The Importance of Getting Enough Sleep

Many people don’t get enough sleep at night because they’re “too busy” doing other things. Getting enough sleep is critically important to maintain good health, and to help you heal if you’ve got health issues. It’s also a major factor in preventing future health issues.

Facts about sleep

More and more scientific research is coming out showing the importance of sleep, and how detrimental lack of sleep is to your health. Recent research has found that people who routinely sleep less than seven hours per night have 21-26% higher chance of dying of any cause, than people who routinely sleep more than eight hours per night.

Every single animal sleeps. There are no animals that do not sleep. Biologically, that means sleep is as important as breathing and eating.

There’s been some fascinating brain research recently that found out more about how the brain works and what it does at night. I was astounded when I read it. When we’re active during the day, working, exercising, and doing our daily activities, we’re heavily using our brain functions. This causes a build up of toxins and chemical byproducts that naturally occur as part of that process. When we sleep at night, the brain actually pumps through a nightly “wash cycle”, like a dishwasher, that washes out those toxins and built up byproducts from the day. Just stop and think about that for a moment. What happens if you don’t wash your dishes thoroughly? Lots of crud builds up. Now think about that happening in your brain. What do you think happens when lots of toxins and crud build up in the brain? Is it going to have an impact on brain function and health? Absolutely. If you don’t get enough sleep at night, the wash cycle doesn’t run properly.

Decades of sleep research show that eight hours of sleep per night is the magic number. Kids and teenagers need a little bit more.

The Chinese Medicine Perspective

In Chinese Medicine, we want to balance yin and yang in the body to restore and maintain health. Yang energy provides the heat, fire, and functional activity in the body. Daytime is yang time. It’s warm, light and the time when we’re busy going about our daily activities. Many of us end up acting “too yang”, that is, go, go, going all the time, without enough “down time” or time to rest and rejuvenate the body (and mind and spirit, for that matter).

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2017: The Year of the Fire Rooster

2017: The Year of the Fire Rooster

by Wendy S. Goldman, L.Ac.

2017 is the Year of the Fire Rooster. As you may know, the energy of each year is different, and most people know the animal of their birth year in the Chinese Zodiac. Each animal represents different energetic implications for the year. With a basic understanding of how the energies of the year interact, we can get some insight into the implications for weather, health, emotions, business, the economy, politics, and more. We can use this information to plan and prepare for the year.

Let’s look at the energy this year. 2017 is the year of the Yin Fire, or Red, Rooster. Red represents Fire, so you may see the year mentioned as either the Red Rooster or Fire Rooster.

Every year, we have both the energy from Heaven, and the energy from Earth. When we say “Heaven energy” it represents the energy coming from the sky, or the universe, not in any religious sense. The Earth energy is exactly as it sounds, the energy coming from the Earth. Because Heaven and Earth are so much bigger than humans and everything that lives on Earth, we’re all affected by these energies.

Each year is also Yin or Yang. Yang represents the heat, fire, activity and function. Yin represents calm, quiet, and rest. Daytime, spring and summer are more Yang in nature, being more light, bright, warmer and active. Nighttime, fall and winter are more Yin in nature, being darker, quieter, colder and naturally less active. Yin time is the time to rest and recharge.

The Yin/Yang polarity alternates each year. 2016 was a Yang year, so 2017 is a Yin year, and 2018 will be another Yang year. The Heaven and Earth energies both follow the Yin/Yang polarity of the year. This year, the Heaven energy is Yin Fire, and the Earth energy is the Rooster, which corresponds with Yin Metal.

To analyze the energy of the year, we can start by considering the nature of the animal. Roosters are loud in the morning to wake us up at daybreak. They’re very territorial, and protectors and guardians of their flock of chickens. They can also be quite ornery, as you may know if you’ve ever encountered a rooster! Many urban communities that allow the keeping of chickens ban roosters, due to their loud morning noise. So, we can expect this kind of energy and behavior this year, and we’ve seen a preview in American politics. Roosters also tend to have more flamboyant feathers and coloration than the hens. Expect more loud, extravagant crowing for attention this year, from people and events.

Next, we consider the nature of the annual Heaven and Earth energies. The Heaven energy this year is Yin fire. Fire is hot, active, and passionate. Yin fire is more like the flame of a candle than a bonfire, so the weather will continue to be warmer than normal, but shouldn’t be as hot as last year, which was a Yang fire year.

Fire is also passion and joy, so it’s a good year for romance and to have fun, especially with others, as chickens are social creatures that live together in flocks.

The Earth energy this year is Yin metal. The nature of metal is dryness, but again, due to the Yin nature of the metal this year, we’ll have mildly dry conditions. So, in general, we can expect warmer and dryer weather than normal. There is more potential for fires this year, especially in fall, but they shouldn’t be as big as last year, since it’s a Yin year.

We’ll probably also have more humidity. The metal and fire create dryness, but as an ancient Chinese Medicine text says, metal is in charge of fog and dew. (Earth is in charge of clouds and rain.) Thus, more humidity.

Interestingly, metal is also in charge of armored creatures, so we may see more bugs this year, as well as problems from insect bites.

Metal is sharp and cutting. Last year was Yang metal, like an ax or chainsaw. This year the Yin metal is more like a small knife, but it’s still a good time to cut unnecessary excess out of your life, physically, mentally and energetically. Lots of people have been purging their clothes and stuff. It’s a great year to continue, in all areas of your life.

There could be more injuries caused by metal and cuts this year. But watch out for cutting language and behavior this year, too. And because of the fire energy, people will be passionate about it, so thinking before speaking and acting is good practice this year.


We may see problems with the lungs, since they correspond with the metal energy in the body. Combined with the fire energy from Heaven, we’d expect problems of dryness, but because metal also creates more humidity, we could see problems of both dryness and dampness in the lungs and large intestine. So there could be more asthma, allergies, and colds with lots of mucus, but also dry coughing. People could have problems with diarrhea or constipation, depending on their constitution and diet.

Emotionally, be aware that there could be more sadness, depression and anxiety in the fall (metal season).

There may also be skin diseases with redness and dryness, and most likely itching, like psoriasis. This energetic effect started last year, and will continue this year, although it may not be as severe as last year.

Be careful with overwork this year, as it may have more of a burnout effect. People suffering from fatigue, hot flashes, menopausal symptoms, and dry eyes, may have a bit harder time this year. If this is you, you may need some help to manage the symptoms with acupuncture and Chinese herbs, which can both help.

Also watch out for problems and injuries with tendons, ligaments and the nervous system this year.

Anxiety and insomnia may be worse in summer and fall, especially in hot weather. Again, Chinese medicine can help if this affects you.


Businesses related to fire, cooking, computers, electronics and the stock market are all considered to be associated with the fire element, and should be strong this year. We also have to consider the relationship and interactions between the Heaven and Earth energies. Fire melts metal and weakens it, so metal and metal-related industries may suffer this year.

Also businesses related to water, like fishing, plumbing, etc., will most likely be weakened this year. The energy this year may be most difficult, however, for industries related to wood, wood working, publishing, trees, and medicine.

The Dreaded…Politics

Many people keep asking about the political situation, and we can gain some insight into the Year of the Fire Rooster through the same method of analysis. Fire represents passion, and it can go too far and become mania, especially in people who tend toward heat, and in hot weather.

Metal is sharp and cutting, but its nature is also about justice, or right and wrong. Since fire melts metal, justice and right and wrong will most likely suffer this year. There may also be a lack of wisdom. This all started last year, and will continue this year, along with the cutting behavior and language. It’s just the nature of the energy this year. However, next year is a double earth year, and earth represents harmony and trust, so things should be more harmonious next year. In the meantime, people will still be stressed and upset about politics. Manage it by taking breaks from it and getting together with friends and do things that bring you joy, and avoid talking about politics during play time!


If you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with family and friends. Please give proper credit and attribution, and a link back to the blog post would be appreciated.

And hey, here’s the disclaimer: This article is for fun and entertainment purposes only. No advice is being given about anything. That means no health, medical, legal, financial, investment or any other advice, is implied or intended. Read at your own risk.

© 2017 Wendy S. Goldman //

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5 Tips from Chinese Medicine to Stay Healthy in Autumn

5 Tips to Stay Healthy in Autumn

Good health is not just physical. It’s emotional, mental, and social, too, and a matter of managing our stress levels. I treat lots of patients out-of-balance due to stress and lifestyle. I hope these 5 tips to stay healthy in autumn help you find balance in your life this fall.

1. Cover Your Neck

Many of you already know this one, because you’ve heard me say it for years. In Chinese Medicine, a draft on the back of the neck, especially if your pores are open from sweating, exercise, the shower, etc., can let drafts enter the pores and create a cold. Covering your neck is a great way to prevent colds. Wear shirts with collars and/ or scarves (or both!) to keep your neck warm and protected.

2. Eat More Cooked, Warm Foods

It’s time to switch over to eating more cooked, warm foods. Especially now that the temperature dropped a lot, there’s less warmth in the air to support the body’s own heating system. Start eating more cooked foods, like soups and stews, and decrease the salads and raw, uncooked foods. It’s time to break out the crock pot. And, sorry people, the time for ice cream this year is over.

3. Decrease Your Activity Levels

Now is the time to wind down from the active times of spring and summer, and prepare for (what should be, but often isn’t) the most quiet and restful time of year, winter. Fall is the transition time, and time to slow down, rest more, and sleep a bit longer. Most likely, the cool gray weather is already helping you with this one. Follow mother nature, slow down, and recharge your batteries.

4. Take time to Reflect

Autumn is the season of Metal in Chinese Medicine, and Metal is clear and reflective. It’s a great time of year to slow down, reflect, reevaluate, and meditate. Sometimes we need reminders to do this, and fall is the perfect time. Reflect on where you’ve been, where you are now, and where you’re going. Realign and rebalance if you need to. This is the time to rebalance your lifestyle from the active of summer, to the more calm and restful in winter. If you’re not meditating, now is a perfect time to start.

5. Enjoy the Harvest

Autumn is harvest season. It’s time to harvest the fruits of your labors for the year. If you’ve been all work and no play, now is a good time to plan a vacation, do things that make you happy, and enjoy fruits of your hard work. Identify the things that cause stress in your life, and cut out the ones that you can.


Seasonal changes this time of year cause lots of colds, and are a great time for a “tune-up”. So if you’re overdue for a treatment, now’s a great time to get balanced and healthy to prepare for winter.

Also make sure you’re stocked up on your Chinese herbal formulas in case a cold does try getting started. We’re stocked up and ready for cold and fu season in the office. Let us know if you need refills.

If you have any questions, call to see how we can help you feel better today.


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Olympians use Awesome Chinese Cupping for Muscle Pain!

Happy Summer! Are you watching the Olympics? If so, maybe you’ve noticed the swimmers with round bruises on their backs and shoulders. They’re from cupping! People have been asking me about this all day today. Lol.

Cupping is an ancient Chinese technique that helps pull stagnation, or blockages of energy flow out of the body tissues. The swimmers are using cupping to “bring more oxygen” to the muscles. If there’s a blockage of blood and energy flow, it can cause pain and/or decreased function. Cupping is one way to clear the blockage and restore proper flow of energy and blood to the area (which would, of course, also bring more oxygen).

Modern athletes and trainers are just discovering what we’ve known for thousands of years: Chinese Medicine rocks!

Cupping is great for large areas of muscle pain, like the back and shoulders, which is why you tend to see the round bruises on those areas of the swimmers. It’s also great at pulling mucus out of the lungs when people have colds.

And if you’re wondering if it hurts – no! It does leave a bruise, but it generally doesn’t hurt. I describe the feeling as “weird, but good”. So, yes, I do cupping. If you want to try cupping, give us a call to schedule an appointment. You can look like an Olympic swimmer, too. Lol.

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The Natural Medicine Chest: Part 2

Epsom Salts Rock!

I couldn’t resist having fun with the title. Epsom salts have been around forever. Many of us have the green carton under our sinks. And many of us forget they’re under there and to use them!

I recommend epsom salts to patients all the time for aches, pains and swelling. They’re completely natural and safe, with no harmful chemicals. It’s simply magnesium sulfate, minerals we all need. The best way to use them is in a bath or soak. Just so you know, in the old days, people also used them internally as a laxative, but I recommend them for soaking in.

Simply fill up the bathtub with hot water, dump in epsom salts, stir them around until they dissolve, and soak for a while. If you have any kinds of aches, pains, or swelling, try an epsom salt bath. It’ll also make your skin feel nice and smooth.

If you don’t have a bathtub, or can’t get in and out of it, try this: soak a washcloth in some hot water with epsom salts dissolved in it, and apply to the area that hurts, or is swollen. You can do this for about 15-20 minutes.

Another way to use them that I recommend a lot, is a foot soak. If your feet hurt, or are tired (or swollen), you can fill a bucket with hot water, mix in epsom salts, and plunk your feet in.

And even if you’re taking a bath with no aches or pains, it’s totally fine to add in some epsom salts. It’ll make your skin soft.

Overdo it with your workout or exercise? Take an epsom salt bath.

Easy, cheap and effective. When you buy epsom salts, get the cheap stuff. I remember someone telling me they got a small quantity that was lavender scented for about $20. That’s way too much, and the scent may be artificial chemicals that your skin will absorb. Just get the cheap stuff with no additives. The only ingredient should be magnesium sulfate, and it should only cost about five bucks. Avoid ones with chemicals. If you want to scent it, you can buy pure lavender, or other essential oils, and add a few drops to the bath. That keeps it natural and chemical-free.

And, if you’re overworked and burned out, a bath is a great way to relax. Try adding some epsom salts and see how much better you feel. Enjoy!

If you have any questions, call to see how we can help you feel better today.

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The Natural Medicine Chest: Part 1

The other night, I was cooking dinner and turning over a piece of chicken, when it dropped off the fork, and landed back in the pot. The boiling sauce splashed up and landed all over the inside of my wrist, on the soft sensitive part. Owwwww! It hurt like a son of a gun, and immediately turned red and was starting to blister. I rinsed it off with water, and went straight to the medicine cabinet for the homeopathic Calendula Cream. I smeared the cream onto the burn, and every time it got absorbed, I put more on. I did this for about five minutes. The burn hurt like heck, but each time I applied the cream, it hurt less, and the area of redness started to shrink. By continually applying the cream, the blisters that were starting to form never completely materialized. Later that night, the area was only slightly red, was mildly sore, and there were only a hint of raised areas where the blisters were going to be. By the next morning, it was all gone, with no sign of anything! Calendula rocks!

So today’s remedy is Homeopathic Calendula, in cream or gel. You can use it on burns and cuts. If you put it on a paper cut, you can almost watch it heal, it can work so fast. I also recommend it to patients to put on new wounds or surgical incisions, once there’s no more oozing, and the wound or incision is closed, clean and dry. You can use it a few times a day for this type of wound.

Make sure to get homeopathic Calendula cream, gel or ointment, not herbal. Homeopathic preparations are energy medicine, and a massage cream with calendula, for example, doesn’t work the same way. Look for it in the homeopathic aisle of the health food store. Please note that homeopathic calendula pills do NOT have the same function, so get topical cream, gel or ointment – whichever you prefer, or what they have in stock.

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2016: Year of the Fire Monkey

Happy Chinese New Year! Learn what’s in store for 2016: the Year of the Red, or Fire Monkey. Each year the energy changes, and affects all of us. Find out the Monkey energy affects the weather, health and the economy. Enjoy!

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Humidity and Health: Late Summer Video Blog

Humidity and Health

Check out my first video newsletter, where I talk about diet, weather and health in late summer in the year of the Earth Sheep. Let me know what you think about it.

I made a slight boo boo on the start date of Fall.  Energetically, fall started on August 8th; in the video I said it started on August 5th. Oops! Enjoy the video.

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The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine

The Pharmaceutical industry is a powerful and profitable $400 billion per year beast of an industry. While it has brought ground-breaking advances, one cannot overlook the corruption and harm this industry has brought upon us both physically and financially. Medical errors account for 240,000 deaths in the U.S. annually, making it the third leading cause of death. Read more

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7 Ways To Alleviate Arthritis Pain

7 Ways To Alleviate Arthritis Pain

Arthritis is a condition characterized by painful inflammation and stiffness in the joints. According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 52.5 million U.S. adults suffer from either arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, fibromyalgia, or lupus.

In Chinese Medicine, pain is caused by a blockage of Qi, or the energy flowing through your body, particularly the joints, in arthritis. Here are some things you can do to help ease your pain:

#1) Take a Joint Supplement

Whether your arthritis is minor or severe, get into the habit of taking a daily joint supplement. Glucosamine and chondroitin are powerful compounds which have been proven to alleviate the symptoms of arthritis. These two compounds are building blocks of cartilage, and taking a supplement containing them will protect and strengthen your own body’s cartilage while subsequently protecting your joints. It’s important to take these supplements every day, long-term, in order for them to work.

#2) Maintain a Healthy Weight

One step in reducing the pain and inflammation of arthritis is to manage your weight. People who are overweight may experience more arthritis flareups, and with worsening symptoms. The excess weight places pressure against the already inflamed joints, causing additional pain and stiffness.

#3) Exercise

It may be difficult to stay active when the slightest movements cause sharp pain in your joints. However, gentle movement like walking, Qigong, Tai Qi and yoga can help. Studies have shown that regular, low-impact exercise (e.g. walking or swimming) will reduce the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis.

#4) Meditate

You might be surprised to learn that meditation can alleviate arthritis pain and discomfort. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) even published an article on its website, citing meditation as being an effective form of treatment for people with joint pain.

#5) Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for good health, but they are particularly beneficial for people suffering from arthritis. Omega-3s strengthen and protect the joints, which in turn alleviates the symptoms of arthritis. Fish oil is an excellent source of omega 3s, and there are options available for vegans and vegetarians.

#6) Detoxification

Many times when people start to get joint pain in the fingers, it’s really a build-up of toxins in the body. Unfortunately, we live in a toxic world, overloaded with pesticides and chemicals. If the body can’t get rid of the toxins, they build up in the system, and joint pain is one of the symptoms. There are simple detox protocols that can help.

#7) Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a great way to alleviate the pain and discomfort of arthritis. This centuries-old practice involves the placement of fine needles to restore the body’s flow of energy (Qi) and stimulate its self-healing mechanism. When performed by a licensed acupuncturist, it can remove the energy blockages that cause the pain, thereby relieving the symptoms.

Call today to learn how you can live pain-free!

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