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Healing With Whole Foods

by: Paul Pitchford


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Click here or on photo for full article.




According to the book: Healing With Whole Foods, pumpkin works to relieve damp conditions like: diarrhea, eczema, and edema (swelling). It helps regulate blood sugar and benefits your pancreas. It also can clear phlegm from the lungs, chest, and throat.


Roasted pumpkin seeds can destroy intestinal worms. (I don’t think we have many of these particular parasites in the USA, but they’re good for you anyway!) A great source of magnesium, zinc, and omega 3’s. They benefit the prostate, improve utilization of insulin, contain phytoestrogens for women’s postmenopausal health, and reduce arthritic inflammation.

So keep the pumpkin usage going, it’s for more than just Halloween!

I like to make a smoothie with canned pumpkin, almond milk, powdered stevia, honey, and pumpkin pie spice. One cup of canned pumpkin is 28% of your daily fiber need per the RDA. It is filling and paleo friendly.

These bars are my next endeavor. Don’t they look great!?! 


Wishing you a tasty and healthy Thanksgiving! Keeping the Native Americans in mind especially this year. Wishing enlightenment upon this world as we struggle to determine and enact upon what is most important. -Kristin




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The autumn season belongs to the metal element. Lung and Large Intestine qi are the meridians within metal. This involves the dryness of the season, and our defenses against contagious colds and illnesses. It involves the energy field called “Wei Qi” and the skin. The large intestine releases what is no longer needed. Think spiritually, emotionally and physiologically. Balance requires adding moisture. Balance requires a strong digestive function or the byproduct of phlegm will assault the Lung Meridian and proper elimination from the colon.  Also a focus on foods that give us energy and substance in preparation for the cooler weather to come.

To balance dryness, add foods that moisten. A little salt will also moisten dryness. (Not too much, that would add to imbalance. Seaweed is a very neutral way to add salt into the diet. Reference the miso soup above… ingredients can be purchased at an Asian grocery or ethnic grocery like Jungle Jim’s in Cincinnati). Other food sources that specifically moisten are: soy, spinach, barley, millet, pear, apple, persimmon, seaweeds, black and white mushrooms, almonds, pine nut, peanut, sesame seed, cooked honey, barley malt, rice syrup, milk and dairy, eggs, clam, crab, oyster, mussel, herring, and pork. (Don’t forget to stick to your paleo friendly list that optimizes the adrenal gland function when you consider your choices. The choice is yours!)

If you’re experiencing dryness, then use bitter, aromatic, and warming foods with caution.

Internal heat is a sign of inflammation and infection. (Please check out blog entry: Cold and Flu Season!Cupping is also great with the onset of internal heat. If you’re experiencing internal heat with a red tongue or yellow coating, constipation, sore throat, nosebleeds, etc. use: *watercress, cantaloupe, apple, persimmon, peach, pear, strawberry, citrus, seaweeds, *mushroom, daikon radish, radish, carrot, pumpkin, cabbage, boo chou, cauliflower, chard, papaya… Eat mostly soups and congees.

If you have an imbalance of phlegm, it’s likely due to weak digestion. Or eating foods like dairy that are very difficult to digest. To resolve phlegm use: flaxseed, mushroom and turnip. For yellow phlegm use: watercress, radish, daikon radish, cereal grass, seaweeds, nettles, and mullein leaf.

Emphasize foods with fiber to cleanse the Lung and Large Intestine qi. Turbid emotions and thoughts can be cleansed by long, deep breathing.

Fall is a great time to mindfully start a diet that’s seasonally based, something we humans have done for millenniums until the fairly recent advent of refrigeration and transportation. As the long summer days shorten, autumn bring with it not just the drier and cooler conditions but also bountiful harvests. This is the time of year where, if we listen to our bodies, we notice the desire for less cooling foods. To balance the change of weather, the following foods and cooking techniques are usually part taken in many cultures…
Seasonal Foods
· Squashes
· Beans
· Radishes
· Peppers
· Mustard Greens
· Chinese Mustards
· Chinese Cabbages
· Chinese Broccolis
· Chives
· Bok Choys
· Sweet potatoes
· Cabbages
· Broccolis
· Apples
· Pears
· Apricots
· Olives
· Grapes
· Nuts
Spices that help add some warmth
· Ginger
· Garlic
· Chili
· Cinnamon
· Cardamom

Cooking methods should involve more focused preparation to supply more energy required by the oncoming cool season. The appetite is stimulated by the fragrance of the baked and sautéed food. (Sense of smell belongs to the Lung qi because the Lung qi opens into the nose.) Cooking techniques include:
· Stewing
· Braising
· Curing
· Sautéing
· Roasting
· Baking

And… don’t forget to wear a scarf. Protect your head and the nape of your neck. This is the area that is sensitive to energetic invasion related to a weakening of your defenses against contagious diseases. Keep up your energy and immune system with a tune up! Click here to schedule an appointment.

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Albert, Steve. “Chinese Vegetables: Cool Season Varieties.”Best Bet Varieties, How to Grow.” Harvest to Table, 2016. Web. 17 October, 2016.

Pitchford, Paul. Healing With Whole Foods. North Atlantic Books, 2002.

Suttie, Emma DAc. “Autumn/Fall.” Chinese Medicine Living. WordPress. Web. 17 Oct. 2017.


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What we’re actually doing as acupuncturists is giving your system a tune up. There are different levels of energetic balance within your system:

  1. Constitutional Balance: genetically, where does your system need enhancement.
  2. Meridian Balance: Which of the 14 main meridians or 8 divergent meridians are out of tune?
  3. Symptom Relief: symptoms are either caused by at least one of these items:
    1. constitutional imbalance
    2. meridian imbalance
    3. injury/trauma
    4. exterior pathogens

Understanding these levels of intricacy, your acupuncturist brings together a network of points that will charge up your system in all the right places and move the qi (energy) where it is stuck. This doesn’t take a great number of needles to achieve. Actually, less is more with perfectly selected points. I like to test my patients energetically to make sure the selected points will benefit their unique systems in the optimal way.

With each session, the patient’s system will become optimized, humming nicely in energetic balance. Symptoms are diminished in intensity and frequency.

It is also important what your condition is like when you arrive for acupuncture and how you treat yourself afterward.

To borrow an analogy from my master…

I’m a tune up mechanic. Screen Shot 2016-10-04 at 12.20.23 PM.png

The condition of the car you bring in to me has significance! Is it beat up? Screen Shot 2016-10-04 at 12.17.39 PM.pngHave you run it through the gauntlet? Or was it just under daily wear and tear?

Screen Shot 2016-10-04 at 12.18.18 PM.pngMaybe it has been on a lift in your garage like a prized trophy?

Also, after your “tune up session” are you going to put sand in the gas tank? Screen Shot 2016-10-04 at 12.18.43 PM.pngScreen Shot 2016-10-04 at 12.19.27 PM.png

Are you going to go 4 wheeling in it? Or are you going to stay in the lane and ease on an off the gas?

A tune up can do a great deal of good and regular maintenance is essential! It’s also incredibly important that you make healthy and balanced choices as you are away from the clinic.

Treat yourself well, make great choices!

“You cannot allow yourself to be keyed up all day and then expect your system to have a restful sleep. It’s too much, balance is key.” -Kristin


There are a couple of things that definitely become an obstruction to getting the deep sleep that you desire:

  • hormonal imbalance
  • taxing the adrenals

For some people it can be a combination of both issues.

To improve hormonal balance, I recommend:

  • Acupuncture
  • Eating healthy fats: omega 3’s
  • Intake of Vitamin D3
  • Melatonin
  • Exercise
  • Reduce stress
  • Self awareness: don’t allow yourself to cascade into overreaction. Recognize that you’re probably seeing things through a different, elevated perspective through this time and be gentle with yourself, your thoughts, and your reactions.
  • Meditation and breath awareness. These both enhance your self awareness as well.
    • If you’re having trouble meditating, try counting your breaths with each exhale. Similar to counting sheep!

To improve your adrenal health, I recommend:

  • Lower stress: breaking your life experience down to the present moment. The present moment is the moment of power and definitely a moment that you can handle. Experience the present moment with ACCEPTANCE. Accept it as it is rather than resisting the conditions. Stress = needing the conditions to be other than what they are. Breathe. Become aware.
  • Meditation
  • Routine: have a consistant routine in your day. Same time to bed each night, same time to rise. Give yourself at least 7 hours for sleep.
    • I like to use a programmable timer on a lamp in the room. Having this lamp turn on at a specific time simulates the sun rise and wakes me gently before the alarm goes off.
    • Make sure you give yourself enough time in the morning to get yourself together for the day… your shower, sprucing up, breakfast, your home, your lunch, and your commute. (Being present all along the way! What a great exercise!!)
  • Adrenal diet: (click for the blog entry on the adrenals…) basically a paleo diet, no caffeine, lots of variety, probiotics, and lots of omega 3’s.


When you’re doing it all and still having difficulty:

  • Try a forehead and temple massage while you focus on your slow breathing.
  • Make sure you are parking all worries. Nothing will come of trying to solve problems with a deprived mind. AND if you’re not in the present moment, you don’t stand a chance of being able to impact anything positively.
  • Press on those acupressure seeds perfectly placed to enhance sleep… and breathe.
  • Connect with gentle acupressure at point Ren 17.
  • Read a book until you feel sleepy (Keep a boring book on hand! War And Peace??)
  • Have a glass of milk before brushing your teeth.
  • Reflexology: massage your hands or your feet gently to give your whole body a treatment in relaxation.
  • Keep from looking at the clock. Stressing about how many potential hours you have left will only make things worse. Pretend that you always have 8 hours instead!