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  • Writer's pictureToronto Integrative Medicine Centre

Updated: Apr 17


Do you update lab tests and talk with your family physician regularly? They might give you suggestions about medicine, supplements to help you prevent certain potential risks of the illness you might have in the future, regards to the results shown in your tests. It is a part of preventive healthcare in the context of the conventional medicine.(1)


Yet, through the lens of Traditional Chinese Medicine, “Yang Sheng” (养生) , health preservation is the way how we prevent the disease and prolong our lives.




养,means sustain, nourish,生,means life.


“Yang Sheng” originates from Taoist lifestyle. As Taoism classic Laozi Chapter 25 says: "Man follows earth, the earth follows heaven, the heaven follows Tao, and the Tao follows the law of nature.”



Su Wen·Four Qi Regulates the Spirit also shows the relation between the illness and nature: “Yin Yang, and the four seasons, generate the world we are living in and form the law of life and death which encircles our entire lives. If we go against this law, disaster happens; if we follow it, we can avoid severe illness.This is the way how we approach the Tao.”


(阴阳四时者,万物之终始也,死生之本也。逆之则灾害生,从之则苛疾不起,是谓得道。)



Chinese medicine practitioners believe attuning to the season can help us to stay away from illness, to live a sustainable everlasting life. It sounds absurd, and how ?


Simply, we look at a few aspects through lifestyle in general: eat seasonal food, dress according to the seasons, appropriate routine exercise.


For example, abundant wood and green energy burst out in spring, wood corresponds to liver; liver governs smooth qi and blood flow around the entire body. When the liver is balanced, we are energetic, curious, and adventurous, whereas liver energy being held back, we feel stagnated, and are likely to have symptoms such as depression, anger, low appetite or restlessness.



From a perspective of Yang Sheng, here are four tips that can help you to maintain a good relation with the liver:


  1. Eat sour and green food, like Kiwi, green bean, celery, to balance and nourish liver energy.

  2. Go to bed late and get up early.This is the response to the rising energy.

  3. Visit the forest, stretch like a cat, dress enough to keep warm.

  4. Take care of your emotional health, express yourself, don't hold back.


(1)https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001921.htm



Explore more about “Yang Sheng”, book an appointment with us!







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  • Writer's pictureToronto Integrative Medicine Centre

We are halfway through another spring, have you been out for an adventure yet?



From the perspective of  Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), wood, fire, earth, metal, and water, these five elements correspond to the four seasons and five organs.Spring is corresponding to wood/liver energy. It represents expansion, exploration, and connection. The “Simple Questions” says: “The liver is like an army’s general from whom the strategy is derived”.  It governs the five internal organs. So, at this time of the year, regulating the liver essence is helpful to nourish the entire body.


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Do you know “women are based on the liver” ?


A well-known physician from Qing Dynasty, Ye Tianshi, once mentioned in his book Clinical Guidelines and Medical Records:女子以肝为先天, translated into English means: for women, liver is as vital as their prenatal essence. Therefore, the liver plays an important role in women's physiology and pathology. 


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Liver stores blood, supplies the regular menstruation, ensures great energy for physical activities. It regulates emotions, affected by anger, stress, depression, and also has a close relationship with the Chong and Ren meridians,  which are directly related to female reproductive physiological performance. Menstruation, pregnancy, and childbirth are all around the liver. Meanwhile, numerous gynaecological disorders are impacted by disturbed liver qi flow, liver blood deficiency ,qi or blood stagnation. 


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However, here is a fun fact: you might not believe, in  APA’s October 2023 Stress in America survey, it shows, over 3,000 adults, women are highly affected by stress compared with men, 5.3 versus 4.8 out of 10. 27% Women also rated stress level as 8 to 10, while 21% men had the common rating. If you are related, it  is the time to check up with your liver!


Book an appointment with R.Ac Jenny You, find out how to feel great again this spring!









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