#047: Crying is Good; Fall, Grief, and Healing with Dr. Sina Smith

podcast Nov 07, 2023


"Have a couple good cries because it helps you to clean things out so that then you're ready to do the deep investigative work of what is there in the wintertime…"

During this interview Dr. Sina and I talk about sadness and grief and why the fall is the time to let the tears flow!


Dr. Sina's tagline, "Where healing begins with being heard," perfectly encapsulates the heart of our conversation.


In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) fall is associated with grief and people are encouraged to cry as a way to shed or let go of attachments.  


“So when we think about the fall and the letting go, it's also the [time of] grief and sadness … and allowing it to pass through us instead of holding on to us.”

We also address some other questions such as:


How does TCM visit differ from western allopathic medicine?

What’s so great about shitake mushrooms in the fall?

How do you make yourself cry even when you feel like you can’t?


Moreover, we delved into the significance of self-listening and the value of allowing oneself to express emotions, particularly through moments of cathartic crying. Dr. Sina encourages embracing vulnerability and introspection, especially during the fall season when turning inward becomes a natural inclination.


As we progress through this season of completion and introspection, take some time to immerse yourself in activities that surface sadness. Whether it's journaling, meditation, or watching sad movies, allow this time for self-reflection and cleansing emotions.


Remember, the Mother Tree Network is here to support and empower you on your healing journey. Check out our FREE Sacred Listening Sessions.  Just go to dramandakemp.com


For more on Dr. Sina Smith and her upcoming book go to: 

Her website: https://sinasmithmd.com/



Also, check out our youtube channel for Dr. Sina’s easy peasy, yummy electrolyte recipe that protects you from colds and flu.  The surprising ingredient is baking soda!

📚 Timestamped overview


00:02:40 Conventional medicine changes, ancient traditions hold true.

00:04:40 The idea of conceptualizing things in different ways and the multiple perspectives in medicine are explored, drawing comparison to Chinese language and quantum physics.

00:07:34 Collaborative approach to healing, person-centered care, empowering patients, transformative medical practice.

00:10:45 Lack of communication and self-reflection due to social media influence.

00:13:51 Summary: The body's stress-related chemical messengers and heart rate should fluctuate throughout the day; practicing downtime allows for adaptability and better response to different stressors. Maintaining a high stress level limits the body's resilience, while allowing for relaxation creates room for flexibility and better response.

00:17:45 Fall is about letting go of things that do not serve us, emotionally and physically, including work-related matters. The large intestine, lungs, and skin are linked to this season, where letting go and release are emphasized. Skin problems may arise if the metal system is unhealthy.

00:21:39 When we honor relationships and let go of grief, our bodies can release toxins.

00:26:01 Crying is good for you, allows release and acceptance. Example: friend gives up biking due to injury.

00:29:30 Reflecting on past experiences and finding closure, transitioning from sadness to acceptance of a traumatic event.

00:31:50 Fall foods like shiitake mushrooms boost immune system, fight stress, and protect against germs.

00:35:16 Turmeric dosage varies for cooking and therapeutic use; depends on individual conditions.

00:37:31 Onions and Garlic, cooked or raw, are powerful. 



Aminata Sol [00:00:03]:

Hello. Hello. And welcome to the Mother Tree Network, doctor Sina Smith. How are you?

Dr. Sina Smith [00:00:10]:

I'm great. Thank you so much, Aminata, for having me today. I'm I'm really delighted to be back.

Aminata Sol [00:00:15]:

Yeah. I was Telling, you earlier that you're my 1st repeat guest.

Dr. Sina Smith [00:00:21]:

Yes. I'm so excited about that.

Aminata Sol [00:00:23]:

I am 2. And I I think what the reason why I wanted you to come is because, you know, your personal story was very moving to people. You're, like, in the top, I don't know. Nine downloads for this podcast all time. So your story was very moving to people. And you had such great practical advice about how to you know, last time you you talked about how to flow into spring. And so I wanted you to come back to talk to us about fall going into winter, because you have such a great, Chinese traditional Chinese medicine offers us such a rich perspective of what the seasons are and what they mean to our bodies and our spirits and our minds. And I love the way you explain things.

Aminata Sol [00:01:08]:

You're very methodical.

Dr. Sina Smith [00:01:11]:

Thank you. Thank you. I've been teaching for over 25 years. So if that comes out Then

Aminata Sol [00:01:20]:

it is no mistake. You've you've been honing this ability to convey information and learning for a long time.

Dr. Sina Smith [00:01:28]:

Yes. Absolutely. Well, thank you for your kind words. I really appreciate it, and I really am delighted to be back. Yeah. I I think, you know, in moving from kind of conventional medicine into east Asian medicine, one of the things that I was just really struck with is how It it comes out of naturalistic observation of the world. And so it's not, by By some happenstance that this particular channel system goes with this particular time of year, which goes with this particular favor. Like, they really paid attention over 2500 years to what was happening in people's bodies that was in harmony with natural environment and so forth.

Dr. Sina Smith [00:02:11]:

So I I just it never ceases to blow me away how rich and how deep the understanding is.

Aminata Sol [00:02:18]:

And I would imagine

Dr. Sina Smith [00:02:19]:

we were kind of yeah. Sorry. Go ahead.

Aminata Sol [00:02:21]:

I was gonna say I would imagine that as you live and as you practice this Medicine and this philosophy, you you just get more and more subtle understandings of it. Like, if it's a 2000 year old tradition, there's no way that Even if you've been practicing for 20 years that you've got it.

Dr. Sina Smith [00:02:40]:

Yeah. Yeah. I feel like with conventional medicine, We are constantly saying, oh, we thought it was like this, but it's actually like this. You know? We thought what you needed was a good bloodletting, but, actually, we now know That there are bacteria that are causing that problem. So it's it's much more, you know, oh, well, we're now gonna really reverse directions. And in East Asian medicine, so I would say Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, Unami medicine, like, all all those kind of ancient traditions, It is there is some pivoting and there is some, say, development of new understanding and new ways of doing things, but it's all true. It's not, it's not disproven. It's that you can look at it from this framework or you can look at it from this frame for.

Dr. Sina Smith [00:03:26]:

So as you said, it really just creates a richness that we don't really have the concept for in conventional medicine.

Aminata Sol [00:03:34]:

This is making me think of, a quote where the person said, you know, the opposite Of, of a fact could be a lie, but the opposite of a truth could be another truth. Like, there's something paradoxical about the world reality. You know what I mean? It's it's it's, so, Anyway, that's what that is, and that was probably eastern inspired.

Dr. Sina Smith [00:04:06]:

Yeah. One one of the things that drove me the most insane seen when I was moving from surgery, which is extremely precise into East Asian medicine, was, this concept It's called the Sanjiao. San means 3 and a jiao is like a heater or a burner. And so one of the names for this thing is Sanjiao. Another is triple heater. Another is triple burner, and there's all kinds of permutations of those phrases. And I kept thinking, like, They can't even decide what to name the thing. How can they define it?

Aminata Sol [00:04:40]:


Dr. Sina Smith [00:04:40]:

And now I think, wow, what hubris To think that that was actually problematic, it's it's actually elegant that there are so many different ways of conceptualizing this, and it's It goes with the Chinese language too, you know, which is pictographic. So you have an image, and you're trying to put words onto an image. You have a concept and you're trying to limit it with words, so it's just a very, very different paradigm and that That, you know, goes into all the different components that make up the medicine. There are many, many ways of looking at it. So if you're looking at the same room from the window, from the door, from the wall, from the bed, you know, wherever you are is going to give you a different perspective on the same room And they're all simultaneously true. So it's it's much less Newtonian and much more quantum physics, You know, I'm signing in kinds of concepts that we're getting into even in medicine now. It's really fascinating.

Aminata Sol [00:05:42]:

Yeah. And as you were talking, I really that's immediately what I thought. I thought about, the paradigm that the dominant paradigm, it seems, that we're in is in the Yes or no. Like, the binary dualistic paradigm. And what you're talking about is multiple. You know, multiplicity. Right? And I was thinking about you know, I had this healing experience with this healer Who's an anthropologist, who's Hindu from India, who's using an ancient Japanese, really very, Not widely known, technique practice way of life. And one of the things we got to in my healing was, One of the constraints of monotheism is, like, if there's only 1 God, then that usually followed.

Aminata Sol [00:06:33]:

There's only one right way. Yeah. You know what I mean? It gets very exclusive, and, and that's sort of built into this paradigm.

Dr. Sina Smith [00:06:42]:

Yep. Absolutely. And it is yeah. It's the way that surgery is practiced. You either operate or you don't. You either cut here or you cut somewhere else. There's There's not a lot of, even in in, like, family practice, you can try this medicine for a few months, and then we'll try a different one if this wasn't doesn't work. You know, you kind of have this 2nd chance sort of a thing.

Dr. Sina Smith [00:07:06]:

But where my head was whenever I transitioned in the inner grave medicine was, Like, okay. I'm I'm making a yes or no decision with literally every medical decision that I'm either doing for the patient or on behalf of the patient or with the patient. And now it's like I have so many different tools in my toolbox. I can say, well, we can address this with diet. We can talk about herbs. We can talk about lifestyle modifications. We can do some qigong. We can do some homeopathy.

Dr. Sina Smith [00:07:34]:

We can you know, there's just so many different options and all of them We'll facilitate healing for the person. So then it becomes a conversation where, okay, now we're we're working together and we're creating a harmonized, approach that have the person at the center. Instead of the doctor being the director and kind of this hierarchical structure, It's now like, okay, Aminata. What would you like your health for? What does health look like to you? How can I facilitate You're healing in a way that feels good to you instead of that feels bossy, you know, or controlling? How can How can I help you to feel the most empowered in your own health care journey? And it's, honestly, it's one of the The most transformative components of the way that I practice medicine now, I absolutely love it. It makes me feel happy and inspired and collaborative to not be Bossing somebody else's body around all the time to really just work with them and love on them in that way.

Aminata Sol [00:08:37]:

And I'm a supposing that you have The way you structure your practice is you do have time to love people.

Dr. Sina Smith [00:08:45]:

Yes. Yeah. I I get to spend an hour and a half initially just sitting and listening and then kind of tell the Story of what I heard from the patient back to them so they can correct me if I've gotten anything wrong or fill in any gaps or any other pieces that, you know, have come to mind as we've been talking. And then we work on creating a framework and a and a plan together. Like, do we need to do some testing? Do we need to do this? What what would you like to do? How do you wanna start? Yeah. So it's it's so fulfilling as a clinician, and the feedback that I get is that it's really fulfilling as Patient too because they get to be everybody wants to be heard, you know, and everybody wants to understand. And, Where healing begins with being heard is my tagline, and that's really comes from my heart. That's where I that's my orientation.

Aminata Sol [00:09:39]:

Mhmm. Can you say that again? What is your tagline?

Dr. Sina Smith [00:09:43]:

Where healing begins with being heard.

Aminata Sol [00:09:46]:

Oh, wow. Well, we are recording this show October 20th, you know, and there is so much Pain and, you know, war going on and just what you said, where healing begins with being heard. Yeah. Yeah. I wish more of that for every single one of us.

Dr. Sina Smith [00:10:14]:

Yes. Yeah. Absolutely. So much suffering comes from people not feeling that they're being listened to, not being understood, and then they just get louder and louder Or have to, in some cases, get louder and louder in order to be heard and understood and honored.

Aminata Sol [00:10:32]:

And it's like our bodies do the same thing. Right? Little subtle things, and we don't listen. And then the disorders have to get bigger and bigger.

Dr. Sina Smith [00:10:45]:

Yeah. That is certainly yes. Absolutely. That is certainly what has happened, in my own personal life, in the lives many of my friends and family and certainly in the lives of many, many patients where, we're we're just not taught, I think, in our culture to communicate and to listen to ourselves either. Certainly not now in the age of social media where we're constantly putting Our projection of ourself out there and then receiving the feedback on the projection of ourself. Mhmm. So we're not really Allowing that vulnerability, to to say, this is really what I think inside, you know, or we don't do as much meditation and internal work to learn what is it that I really think and believe in my own self Before we start having conversations about it. Mhmm.

Dr. Sina Smith [00:11:40]:

So we lose track of that.

Aminata Sol [00:11:42]:


Dr. Sina Smith [00:11:42]:

And that shows up in our bodies too. You know? I really need to go to bed at night. Well but my significant other likes to stay up for another hour, so I will stay up another hour with them. And so over long long term, that messes with somebody's sleep schedule, which then raises cortisol levels, messes with melatonin. When cortisol goes up, then our blood sugars don't, work very well, then we start to gain weight in ways that we don't particularly want. You know, we start developing, high hemoglobin a one c. Our blood sugars go up. We develop diabetes that helps to Create inflammation in the body, lays down plaques.

Dr. Sina Smith [00:12:20]:

Now all of a sudden we have heart disease, and it's because we're not going to bed. You know? If we just listen to our bodies And go to bed when the body wants to go to bed. Eat fruits and vegetables when the body is craving that instead of what's quick and easy, you know, in McDonald's on the way home. The more we listen to our bodies, the more wisdom there is and the more longevity and health we have.

Aminata Sol [00:12:45]:

Well, What's a nice, easy way to start listening to your body? Like, what what can you tell us something concrete that we could do?

Dr. Sina Smith [00:12:55]:

That's a great question. I I think one of the most important things, and I'm on a little bit of a sleep, bandwagon at the moment, but listening to when you start feeling tired. And even if that is A little earlier than you're ready to go to bed at night Mhmm. Then allowing yourself some quiet time to sit in your bedroom, Read, meditate, journal, do some of those kind of calming down activities before bed. But even in the daytime, studies whenever they When they when they evaluate people that take naps, not not really long naps over the course of the day, but even just a 10 minute or a 15 minute, Close your eyes. You know, turn off the phone. Sit for a few minutes and just allow yourself to recover. The all of the stress hormones go down.

Dr. Sina Smith [00:13:51]:

Your your HSCRP, your glucocorticoids, like, All the fancy acronyms for all the chemical messengers in your body that are associated with stress, all of that comes down. And we're not really designed To be in fight or flight all day long, we're supposed to have heart rate variability. It's supposed to go up when we're moving around, And then it's supposed to come back down whenever we're more sedentary. And so it's the heart rate variability that really gives your body the ability to To adapt to different things that are being thrown at you over the course of the day or to to deal with big stressors and small stressors as they come forward. So if we practice That downtime, then we have room to go up a little bit. If we're all with already at a an 8 out of 10 all day long, We can only go between 8 and 10. You know? If we bring ourselves back down to a 3 at 2 o'clock in the afternoon, then there's some wiggle room, and we're not So so hypervigilant when we're trying to then move into the yin time of the 24 hour cycle, which is the evening.

Aminata Sol [00:14:57]:

Yes. And, you know, I I if I don't rest during the day, I can't sleep well later that night. It's like I do have to build it in, I'm noticing, some downtime. You know? I do yoga nidra, so I really Just turn other things off and just focus on the voice telling me what to do.

Dr. Sina Smith [00:15:22]:

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Aminata Sol [00:15:25]:

That's really good. Thank you. So everybody, you heard her say, when you get tired, find a way to rest. And, really, it wasn't really bad.

Dr. Sina Smith [00:15:36]:

Yeah. It doesn't mean that if you've got, you know, little kids running around, obviously, you can't take a nap Well, they're awake. Mhmm. But, you know, sitting on the floor with them reading a book is a much more parasympathetic, You know, kind of rest type of activity than going out to the playground. Mhmm. And so listening to your own intuition as well as the The little people that you're raising or the adult people that you're around at the office. Yeah.

Aminata Sol [00:16:04]:

Yeah. And also, you know, when your little kid is napping, you nap too or rest Or, you know, if they don't nap, just give them some quiet time so you can I used to do that? I used to be like, mommy needs quiet time. Okay. Maybe you're not gonna nap, but I need to walk away. So talk to us about the fall. Give us some Yeah. Understanding about The fall season. What's good for us in the fall?

Dr. Sina Smith [00:16:42]:

So the summer is all about outward movement. Right. We get outside. We're running around outside. The plants and the trees are all flowering. They're putting their energy out. They're putting their energy into creating fruits. They're crew you know, everything is growing and outward.

Dr. Sina Smith [00:17:00]:

The fall then is about the beginning of that retraction Back to the time of being the seed, which is the wintertime. So it's about letting go. And I I think about that Metaphorically and also, you know, naturalistically. The leaves and the trees are doing this. If they don't let go of their leaves, They have the potential to to truly have catastrophic things happen to themselves, right, in the wintertime when that cold weather comes. They have to let go of their leaves. And so fall is the the emotion that goes with fall is grief and sadness because it is about letting go Of the things that we were clinging to. So that might be other people.

Dr. Sina Smith [00:17:45]:

That might be things in our closet. That might be things in our physical space. That might be work things, but it is the the fall is about allowing those things to Pass through us, that which is not serving to be released and to let go. So the emotions that or the, organ systems that go with the fall are the large intestine because that's what the large intestine is doing. Right? It's letting go. And then the lung, which is taking in the air and letting go of that which is not helpful. The fall is also the metal organ, so it goes with our skin. So a lot of people have Skin problems that start to sorta show up in the fall if their metal system is not healthy.

Dr. Sina Smith [00:18:33]:

And One of the things that I recommend to people whenever they have skin problems, and this is gonna sound a little goofy, but really it works, is watching sad movies Because the sadness, when it's held inside of our body, affects the lung. It affects the digestive system. We can't Allow things to pass over us. If we're feeling sad, that emotion really takes priority over everything else. And so when we allow that That letting go process to happen, and crying is one of the best ways to do it, and sometimes people need a little help to cry.

Aminata Sol [00:19:08]:


Dr. Sina Smith [00:19:09]:

So moonlight, you know, a lot of those those kinds of movies just really bring all the tears up. A lot of the Pixar movies honestly are great for that stuff too. You know, inside out is another one that is just really lovely at Kind of getting to getting to grief, and cleaning your emotional space. Crying Allows us to to have a new perspective, to kind of start changing directions. So that's one of the one of the most important things that I recommend in the fall is Have a couple good cries because it it helps you to clean things out so that then you're ready to do the deep investigative work of what is there in the wintertime. What I don't recommend is doing things like vision boarding or trying to project what is happening in the future. The fall is about turning in. So it's a time of, like, completion of projects from that, you know, q three Corporate sort of perspective going into q four.

Dr. Sina Smith [00:20:11]:

Right? But bringing those 2023 goals to a close, Thinking about how to create completion for yourself, etcetera. It's it's not the time to start new stuff. It's the time to finish up the projects that you started over the course of the year or things that you were working on over the summer.

Aminata Sol [00:20:30]:

I I wanna go back to what you said about Fall being a time, tears being a great way to let go to create space, but you have to let go to create the space. And you said for for skin problems. How does that relate to skin problems?

Dr. Sina Smith [00:20:48]:

Yeah. Sorry. I did kinda gloss over that a little bit, didn't I? So the metal system has organs, has channels, has a time of year, has an emotion, and also has a tissue type. And so metal is about how we protect ourselves from the outside. So our skin is one of the ways that we protect ourselves from the outside, And it's how we kind of define what is self versus non self. I start here where my skin is, And then everything outside of my skin is not me, and everything inside of my skin is me. So when you think about, We'll put it in this way. In the in the passage of time, the reason that we think that we honor time or that we honor people in our lives is because our time on this planet is limited.

Dr. Sina Smith [00:21:39]:

People become precious because we only have this weekend together Or we have we're getting together for for dinner or or something along those lines. So it's the the passage of time that allows us to honor, the relationship that we're having or or our mother's role in our life or our father's role in our life, everything along those lines. So when we, when we think about the fall and the letting go, it's also the grief and sadness that Comes with letting go of a parent or a grandparent when they've passed away and releasing that and Kind of I don't wanna say brushing that off of our skin, but allowing it to pass through us instead of holding on to us in an inappropriate way. Mhmm. So skin eruptions, acne, and eczema, and all that kind of thing come to the surface because the body is trying to get rid of them, and it can't quite push it from a Chinese medicine perspective all the way out. So it gets it out as far as it can go. Mhmm. And so if we cry, if we allow ourselves to emote, if we allow ourselves to let go, Then the body is able to push that I'm just gonna use the word toxin.

Dr. Sina Smith [00:22:59]:

I I hate that word, but it's the most generic that I can Can I think of that that problematic emotion or thing out of our system?

Aminata Sol [00:23:09]:

Mhmm. It's like washing, like a a washing.

Dr. Sina Smith [00:23:13]:

Yes. Mhmm. Yes. And our eyes are the are our perspective on the world. Right. So when we wash our eyes, we're able to see things in a different way.

Aminata Sol [00:23:25]:

And, Doctor Cena, is it true that our tears have different chemical composition for crying from, like, grief or sadness Versus if we're crying because something got in our eye, you know, how and we just start crying because it's just the eye is tearing up. Is it true that the emotion affects the composition?

Dr. Sina Smith [00:23:48]:

I have not heard that, but I would not be surprised. I would not be surprised because the the body is just so wise. And I wouldn't be surprised if there's a little bit more mucus, You know that we're secreting if there's something that we're trying to wash out as opposed to just the saline that's coming out, you know, that's That's just salt water

Aminata Sol [00:24:09]:

Oh, yeah.

Dr. Sina Smith [00:24:09]:

That's coming out when we have tears. But I I can neither confirm nor deny that that is actually a

Aminata Sol [00:24:15]:

stable outcome. Tell you, when you said the mucus, Not to gross anybody out. It's true. When I have more emotion at least tears are about emotion. There's definitely Mucus production, you know, all over the whole eye, throat, nose situation, so that makes sense. And I I guess I just want us I wanted us to hang out in this whole grief thing for a minute because as you said, I think we've forgotten how to grieve. You know, I think so much of our to be successful, don't let them see you cry. You know, don't cry.

Aminata Sol [00:24:49]:

I'll give you something to cry for. It's like, Some reason, we just kinda just have this thing that tears are, I don't know, waste of time or something.

Dr. Sina Smith [00:25:01]:

Yeah. It is one of the things that has struck me so powerfully in watching the Both the Israeli and the, Palestinian videos that I've been seeing is especially the men crying. Because in our country, we have really made it not okay Mhmm. For people that identify as being male To express anything but anger. They're allowed to be mad. They're allowed to be frustrated. They're allowed to beat their chest.

Aminata Sol [00:25:31]:


Dr. Sina Smith [00:25:31]:

But when it comes to crying Or grief, they are just not allowed to have that feeling. And I think because we Prioritize male, characteristics over female characteristics in this country. Like you said, it has also been a thing where, you know, there is no crying in baseball. Mhmm. You know, you like and so we're suppressing our emotional health and our ability to express those emotions in many, many different facets.

Aminata Sol [00:26:01]:


Dr. Sina Smith [00:26:01]:

Yeah. Crying is is just and it is one of the things that I feel like I have to recommend as a doctor because Are you still a little bit of that hierarchy and say, like, no. This is really it's good for you, and here's why. Here's why. It's it's just it's critical To be able to, to feel sad about something and to say, this is this is invading me. This is, You know, overcoming my boundaries, this is pushing me to a place where I am uncomfortable, or this is about letting go of something And saying, okay. I I can no longer have this person, this activity, this whatever in my life. I have a dear friend who who broke her hip, and she was an avid bicycler and had 7 or 8 bicycles, you know, in her basement And has had to let that go.

Dr. Sina Smith [00:26:58]:

So it doesn't even necessarily have to be a thing that is, you know, a job for a person.

Aminata Sol [00:27:03]:


Dr. Sina Smith [00:27:03]:

But that activity that she found so much love in, and there really was a deep grieving process that had to happen around that.

Aminata Sol [00:27:11]:

Yeah. And I know, one of the important books that I've read that we talked about on the show is, The Healing Wisdom of Africa And, by Melodoma Somy. And, what he brought to United States and North America from West Africa were grieving rituals because he noticed that, wow, We do not do grief. I mean, you know, even at funerals, people are supposed to be strong, quote, be strong, like you said. So, I I really appreciate you bringing that up now and giving us something very simple like, okay. It's okay. Go watch a movie. It's a sad movie, but this is gonna help you do something for your body.

Aminata Sol [00:27:59]:

And by washing it out, You get to see the situation a little bit differently. I I just love that. That's what's possible if you let yourself go into grief.

Dr. Sina Smith [00:28:11]:

Yeah. Yeah.

Aminata Sol [00:28:12]:

Is that something you've been able to do? Because I know you were really into surgery and western medicine, and then you made this shift. How how have you personally been able to apply this?

Dr. Sina Smith [00:28:25]:

I think it comes off in in onion layers. You know? Some of the layers of the onion are thicker than others, but I left surgery in 2009. So it's been 14 years. In a couple of weeks, it will be 14 years since my arm first became problematic. And, I think, you know, bodies, again, are so wise, and the the vendor coke book about the the body knows the score Talks about some of the chronobiology that the body knows the time of year whenever things are or, you know, traumatic events have happened, And we're sort of reliving that time of year. So, I always have kind of A little bit more pain in my right arm around that mid November time, and then it it goes away very quickly. But what I do whenever that starts to show up is, first of all, acknowledge it instead of saying, like, well, what's going on? Let me just take some Ibuprofen and get rid of this. But listen to my body and say, okay.

Dr. Sina Smith [00:29:30]:

What's what's happening here? I usually do some journaling. I might look at some old pictures. I have still one of my lab coats from residency, and so I will sometimes take that out and just kind of take a look at it again and And say goodbye to that part of me. I might chitchat with, another woman who is a a surgeon buddy of mine to kind of Just well, where would I have been if I had stayed with that, etcetera? So I I I think for years, I I cried about it a lot in the very beginning, and then I tried to say, okay. This I need to be done with this. I need to move forward. You know? But now I I think I've reached kind of more of a happy medium where I'm not trying to ignore it, but I'm also not dwelling on it. I don't feel Actively sad anymore about losing that part of my life, but it is still something that, that was a traumatic event.

Dr. Sina Smith [00:30:30]:

That was A lot of work, but then I didn't really get to reap the benefits from all that hard work. Mhmm. And I I think it's important to acknowledge that.

Aminata Sol [00:30:41]:

Mhmm. Mhmm. Wow. You just sound like a wise woman right there.

Dr. Sina Smith [00:30:48]:

Thank you. Yeah. Well, at 52, I can get just a little I'm starting to get just a little bit of Crohn's knowledge. Right?

Aminata Sol [00:30:58]:

Yes. Yes. You're in the magic decade. Exactly. Beautiful. We're gonna take a break right here for, to hear some words from our sponsors, and then we'll be right back. So, doctor Cena, you were telling us all about, you know, metal, the lungs, the the big intestines. I always wanna know about food.

Aminata Sol [00:31:37]:

So could you please tell us some Good food to eat now. In the middle of fall heading towards winter, what would you recommend we do with our bodies and food?

Dr. Sina Smith [00:31:50]:

Absolutely. There are so many foods that I think about in the fall, in particular being good for all the viruses and the that we start passing around to each other when we start coming back to work after our summer vacations, and especially any little people that you happen to be living with who have Classroom's full of other little germ factories, and then they bring those germs home. So, the foods that I think about in the fall, Number 1, I would say is Shiitake mushrooms. They strengthen the immune system. They lower, what's called CRP. You're One of the the chemical messengers in your body that kind of deals with stress overall, and it increases something called your secretory IgA, Which is a a an antibody that you secrete onto your mucous membranes. So that's In your nose, that's in your mouth, that's in your throat, that's in your digestive system. So because it supports that that little chemical messenger of an immunoglobulin or an antibody, it binds to pathogens and prevents them from getting inside your body.

Dr. Sina Smith [00:32:57]:

And some of the lipopolysaccharide, again, another chemical component in in the mushrooms modulates the immune system, responses in the gut, and reverses age related composition of the gut microbiome, and that's a lot of fancy jargon to say it helps with gut health overall. It helps with the bacteria and the yeast and so forth that are living in your digestive system that are actually helping and supporting your health overall. So, Shiitake's have antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal tech, effects, and they also are antitumor because they're really High in vitamin d. They strengthen bones. They're just they're really fantastic. So as a fall food, some Shiitake action is a great way to go. And then I also recommend a couple of herbs, turmeric in particular, and turmeric again is the active turmeric. Oh, turmeric.

Dr. Sina Smith [00:33:53]:

Okay. Yellow stuff. Mhmm. Yeah. It's the yellow stuff in curry. It's not the same as cumin, but curcumin is the active component in turmeric, And that, helps to suppress, infection from a lot of different viruses, RSV, hepatitis c, influenza, etcetera. And it's also antibacterial too. Now one thing to know about turmeric is that in Chinese medicine and in Ayurveda, it's a warming herb.

Dr. Sina Smith [00:34:20]:

So if you're taking it as an anti inflammatory for your joints, for example, only use it if your joints need warming. If your joints actually feel better when you put a cold compress on them, don't add turmeric to your system. And turmeric is also, it doesn't get absorbed very well across the digestive system wall. So if you're gonna take it for joint pain or you want kind of an whole body Anti inflammatory response. You need to add some pepper with it. Don't just take it by itself.

Aminata Sol [00:34:54]:

How much turmeric would you need to take for it to actually help you? Are we talking like like you know, when I cook with turmeric, I'm cooking for the whole family, and I only use half a teaspoon And, the thing I made last night, is that actually enough to have an impact?

Dr. Sina Smith [00:35:12]:

It is if you're using it Frequently.

Aminata Sol [00:35:15]:

Oh, okay.

Dr. Sina Smith [00:35:16]:

So there's a dose response curve, and the way that we establish that with pharmaceutical medicines is that we give everybody, Say a 100 milligrams, and we kind of see how many people have x, y, or z amount in their bloodstream. Well, there's no real turmeric Pharmaceutical company out there. So they're not doing those same dose response curves. So The level that you need for cooking spices is a little bit different than what you need for having some kind of therapeutic effect. And for that, I would I don't think that there's just one number because it depends on what pharmaceutical medicines you're taking it for. Are you taking it for some of your digestion and also as Broad based anti inflammatory. So I'm not comfortable giving just, like, a number for everybody because I don't think that's fair. Yeah.

Aminata Sol [00:36:05]:

Right. Right. Right. And if we wanted to is there who in our lives that we consult? Like, would we need to go to a a traditional Chinese medicine person like you? Who would know something like this to help us.

Dr. Sina Smith [00:36:20]:

Yeah. Great question. Naturopathic doctors, so naturopathic, naturopathic is the way that's spelled as opposed to napropathic. Those folks are just Phenomenal herbalist. They know about eastern herbs. They know about western herbs, and they know a lot about those dose, kinds of components, those those kinds of questions for various different, problems. So n d is the abbreviation behind name,

Aminata Sol [00:36:50]:


Dr. Sina Smith [00:36:51]:

that's what I would recommend. Yeah. Great. Thank you. Sure. Some other foods that are really helpful in the fall that A lot of us cook with all all the time are onions and garlic. They are so broadly antimicrobial, and they have Widespread health benefits, and and most people know them about cholesterol or know about them in the context of cholesterol and high blood pressure and all that kind of thing. But people don't necessarily think about onions and garlic helping to ward off pathogens that are trying to invade as, you know, as respiratory problems.

Dr. Sina Smith [00:37:24]:

So those are other just really, really good ones.

Aminata Sol [00:37:26]:

And if we cook those, are they still powerful, or do they need to be eaten raw?

Dr. Sina Smith [00:37:31]:

Nope. They do not need to be eaten raw. They're still quite powerful. Nice. And the last thing I did wanna share with your listeners is a little recipe for electrolytes because a lot of people whenever they start yeah. I'm gonna put we'll put this in the show notes too.



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