Summer Newsletter

Dear Friends and Colleagues:
Welcome to Summer! This is the best time of year to get out and enjoy the wonders of nature. Even though it has been a bit on the rainy side in the northeast, there are still great opportunities to make slight adjustments to our routines and make the most of the season.

In this issue:

  1. Dampness – Western and Eastern Perspectives
  2. Recipe - Barley Fruit Chicken Salad
  3. Practice Updates

Dampness – Western and Eastern Perspectives
Western Perspective
Biomedicine recognizes that excessively rainy and damp weather can negatively impact a person's mood and even her health. Both rain and the humidity of summer heat are expressions of dampness. Conditions such as arthritis are particularly vulnerable to damp. Almost everyone has a great-aunt or other relative who can predict the weather with no shortage of drama, based upon spikes of joint pain. The standard of care in biomedicine is over the counter analgesic medication like ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen sodium, (Aleve). These medicines work by reducing inflammation to decrease pain. Unfortunately the whole class of these drugs tend to challenge the digestive system. The standard recommendation is to use them for a maximum period of ten days, unless otherwise instructed by your doctor. Topical analgesics may provide some benefit without the risk of digestive challenge. Damp, warm conditions are also ideal for the growth of mold. People with mold allergies should take special care to make sure that their living spaces are clean and well ventilated. Mold allergies typically manifest with respiratory symptoms. There are several over-the-counter and prescription strength medications available for mold allergies triggered by dampness.

Eastern Perspective
In Asian medicine, dampness in nature - damp weather including humidity, rain and fog - has the potential to manifest as spleen-related complication. Internal dampness can also be triggered by the overuse of certain antibiotics and consumption of rich, sweet foods, like dairy products, sugary or high glycemic foods. When the spleen energy (qi) is depleted by dampness, essential digestive functions are impaired. Another physical manifestation of this imbalance is excessive phlegm - viewed in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a condensed form of dampness. Along with acupuncture treatment to help restore the qi, certain foods can help resolve dampness, including: pearl barley, umeoboshi plums, lentils, tuna, radish, papaya and horseradish. So, in moments when damp in inescapable, try to ease the burden on your spleen by making cleaner food choices of simple foods.

Summary and Strategy
Throughout the winter, our bodies rest and conserve energy as we wait the return of warmer days and the re-emergence of the sun. Damp, rainy weather puts a kink in this natural rhythm and can impact our bodies on several different levels. Keeping a positive outlook, maintaining a clean living environment and eating healthy foods are all positive preventative measures. Acupuncture can help support the body's process of transitioning to the weather of the new season. We cannot control the weather, but we can be proactive in assessing our bodies' reactions to it.

The following recipe includes some key ingredients - pearl barley, almonds, cranberries and blueberries - to help fight dampness.
Barley Fruited Chicken Salad *adapted from
2 cups cooked pearl barley (cooking directions below)
1-1/2 cups cooked and cubed chicken
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup Italian dressing (see below)
1/3 cup sliced fresh blueberries

Combine cooked barley, chicken, almonds, cranberries, celery and onions. Drizzle salad dressing over barley-chicken mixture and toss with fork. Chill well. To serve, spoon chilled salad into serving bowl and top with blueberries. Toss lightly to mix. Makes 4 servings.

To cook pearl barley
Place 3 cups water in medium saucepan; bring to boil. Add 1 cup pearl barley; return to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 45 minutes or until barley is tender and liquid is absorbed. Makes about 3 to 3-1/2 cups. (Place any extra cooked barley in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to one week.)

Italian Salad Dressing:
6 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
-Combine and whisk well before use.

Practice Updates
We've updated the Turning Point website with the first in a series of topical essays on Oriental medicine and research. The inaugural piece is about weight loss and can be found on the Links page of the site.

Also on the website, check out the updated information on constitutional facial renewal. Expert practitioner Kymberly Kelly offers this safe, effective treatment as a supplement or alternative to Botox and cosmetic surgery.

If you haven't already, consider joining the Turning Point Facebook Group. It's a great way to stay in touch and receive regular reminders about practice events and updates.

On July 20 from 12:30 - 1:30pm, Amanda Silver will be hosting a workshop on acupuncture and fertility. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to 212-489-5038 by July 17th.

Turning Point has gone GREEN. Check out our official Eco-Policy.

If you're looking to treat yourself or a friend this summer, keep in mind that Turning Point offers gift certificates for acupuncture, Reiki or massage. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., call (212. 489. 5038) or visit our offices (1841 Broadway) to share a gift of healing.

We look forward to supporting you toward your fullest enjoyment of the season in optimum emotional, physical and spiritual health.