Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cleansing Fast - Preparation

Winter solstice is coming up this weekend. Changes of season are an important time to fast - to give our hard working digestive system a rest, clean our body and mind, and spend some quality time being quiet while Nature is shifting modes from Fall to Winter.

It helps to start preparing for a fast about 1 week in advance. Since I'll be fasting next week, this week I want to get a few things ready:

1. Dry Skin Brush - to use daily during the fast, lightly brushing skin on the arms and legs going towards the heart to assist lymph flow. I do this before showering in the morning.

2. Sesame Oil - for a daily self-massage after showering. Sesame oil is prized for it's many healing qualities according to Ayurvedic practices.

3. Assortment of liquids that I like: vegetable broths - sometimes I make it from scratch, but the organic boxed variety is fine, fresh lemons & limes to put in hot water for a great liver cleansing "tea", and rice for congee (Chinese rice porridge).

4. The Herbal Cleansing Fast Kit from The Oriental Healing Arts Center. I've been doing this seasonal fast for almost 10 years and I love it! The kit makes it so easy to prepare the medicinal herb teas.

5. Hot Water Bottle - for "internal bath" (herbal colonic). I like to get it out and clean it now.

Last of all, I like to try and have a topic that I want to explore while I'm in the state of having a very peaceful and clear mind. This time I'm going to ponder the relationship of Yin & Yang in the form of "good and bad", how they are both necessary, and what it means to have "power" from the interaction and utilization of these 2 forces together.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Properties of Jade

I do not know much about the properties of minerals and stones. I do believe that they have vibrational properties much like herbs, but I had not experienced their power until this week. I bought jade earrings and a jade necklace when I was in China, but only because I liked the color. I previously knew new nothing about Jade. I slept wearing them a few nights ago and woke up just amazed at the issue resolving dreams I had that night. This made me wonder if the Jade had anything to do with the resolutions. So, I did not wear them for two days and nothing happened. I wore them again last night and once again had a similar effect. Most of the dreams were about friends and family. They were all positive, harmonious dreams about people or situations that had been troubling me and were smoothed out in the course of the dream. I have never had these kind of dreams before. I am pleased and humbled by the effects of the jade in my dreams, and I look forward to realizing that energy in my daytime life!

"Jade is a symbol of serenity and purity. It signifies wisdom gathered in tranquility. It increases love and nurturing. A protective stone, Jade keeps the wearer from harm and brings harmony. Jade attracts good luck and friendship. It stabilises the personality and promotes self-sufficiency. Soothes the mind, releasing negative thoughts. Stimulates ideas. A “dream stone”, Jade brings insightful dreams. It aids emotional release, especially of irritability. Jade encourages you to become who you really are." ~

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Authentic Chinese Olympic Sports Massage Gala

The professionals at The Oriental Healing Arts Center have returned from their studies at China’s premier Olympic Sports hospital in Beijing, bringing with them over 2000 years of Ancient Chinese Sports Massage Methods.

You are invited to our Authentic Chinese Olympic Sports Massage Gala where we will reveal the knowledge that we gained from the Sports Medicine Hospital in Beijing, China. Join us for dinner, entertainment, massages, and more on this special evening. You will be the first in Alaska to learn about and experience these Ancient Chinese Sports Massage methods that are used on Olympic athletes to treat and prevent injuries. We look forward to seeing you there!

Saturday, December 13, 2008, 6-9:30pm
Reservations are $25
The Oriental Healing Arts Center
2636 Spenard Rd

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Recipe: Medicinal Mushroom Chutney with Coconut Curry Leaf Rice

Several people asked me for the recipe of the potluck dish I brought to the very fun Chinese Trip photo sharing gathering we had tonight, so here it is. It’s awesome for your immune system, and yes, I really eat like this – I just made this up for my own breakfast one morning. I don’t measure my spices, so I’m guessing at the amount.


2 cups sweet rice, uncooked and rinsed
3 ½ cups combined mushroom soaking water plus extra water
¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes (I use Bob’s Red Mill brand)
1 Tbsp. dried curry leaves
5 cardamom pods, cut open

Mushroom Chutney:
8 dried Shitake mushrooms
1 large dried Maitake mushroom
6 fresh Crimini mushrooms (or other of your choice)
¼ cup chopped walnuts
1 shake cumin seeds
sprinkle of turmeric
sprinkle of curry
olive oil for sautéing
sprinkle of soy sauce
1 fresh roma tomato, chopped
2-3 fresh garlic cloves, chopped
2 Tbsp. flax seed oil


First, place the dried mushrooms in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Cover the bowl and let soak for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the fresh mushrooms, tomato, and garlic cloves, and rinse the rice well.

Once the mushrooms are re-hydrated, take them out but keep the soaking water to use as part of the liquid to cook the rice in. Chop the mushrooms, discarding any tough stems.

Combine all ingredients for rice and cook until done. Remove the cardamom pods when the rice is finished cooking (it’s ok to eat the round black seeds in the middle, so leave them in if you want!).

For the mushroom chutney, heat the olive oil in a frying pan over med-high heat. Sprinkle the cumin seeds in, and when they start to sizzle a little add all the chopped mushrooms and walnuts. Sprinkle on some turmeric and curry spices. Stir fry until the mushrooms are slightly browned. Then pour a little soy sauce over the mixture, give it a few stirs and turn it off.

In a bowl, stir together the cooked mushroom mixture with the fresh tomato, fresh chopped garlic, and flax seed oil. Use this as a topping for the rice. Enjoy!!

Instructor for Taoist Five Element Nutrition Program