changes and is often a result of exposure to drafts. At this early stage, Chinese medicine suggests that perspiration is helpful in removing the pathogens from the skin.

Boil one chopped garlic clove, three slices of ginger, one chopped scallion, some basil, and a pinch of cinnamon in 24 ounces of water for five minutes. Drink the tea hot and go to bed. Cover up and prepare to sweat. Sweating opens the pores, releasing trapped pathogens from the skin. Drink at least 3 cups of tea daily until symptoms subside.

For "wind heat" type of cold, which is characterized by high fever, sweating, sore throat, cough, headaches, and a yellow nasal discharge, you would see a Chinese medical practitioner for an herbal blend that is individualized for your needs.

3. Alertness-Enhancing Tea

The next time you need to spice up your concentration, instead of reaching for harsh stimulants like coffee, try the potent yet gentle energizers in your spice rack. Studies have found that compounds in everyday herbs and spices can increase mental function and physical vitality. All these herbs and spices contain volatile oils that stimulate your senses and increase alertness: dill, oregano, cilantro, rosemary, sage, bay, peppermint, ginger, garlic, parsley, cinnamon, onion, chives, garlic and leek. Make a tea from any combination and drink whenever you need a pick-me-up.

4. Herbal Hearing Aid Tea

The traditional Chinese remedy for diminished hearing is to make a tea from herbs that gently restore the ear. Make a hearing aid tea by boiling together for 15 minutes: 4 cups of water, 1 heaping tablespoon each of oregano, cilantro, rosemary, and sage, combined with 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and 3 slices of fresh ginger. Drink three cups a day for three weeks and hear the difference.

5. Stomach-Settling Tea

Ginger has been shown to soothe the digestive lining and balance gastric juices. Make ginger tea by slicing fresh ginger root into 2 inch long slices and boiling in 1 cup of water for 5 minutes. Strain out the ginger and sip the tea slowly. Drink ginger tea as often as you need to settle your stomach and keep nausea away.

Or steep 1 teaspoon each of mint, rosemary, oregano, cilantro, sage, and basil in a cup of hot water. Drink after each meal to soothe and prevent bloating.

Among my patients, a very popular herbal tea is Internal Cleanse Tea, which is specially combined to detoxify, calm nerves, clear the mind, balance emotions, and ease digestion.

Follow these tips for best benefits:

*Tap water affects the taste of tea. It is best to use fresh filtered water. To learn about a high-performance filtration system....

*To extract the most beneficial compounds from the tea leaves or bags, let them steep for three to five minutes.

*It is best to drink tea unsweetened and without milk, which can minimize some of the health benefits. Forgo the sugar and try instead honey, stevia products, or a stick of cinnamon.

For maximum health benefits, I suggest you work with a licensed acupuncturist or traditional Chinese medicine practitioner to find an herbal blend tailored specifically to your needs.

I hope you reap the powerful healing benefits of tea! I invite you to visit often and share your own personal health and longevity tips with me.

May you stay healthy, live long, and live happy!

-Dr. Mao

This posting is meant to educate, and it should not be used as a substitute for personal medical advice. The reader should consult his or her physician or clinician for specific information concerning specific medical conditions. While all reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that all information presented is accurate, as research and development in the medical field is ongoing, it is possible that new findings may supersede some data presented.