Acupuncture and Herb Clinic

Seasonal Notes


Autumnal Equinox 2020


Beyond the Mask: Strengthening Innate Immunity III 

In nature, instinct guides animals to survival strategies. In modern humans, desires overcome natural instincts and thousands of years of inherited wisdom. In both indigenous populations and ancient medical systems, there exist substantial resources for maintaining and improving health. 

Adaptation to Seasonal Changes  

Cooler morning temperatures should guide us to wear a scarf around our necks to keep the cool Yin energy from subduing our potent Yang energy which carries our defensive Qi up and out to repel pathogens.

Food choices also need to correspond to changing temperatures. Soups, stews, and hot teas are the order of the day. Eating cold, raw foods suppresses immunity by directing Yang energy away from the surface of our bodies to ward of pathogens. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Lung and the Large Intestine are both Metal. Autumn is the season of Metal. Interestingly, the Lung and Large Intestine are a Yin/Yang paired system in TCM. In Biomedicine, it is observed that patients with post-nasal drip, sinus mucus, and congestion of both the sinuses and chest improve when the intestinal gut flora are improved. Nerve connections between the gut and respiratory tract work in parallel as they are derived from the same source.

Increased dark time beckons us to bed early and rise later, if possible, when work schedules allow. Our bodies need this mini hibernation time to recover and build strength during a time when Yang energy is decreasing. If you cannot do this, as I cannot on clinic days, follow this regimen on your home days. 

Wearing a mask during smoke accumulation is very important. The Lung is a major component of your immune system.

Special Preventative Measures 

A simple moxa/massage protocol was developed in China from centuries of experience which boosts immunity. If you are interested in learning this, please let me know during your next appointment. 

Daily practice of T’ai Chi Chuan and/or Hatha Yoga move the body energy smoothly. There are many opportunities for instruction in these ancient arts in our greater geographic region.


Healing the Earth, Healing Yourself

 The current drought and resultant fires clearly demonstrate that the survival of our species demands a change in thinking. Excessive carbon emissions = Global Warming. Perhaps an inconvenient fact when we want to travel to enjoy social events, sports presentations, etc. But the fact is, there are nearly 8 billion humans on this planet. Most of that number consists of ravenous consumers. Our toxic waste is measured by the kiloton. Plastic alone is destroying life on this planet. So here are some suggestions: 

  1. Travel Less

  2. Avoid plastic for the plague that it is (Causes cancers of the reproductive system.)

  3. Support true Zero Waste companies

  4. Use bamboo toilet paper instead of paper. There are so many humans on this planet flushing entire forests down the john that it is a major factor in climate change! At home, I use a damp cloth. Before you cringe at the suggestion consider this: What do you think George Washington used? What about Jesus? Each person in a household can have their own “mopina” which can be color coded, or whatever. Each person is responsible for keeping it clean. (Kids will need help at first.)

  5. Use a shampoo bar instead of a liquid in a toxic plastic bottle. (Farmer’s Market, Herb Shop). I have found my hair is softer and in better condition due to the essential oils in these bars.

  6. Use a castile soap bar for dishes. And, guess what, that is what everyone used not so long ago. If you are concerned about “spots” on glassware, use a dishtowel to dry the glassware!

  7. Wrap produce in damp cotton dish towels. It keeps longer and stays fresher. There is some investment in maintenance. The towels will need to be re-moistened occasionally.

  8. Stop buying food in plastic containers. If you have to read ingredients, it isn’t food. Learn to cook with simple vegetables, proteins, and grains from the bulk section of stores. Buy your tea in bulk (Herb Shop, Gooseberries, etc.).

  9. Join and environmental group that is working to improve conditions on our planet.


The Mesozoic Era was “ruled” by giant reptiles and dinosaurs. They had dominion over the Earth for nearly 200 million years. They succumbed to a climate change caused by a meteor. We have been on this planet for about 1 million years and are destroying both the planet and ourselves. Are we truly the “Crown of Creation?” Perhaps the Crud of Creation would be a more appropriate descriptor. Time to make drastic changes if we want the children to survive!


The care I have received at Ráven's clinic has made an almost unbearable situation bearable and allowed me to hold a job and continue on with my life. She and her staff work with you at any time you need them. They are amazing.

    Frances Cole