Dr. Ron's Blog

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Autumn Recipes

Recipes for Autumn

These four recipes are my favorite meals for the crispy cool days and dark starry nights of autumn. Read the little bit of the info at the top of the recipes to understand why these foods are so good for you and sooo tasty. Autumn is the time to settle down, get your stuff in order, and enjoy the beauty of our Gallatin Valley.

Peace and Love,

Dr. Ron

 

Russian Cabbage Borscht
This beautiful soup is the perfect autumn meal. The wonderful ground dwelling beets, potatoes and carrots are combined with the yin-yang flavors for the Metal Phase: vinegar (yin), and both dill and caraway (yang). Delicious with whole grain bread and butter.

2 tbls butter 4 cups stock or water
1 ½ cups chopped onion 2 tsp salt
1 ½ cups thinly sliced potatoes black pepper to taste
1 cup thinly sliced beets ¼ tsp dried dill
1 large sliced carrot 1 tbls + 1 tsp cider vinegar
1 stalk chopped celery 1 tbls + 1 tsp honey
3 cups chopped cabbage 1 cup tomato puree
1 scant tsp caraway seeds

Place beets, potatoes, and stock in a saucepan and cook until everything is tender. Reserve stock.

Begin cooking the onions in the butter in a large kettle or pot. Add caraway seeds and salt. Cook until onions are translucent, then add celery, carrots and cabbage. Add reserved stock. Cover and cook slowly until all the vegetables are tender.

Add beets, potatoes and all other ingredients to the vegetables in the large pot. Cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes. Add seasonings to taste. May serve topped with sour cream.

 

 

Carrot Soup
The simplicity of this dish belies the deep flavor that develops from the alchemical mixing of carrot, orange, cardamom, cayenne and butter. A superb soup for nurturing the qi of autumn.

4 pounds carrots cut into 1–inch rounds 8 tblsp (1 stick) butter
1 cup chicken stock (optional) ½ cup fresh orange juice
2 ½ tsp ground cardamom 1 ½ tsp salt
¼ tsp cayenne pepper

Place the carrots in a large pan, cover with water, bring to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer until the carrots are very tender, about 30 minutes. Drain the carrots and place in a large bowl (you may want to reserve the liquid to use if the soup is too thick after pureeing). Add the remaining ingredients and stir well.

Transfer the mixture to a food processor in small batches, and puree until smooth. Return the puree to a saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring, until heated through, about 3 minutes. May serve topped with yogurt.

 

Potato-Cabbage Casserole with Dill
Potatoes and cabbage are maturing at this time of year with their dense yin energy. Dill adds a pungent yang tonic for the lungs. Sesame oil is cooling to the stomach. This is another timely and healthy dish for autumn. For a smaller casserole, cut down the ingredients in proportions.

1 large onion 1 tblsp sesame oil
1 small cabbage (1 ½ - 2 pounds) ½ tsp salt
3 pounds potatoes ½ cup chopped fresh dill
¼ tsp pepper (white preferred) ½ cup water
Options: rounds of carrots, bite-sized pieces of polish sausage, etc.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Chop onion into large chunks. Heat the oil in a heavy 6 quart stovetop-to-oven casserole. Add the onion and sauté over medium-low heat for about 4-6 minutes.

While the onion cooks, quarter the cabbage (cut out the core), then cut each quarter in half lengthwise, then cut across into one inch slices. Add cabbage to the onion, stir, sprinkle with salt and continue to sauté.

Wash and cube the potatoes. Add them to the casserole along with the dill, water,,and pepper. Cover and bake for one hour. Garnish with fresh dill and serve.

 

 

Beets with Horseradish and Sour Cream
The deep yin pungency of horseradish is especially beneficial for the lungs.

2 bunches of beets (6-8 small to medium) Boiling water
1 medium finely chopped onion ¾ cup sour cream
¾ tsp salt ¾ tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp prepared grated horseradish

Wash beets well, leave skins on and an inch of the stem to prevent bleeding. Cook the beets in boiling water until tender. Then let them cool and peel the skin. Slice beets in ¼ inch pieces. Arrange the sliced beets in a bowl and top with the chopped onion.

Blend the remaining ingredients in another bowl and spread this mixture over the beets and onion. Serve chilled.

Best wishes for a gorgeous autumn to everybody!

 

 

Angry Winds of Spring

Angry Winds of Spring

This is a heady season in many ways. The rush of spring energy has an upward trajectory throughout nature and through your body. Rising Yang Qi is the theme of the Wood Phase. This is strong but necessary energy. It fuels growth and regeneration, it moves stagnant blood out of the liver, and it stirs the kettle of bubbling emotions. Spring has an exuberant energy that we welcome after this year’s record setting winter. There’s a sense of relief when the day comes that we can say, “It feels like spring!”.

However, a good thing can go too far. And this is easy to do in spring weather. Chinese medicine assigns a “pernicious” environmental factor to each season. An East Wind is the culprit for spring because it often portends barometric changes. Fluctuating air pressure + stormy weather + upward moving Yang Qi = Hyperactive Liver Qi.

In springtime, the Liver takes center stage in our lives. It has to dissolve and move the obstructions of blood and qi that occurred over winter. It has to control upward moving qi from the lower dan tian. Hundreds of toxins and debris have to be metabolized. It’s a lot of work. And tumultuous windy weather makes it even more difficult. When the Liver is overworked or unhealthy it develops Stagnant Liver Qi.

In Chinese medicine, the Liver is responsible for “the smooth and harmonious flow of qi and blood”. We know the Liver is at its best when we feel tranquil, amiable, and freely moving in body and mind. This isn’t possible if the Qi of the Liver is sluggish. If that is the case, the rush of spring energy can disturb Liver function and lead to the ubiquitous and most detrimental malady of humankind…Inappropriate Anger.

Anger is a normal emotion that should be expressed like a lit match that burns brightly for a short time and then is extinguished. Feeling angry is not a fault, but it is a responsibility. Anger causes different health problems in men and women. You can read about this and more in my book, Qigong Through The Seasons. Chinese medicine and Daoist qigong practices have many ways to help you deal with anger. Acupuncture and meditation can really be beneficial.

Please read my blog post “Spring Tuneup” dated 03 April 2017 . It describes the best example of preventative medicine using acupuncture and herbs. To schedule a treatment please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

A simple yet profound meditation is called Inner Nourishing. Here’s how you do it.

Sit in a chair or on a cushion. Rest there, be comfortable but alert. Take two deep breaths and watch your body relax down from head to heels. There are three levels of refinement in this meditation. Start with 1 and, when you feel ready, proceed to 3.

1.
Inhale slowly and say silently to yourself I am calm. A slow easy effortless breath.
Exhale slowly and completely as you say and relaxed. Let the breath all the way out.
Repeat for several minutes. Then, if this is as far as you wish to go, stop saying the mantra and just relax there for a few more minutes. Or proceed to 2.

 2.
Inhale slowly, saying I am calm, and lightly place the tip of your tongue behind your upper front teeth.
Exhale completely, saying and relaxed, and release the tongue to rest in neutral position.
Repeat for several minutes. Then, if this is as far as you wish to go, stop saying the mantra and moving your tongue and sit there for a few more minutes. Or proceed to 3.

3.
Inhale slowly, saying I am calm, and lightly place the tip of your tongue behind your upper front teeth at the same time you mentally visualize energy moving from your tailbone, up the spine, over the head to the roof of your mouth.
Exhale slowly and completely as you say and relaxed, release the tongue to rest in neutral position and visualize the energy going down the front of your body to the lower dan tian behind the navel. Let the breath all the way out. Repeat this for awhile. Then stop the mantra and tongue moving and sit there in tranquility for a few more minutes.

Inner Nourishing is an internal energy cultivation practice that originated in the Ming dynasty. This neigong exercise was a closely held secret of ancient Daoist masters; they transmitted it to only a few select students. In the late 1940s, the Chinese government decided that it should be available to everyone so that they could enjoy a happy and healthy life.

I wish the same for you!

Scourge of Smoky Air

The Scourge of Smoky Air

We have to clean out the dog’s eyes at least once a day. Lulu is sensitive to everything in the environment, like an early warning system of unhealthy living, and recently her eyes have been very irritated. We are all suffering from this prolonged bout of air pollution. For those with asthma, emphysema, OPD and other respiratory disorders, this is a serious situation. For the rest of us too, this is a serious situation.

Hold your breath and see what happens. After six or seven seconds you feel tension in your chest and creeping anxiety because the lungs are not moving. Normally they expand and contract twenty times a minute to spread oxygen through your body and to expel metabolic debris. The movement of breathing sustains life – every breath cycle is a microcosm of life and death – inspiration and expiration. Respiratory function becomes sluggish when the air is polluted. This is not good.

Healthy lungs are absolutely essential to your well being. Even though we can’t control the fire smoke in our valley we can do things that help our lungs deal with this pollution.

Quit smoking, Now! It’s that simple. If you are still smoking cigarettes now is the time to quit. There are several programs that will help you do that. Ask for help and get on the program. If you are a recreational or medical pot smoker, don’t do it now. The long term effects are debatable, but the short term combination of wood smoke and pot smoke is not healthy.

Do the nasal flush. This technique has an immediate benefit of cleansing the nasal passages. There are numerous devices - netti pot, squeeze bottle of saline, etc. – that can be used but the simplest, and therefore most useful, method is at your hands.

Here’s what you do:

Lean over a sink. Run a pool of lukewarm water in the cupped palm of one hand. Insert your nose into the little pool and draw the water up into your nostrils. Really, it’s not as scary as it sounds. You will not drown. Then close off one nostril with a finger and forcefully blow the water out the other nostril. Clean off your nose, then repeat and blow out the other nostril. It’s a refreshing, even exhilarating, sensation to have clean nasal passages.

Do Qigong. This is one of the best things you can do for your lungs. All medical qigong exercises use body movement, regulated breathing and mental intention to various degrees. Lung Qigong puts special emphasis on mindful breathing. My AUTUMN QIGONG class is all about the lungs. Everything you will learn - qigong exercises, breathing meditations, diet and herbs – will have a beneficial effect on how you breath. One exercise in particular, White Healing Mist, has been shown to ward off colds and improve overall lung function.

Get an acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture, and specific herbs, are really good for relaxing and opening the airways. Research studies show that people with asthma or emphysema usually feel better after an acupuncture session. From my clinical experience, I know that everybody will benefit from having better qi and blood flow through their chest, lungs and meridian channels. My “seasonal tuneup” for autumn consists of one acupuncture treatment and an herbal tincture designed to enhance respiratory function. To schedule a treatment or for more information contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Autumn is the time when the lungs are most sensitive to outside influences – both good and bad. Poor air quality is a toxic problem, but the good news is that this season is the best time to nurture the health of the lungs. The advice I’ve given above will definitely help you surmount the negative effects of this smoky air. Now, if only I can get Lulu to do qigong exercises.

Spring Tuneup

Preventive Health Care by the Seasons

I feel that one of the most interesting examples of preventive health care is the Seasonal Tuneup. Because we are inescapably part of Nature, natural forces have a profound influence on our health.The purpose of a seasonal tuneup is to keep us physically, mentally, and energetically in tune with the ever changing forces of the seasons. It is obvious that we are affected by the local weather, but we are also influenced by the powerful changes in planetary and cosmic forces throughout the year. If we want to be naturally healthy we need to be in harmony with these changes.

Each season has a unique energy that will definitely influence a specific organ network in our bodies. These networks are diverse elements that interact on certain organs. The Liver Network consists of physical structures, mental/emotional conditions, and climatic influences: liver and gallbladder, blood, eyes, muscles and tendons, anger and kindness, communication, the middle dantian, season of spring and the east wind. These aspects of the Liver Network are especially important to your health in Spring.

A seasonal acupuncture treatment consists of selecting acupoints that are have a powerful influence on the predominant organ network of that season. During the visit, I will ask about any acute problems that you are currently having. Then I will examine your wrist pulses and tongue to assess the energy balance of all organ systems. After carefull analysis, I will offer an acupuncture treatment that is specifically aimed at keeping you in balance with the energy of spring while also treating any current conditions. This approach uses preventive and remedial treatment at the same time. It is natural health care at its best.

Acupuncture, herbs and qigong are excellent ways to encourage the appropriate distribution and nourishment of seasonal Qi flow. I often do some external qi healing after the needles are placed. This sets up a comfortable and nurturing energy field that strengthens the acupuncture treatment. Herbal tonics are usually taken for a short while during each season. I will make specific recommendations for your personal condition.

The Liver network needs tender loving care in spring. This huge organ becomes clogged with stagnant blood, toxins and metabolic debris during the winter season. As the Rising Yang Qi comes upward in spring it encounters this obstructing situation with unpleasant results. Spring is an exciting transition out of winter because the Yang Qi is tremendously active. But it can also cause frustration and irritability. The Seasonal Tuneup will help you be happy and healthy during this time of invigorating change.

Treatment sessions are $75 by cash or check. Price of herbal supplements varies.

My home studio is about a thirty minute drive from downtown Bozeman. In a sense, the treatment begins when you turn off the highway onto the gravel road. The studio is serene and comfortable with plants, sunlight and twenty acres of quietness. You should expect to be away from town for about two hours. How nice is that?

You may contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for information about scheduling and fees.

 Wishing you a happy Spring,

Dr. Ron Davis

Year of the Rooster

Happy New Year of the Fire Rooster!

Jan 28, 2017 – Feb 15, 2018

rooster217You are a Rooster if you were born in one of these years: 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017. You will have to be extra careful in 2017 because being in the year of your birth animal may bring misfortune and disappointments. You should avoid the color red, the numbers 1, 3 and 9, and traveling toward the east. You can mitigate the down side of 2017 by wearing yellow, brown and gold colors and traveling south in the 2nd, 5th and 11th months. Be aware of your lucky numbers 5, 7 and 8. And reduce your consumption of chicken.

The Chinese Zodiac depicts 12 animals that take turns being dominate every 12 years beginning at Chinese New Year. Each animal has 5 types: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. One type is dominate every 12 years. 2017 is the Fire Rooster, the previous one was 1957 and the next will be 2029. The energy of the Rooster is lively, amiable, outspoken, nimble, hard working, observant and certainly a “morning person”. They tend to be vain and flamboyant, so Roosters should control these traits in 2017. Bob Marley was a Wood Rooster, Jennifer Lopez is an Earth Rooster and Britney Spears is a Metal Rooster. Wonderfully dynamic people for sure!

The Health Movement Facebook

ronPhoto250Hello Everyone. This is my new FB page for The Health Movement. The mission of The Health Movement is a triad of offerings: 1) to help people access their deepest level of well-being, 2) to teach them how to enhance their vital energy for better health, 3) to provide therapeutic services that will guide their body, mind, and spirit toward a life of peace and happiness. This mission is accomplished through public classes and personal acupuncture/qigong treatments. Please Like this page and help share the energy of The Health Movement. www.thehealthmovement.com.