It's coronavirus, not The Hunger Games

In light of Earth being cancelled, I thought it would be prudent to talk about everyone's favorite topic: coronavirus. First things first, turn off the news, and visit the World Health Organization or Center of Diesease Control's websites. Most of what is reported (or what we hear while flipping through the channels) is twisted to grab our attention, and becuase of that, there is a lot of misinformation spreading around. For anyone who's read the information on WHO or the CDC's website, you've probably realized that the coronavirus isn't going to end the world. If you do think it's going to end the world, stop hoarding toilet paper. It won't save you. What will save you however, is knowledge. So let's take a deep breath and go over the basics, transmission, and prevention and put an end to the mass hysteria.

The Sun and Yang Deficiency

Summer is finally here! It's time for sun, and beaches, and barbecues, and more sun! I love the sun and it loves us too. Without it, life wouldn't exist, but too much? Well there is unfortunately such a thing as too much sun. Sunburn is only one of the side effects. Overexposure to sun can lead to sun poisoning, heat exhaustion, skin cancer, eye damage, and even speed up the look of aging (if you'd like to reverse some of that you may want to consider Facial Acupuncture). Does that mean we should avoid it? Nope! Getting out in the sun helps alleviate symptoms of depression and seasonal affective disorder, regulates sleep, and can even support weight loss (and your mood) by increasing the levels of serotonin being released. It's also our best source of vitamin D which is crucial in calcium absorption and phosphorous regulation (meaning healthy bones and muscles), supports the brain, cardiovascular, immune and nervous systems, regulates insulin, and supports lung health. So how do we get all these benefits without going overboard? The key is to limit (NOT eliminate) your exposure. Our skin makes vitamin D from the UVB rays from the sun and this requires some unprotected exposure. In my research, I've found that the recommended amount of unprotected sun per day ranges from 1 to 15 minutes but overall, that amount of time is determined by skin tone. As we all know, darker skin tones will absorb more light before getting damaged but that doesn't mean you're exempt from using sunblock! What I recommend is applying sunblock just before going outside. By the time it kicks in, you've met your unprotected sun quota. For those who are of lighter skin tones, wait the full amount of time before going out. Broad spectrum SPF 50 blocks about 98% of the UVA and UVB rays, so that 2% is probably all the "unprotected" sun you really need. Be sure to re-apply because it does come off with sweat and water!

Meditation and Letting Go of the GOT Finale

C'mon now, 2 more episodes would have filled in the blanks and we all wouldn't be nearly as upset with the writers of Game of Thrones. The unfortunate reality is they didn't and we were left with a very confusing and disappointing finale. If you're still feeling the sting (as I'm sure you are now because I just re-opened the wound), never fear, the Nine Breathings of Purification is here! The Nine Breathings of Purification is a Buddhist meditation technique that works to release the three root poisons: anger, attachment, and ignorance. These poisons are understood to be the root of all suffering and if you can release them, you will no longer suffer. I would like to make it clear that a lack of suffering doesn't mean you'll enjoy perfect health. Health and wellness are two sides of the same coin but I'll go into that in another post..."No longer suffering" means your maladies and frustrations in life (or with poor writing) won't affect your emotional health.

How does acupuncture work?

Well...that's a great question. To answer that from the western side, I'll have to write a whole other blog post. Basically, stimulating the skin triggers a response in the Central Nervous System to release hormones that change how you feel and function, and fMRI studies show that brain is affected by acupuncture. Since acupuncture developed far before imaging technology (over 2,200 years before), we don't really need that to explain how it works. It does take an open mind, however, so stay with me here.

Yin and Yang

Our first lesson in the basics of acupuncture theory starts here: the tai chi. Probably the most famous symbol representing the Chinese understanding of the universe. Everything in the known universe can be broken down into yin and yang, something and it's complement. Nothing can exist without it's complementary force because everything is defined by it's complementary force. I choose not to use the word "opposite" here because opposition suggests separation or conflict. In Chinese numerology, the number two represents division without separation. As you can see, though the symbol is divided into two colors, they are unified as one whole circle. Another reason why I choose the word compliment is because comparing yin and yang is relative. Take men and women for example. When comparing one to the other, men are yang, women are yin. If you were, however, to compare two women to each other, one being a ballet dancer and the other a construction worker, the former would be yin in relation to the yang of the later. To move a level deeper, there are yin and yang aspects within every individual. Referring back to our female construction worker, she may be yang while at work, but yin while she's home knitting.

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