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Skin, Moisture and Dehydration

Show Summary - March 9, 2009

Guest: Leah Yamaguchi

Leah Yamaguchi (Portland, OR), acupuncturist. "Hydration, Dehydration and Re-hydration of Skin Cells"

Leah Yamaguchi is a licensed acupuncturist with Gresham Acupuncture, near Portland, Oregon. She learned the practice while living in Japan for seven years and now specializes in Chinese and oriental medicine, herbalism, nutrition and massage, as well as acupuncture.

Chinese medicine is over 5,000 years old and focuses on achieving health through the balancing of many factors, with strong emphasis on the seasons. The body's energy flow (clearing, cleaning and stimulating its channels) is a primary tool in achieving balance and treating disorders.

Much spiritual and philosophical emphasis is placed on the concept of the "Yin" and the "Yang," an allegorical tool for understanding balance and interconnectedness. The Yin constitutes the fluids and substance of the body. The Yang is the firing of nerve impulses and movement. For optimal health, the two should be in balance.

With a Yin deficiency (which is far more common than a Yang deficiency), the blood thickens, the muscles dry out, the eyes feel strained and the body becomes dehydrated. To improve the Yin, knowing what you eat, and correct preparation are critical. "Hot" cooking methods (frying, heavy spices, etc.) and not advised. A "Yin" diet involves slow cooking, steam and lots of water. Foods emphasize broths and gruel.

For a "Yin" lifestyle, start your day with a glass of cool water, possibly soaked overnight with green tea leaves. Stress can be further reduced by meditating, stretching, deep breathing and slow movement of the joints. Have a breakfast of millet or rice porridge with pears or dates. Other good Yin foods include spinach, seafood, pork, oysters, tofu, asparagus, water chestnuts, red fruit juices and couji (wolf berry).

And, of course, drink plenty of water.

Categories: Alternative medicines and therapies; health and wellness; diet and nutrition