{Interview} Anne Matthews: Top 3 Healthy Tips To Spring in to Spring With TCM

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{Interview} Anne Matthews: Top 3 Healthy Tips To Transition In To Spring With Traditional Chinese Medicine

Cold pressed, juice, acupuncture, TCM, Clinic“I’m all about local… except for my love of British Columbian chardonnay and organic Nicaraguan medium roast drip coffee.”

Anne Matthews is a marvel.

She is a licensed Tradition Chinese Medicine Practitioner, mother to two spirited little girlies, is a fitness aficionado and manages her bustling jungle-like acupuncture clinic Energy Tree Acupuncture in downtown Toronto’s Liberty Village with authenticity, professionalism and lightness. We sat down with the hilarious and multi-talented Anne to discuss “getting poked”, how your salads may be funking with your qi as we transition to spring and why TCM is about so much more than just those little needles. If you love your smoothies icy and leaving your coat in the car, get ready for a healthy pep-talk from our favourite Traditional Chinese Medicine guru, including her Top 3 Tips For Transitioning in to Spring.

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What’s your philosophy at Energy Tree Acupuncture?

Energy Tree was created as an oasis in the city. I wanted to create a relaxed space with great energy where patients could relax – really truly relax. So many health conditions are caused by tension, stress and toxic lifestyle patterns. Energy Tree Acupuncture offers a truly organic healing experience – from the essential oils that we use, to the cleaning products that we clean the clinic with, to the lifestyle changes that we encourage – we strongly support organic, local and holistic healing.

You’re not shy about your love for coffee and wine. Can we really have it all?

I’m all about local… except for my love of British Columbian chardonnay and organic Nicaraguan medium roast drip coffee. I love the comfort of a delicious cup of coffee. I love the ritual of a glass of wine with diner. The only issue is that both wine and coffee are energetically very hot. Luckily for me, green juice is very cold… So, I balance wine, coffee, workouts, green juice and acupuncture to keep myself feeling pretty darn fantastic.

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To all those newbies out there who may think TCM is all just about needles, what can you tell them?

Chinese Medicine is all about potential. Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners believe in your body’s ability to heal itself. We believe in your body. Acupuncture, herbs and diet therapy are not intended to be a crutch. Instead, Chinese Medicine taps into your body’s potential to heal and regulate itself for long term health. It’s not about rigid routines; it’s responsive to your needs as your body changes, and as seasons change.

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What symptoms may arise during this time of year, when the weather can’t seem to make up it’s mind with spring is on the horizon?

Late Winter // Early Spring is actually my favourite time of year. The city is literally bursting with promise. Unfortunately, the city is also bursting with digestive complaints (constipation, mainly from stagnant winter lifestyle choices), anxiety (I blame taxes) and lingering sinus infections (leading to chronic coughs, headaches and rhinitis).

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What are some simple things people can do to integrate Traditional Chinese Medicine principles in to their daily lives during the spring transition?

My Top 3 Secret Weapons to Staying Healthy During Seasons of Transition are the Following:

1. Stay Warm

Remember how your Mother used to nag you to keep your jacket on (even if the weather seemed nice…) Well, your Mother was right. Do your body a solid and stay warm. In turn, your body will reward you by ensuring that your energy is better spent keeping your immune system strong and your digestion on track.

2. Drink your Greens for Good Blood Health

As an Acupuncturist, I am always telling my patients to stay away from eating raw vegetables and fruit. It takes too much energy to break down produce – so if your digestion is already weak – a salad could render you bloated for hours. ELXR makes deliciously balanced green juices. I’m especially fond of Second Base (specifically because of how energetically in tune it is with kale and ginger to balance out the other colder vegetables and fruit). For overall health, a juice is a way better alternative to a plate full of raw greens…and (besides being an excellent time saver) it tastes so much better.

3. Move

Acupuncture works because it moves energy. Illness is always the result of stagnation. Moderate to hard exercise that is done when the body feels rested and ready is so important for maintaining good health. Move so that your form is benefiting your posture and stay off of my nemesis (the elliptical machine… aka: the biggest waste of time ever).

ELXR_27Find Anne Matthews at Energy Tree Acupuncture in Toronto.

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