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Transformation Through the Seasons

Feb 24, 2012 ● By Violette Kolcan

If it is true that we are what we eat, then we may glean some wisdom from the study of Oriental disciplines. The Chinese medicine diet is based on five elements (fire, earth, metal, water and wood). The fire element represents two energy meridians, the heart and small intestine, and the pericardium and triple warmer meridian; earth represents the stomach and spleen; metal represents the lungs and large intestine; water represents the kidney and urinary bladder; and wood represents the liver and gall bladder.

All of the energy meridians play important roles in our body system and each element is related to a season. Each organ meridian is predisposed to a part of the year, which is why lungs are related to the winter. We have to take care of them during that season or catch flu, colds, bronchitis, sinusitis and pneumonia. In the wintertime, we should eat more cooked food, filled with warm energy, and drink a lot of fluids to moisturize the respiratory system. It is also helpful to bathe with mineral salts, adding a few drops of rosemary, grapefruit or thyme essential oil. Better yet, drink ginger tea and consume two cloves of garlic every day to boost immunity.

Ahead lies spring; a great season for body cleansing and rejuvenation after staying home all winter exposed to dry, heated air, without benefit of enough fresh air and sunlight. To cleanse the liver, a characteristic organ for the spring, drink a cleansing juice mixture comprising two beets, two carrots, one apple, half a celery root and three dandelion leaves every day, blended in a food processor.

Ideas and attitudes have powerful effects, as well. In his book, Make it Happen, author Edward D. Hess states, “In a hyper, changing world, it is especially important that you will be anchored by your life’s goals and values. As you are bombarded by choices, changes and challenges, your goals and values will allow you to make choices that you hope will move you in a positive direction.”

In planning, remember your values and priorities. Differentiate needs, wants and possibilities and make them happen. Keep going with positive changes such as smoking cessation, healthy lifestyle changes, an exercise regimen or spending more time with family or a business project.

Be positive. Every day is a gift just waiting to be unwrapped. Miracles can be found around every corner when we open our eyes wide enough to see them. Life is worth celebrating because the small miracles of today bring us hope for tomorrow. Make things that make you happy. Always have a hobby; do not be a workaholic. Do something for yourself; travel, visit old friends, read, exercise, meditate or practice deep breathing exercises.

Take care of yourself and love yourself. Charge your own battery and maintain a balance between work and rest. Relax when you feel overwhelmed and slow down, because that can lead to depletion of your energy, depression and serious diseases. Deep breathing and meditation can also help to increase blood circulation, oxygenation, rejuvenation and body energy flow.

Dr. Violette Kolcan, M.D., OMD, Lac, and owner of Ancient Healing Holistic Medicine Clinic, Acupuncture & Laser Therapy, graduated from the Midwest College of Oriental Medicine, and holds a master’s degree in nutrition and Chinese herbology. She is a European medical doctor specializing in OB/GYN, and a NCCAOM board-certified acupuncturist, with offices in Des Plaines, Lake Forest and Old Orchard (Skokie), as well as at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, in Chicago. For more information, call 773-562-0734 or visit