• Contemporary Herbalist


Updated: Mar 25, 2020

In this time of great uncertainty, the most important thing that we can do is stay home, eat nourishing foods, move our bodies, and rest.  During our time together, we have talked about Qi (Chee) and how acupuncture moves Qi throughout your body to help it stay balanced.  There are ways to move your Qi even without acupuncture, like deep breathing, gentle movement, and intention.  

There is a saying: ‘where the mind goes, so goes the Qi’ which means that where we put our energy, we spend our Qi.  During this crazy time, I urge you to spend your Qi wisely.  Worry and grief deplete our Lung Qi while the Corona Virus attacks our lungs.  Limiting dooms day media is one way to help keep your lungs strong and alleviate some worry.  The tight feeling in your chest that you are feeling?  Thats grief.  As a nation we are grieving the loss of ’normal’ life, the loss of contact with others, the loss of our freedom and the loss of income.  Accept it, and take some deep breaths. 

One activity that I find helps with the tightness in my chest is called tapping.  Tapping is often used in EMDR therapy and to calm down your nervous system during a panic attack.  


  • Using both hands, gently tap along the rib spaces next to your sternum (the bone between your ribs in the front)  

  • Tap for 10-30 seconds while breathing deeply into your lungs and rolling your shoulders slightly back to raise your chest.   

In Chinese Medicine, the breath of the Lungs (Po) is the same as the breath of Prana from yoga.  The Po helps spread Qi throughout your entire body and keep your lungs healthy. Daily exercise helps to move your breath, unstick your body, keep your aches and pains at bay and also helps to mitigate worry and grief.  There are many gyms that offer free online movement classes during this time.  A few that I have been using are:


In the 5 elements of Chinese Medicine, the Lung is nourished by the digestion.  This relationship tells us that in order to keep our Lungs strong, we want to eat nourishing foods.   Some foods that help strengthen the Lungs are listed below.  These low phlegm producing foods help to moisten the lungs, disperse accumulation, and promote digestion and circulation.  Try to avoid dairy, excess sugar and processed foods, as they create phlegm which is stored in our lungs.  


  • Beans, Rice, 

  • Mustard

  • Cabbage, Garlic, Celery, Radish, Onion

  • Apple, Pear

  • Orange and Ginger tea

While Americans usually are go go go, right now we can’t go anywhere, so we may as well rest.  Take some time daily to do nothing.  The weather is beautiful, if possible, get outside for a few minutes and enjoy the warm sun on your face and allow the fresh air to remind you of everything there is to be grateful for.  


  • Go outside in the sun daily - Don’t forget sunscreen on your face!

  • Make a list of things you are grateful for

  • Reach out to friends and family via Zoom, Skype, FaceTime Etc. We have been using Zoom to meet with our families, and I think that it is helping bring everyone closer together. I’m talking with my brothers more now than ever!

  • Watch comedies - We are enjoying Futurama, Inside Out, 30 Rock, A Series of Unfortunate Events and Indiana Jones

  • Meditate - Depok Chopra has a free daily meditation

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