Summer is the season of the fire element. It is associated with the heart and small intestine and when in balance laughter, play, and joy are abundant. However, if the fire element is out of whack you will have experience anxiety (deficient fire) or mania (excess fire) or even depression (lack of fire). Symptom wise you may also have insomnia, restlessness, upper back shoulder blade area pain or tension, heart palpitations, or medial forearm pain (carpal tunnel patten rather than tennis elbow area). So what's one simple thing you can do to help all of this? LAUGH! Laughter helps all of these but especially the emotional components. Just as creativity is the antidote to many of the springtime stress/anger/trapped feelings, joy, laughter, and play all antidote summer symptoms. I fully encourage you to tell dirty jokes, look up funny stuff on you tube, play games, and watch comedians in any form! Be goofy and enjoy it and soon you will find your anxiety levels drop and your shoulder tension eases. I will post some of my favorite laughter inducing videos, pix, jokes etc. for your enjoyment. Today and throughout the summer. Here's to your health!

My favorite chicken joke from childhood:

Why'd the chicken cross the road? 

To prove to the opossum it could be done! 

Please post more jokes etc in the comments below! Let the giggling fest begin! 
Yay, we have finally made it through the end of cold season! Besides the occasional summer stomach flu, most of you won't need to worry about colds until September's back to school germ fest! A few things you can do to protect your gut from falling prey to summer stomach funk are:

1) Avoid over indulging in sweets and cold foods especially when in combination (for example ice cream). If you do have ice cream have some hot tea or soup with it. Better yet have watermelon instead, it's cooling and the white part is amazing for improving kidney function. Coconut water is also a lovely cooling beverage and is full of electrolytes. Cucumbers are also effective at cooling you down. 

2) Avoid over eating. Food stagnation, besides being uncomfortable, will also over tax your digestive system. This goes for alcohol as well. 

3) Keep your tummy and low back covered, especially in the evening, in cooler weather, or if it's windy out. 

In other words gorging on ice cream and beer and then drunkenly hang gliding in a bikini would be tempting fate;-). 

If you do end up with stomach funk, be it food or flu related, Po Chai pills are a good first resort. There's not a whole lot in the way of contraindications for them so I feel comfortable posting their name without examining each of you first. If you want to know more about Po Chai pills such as child and adult dosages or summer ailments just let me know.
Well it's official I'm now Melody Short-Boice L.Ac.! (And the crowd goes wild!) 
Still working on getting all my documents switched over seeing as everyone wants you to do it ASAP but requires that you have to change it with someone else first before you can change it with them, hee hee. Should get the last big one done today and then the order of the rest shouldn't matter much. Socially I will be Melody Boice and in a decade or so I should be able to drop the hyphen without people wondering where Melody Short L.Ac. went. At least that's my plan. 
I wonder how long it will take for me to be able to say the phrase "my husband" without giggling!
We have several interesting health phenomena transitioning right now. 
First off we are are starting the shift from shoulder season, (you may have noticed many people with shoulder injuries this last month), to elbow season. For a while we will be seeing both, often together, as the shift happens. What can you do? Make sure you really warm up and stretch your shoulders, forearms, elbows, and wrists before and after sports, gardening, tackling your outdoor fix it list, and any type of repetitive motion, (even if you have been sitting a a desk typing all winter). Your bodies are going from winter hibernation mode to WooHoo it's spring mode. Be gentle with them.
Additionally with this transition to warmer weather we are starting to throw off latent heat from our body's winter heat stores. This shows up in the form of sore throats, skin rashes, night sweats, insomnia, or other heat type symptoms. What can you do? That will partly depend on your individual symptoms, but one thing you can do if you are having heat symptoms is: before bed walk around in ankle deep cold water for 3-5 min, (you will feel a little chilled), then when you get out rub your feet dry vigorously until they warm up, (you will feel a flush of heat through you body after this). Shortly after the heat flush your temperature will normalize, your mind will quiet, and you will tend to sleep deeply. If you have trouble getting your feet to warm back up use a hot water bottle, or go ahead and soak them in hot water for a moment. This is a great technique for helping your body shed excess heat.
Finally, we are smack in the middle of the wood season in Chinese Medicine. I will go into that phenomena in more detail later, but for those of you feeling stressed, trapped, irritable, angry, and/or like no one is listening to you creativity genius, I have a little advice. Artichokes! Eat lots of them, any form, though steamed is best. Find time to do creative activities. Exercise your body and imagination. This is also a good season in which to do a cleanse. Also, much as I like treating auto accident patients, (because Chinese Medicine seriously rocks in treating MVAs), please please don't give in to road rage even if all the other drivers around you are being road rage crazed idiots. 
I hope to start posting more regularly, but I am up to my eyeballs in wedding plans at the moment and so realistically I will probably not get to regular posting until late May. 

Please, let me know if you have any questions,
Happy Belated Chinese New Year! 

Here in the Pacific Northwest, Chinese New Year tends to mark the beginning of the spring winds. With these winds comes the next batch of colds. Below are some things you can do to help keep yourself healthy in the windy weather:

1) Keep your neck warm and protected from the wind! Additional body parts that are also extra important to keep warm and protected are your tummy, low back, knees, and feet, (so yes please do wear socks and warm shoes. I know we like to pretend it is sandal weather up here, but it just isn't. Nor is it shorts weather).

2) Avoid sugars and other phlegm producing foods. Also avoid cold/ frozen foods and beverages. If you are going to eat raw summery foods like salad, please eat them with a cup of hot tea or soup.

3) If you do things that open your pores and make you sweat, (workouts, spicy food, etc.), make sure to bundle up extra before going out into the wind and cold.

4) Get enough sleep and if possible go to bed before 10 pm. Also, when tired take a nap rather than an energy drink, those things will prematurely age you.

Additionally, we do have preventative formulas and treatments. One formula I commonly prescribe at this time of year gives you an extra buffer against outside pathogens. Because it has very specific instructions as to when and how it is taken and for whom it is beneficial, I would prefer to monitor its use. If you would like to know more about it or other formulas that may suit you better feel free to text, call, email, or message me. I'm happy to share information, but for my own sense of responsibility I need to know that said information is appropriately tailored to each of you. 

Have a warm and snugly day!