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Created by :
K. Natalia Foster, L.Ac.
Tora W. Flint
Happy Chinese New Year
This past Sunday the Yo San community brought in the year of the Snake with a festive celebration on campus. As part of the program Dr. Mao Shing Ni and Dr. Daoshing Ni led a Taoist Renewal Ceremony in front of their family shrine.There were also performances by students and faculty in Tai Chi, music, TCM - themed stand up, and the grand finale was a troupe of traditional Lion Dancers. In his forecast for this year, Dr. Mao said that because the Snake is a much smaller serpent, there will be less volatility than in the previous year of the Dragon. He shared two themes that are important to the Snake: transformation and flexibility. May you experience much transformation and flexibility in your own life in the upcoming year!
By Emily King - President of Yo San University Student Association
Read Emily King's Blog "Yo San Life" here.
Dr. Zheng's Tea Egg
Eggs (best using farm raised chicken eggs)
Green tea leaves
Method of cooking:
Boil the eggs until hard-boiled
Rise eggs with cold water
Gently crack the entire shell of the hard-boiled eggs to produce marbling markings after cooking with tea
Add water, tea, salt, soy sauce, Ba Jiao and Rou Gui into the pot with the cracked eggs.
Cook in slow fire for 3-4 hours
To warm and tonify kidney Yang
To nourish essence and blood
To prevent disease and increase longevity
The flavorful tea eggs should be served with or without shells as a snack or associated with Chinese cuisine.
Dr. Qi Wei Zheng
Dr. Qiwei Zheng is a California licensed Acupuncturist who earned his MD degree in 1976 in China. He then received his Master's Degree of Acupuncture Science in 1981 at the prestigious China Academy of TCM, Institute of Acupuncture in Beijing, China.
He has over 35 years experience of researching, teaching, and practicing Integrative Medicine, TCM, and Acupuncture. Dr. Zheng has trained more than five thousand foreign medical doctors, medical technicians and students about Acupuncture from over one hundred countries.
Dr. Zheng is one of our faculty members at Yo San University and we love it when he brings his famous Tea Eggs to share!
GMO and your Health
Chinese medicine considers a balanced diet made up of whole (unprocessed) food crucial to maintaining the harmonized Qi necessary for good health and well being. Qi is a Chinese word used to describe energy. It is created through diet, lifestyle and environment. Together with Qi is Jing or Essence, which can be thought of as the fundamental structure that is the make-up of each living organism. Food has Jing and Qi, which when consumed enhances the potential of body energy and health. Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners counsel their patients about diet and understand that the quality of food effects the Qi of the organ systems.
With modern biotechnology, some of the food on the market today contains genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. A GMO is a plant or animal whose genetic sequence has been manipulated through biotechnology to produce certain traits which change how the organism lives or grows. The first GM animal was approved by the FDA as safe for market sale in December 2012. It is a salmon genetically engineered by splicing the genes of a Pacific Chinook salmon with the genes of an eel like fish. The GMO salmon will produce unlimited growth hormone so it will grow larger and reach market weight more quickly (Gucciardi).
Humans have been interbreeding beneficial traits for centuries. The difference is that GMOs are created by combining the DNA of different species which wouldn't combine naturally. One of the techniques used to achieve this is through the transport of one set of genes into another via a medium, such as a virus or bacteria, which then becomes part of the new organism.
THE Non-GMO Project has published that the most common GMO crops currently produced in the United States are:
Alfalfa (first planting 2011)
Canola (approx. 90% of U.S. crop)
Corn (approx. 88% of U.S. crop in 2011)
Cotton (approx. 90% of U.S. crop in 2011)
Papaya (most of Hawaiian crop; approximately 988 acres)
Soy (approx. 94% of U.S. crop in 2011)
Sugar Beets (approx. 95% of U.S. crop in 2010)
Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash (approx. 25,000 acres)
Animal products (milk, meat, eggs, honey, etc.) because alfalfa, corn and soy are common stock feed.
It has been estimated that 70-90% of processed food on American supermarket shelves contain genetically engineered ingredients. Along with the previously listed crops, other ingredients derived from GMOs include; "(Beet) Sugar, Amino Acids, Aspartame, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Ascorbate, Vitamin C, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Ethanol, Flavorings (natural and artificial), High-Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Lactic Acid, Maltodextrins, Molasses, Monosodium Glutamate, Sucrose, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), Xanthan Gum, Vitamins, Yeast Products" (NonGMOProject). Check your cupboards and you are fairly sure to find a product containing GMOs.
Chinese medicine values natural law observed over thousands of years. Harmony is maintained through a whole food diet. Modern nutritional science validates this wisdom. Over the past 50 years, both Eastern and Western practitioners have observed the negative effects a highly processed diet has on health. Highly processed foods are linked to certain problems with weight, blood sugar, fatigue, inflammation, allergies and heart disease as well as various other health issues.
GMOs have only been available for mass consumption since the mid-1990s. Long term effects are still to be learned. In 2009, The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) called on physicians to educate their patients, the medical community, and the public to avoid GM foods whenever possible and provide educational materials concerning GM foods and health risks. The AAEM cited, Several animal studies (that) indicate serious health risks associated with GM food, including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, insulin regulation and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system (AAEM).
Research by companies producing GMOs show they are not harmful and do not produce any side effects. These studies convinced the FDA that GMOs are safe and that man-made genetic changes will not be absorbed by living things. Controversy exists because other independent studies have shown GMOs to be harmful. A Canadian study showed that the BT toxin pesticide produced by some GM corn is detectable in the bodies of pregnant women and their fetuses (Arias). A French study showed rats fed a GMO diet for a period of 2 years began to grow tumors after 4 months and show kidney and liver damage (Adams). In Brazil and Austria studies with rats that were fed GM soy showed lower reproductive rates due to changes in the hormones and uterus (Smith). All of these studies and any other study that shows negative effects of GMOs have been strongly refuted by the biotech industry which produces GMOs.
The European Union and many countries ban the import of GMOs and/or require labeling to signify if a product contains them. America does not require labeling, but this is something that citizens in many states are trying to change. Even without labeling, you can control your exposure to GMOs. First and foremost, avoid processed foods and avoid the many GM ingredients they contain. Buy Organic. Certified organic producers and growers are not legally allowed to have GM ingredients in their foods. Unfortunately there is the possibility of cross pollination if organic crops are grown near GMO crops. There are often stickers on produce which have a PLU-code. Codes that start with 8 are GMO. Organic starts with 9. Some companies have volunteered to show the Non-GMO Project Verified logo on packaging which announces them GMO Free. If you buy foods with this logo you can be sure care has been taken to ensure the most GMO-free food possible.
Worldwide, people are learning and educating each other about GMOs. There is a strong push for public awareness, more independent research and labeling. Many groups have websites you can visit for information. The Institute for Responsible Technology publishes current biotechnology research of GM foods and occasionally has documentaries available to watch. The Non-GMO Project tests food products and has prepared shopping guides which can be printed, mailed, or downloaded as an application on your smart phone.
The effect food has on health is extremely important. Traditional Chinese medicine values the wisdom of nature and natural processes. The controversy and uncertainty surrounding GMOs raise concerns about their safety, and while they have been on the market less than 20 years, they make up a high percentage of the foods consumed by many Americans. It can feel overwhelming to try and sift through it all, but it is really very simple:a diet heavily loaded with a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains as well as unprocessed meat, wild fish and plenty of clean water will promote the healthy Qi required to harmonize and balance both body and mind.
Empowering yourself to know about the food you eat and to consciously make nutritious choices is an essential step to achieving optimal health and vitality.
By Sherra Cunningham, Intern at Yo San Community Clinic
Meet our intern
Yo San Clinic has an exceptional and diverse intern team. With various professional and educational backgrounds, our Traditional Chinese Medicine students bring a variety of experience, knowledge and care. In our monthly newsletter, we will introduce you to our new interns and tell you a little bit about what makes them exceptional healers.
County Clare, Ireland, is abundant in many things, but two aspects in particular proved instrumental in shaping Jenny Hayes' life. The myths, legends and folklores that are interwoven into the fabric of Ireland's history fostered Jenny's childhood imagination and peaked her interest in the healing arts. Growing up around horses, it seems inevitable that Jenny would have also had at least a passing interest in equine pursuits. These twin passions in horses and healing have remained with her to this day, steering her through important life decisions, decisions that eventually brought her to Yo San University.
In 2000, Jenny graduated from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, with a Bachelor's Degree in Equine Science. At the same time, her natural curiosity introduced her to the benefits of Reiki and energy work. After traveling to France, England, and Australia, working in various disciplines of the horseracing industry, Jenny moved to the United States where she found work at a breeding farm in Kentucky. There, her duties were diverse. From helping to manage the stallions stationed on the farm to ensuring that the foals were born quickly and safely, Jenny received a thorough grounding in equine husbandry.
Alongside her work on the breeding farm, Jenny worked as a veterinary technician at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute - the largest equine hospital in the US. It was then that Jenny decided to become more involved in the treatment of sick or injured horses. She returned to college in Kentucky and graduated in 2004 with a degree in Equine Physiotherapy. The course introduced her to acupuncture as a means of diagnosing and treating medical conditions. It also introduced her to her mentor Dr. Marvin Cain, one of the country's leading equine acupuncturists. With a growing appreciation for holistic treatments, Jenny was keen to expand her knowledge. Aware that a Master's Degree would enable her to eventually practice acupuncture, Jenny moved to California and enrolled in Yo San University in 2008.
Jenny's experience as a foreigner relocating to the US has been challenging at times and she is passionate about helping people move through difficult times in their lives. Whether it is pain from a physical injury or an emotional trauma, she creates a safe, non-judgmental space to help her patients return to a more balanced state. In addition to treating patients at Yo San Clinic, Jenny currently works at Hollywood Park racetrack, where under veterinary supervision she incorporates acupuncture as part of her physiotherapy work on the horses.
Nancy Allan is the daughter of two renowned physicians. Her initial intention was to follow in their footsteps, but her creative side led her to obtain a degree in film from Occidental College and an MFA from UCLA School of Film and Television. Since her desire to help people heal never ebbed, in her documentary films she focused on topics relating to health and wellness. While Nancy achieved considerable success producing and directing films in India, Africa and the United States, the questioning spirit instilled in her by her parents inspired her to look deeper into the underlying causes of disease. She became aware of the brain's role in stress induced illnesses and the effect that emotions, nutrition and exercise have on health.
Western Medicine saved Nancy from a life threatening trauma as a child, but left her with asthma and allergies that only alternative medicine could heal. She cared for her uncle, who had Parkinson's disease, in the last years of his life. This experience, along with being the caregiver for her grandparents, further heightened Nancy\u2019s interest and passion for an integrative approach to medicine.
Realizing that conventional medicine is unable to successfully treat many ailments and sometimes lacks an individual and holistic approach to healing, she gravitated toward studying alternative approaches to health and wellness. Nancy received a certification to teach yoga from Yoga Works and spent 15 years studying under several yoga masters. She later found her niche in yoga therapy by specializing in yoga for injuries and chronic pain. She is also certified in prenatal yoga and especially enjoys working with fertility patients, pregnant women and children.
Nancy is certified as a Somato Respiratory Integration (SRI) facilitator. SRI uses specific exercises to help the patient transform emotions by connecting with the physical experience in the body. Incorporating these disciplines with her training and degree in Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture endows Nancy in bringing an exciting and holistic approach to the treatment of her patients. Her gentle, tender and nurturing touch invites profound healing and positive transformation in her patients.
Along with her professional studies, Nancy has a deep meditation practice that serves as a foundation for her own health and growth. Her other passions are researching creativity and education, whole food nutrition, organic gardening, cooking, surfing and caring for her family and friends.
To book an appointment with Jenny and Nancy, call us at (310) 577-3006.
Meet our Doctoral Candidate
Debbie R. Rodriguez, L.Ac.
Debbie is a licensed acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist. She was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. She attended the University of Colorado and received her undergraduate degree in Biology. She then decided to pursue further education and attended Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Los Angeles. She graduated with a Master's of Science in Traditional Oriental Medicine. Currently, Debbie is completing a Doctoral program in Women's Health & Fertility at Yo San University.
Her passion is to be of service to those who choose the journey to wellness. She believes that there is an intimate connection between body, mind, spirit and environment. By understanding these connections, she is able to gently guide the energy in the body that allows healing naturally.
Her specialties include: women's health and fertility as well as anti-aging wellness medicine, chronic pain and illness.
In the spirit of community, she has started Poway Veterans Acupuncture Clinic, where veterans and active duty and their families can come for acupuncture at no charge. Her practice is located in Poway, California, just outside of San Diego. She also treats patients on Sunday mornings at Yo San University's Specialty Clinic treating Men and Women's Reproductive Health and Fertlity.
To book an appointment with Debbie , call us at (310) 577-3006.
Yo San Clinic is Open 7 Days a Week!
Monday through Friday - 8 am to 9 pm
Saturday - 8:30 am to 5:30 pm
Sunday - 1:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Healthy Aging Clinic & Fertility Clinic
Sunday - 8:30 am to 1:30 pm