#022: Quit a Job or a Profession, But Don't Quit on Yourself: A Conversation about Medicine and Healing with Dr. Sina Smith

healing podcast Mar 09, 2023

This episode brought me to tears twice!  

Which is a good thing because, as Dr. Sina tells us, the liver and tears and the drive to change go together!  

So, all of my empathetic friends --go ahead and cry.  Your liver will thank you!

Dr. Sina shares how her body got her attention and caused her to leave her medical career and a surgery residency with lots of debt and no clear path forward.  But she trusted herself and went on to study Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) which she loves, and now she is thriving.  

Dr. Sina describes her first acupuncture appointment where she found herself crying for the first time in years--and how she came to see the need for healing her whole body, mind and spirit--not just her hand!

We also talk about the distinction of quitting a job or a profession but never quitting on yourself.

Dr. Sina gives us some good advice about eating and energy as we shift from winter into spring. 

Learn why spring is the time of year of the Wood system in Traditional Chinese Medicine and what that mean for you.

Dr. Sina also recommends specific foods to support you as your body wakes up from the slowness of winter. (Radishes, sour citrus fruits, bitter greens, and pastured chickens)

We also talked about the Spring Equinox.  To find out more about my Spring Equinox Virtual Retreat please go here:  https://www.dramandakemp.com/spring-equinox-virtual-retreat-sp

Dr. Sina regularly teaches an online class called “R3set" online. Focus is resetting your relationship to food in 3 weeks. For more on her classes and services, go to http://chicagohealingcenter.com.

Dr. Sina Smith’s Bio

Dr. Sina Leslie Smith is a medical doctor and licensed acupuncturist who is also trained in homeopathic, integrative, culinary, and functional medicine and has 3 advanced degrees in physiology & biophysics, medical education, and acupuncture. She was the Director of Integrative and Culinary Medicine at SIU School of Medicine before returning to private practice as the Medical Director and Founder of Chicago Healing Center and to teaching at UIC College of Medicine.  Dr. Smith is a fellow and former board member of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, currently serves on the Assembly and as Chair of the Communications Committee for the Integrative Health Policy Consortium, and is chair of the Illinois State Board for Acupuncture. She teaches classes online about resetting one’s relationship to food that are accessible to anyone in the country (ChicagoHealingCenter.com), is a public speaker, and author of several academic articles, including the soon to be published “State of Acupuncture in the United States” white paper.

Conversation with Dr. Sina Smith Transcript

[00:00:00] Aminata: Welcome, welcome everybody to the show.   this is the Mother Tree Network podcast where spirituality and earth wisdom meet racial justice and women's leadership. And today we have our special guest, Dr. Sina Smith. And Dr. Smith is someone who I met at a retreat not too long ago. I was really  moved by her.

[00:00:32] Her fire and her,   you know, commitment to health and healing, which is not the same thing as,   contemporary medicine, as practiced in this country. I loved her courage when she decided to shift her career, which will hear more about and,   and what she has to share with us about Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture, and.

[00:00:53] Transitioning from winter into spring. So Sina, the way we'd like to start off with is by asking you what's good, so what's good for you today?

You know, as I thank you so much Dr. Kemp, for inviting me to come on your podcast. I've been listening to several episodes and just really, really enjoying your, your,   interview style and the, the priorities that you have with your listener and, and the kind of,   community that you're growing.

[00:01:20] So,   I think for me, what's good is the light. You know, I was, I live in Chicago and it gets really dark around the solstice and,   I have kind of set a, a timer for myself, a little mental timer that, you know, I, I definitely feel it when the light doesn't come,   out of, you know, when the sun doesn't come up until really late in the morning, and then it's going down again at four o'clock in the afternoon.

[00:01:47] And,   and so if I can just make it to the end of January, then the light starts to come back a little bit. And so certainly as we're filming this or as we're recording this, the first part of March and getting towards the Equinox, it's like, oh, I, I woke up this morning between five 30 and six o'clock, and the room was already a little bit light.

[00:02:07] And so it was feeling like, okay, there's some, there's some return there. There's, yeah, there's some, yeah. I love,   let me tell you, I love that. I love February for that reason. Is that it is definitely, you can, you can see it, the incremental lightening up of the sky in the morning and at night. Oh my gosh.

[00:02:27] It's such a relief. Yeah. Yeah. So,   I wonder, you know, I wonder if you could tell us a little bit, Dr. Sina, about your, your journey. Like, I know that,   you know, you're an MD and I know that you were practicing as an MD and I believe as a surgeon, Yeah. My, my training after,   medical school was in general surgery, and I came into that in 2004, which was the first year that there was an 80 hour work week restriction.

[00:03:03] Before that you, you were expected to work however many hours it took to get the job done, and so that tended to be a hundred, 120 hours. So from that perspective, they were cutting our work hours by one third Wow. To get this down to 80 hours. And so that was the year when many, many people tried to match into surgery because there were gonna be some workout restrictions and there was gonna be a little bit more humanity in,   in the surgical specialties.

[00:03:34]   and so I was very fortunate to match into my, my first choice. But, but the choice that I made was in a part of the country where my personal values were not in alignment with the, the group values. And I felt that really hard.   it was, it was really challenging. Coming from a military kid background and, and places where there was a lot of interracial relationships and so forth to be in a part of the country where it was very racist and very blatantly racist.

[00:04:07] Mm, mm-hmm. And there were a lot of problems with, you know, with women also in those contexts. And I am not a. A girl who has a, you know, a ponytail and can like dancing.   and so I couldn't really fit into the stereotype of what they expected women to do. So there was a lot of brooking, you know, in that context.

[00:04:28] And I think my body really responded to that. Over time. I became very depressed. I put on a lot of weight.   I just was having a harder time sleeping and, you know, I was exhausted, but also couldn't sleep. And finally, I developed radial tunnel syndrome, which is an inflammation of, of one of the nerves in your arm, and it was from, you know, the mechanics of operating and doing laparoscopic surgery.

[00:04:55] But also once I started studying Chinese medicine, I recognized that that,   that particular part of the body is highly related to frustration. Mm. And so,   my, I woke up one morning and my, the pain had gotten so bad that my hand became paralyzed. I literally couldn't move my right hand at all, which makes it very difficult to operate.

[00:05:17]   Hmm. And so I, I ended up having steroid shots and in bilateral risk, cock up splints and all kinds of things to try to heal this.   but conventional medicine just wasn't touching it. And somebody said to me, why don't you try acupuncture for your pain? And I thought, well, okay. I got nothing to lose.

[00:05:36] And so I went to the acupuncturist and,   while it did help my pain, it.   it didn't last very long in terms of the pain control, so it wasn't enough for me to like have one treatment and then go immediately back to the operating room. But what was shocking is I hadn't had any kind of emotional release at that point for about two years.

[00:05:59] I hadn't cried at all. I was just, you know, head down one foot in front of the other, trying to get through the, the five years of training. And I started bawling on that table and could not stop. And it was shocking. And I said, I mean, really shocking.   I'm a tough chick, you know? And, and this was just like, you know, homie don't cry.

[00:06:27] There's no PA crying in baseball. You just like do your thing. And   so I said to the acupuncturist when he came back in,   you know, what, what's going on with this emotional thing? And he said, you just have really bad liver cheese stagnation. And then kind of like, took my needles out and walked outta the room.

[00:06:44] And I was like, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. I know about the liver. Like I take people's livers out and I put them in other people, you know, I, I know liver. Mm-hmm. And this is not liver.   And very graciously and tenderly and compassionately. He kind of led me down this path and I started getting interested in the theory of Chinese medicine.

[00:07:07] It literally never occurred to me that you could put the body together in a way that was not, you know, biochemistry and anatomy. And,   and so I got very interested in acupuncture. And when it became clear that my pathology was not going to be resolved fast enough for me to be able to continue my surgical training,   I had to make a very hard decision about like, okay, well I've got this md, I've got a couple of master's degrees, I've d I've done a fellowship, and now I can't operate, so I'm not hireable at an academic medical center.

[00:07:38] What am I gonna be when I grow? I wanted to be a surgeon since I was four. Wow. And,   and I had all this debt and my husband and I had invested, you know, all this time and energy in my medical and surgical training. And 10 years later I, I've just, I've got nothing really.   and it was terrifying. It was really terrifying.

[00:08:02] And,   so I went to an acupuncture course that was led by, by doctors for doctors and,   they had the same kind of, Jerk style of training that I've just been experiencing in my surgery residency. And I was like, I, I don't want anything to do with these people anymore. Mm. So my husband sold his business and we sold our house and we left,   and moved to Los Angeles and I started studying acupuncture there from people that had learned in China and Japan and.

[00:08:37]   in the Chinese system anyway, everybody goes to the same medical school and then acupuncture is like a residency. So instead of becoming a cardiologist, you would become an acupuncturist. Mm-hmm. And they do herbs, you know, separately from that. Hmm. So, I, I, again, I just had the most,   I get teary, I just thinking about it, I had the most compassionate, lovely people taking care of me in those times.

[00:09:01] Hmm.   because it was a time of great pain and suffering. Hmm. Insecurity about, you know, like just how, how am I gonna pay for this house that I own in my head? Yeah. In terms of the medical debt and everything. Yeah. And they very slowly brought me back to life. Mm wow. And,   from acupuncture and Chinese medicine, I became interested in integrative medicine and from their culinary medicine because there's a strong emphasis on food as medicine in traditional Chinese medicine.

[00:09:36] And,   Just really sort of regrew and redefined myself in the, in those several years out there,   came back to Chicago and began,   opening a private practice very cautiously slowly. That's a whole other learning curve, right? Sure. Is like, now I have to do my business taxes and what does that mean and how do I get an online presence?

[00:10:01] And like, oh, just all the things that it goes with with small business owners. My goodness.   and then about,   seven, eight years into that, I got a phone call from one of the medical schools and they asked me to come down and design their integrative and culinary medicine program. So for about three and a half years I was at, at a medical school and I, I feel very fortunate for that time.

[00:10:28] Because it was during Covid and so I was under the blanket of a large medical organization. I didn't have to lay anybody off. I didn't have to ask for grant money to keep my rent going as a small business owner and all of that sort of thing. And so I'm, I'm very, very grateful that that was the turn of events.

[00:10:47] But towards the end of that,   there were some issues with a promised raise that didn't come. Some issues with my boss and with the hierarchy and the structure of the medical school, and then a sexual harassment situation where somebody in power at the medical school tried to kiss me when I was his patient or when he was my patient in clinic.

[00:11:07] And so it was just like multiple different layers of things and I decided that this was just not a good place for me to. So in the last,   couple of months, I've restarted my clinical practice in Chicago. I'm back in Chicago again. Hmm.   I'm teaching classes online, which I'm really enthusiastic about.

[00:11:26] I'm working on writing a book about all my experiences and the, I just yesterday morning came up with the title, which is in Search of Healing. Yes. And   yeah, so I just, I feel like I've been reborn yet again and,   moving into,   into a whole new space and, and defining myself. And so in that context, I've changed my name from going by my middle name to my first name.

[00:11:53]   you know, I've changed the, the practice from being a physical space to being online.   I'm doing more outreach across the country because I get questions all the time. You know, can you treat me in New York City? Can you treat me in North Carolina? No, but I can give you this class. Yes. So, yeah. So that's kind of where I am.

[00:12:13] Wow. Wow. That is a journey and a half.   you know, I wanna go back to that thing about your body. Refusing to work, refusing to keep you in the surgical residency, you know, she said, yeah, it just accu responded to acupuncture, but not in the way that would allow you to continue that residency. Right. It, it prevented me.

[00:12:41] Well, I'll say it this way. It helps me get off the merry-go-round. Exactly. Yeah, exactly. And when you're on the merry-go-round, it's really hard to see like, how can I possibly step away from this? Yes. And my colleagues, my medical colleagues feel so trapped in the system. Yes. In a system that they are not nurtured by.

[00:13:01] Yeah. They don't have the kind of interpersonal relationships that they signed up for when Wow. They were baby doctors. Yeah. They hate the medical system, I think more than patients do. Oh my. And they can't get off the merry-go-round. Well, and what you are showing us though, cuz sometimes we have the, we have the word can't in there, you know, because we don't see a.

[00:13:28] Implanted in the situation, all we see is what we have to do. Absolutely. And I'm putting this in quotation marks because when the, but when the body stops, then all of a sudden we see, oh, well, not only. Do I do, I have a choice not to continue, but my body's actually telling me I, I have to do something else that I can do something else.

[00:13:50] I will figure it out.   and I just wanna go back to the tears, Leslie. I mean, I don't know why I even called you that. I never knew that was your name until today. It's a transition. It's fine. I wanna go back to when you talked about tears, you know, and how it took acupuncture to release, to help you release, and then you very easily teared up today.

[00:14:12] So I wonder about how you have evolved that your tears are so available to you now. Oh, what a great question. You know, I think, and I see so much of, of the way the world works now in the context of Chinese medicine,   and. This time of year is all about like regrowth and rebirth and, and so forth that goes with the wood system, which is the, the, or the main organ of the wood system is wood, is the liver, and   And when the liver, it's a very outward moving organ.

[00:14:57] W it, it,   it, it's, it's the thing that drives change, right? Without the liver, without the desire to grow, without the desire to change, we would all just like live in our parents' basement for the rest of our lives. But because our parents drive us crazy, we move out, right? We make a change, and when things get bad enough, we make a change.

[00:15:19] And if that change can't happen, the growth gets squelched and turns either into hopelessness or turns into anger and frustration. And so when you're, when you're in a situation every day, day in, day out where you're being squelched, the liver tea can't flow smoothly. And so it gets trapped and stagnant, and that includes emotion.

[00:15:47] So we don't have, we don't have access to sadness, we don't have access to grief, we don't have access to fear, we don't have access to, you know, joy. All of those things get kind of trapped in the frustration and the depression. And for anybody who's ever been depressed, you literally feel n b. You can't feel anything else but that stuck.

[00:16:11] And so it takes a release of the liver chi to be able to have access to all the different emotions which give life. Its its beauty, right? With without grief, we wouldn't accept the true meaning of time. It's because our dog dies that we're able to treasure the time that we have with that animal. Right.

[00:16:35] So without death there would be real No, no. Real appreciation of time, of, of the time as being limited and, and so forth, and as a day being a, a unit of time and so forth. Hmm. So on, I'm saying all that to just say that, that the richness of h an experience comes from the richness of all the emotions together.

[00:16:54] Yeah. The goal of life is not like joy like mania. Mm-hmm. The goal of life is peace and satisfaction. Sitting in between all of those different emotions and letting them. Letting ourselves be with them. Mm-hmm. So having access to my emotions now I think is, is a result of better emotional health. Mm-hmm.

[00:17:13] You know, not that that is still an ongoing wound. I think I've transformed that wound into a scar. Mm-hmm.   in a healthy way that, that it's, it's there and I can still lean into what that felt like to be in those moments, but, Yeah, but it, it does, it, it, I, I, I feel much more comfortable being an emotional h an being rather than having to like, be tough, tough girl all the time.

[00:17:43] Yeah. Yeah. I feel that, you know,   there are a lot of people who listen to this podcast and who we're in the Mother tree community who are,   who've been through tough things, you know, and who are. Who probably get called strong a lot. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. You know,   and it is so good when we can match that strength of vulnerability.

[00:18:14] Yeah. You know, it just feels like, ugh. More freedom. Yes. Yes. And I've been thinking a lot about, you know, resilience versus quit. In the context of strength like that, right? That, that what we tend to honor in our society is like, no, I'm just gonna push through. I'm gonna be resilient. I'm gonna bounce back, you know, da, da, da, da, da.

[00:18:37] Instead of saying like, no, enough is enough. I'm outta here. I don't need to do this. You know, and allowing your spouse to fate the, the space to make a different decision, even though you've gone down the path towards, okay, well this is my endpoint. This is my endpoint, I'm gonna be a surgeon. Like, it doesn't matter what I have to give up in order to get to that place.

[00:19:01] And I, I feel like one of the best things I ever did for myself was to. Wow. Okay. I wanna say it out loud. Say it one more time. I think the, you know, one of the best things I ever did in my life was to quit. Yes. And quitting. This more recent job was ALS came more quickly because I knew that if I leap, the net will appear.

[00:19:26] I don't have to be afraid about what is going to come next, and I don't have to have all the plans laid out from now until the end of time for the rest of my life. I can say, okay, I'm gonna be, I'm gonna have blonde hair this week and I'm gonna have purple hair next week, and I'm gonna have red hair the week after that, which is something that I do often, you know, just like.

[00:19:47] Inviting the change and kind of the scariness that goes with the change is also really thrilling and exciting. It is. You know, I wanna a go back to this thing because quitting like a job to me, or even closing down a business that you, that you loved, but that is no longer the thing for you. Mm-hmm. To me it's like, it's not quitting yourself, you know?

[00:20:11] Right. And sometimes we get,   mixed. And it feels like I'm failing when I say no to something or I've had enough of this and, and if we pe, if people could see your face right now, they would see someone who looks really good. Honestly, you know, you do not look exhausted. You do not look like you're running on coffee and like you're, you know, sneaking cigarettes out back.

[00:20:37] And, you know, I don't know what people do to get through jobs that are 80, 120 hours a week. I don't really know what they do, but,   you do look like an alive person who's got some joy going on Some. Aw, thank you. I appreciate that. Yeah. At 51, it's nice to hear that. Exactly, exactly. And that's the other thing,   Sina is to be willing to make a change when you're 51 or 48 or 60, you know, to be willing to continue evolving your life.

[00:21:12] Thank you. Thank you. Yeah. I, I, I think. Growing up in a military family helped me to be a lot more comfortable with change cuz I went to, you know, eight different schools in the 12 years that I was in elementary and high school. And you just get used to, okay, well the, the system is gonna be a little bit different and the principal is gonna be a little bit different and the layout of the school's gonna be a little bit different.

[00:21:33] And let me just kind of work with that.   and, and I think that change. I think if we, if we focus a little bit more on the excitement of change and the exploration piece of it, then we would get out of the, the constant thinking of change is bad and change is scary, and change is hard. It really doesn't, I mean, it is those things, but it's not any more those things than it is exciting and fresh and new and rejuvenating.

[00:22:06] So all things in, you know, imbalance, I think. Mm. Well, speaking of change, one of the things that you and I had talked about before, you know, starting the interview was winter transitioning to spring, and you were sharing some ideas with me,   about,   like how to, how Chinese traditional Chinese medicine looks at that transition in terms of like food and elements.

[00:22:33] What can we do to support ourselves? Move into opening up. Mm-hmm. You know? Mm-hmm. Which, to me, spring is like letting myself be seen. It's making movement happen. It's taking active steps. So what, what kinds of things do you suggest that people do? Or foods or practices? Yeah, absolutely. The, the traditional East Asian medicine principles talk about how the wintertime is a time of being the.

[00:23:03] Right. Going inside, you know, getting ready for the next growth phase. Doing lots of internal work, lots of journaling, lots of meditating, lots of like snuggling by the fire with a cup of hot tea kinds of stuff. Love. But then when the spring, yeah, when the spring starts to come around, we have this natural desire to go outside.

[00:23:23] We've been inside for three months. Enough is enough. I want to breathe the fresh air. I want to be outside. And so things like vigorous exercise and running and swimming and biking, all help to start moving that green liver spring woody chi around.   and the, the energy of the liver goes upward and outward just like a tree.

[00:23:46] So green foods, you know, especially those spring foods are really helpful. Parsley and kale and Swiss charge collard greens, like all the, the things that are really, really green and, and a rich green in chlorophyl help to kind of regenerate the liver. Hmm. Also, pungent things go out, right? When you bite into a radish, it kind of like spreads out in your mouth.

[00:24:08] It's really,   outwardly going. Mm-hmm. So radishes are really, really great for the springtime because they help to move the chi and open up the meridian. And, and radishes also tend to be kind of a springtime. Okay. I want you to hold right there cuz I gotta go back to that liver. Yeah. So you said the liver energy goes out like a tree?

[00:24:28] Yes. Tell us what you mean by that. So in Chinese medicine, you probably have seen the little taiji symbol, the yin and yang symbol. Yes. That looks like a circle. I drew it here on the board in case your users wanted to see this also. So it's the, the dark and the light. Yes. Principle there is that things are in balance.

[00:24:48] So things that are heavy are counterbalanced by things that are light. Things that go inward are counterbalanced by things that go outward and so forth. And so yin and yang becomes a yin and yang pair of organs in the body of times of the year, of cycles of the day, et cetera, et cetera. And when we break that out physiologically, we think about five elements.

[00:25:09] Fire, earth, metal, water, and. And the wood energy comes after water, which is the wintertime, and is the kidneys and the, the urinary bladder and the wood is the liver and the gallbladder. And so this, the, the liver has kind of an interesting job in Chinese medicine. It's both the,   the holder of the blood, which is y.

[00:25:34] And if you look at liver like in the grocery store or whatever, it looks like a big blood filled sponge, right? Yes, it does. It's holding the blood, but then its job is to circulate and move the chi, which is young. So it has a lot of tension in its job description, holding and also moving. Yes. Which can lead the frustration, right?

[00:25:53] If you don't know what you're doing, like, am I supposed to be holding? Am I supposed to be moving? Am I holding? Am I feel like that is me? I feel like that is so me. I am a liver. Okay, keep going About the

[00:26:05] tree

[00:26:05] Aminata: in the liver. Yes. And so the, the upward growth of the tree is trying to move away from the earth and at the same time is being held by the.

[00:26:16] So there's always this tension in trees, right? And if they don't have deep roots, they can't grow high. If they don't have deep roots, they can't branch outward. And it's the transformation of earth and soil into this upward and outward movement that allows them to put out branches and then receive energy from the sun.

[00:26:39] So this counterbalancing business is all spring kind of energy, right? We're not ready to be just sort of laying out in the. Sun like we are in the s mertime. Some days we need a light sweater. Some days we need a jacket. Some days it's gonna be raining, some days it's gonna be sunny. So there's this kind of like, you know, back and forth sort of energy all the time.

[00:27:00] And when we, when we eat foods that are undergoing the same process, right? Those new green leafy things that are coming up out of the ground, then we're taking the same,   tension. And allowing our body to be nurtured by that. Wow. I love that alignment. Yes. It's like we're supposed to eat seasonal foods.

[00:27:27] Yeah. Atune. Yeah. Atune. Yeah.   okay, so you said the liver is the holder and the cinder outer. Yes. You know, and   and I just feel like that's such a powerful, and, and if you think about the word liver, the person who lives is a liver. Ooh. Yeah. Okay. That might be kind of weird. We may, we may have gone to the Amanda zone,

[00:27:54]   but I love that, and I, and I want you to say there's something about wood. I don't know what it is, but,   when I was thinking about the spring equinox and asking my intuition like, what does it. You know, I, for me, it was that transition from being inward to outward from hi hiding to being seen. And then when I was planning out what we're gonna be doing during the retreat, just today, I said,   our first full day is gonna be, the theme is water.

[00:28:24] And then the next day the theme is land. Hmm. You know, and I was like, Why that way? And I was like, I don't know, but I think you just told me cuz you said that water is associated with winter and then wood is spring, right? Mm-hmm. Yeah. And then earth kind of makes a little triangle here. Yes. Going around the outside of the circle, they support each other.

[00:28:51] Mm-hmm. And then on the inside of the circle, they're controlling each other. So, because you can't have unlimited growth, just like you can't have unlimited restriction. Yes. So earth is all about how we nurture ourselves.   it's the digestion, how we interface with the earth itself, the foods that we take in and so forth.

[00:29:13] And then the metal is the lung and the large intestines. So the, the, they're the most external of the internal organs. So how do we. Take in what is helpful and let go immediately of what is not. So we take in oxygen, let go of carbon dioxide, we take in food, let go of fecal matter, and then it's also how we protect ourselves.

[00:29:34] Metal is our armor. So it goes with the immune system. Mm-hmm. So it just becomes a really, really interesting way to think about the body and the way that the, the body interacts with the outside world and the way that the energetics of the food that we put in have an impact on our health and the kinds of breathing exercises that we can do to support ourselves and the kinds of, you know,   meditation practices we might use at one time of the year or another.

[00:30:01] Ok. It just, it becomes really fun. Yes. It's like a puzzle. It's like an. Yes. Growing upward and outward deepening puzzle. Now I have to ask you something.   so I do wanna know what kinds of meditative practices or energetic practices you would suggest as we transition from winter to spring. So let's put a pen in that.

[00:30:23]   because you just said something. Shoot. Oh, I wanted to tell you this and ask you. So I've been seeing an acupuncturist regularly for like a couple years now. Who is Chinese, who is trained in China. And one of the things she said to me one day was like, your energy is so low. She says, your energy is so low, you know your chi is low or whatever.

[00:30:43] And I was like, okay. And, and, and then, and then as we're ending the appointment, I said to her, well, what is it that you suggested I do, you know, to raise it? She goes, she goes in, in Chinese medicine, we don't say, what do you add? We say, what do you need to take out? And I was like, oh. Okay. And I, I, you know, and I gave me something to think about, so I guess I just wanna throw that out there and see maybe, what's your take on that?

[00:31:09] Yeah, the wintertime is definitely the time to do less. You know, that, that time after the holi, and I think that's why the holidays exhaust so many people. Mm-hmm. Because the solstice is naturally a time of quiet and. You know, and we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to find the perfect present for all the people that could possibly, you know, need or want a present and to get it shipped off and get it in the mail.

[00:31:35] And then we've gotta have Halloween, or we've gotta have holiday parties, and then we've gotta have the right people over for, it's just so much. But the, what I love about January is all that is out of the way, and then we can just kind of sit quietly in that peaceful place and start transitioning into.

[00:31:53] So the springtime is the time to start doing, like physically doing more things, but not to be adding more to our plates.   the power of no is I think always a really strong,   a really strong guide in Chinese medicine and,   it is the, a good time to take on projects, but not to be, you know, filling up your plates with over, over and over and over, you know, overflowing kinds of stuff.

[00:32:22] Mm. And that just reminds us something else you said, cuz you also said that. In the day there, it has all these different,   rhythms in a single day, right? Mm-hmm. Yeah. So doing two, even if it's the height of s mer, it's possible to do too much to be out of balance. You wanna stay in sync, right? The time that the liver and the gallbladder are most active is from 11 o'clock at night until two o'clock or three o'clock in the morning.

[00:32:49] And so when we, when we're overdoing, we tend to lay down and then we're overthinking. And so there's a lot of insomnia that happens there. We wake up with a lot of frustration kinds of dreams. We start brushing our teeth, we start grinding our teeth.   all that frustration and anger and, and desire to do right, desire to move forward, desire to make changes, desire to get things done, starts to come to the surface,   in the nighttime.

[00:33:18] Hmm. Wow. It was also really interesting as a surgeon, because that's also the time that everybody comes in with gallbladder attacks. There's a thing called the migrating myoelectric complex, which is like a housekeeping function in the gut. And so your gut kind of does a dry run,   with no food in it to just sweep out all the stuff that was in the way.

[00:33:40] And so that includes secreting a little bit of pancreatic juice, secreting a little bit of bile, which comes from the gallbladder. And so if you've got a stone in the gallbladder and it gets into the way, then it starts to hurt around one o'clock in the morning, and you come into the ER at 2:00 AM and we have to take your gallbladder out in the middle of the night.

[00:34:01] So it, it is just really fascinating to me, this, this system is not created out of thin air. You know, not somebody's idea that they kind of downloaded, they're paying attention to the natural rhythm of things and identifying like, oh, okay, this, this tree growth is like, This, you know, and the color of bile is bright green and looks like spring shoots and you know, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

[00:34:27] So it's a very interesting, like naturalistic approach to thinking about how h an beings fit in with the rhythm of life. Hmm. So, sounds good. So Sina, this has been so good. The time has gone so fast. If people want to get in touch with you to find out more about you and your online classes, or if they're in the Chicago area, you know, get to actually, you know, get that hands-on treatment, how do they find you?

[00:34:59] Yeah, the name of my business is Chicago Healing Center. And so Chicago Healing center.com is my website. And from there you can link to one-on-one appointments. You can link to all the classes that I'm teaching.   I'm giving a workshop in a couple of,   months that will be about using five Element Theory to support,   the growth of little.

[00:35:22]   nice. How we interact with our kids and, and it takes a lot of the judgment around,   you know, out of the system, around the conversations with having,   interactions with, with our children.   and so all of that can be found on that website. And then I'm working on,   a couple of books. The first one is how Your Body Works, so, but,   it's in early stages of development.

[00:35:44] And then,   and then I'll be working on some other things and I've got a lot of academic,   Writing that's coming out too. So that's, that's kind of the main website for getting in touch with me. Well, it's beautiful, very simple. Chicago Healing center.com. Yeah, I think we can all manage to find that. And,   thank you, thank you so much for just bringing in the liver energy, letting us know, you know, we are going from water into wood right now, so pay attention to that.

[00:36:16]   and is, is there, I don't know, is there any final word that you wanna say or give to people? No, I just, I feel,   I feel really honored to be asked to participate in this. Really and truly, this is my first podcast. I've been on tv, I've been on radio and stuff like that, but this is my first podcast. And,   meeting you at the, at the retreat where we did and how we did,   I.

[00:36:45] I, I just, I, I really honor the work that you're doing, AMI not to Soul Plant Walker Firewoman. I, I think you're just an amazing h an and,   and I'm very grateful to have participated and, and thank you for inviting me into your network. Hmm, you are so welcome. You are so welcome. And so with that, we're going to wrap up the show.

[00:37:05] Thank you everybody for listening, and we'll see you next time.


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