Gratitude: Giving Thanks Daily
Food: Bone Broth
Biodynamics of Osteopathy: Circadian Rhythm
Meditation: Beginner's Mind
Fascia: Heat therapy
Yoga: Yoga is Meditation
World Perspectives: Belgium Food
Book of the month: Michael Pollan How to Change Your Mind
Winter is the vata season from November to February. Eat more soups and stews that are higher in protein and fats to warm and insulate the body. Eating bone broth is seasonal eating. Animal protein is heavy and warming, and takes robust digestion to break down. In the winter, our digestive fire turns up to maintain internal body temperature, and meat has a warming post-digestive effect. Bone broth is a good source of warmth. In Chinese Medicine, Bone broth nourishes and warms the vital physiological functions that are the foundation for human health: Jing (essence/DNA), Wei qi (your protection from external pathogens), Qi (propels all body functions), and Xue (makes, carries, and stores nutrients). Scientifically, bone broth may be beneficial to immune health.(1)
1. Rennard BO, Ertl RF, Gossman GL, Robbins RA, Rennard SI. Chicken soup inhibits neutrophil chemotaxis in vitro. Chest. 2000 Oct;118(4):1150-7.
BIODYNAMICS OF OSTEOPATHY
Winter Hibernation - Just as plants follow cyclical patterns, humans have natural circadian patterns as well. Biodynamics teaches us to become more in tune with the innate patterns of nature to help your body find balance. Honor the natural changes in your circadian rhythms when seeking balanced health. In the winter, sleep early and get longer hours of sleep. Get sunlight when possible. As much as possible, honor our natural connection to the decreased hours of light.
Beginner’s mind: Shoshin (初心) is a word from Zen Buddhism meaning "beginner's mind." It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner would. Using this approach to every day tasks and chores can help you connect to your inner child and find the joy and fascination of your childhood.
Keep warm and keep your fascia healthy. Fascia has viscoelastic properties that are temperature dependent. (1) Temperature of 40°C leads to reduced stiffness and easier elongation of fascia. (2) Passive cooling leads to an increase in stiffness. (3) Some easy ways to stay warm are with insulating clothing, more movement and walking, and warm soups. Warm baths are also a classic way to warm and relax the body and allow your fascia to move properly.
1. Lam T.C., Thomas C.G., Shrive N.G., et al. The effects of temperature on the viscoelastic properties of the rabbit medial collateral ligament. J. Biomech. Eng.. 1990;112(2):147–152.
2. Huang C., Wang V., Flatow E.L., et al. Temperature-dependent viscoelastic properties of the human supraspinatus tendon. J. Biomech.. 2009;42:546–549.
3. Muraoka T., Omuro K., Wakahara T., et al. Influence of muscle cooling on the passive mechanical properties of the human gastrocnemius muscle. Conf. Proc. IEEE Eng. Med. Biol. Soc.. 2005;1(1):19–21.
Yoga is Meditation. In the West, it is common for us to think that yoga is an exercise. In Eastern traditions, yoga is a preparation to quiet the mind for meditation. That may be why you and so many people are drawn to yoga and its calming properties.
Heeter C, Allbritton M, Bossart C. Beyond Scientific Mechanisms: Subjective Perceptions with Viniyoga Meditation. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Jun 21;16(12).
Lesson's from Belgium. On my recent trip to Belgium to study with Andry Vleeming, I had the opportunity to really live life another way. I got the opportunity to slow down and really experience life the way Belgians do. The Belgians approach food as an art. It is not uncommon for dinners to take 3 hours. The Belgians approach their food as a time to socialize, savor food, and be in the present moment. Their foods are grown locally. The desserts are not overly sweet. And in leu of all the wine connoisseur rules of food and wine pairing, they focus more on honoring a person's individual preferences and joys. This December, implement these changes. Try having longer meals with friends and family. Break rules in favor of honoring what you might be feeling. Live a little more simply and a little more in the present moment.
BOOK OF THE MONTH
How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence
This is a great and highly comprehensive book by author and journalist Michael Pollan on a highly controversial topic, hallucinogens. Follow Michael Pollan's investigation into the medical and scientific evidence around psychedelic drugs and the ground breaking work being done in the field. He reports on the use of these drugs in difficult-to-treat conditions- depression, addiction and anxiety. Pollan sifts through the historical record and puts into perspective the controversies surrounding the topic.