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Embracing Summers Fire Element

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(This article is gratefully reposted from:

Summer has officially begun and with the season change, also comes an element change. Summer is associated with the element of Fire. The ancient theory of The Five Phases was introduced almost two thousand years ago, and discusses the idea that the structure of the cosmos reflects the five elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. Each season is associated with an element, with the Earth element relating to the change in seasons every three months. And along with its associated element, each season is related to parts of the human body and certain forms of energy.


Summer is not only correlated with the element of Fire, but with the heart, small intestine, and the tongue. Knowing which element relates to each season can provide knowledge from Chinese medicine regarding health in that season. Special attention should be paid to those aforementioned organs during summer. Fortunately, when the Fire element is in balance (as it often is in summer), the heart is strong and healthy.

An imbalance in any element can cause problems with its related organs. When the Fire element is inharmonious, one’s joy (associated with the heart) can be out of whack, resulting in too little (depression), or too much (chaos) joy or exuberance. Agitation, nervousness, heartburn, and insomnia are symptoms that one’s Fire balance is off. To prevent these problems, Chinese medicine recommends that people take full advantage of the long summer days. Getting up earlier in the morning, going to sleep later at night, and trying to rest at midday is recommended for a great state of mind. Fluids are very important in summer months, and adding strong or spicy flavors to one’s diet is also suggested. Due to its connection with the small intestine, summer and indigestion can go hand in hand. A lighter diet should be chosen over heavier foods.

Since Fire is summer’s element, Water (its opposing element) also becomes pertinent. Some of the negative side effects of summer fun include: sunburns, dehydration, and a lack of energy; keeping oneself hydrated should be a priority. Small children and older people are especially susceptible to these downsides of the heat. For sunburns, Chinese medicine suggests a mixture of tea tree oil (one part) with either olive oil or coconut oil (ten parts) to relieve painful skin. Chinese medicine really enforces all uses of water during this season. Keeping drinking water nearby at all times is important, as well as taking cool baths, seeking shade, and wearing lighter clothing. It’s not just about simple common sense though; watermelon juice has long been used as a remedy for dehydration. Watermelon juice and seeds help to cool the body and cleanse the system. Avoiding drinks full of sugar and chemicals (like sodas – both diet and regular) is also recommended – since these don’t actually relieve thirst, and also inundate the body with more toxins to eventually clear.

This season is also a prime time to focus on changes in life regarding growth, joy, and spiritual awareness. The predominant nature of Summer is Yang, which unlike the darker and calmer Yin, is related to excitement, assertiveness, and exuberance, making summer a great time to take action to form positive change in one’s life.

Ally Gallop – Registered Dietician

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Glow is pleased to introduce Ally Gallop, B.Sc., a new addition to the team! Ally is a Registered Dietician offering Nutritional Counselling at Glow on Fridays. To learn more about her and what she does, please see her biography below. Also stay tuned for Ally Approved recipes!

Gallop 1

Ally Gallop, B.Sc. (Hons), Registered Dietitian
Pre and Postnatal Exercise Specialist
CFES Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor
Certified Spin Instructor

Ally Gallop is a Registered Dietitian under the College of Dietitians of British Columbia and is a member of the Dietitians of Canada. She graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2012 with a Bachelors of Science in Food, Nutrition, Health, majoring in Dietetics, and graduating with Honours. She completed her dietetics internship with and currently works at St. Paul’s Hospital as a Clinical Dietitian with interests in pre and postnatal health, diabetes, sports nutrition, weight loss coaching, and healthy heart eating.

Through a stint as St. Paul’s outpatient dietitian, Ally realized that individual counseling was something that she wanted to pursue. With a passion for preventative health, exercise, and working amongst an interdisciplinary team in delivering the best support for a client, Glow is an environment in which Ally has always wanted to become a part of. Though her training is based on science and research, she balances this with motivational counseling, exploring barriers to healthy eating, and keeping an open mind to alternative methods of nutritional healing. Her goal is to both educate and empower clients in setting and accomplishing their goals, developing an individualized plan for success.

Years ago, a sports-ending knee surgery and subsequent rehabilitation deflected Ally’s interest onto nutrition, leading to her current role as a dietitian. Keeping both loves in the forefront, she also became a Canadian Fitness Education Services (CFES) certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor. She has completed several athletic events including multiple distance races and half marathons, triathlons, Tough Mudder, and was involved during her university years with UBC Rec.

As a consultant, she has been published through the New York Times, has been interviewed by the Vancouver Sun, and has presented for the YMCA. Future goals include attending graduate school for a Masters in Public Health Nutrition and becoming certified as a Diabetes Educator.

Ally’s credentials in both nutrition and exercise allow her a unique offering to clients including one-on-one and small group counseling, grocery shopping assistance or tours, or even as an exercise coach. For more information on services, appointment booking, and an online library of simple recipes, become in contact with her:

t: (778) 786-2517

The Miracle that is Water (Infograph)

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The above infograph is courtesy of

Mindful Pregnancy: A TCM Approach to Women’s Health, Pregnancy and Fertility

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(This article is gratefully reposted from:

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is an ancient healing art and one of the oldest forms of healing, dating back to over 3,000 years.  TCM is based on ancient Chinese Theories that focus on the whole body, by stimulating the body’s own innate healing abilities.  Acupuncture is a natural approach to diagnosing, treating, preventing disease and promoting our well-being as well as addressing the causes and symptoms of illness.  This occurs by supporting the body’s healthy energy called “Qi” and blood.

The TCM Practitioner determines the patterns of disharmony within the body based on certain examinations, such as the tongue and pulse.  Acupuncture regulates the flow of blood and Qi within the body by inserting fine, thin, sterile needles at certain points, “acupoints” on the body.  This flow of Qi and blood is carried throughout the body by a system of pathways called “meridians” or “channels” that cover the body, similar to the blood vessels and nerves.  The flow of Qi and blood in the body is adjusted by the acupuncturist using the needles to increase the energy flow to areas of deficiencies or taking it away if any excesses.

By enhancing the health and balance of the body’s internal organs with acupuncture, chinese herbs, moxibustion and lifestyle changes, a woman can improve her overall health and wellness.


Acupuncture and Pregnancy + Childbirth

During pregnancy and childbirth, acupuncture is safe and comfortable and is effective in reducing the incidence and severity of common pregnancy symptoms. In Chinese Medicine theory, our spiritual energy manifests in the heart. The heart energy is the center of love and creation.  All the acupuncture points have an emotional/spiritual aspect to them as well as the physical, connecting the mother’s powerful energy to her baby.  Acupuncture is used to promote maternal and fetal health.

The first trimester: 

Women are seen for weekly acupuncture treatments to increase blood flow to the uterus, promote and regulate hormonal balance and prevent miscarriage and threatened miscarriage.  Also, to prevent and control morning/daily sickness, spotting/bleeding, fatigue, back/hip pain, sciatica, edema, carpal tunnel, itching, cholestasis, migraines/headaches, heartburn, constipation, indigestion, hemorrhoids, psychological issues. 

The second trimester to 34 weeks:

Women are seen one to two times a month to maintain a healthy pregnancy balance and treat and prevent the common symptoms that develop.  Breech presentation is addressed at this time using moxibustion to help with turning the baby.

Pre-Birth treatments:

Beginning at 35 weeks to birth, treatments are to prepare the woman for childbirth.  The physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of the mother and baby are still being addressed. Studies show that weekly acupuncture at this time helps with softening the cervix, increases energy and improves stamina for labor, relaxes the uterine ligaments, increases optimal positioning of the baby, decreases medical intervention and increases the effectiveness of uterine contractions.

Labor Support:

Acupuncture promotes cervical effacement and dilatation, decreases fatigue, initiates contraction and relaxes the mind and body.

Postpartum care:

During this time, acupuncture is very helpful in restoring energy and promoting a quicker recovery after birth, increasing milk production and increasing stamina. It is also useful with healing mastitis, insufficient lactation, perineal pain, post-partum depression and also promotes quicker recovery of the uterus returning to the pre-pregnant state.

Acupuncture and Fertility + Conception

TCM successfully enhances the fertility process by bringing the body into a state of balance and harmony. Acupuncture helps to reduce stress and tonify and nourish the reproductive organs in both women and men. Fertility is not just about the physical state of being but about overall health and wellness of spirit.  Our inner harmony and peace carries us through life’s challenges, especially the stresses connected with fertility issues.

Significant improvement of fertility has been documented in patients who receive TCM.  Acupuncture increases the chances for a natural conception, improves hormonal balance, increases the success rate with Assisted Reproductive Technologies and increases blood flow to the pelvic organs. It helps to create better quality of cervical mucus, regulates ovulation, promotes a regular menstrual cycle, enhances egg development, increases blood circulation to the uterine lining and improves sperm quality.

Acupuncture treatments are recommended for at least 3-6 months to optimize conception and having a healthy pregnancy and baby.  Chinese medicine theory believes that we must “nourish the soil before planting the seeds.”  TCM is a patient medicine, taking time to support our health and wellness.

By Susan Minich CNM, MSN, MSOM, LAc

21 Habits of Happy People

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This wonderful reminder is gratefully reposted from:

“Happiness is a habit – cultivate it.” ~ Elbert Hubbard

Happiness is one aspiration all people share. No one wants to be sad and depressed.

We’ve all seen people who are always happy – even amidst agonizing life trials. I’m not saying happy people don’t feel grief, sorrow or sadness; they just don’t let it overtake their life. The following are 21 things happy people make a habit of doing:

1. Appreciate Life

Be thankful that you woke up alive each morning. Develop a childlike sense of wonder towards life. Focus on the beauty of every living thing. Make the most of each day. Don’t take anything for granted. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

2. Choose Friends Wisely

Surround yourself with happy, positive people who share your values and goals. Friends that have the same ethics as you will encourage you to achieve your dreams. They help you to feel good about yourself. They are there to lend a helping hand when needed.

3. Be Considerate

Accept others for who they are as well as where they are in life. Respect them for who they are. Touch them with a kind and generous spirit. Help when you are able, without trying to change the other person. Try to brighten the day of everyone you come into contact with.

4. Learn Continuously

Keep up to date with the latest news regarding your career and hobbies. Try new and daring things that has sparked your interest – such as dancing, skiing, surfing or sky-diving.

5. Creative Problem Solving

Don’t wallow in self-pity. As soon as you face a challenge get busy finding a solution. Don’t let the set backs affect your mood, instead see each new obstacle you face as an opportunity to make a positive change. Learn to trust your gut instincts – it’s almost always right.

6. Do What They Love

Some statistics show that 80% of people dislike their jobs! No wonder there’s so many unhappy people running around. We spend a great deal of our life working. Choose a career that you enjoy – the extra money of a job you detest isn’t worth it. Make time to enjoy your hobbies and pursue special interests.

7. Enjoy Life

Take the time to see the beauty around you. There’s more to life than work. Take time to smell the roses, watch a sunset or sunrise with a loved one, take a walk along the seashore, hike in the woods etc. Learn to live in the present moment and cherish it. Don’t live in the past or the future.

8. Laugh

Don’t take yourself – or life to seriously. You can find humor in just about any situation. Laugh at yourself – no one’s perfect. When appropriate laugh and make light of the circumstances. (Naturally there are times that you should be serious as it would be improper to laugh.)

9. Forgive

Holding a grudge will hurt no one but you. Forgive others for your own peace of mind. When you make a mistake – own up to it – learn from it – and FORGIVE yourself.

10. Gratitude

Develop an attitude of gratitude. Count your blessings; All of them – even the things that seem trivial. Be grateful for your home, your work and most importantly your family and friends. Take the time to tell them that you are happy they are in your life.

11. Invest in Relationships

Always make sure your loved ones know you love them even in times of conflict. Nurture and grow your relationships with your family and friends by making the time to spend with them. Don’t break your promises to them. Be supportive.

12. Keep Their Word

Honesty is the best policy. Every action and decision you make should be based on honesty. Be honest with yourself and with your loved ones.

13. Meditate

Meditation gives your very active brain a rest. When it’s rested you will have more energy and function at a higher level. Types of meditation include yoga, hypnosis, relaxation tapes, affirmations, visualization or just sitting in complete silence. Find something you enjoy and make the time to practice daily.

14. Mind Their Own Business

Concentrate on creating your life the way you want it. Take care of you and your family. Don’t get overly concerned with what other people are doing or saying. Don’t get caught up with gossip or name calling. Don’t judge. Everyone has a right to live their own life the way they want to – including you.

15. Optimism

See the glass as half full. Find the positive side of any given situation. It’s there – even though it may be hard to find. Know that everything happens for a reason, even though you may never know what the reason is. Steer clear of negative thoughts. If a negative thought creeps in – replace it with a positive thought.

16. Love Unconditionally

Accept others for who they are. You don’t put limitations on your love. Even though you may not always like the actions of your loved ones – you continue to love them.

17. Persistence

Never give up. Face each new challenge with the attitude that it will bring you one step closer to your goal. You will never fail, as long as you never give up. Focus on what you want, learn the required skills, make a plan to succeed and take action. We are always happiest while pursuing something of value to us.

18. Be Proactive

Accept what can not be changed. Happy people don’t waste energy on circumstances beyond their control. Accept your limitations as a human being. Determine how you can take control by creating the outcome you desire – rather than waiting to respond.

19. Self Care

Take care of your mind, body and health. Get regular medical check ups. Eat healthy and work out. Get plenty of rest. Drink lots of water. Exercise your mind by continually energizing it with interesting and exciting challenges.

20. Self Confidence

Don’t try to be someone that you’re not. After all no one likes a phony. Determine who you are in the inside – your own personal likes and dislikes. Be confident in who you are. Do the best you can and don’t second guess yourself.

21. Take Responsibility

Happy people know and understand that they are 100% responsible for their life. They take responsibility for their moods, attitude, thoughts, feelings, actions and words. They are the first to admit when they’ve made a mistake.

Begin today by taking responsibility for your happiness. Work on developing these habits as you own. The more you incorporate the above habits into your daily lifestyle – the happier you will be.


(Picture Credit:

Something to Think About – May 2013

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Two translations of the same text, Chapter 11 of the Tao Te Ching.

We join spokes together in a wheel,
but it is the center hole
that makes the wagon move.

We shape clay into a pot,
but it is the emptiness inside
that holds whatever we want.

We hammer wood for a house,
but it is the inner space
that makes it livable.

We work with being
but non-being is what we use.
(translation by Stephen Mitchell (1988))


Thirty spokes share a hub;
The usefulness of the cart
lies in the space where there is nothing.

Clay is kneaded into a vessel;
The usefulness of the vessel
lies in the space where there is nothing.

A room is created by cutting out doors and windows;
The usefulness of the room
lies in the space where there is nothing.

The benefit of things lies in the usefulness of nothing.
(translation by Yasuhiko Genku Kimura (2004))


Something to Think About – April 2013

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The Axe

A man couldn’t find his axe, and suspected that his neighbor’s son stole it. As the man inspected the boy—the way he moved, the look on his face, and the way he spoke—everything seemed to point to the boy’s guilt. “He stole my axe!” the man thought to himself.

However, not long afterwards, he came across his missing axe while digging in a dell.

The next day, he looked at his neighbor’s son again. This time, he couldn’t spot all those cues that pointed to the boy’s guilt the previous day.
Story –
Painting –

Alicia Kent – Jin Shin Do® Body Mind Acupressure Practitioner

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Glow is excited to announce the arrival of Jin Shin Do® Body Mind Acupressure – with the lovely Alicia Kent!
Alicia Kent
Alicia is a Transformationalist. She is a Passionate, Creative, Loving Healer; Growing & Expanding into her Soul’s Purpose. Through her Gifts of Intuition, Compassion, & Creativity, she assists Individuals to Release Stress & Pain, Gain Insight & Clarity, and Blossom into their Full Potential.

Alicia is Registered with The Jin Shin Do® Foundation for Body Mind Acupressure®, The Natural Health Practitioners of Canada, British Columbias Acupressure Therapists Association and the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science.

Alicia will be practicing at Glow every second Thursday and Friday and is offering $25 off your first session! For more information, please visit her website at To book an appointment, please contact Alicia directly at



East vs. West Medicine Infograph

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The above infograph is courtesy of

Something to Think About – March 2013

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Once upon a time in a village in ancient China there was an old man who lived alone with his son. They were very poor. They had just a small plot of land outside the village to grow rice and vegetables and a rude hut to live in. But they also had a good mare. It was the son’s pride and joy, and their only possession of value. One day the mare ran away. The old man’s friends came to him and commiserated. “What a wonderful mare that was!” they said. “What bad fortune that she ran off!”

“Who can tell?” the old man said.

Two weeks later the mare returned accompanied by a fine barbarian stallion. Friends and neighbors all come around and congratulated the old man. “Now you have your mare back, and that stallion is as fine as any in the land. What a stroke of good fortune!”

“Who can tell?” the old man said.

Two weeks later the son fell off the stallion while riding and broke his leg. Friends of the old man came to him to express their sympathy. “It’s too bad your son broke his leg, and right before the planting season too. What bad luck!”

“Who can tell?” the old man said.

Two weeks later, war came to the land, and all able-bodied young men were drafted. The troop that contained the man from the village was at the front in a bloody engagement, and the entire troop was lost. All the men from the village died in battle. The young man with the broken leg stayed home. His leg healed. He and his father bred many fine horses and tended their fields.

by Huai Nan Tzu, retold by Carole Deppe