Healing Moxibustion (Moxa)

There are many holistic (healing) modalities we can use to regain and keep our health.
I can think of all the holistic modalities I have used before and now: acupuncture, moxibustion, craniosacral therapy, massage (shiatsu, anma, etc), physical therapy, qigong, t’ai chi, yoga, dance therapy, art and color therapy, lymphatic therapy, herbal therapy, aromatherapy, Bach flower therapy, hydrotherapy, nutritional counseling (macrobiotics), reiki, power crystal stone, hypnotherapy, meditation.

There might be more, but you get an idea of what I have done.
Some of them, I really enjoyed learning and receiving health by practicing daily, so I decided to go to school to learn and become a practitioner.

My not-so-secret of healthy practice is eating whole-grain, plant-based foods seasonally and according to my physical, mental, and emotional conditions. Also, I do yoga, meditation, and other healing modalities to tune myself up.

Today, I want to share about moxibustion (moxa), which may not be well known in the US yet, like acupuncture.
I love moxa because we can receive many benefits from it.
We can apply moxa to ourselves—it is not difficult to learn how to use and apply—and of course, you can help others. It was perfect for me since I do not like needles, so learning acupuncture was not my practice.

Moxa sets 650

Different kinds and types of Moxa

I learned about moxa the first time when I was a child when my father was receiving anma massage and moxibustion at home from an anma practitioner, Mr. Yamauchi.
He was almost blind, but he rode his bicycle to our house after 10 pm, before my father went to bed.
I liked to receive anma massage from Mr. Yamauchi sometimes while he was waiting for my father to finish his bath, but I really was curious about moxibustion, since it was kind of a mysterious modality to me. It had a distinctive smell with smoke because you light it up with fire or incense. I loved the smell and the smoke somehow; I think it was Japanese aromatherapy, hahaha!

 

Massage and moxa combinations were excellent to relax the body and mind. When I received a little massage from Mr. Yamashita, even if I did not receive moxibustion, I was already relaxed from the smell and smoke.

 

When I had ovarian cancer in 1993, I used moxa, but I was too weak and had too much pain, so I could not apply my own.
I received it whenever my husband, Eric, was able to apply it for me.
I felt better, and it eased the pain.
I also have used moxa whenever I need to release pain (neck, back, shoulder, legs, etc.) or for overall health and energy.

 

I found a moxa stick holder about 10 years ago, so even if I am weak or have pain, I am able to apply it on my own (of course, it is nicer to receive from someone else, especially on my back).

Since last year, I have been using moxa again everyday to ease the liver pain for Primary Liver Non-Hodgkin of Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL).
It also relaxes me, and I am able to rest or take a nap.

 

Moxa class everyone adj

The moxibustion intro class

Moxa has been helping me so much, but not many people know about it,
so I decided to offer an introductory workshop class last Saturday.
The class reached capacity right away, and already a few other people have asked to come when I offer the next one—so I do plan to offer another moxibustion workshop.
If you want to attend, email me at sanaehealing@gmail.com.

 

Jay with moxa holder

Jay is applying a stick moxa with the holder over where he injured.

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Moxa girls (from left, Kanako, Masako, Me and Masano) are using stick moxa with the stick holders!

 

Masano's back

Moxa on a ginger slice to help ease Masano’s back pain.

Brandon is applying moxa on a sliced ginger just above his navel for digestive systems and overall qi energy.

Brandon is applying moxa on a sliced ginger just above his navel for digestive systems and overall qi energy.

 

IMG_5615

Vladka is applying moxa on the slice of ginger below her navel for stress, back pain etc.

Here is the topic outline and a little bit of info from the moxibustion intro class:

 

Workshop Topics

1) What is moxibustion?

2) How does moxibustion benefit our health?

3) How do you use moxa (moxa types)?

4) Which meridian points get benefits with moxibustion?

5) What are important things to do after moxibustion?

6) Are there any side effects from moxibustion?

7) Practice, practice, and practice!

 

What is moxibustion?

Moxibustion is started in China about 3000 years ago. Then, Japanese envoy to Sui Dynasty China and Japanese envoy to Tang Dynasty China brought to Japan. It is one of historical holistic home healing modalities, which has been written, in classic literature and Haiku.

Moxibustion is a form of heat therapy in which dried plant materials called “moxa” are burned on, or very near, the surface of the skin. The intention is to warm and invigorate the flow of qi in the body and dispel certain pathogenic influences. The moxa I use is usually made from the dried, leafy herbs of Chinese or Japanese “mugwort” (Artemisia argyi or Artemisia vulgaris).

Mugwort plant 650

Wild mugwort that I found in North Fork, California

 

How does moxibustion benefit our health?

Moxibustion helps with circulation, immunity, and lymph flow. It’s good for colds, the flu, and fever; pain in the eye, head, neck, shoulder, or back; sensitivity to cold; indigestion, constipation, and diarrhea; insomnia, swelling, palpitation, emotional instability, and stress; and liver, kidney, and other organ support. It gives energy and relaxes at the same time.
And bring smiles!

Eric Moxa smile 650

Eric’s Moxa smile!

 

 

If you are interested in purchasing premium-quality moxa, sticks, holders etc., please email sanaehealing@gmail.com.

 

With gratitude,

Sanae 💖

Macrobiotic Plant Based Vegan Cooking Class: How to Make Nourishing Soup

Our bodies are more than 50% water. You’ve probably heard that, right?

 According to chemistry expert Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D., the amount of water in the human body ranges from 50–75%. The average adult human body is 50–65% water, averaging around 57–60%. The percentage of water in infants is much higher, typically around 75–78% water, dropping to 65% by 1 year of age.*

 

650 Sanae Showing Daikon

Daikon radish is one of my favorite vegetable for making soup.

When I learned macrobiotic vegan cooking in 1993 to heal from ovarian cancer, I learned to soak whole grains and beans in water (spring or purified) 4–6 hours or overnight before cooking. Soaking helps with digestion and makes whole grains and beans softer, with more liquid content.

 

I realized that our bodies need more nourishing foods like soup, which has more liquid, every day. It does not have to be a large amount—just 1–2 cups a day. Dealing with my cancer taught me this principle, and since then, I have soup every day. Usually, I have one cup of miso soup with three or more kinds of vegetables in the morning; many times, I have a creamy soup at lunchtime and even dinner.

650 Kombu & Shiitake Dashi 1

Kombu and shiitake mushroom umami dashi (stock) in the beginning

 

650 Kombu & Shiitake Dashi 2

Kombu and shiitake mushroom umami dashi (stock) after 10 minutes.

 

 

 

Kombu & Shiitake Dashi (this is how you create the Umami flavor)

purified water

kombu, dried (use one 1⁄2-inch square piece per cup of water)

dried shiitake mushrooms (one shiitake for every 1 to 2 cups of water)

  1. Wipe to clean kombu and shiitake with a dry cloth.
  2. To make dashi, use one of the following methods:
    1) No-cook method: In a bowl, combine the kombu, shiitake and water and soak for at least 2 to 3 hours.
    2) Stovetop method: In a saucepan over medium- high flame, combine the kombu and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer (either covered or uncovered) for about 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Strain out and reserve the kombu strip to make Kombu Condiment. Dashi is now ready for use in soups and stews. Dashi will keep for 2 or 3 days in the refrigerator.

 

Soup helps the digestive system and gives us gentle energy to be able to relax in a natural way. Many busy people come home and eat bread or microwavable food to save time, but bread is dry, and microwavable food provides more chaotic energy. Overall, they cause contracted tightness, and we are unable to relax our intestines, body or mind.

 

It doesn’t take much time to make soup a few times a week. A large quantity will last few days, and you can easily reheat it on the stove. It is simple if you plan a menu every week.

 

650 Miso soup

Miso soup that we made in the class.

 

When I teach my macrobiotic principle cooking series, the first two classes cover whole grains, and the third is soup. In last week’s class, I taught how to make five different soups using umami dashi:

 

  1. Kombu & shiitake dashi (this is how you create the umami flavor)
  2. Clear soup (consommé)
  3. Miso soup (summer vegetables)
  4. Whole grain and vegetable soup (summer whole grain)
  5. Creamy soup (summer corn soup)

 

650 Showing how to cut corn Eric way

Showing how to cut corn my husband, Chef Eric way.

 

650 Sanae shoing a half moon onion

Showing a half moon cut onion.

 

My teachings include:

Cut vegetables after you carefully wash them. Keep vegetables separate from one another so they do not exchange their energy before cooking. Add the vegetables one by one, letting them meet slowly and get along together. Once you add the vegetables together, do not mix too much; they do not need a lot of help to create a peaceful and delicious soup. We are just there to support them.

 

650 Vegetables separate

Keep all the vegetables separate till you cook.

When you add seasoning—soy sauce (or tamari, if you need gluten-free), miso or sea salt—do not add too much, so you do not lose the each vegetable’s delicate aroma and texture. Most of the foods we eat are abundant with seasoning (spices, oils), making us unable to taste the vegetable/plant/whole grain itself. I’ll occasionally add more seasoning for certain special foods, but many people add strong spices and oils to most of their food, even with plant-based menus.

650 Using corn cub for stock

Corn cobs for making sweet dashi (stock).

650 Making Quinoa Soup

Making quinoa soup.

 

Just eating plant-based food in the beginning of transitioning from a meat-based menu is excellent, but in order for us to keep our bodies healthy and be peaceful in our minds, we need to learn cooking principles for modern life. We are all facing everyday life with more stress, worry, fear, frustration, anger and depression, so I believe we need to bring order to our universe and learn how to cook with principles.

 

650 Sanae & Stdents

We all enjoyed soup making class!

 

The first thing we need to do is to just cook simple foods for ourselves—making whole grains and soup every day is a great way to start—so we must learn to make time for cooking. I believe strongly that cooking your own simple whole grains and soup will improve your life. I hope you’ll join me in living a healthy and happy life.

Love,
Sanae 💖

 

*Source: http://chemistry.about.com/od/waterchemistry/f/How-Much-Of-Your-Body-Is-Water.htm

 

 

Health Classics Cooking Class in Santa Barbara

Eric and I are going to teach at Health Classics in Santa Barbara at La Casa De Maria once a again. I love La Casa De Maria with our dogs of healthy happy pooch.

Teaching cooking class at Health Classics

Teaching cooking class at Health Classics

 

My first time going to Health Classics, La Casa De Maria was in 1995 when I went to help my first macrobiotic teacher Cecile Tovah Levin’s cooking class.

It was a year and a half since I started to study with her so I did not know much, but I had a mission to heal myself from ovarian cancer.
A year later, I started to cook there with Mark Hanna and John Saslow who became my wonderful macrobiotics friends. After I injured my legs in 2001 from near fatal car crush and I was not able to stand and walk I started to teach a class with Eric.                                                                             I am happy that we have been a part of Health Classics family and going there every year.

 

Health Classics Delicious Food by Mark Hanna

Health Classics Delicious Food by Mark Hanna

 

This year our classes are Classes are Traveling Food Cooking Class and Introducing to Bach Flower Remedy Class.  Our favorite traveling food is making Sushi and Rice Balls so we are going to show how to make them. I hope you join these classes.

 

Packing all the ingredients for the classes and our traveling food for the ride right now and

xcite to be there again!

Love, Sanae

 

650 Vesta and dr. Ron with dogs

Sanae, Vesta, Ron with Kula and Happy

 

 

How Many Whole Grains Do You Know Besides Brown Rice?

Eating whole grains are good for us.
What are whole grains? How many whole grains do you know besides brown rice?
Brown rice and quinoa are most popular ones right now in the America.

How many whole grains can you identify?

How many whole grains can you identify?

Eating whole grains have many benefits – “getting fiber, a healthy plant-based protein, vitamins, minerals, and a variety of phytochemicals that will improve your health.”

It is simple way to cook whole grains, but they all have different energy effects and some are different way to cook.

Usually after rinse them with spring water three times or more, you soak most of them 4~6 hours or over night. Sometimes you roasted to make more fire energy for the person who has too cold energy deficiency to bring Ki/Chi energy up.

My recent cooking class I show how to cook five different kinds of whole grains. There are many benefits and different way to cook so it is important to learn how to cook properly each whole grains.

 

Red and Yellow quinoa cooked together

Red and Yellow quinoa cooked togethe

 

Red and Yellow Quinoa

1 cup red quinoa

1 cup yellow quinoa

3 cups spring water

2 pinch sea salt

bring up to boil and simmer for 15~20 minutes.

Move it on a trivet after turning off the heat, but keep the lid for another 5 ~ 10minutes.

 

Recently many people might heard “Quinoa” is good, but do they really know why?
Well, the first Quinoa is one of whole grains means complex carbohydrate. Complex and simple carbohydrate are very different.
Quinoa often referred to as the super grain and high in fiber and high-quality protein. In fact, it contains more protein than any other grain while also packing in iron and potassium. One half cup of quinoa has 14 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber.

 

Soft Millet

Creamy Millet

Creamy Millet

1 cup millet

4 cups spring water

one pinch sea salt

 

Whole Oats

Whole Oats

Whole Oats

2 cups whole oats

6 cups spring water

2″ kombu

 

Whole Barley and Brown Rice

Whole Barley and Brown Rice

Whole Barley and Brown Rice

2 cups brown rice

2/3 cup whole barley

2 pinches sea salt

 

Hatomugi

Hatomugi

Hatomugi

2 cups hatomugi

4 cups spring water

2 pinches sea salt

 

Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad

 

How to mixed whole grains

How to mixed whole grains

 

Five Whole Grains Plate

Five Whole Grains Plate

 

 

Macrobiotic Plant Based Vegan Cooking Class: Traditional Brown Rice Cooking without a Rice Cooker

Since I am from Japan it is a joy when I get to teach class in my native language, which is not often here in the United States.

When January 2016 arrived one I made one of my New Year resolutions to teach my macrobiotic principle cooking class series in Japanese once again. The last time I offered this series in Japanese was three years ago. After that I only taught a single Japanese class here and there, so this time I committed to teach one every month. Students will benefit by learning macrobiotic cooking from a more complete, progressive program of courses. I am grateful that I have realized my goal and started the first class last week.

 "No Rice No Life" T-shit was a perfect for this class. Can you identify these whole grains?

“No Rice No Life” T-shit was a perfect for this class. Can you identify these whole grains?

I taught Whole Grain part 1 cooking class last week. Introduced eight different whole grains: 1) short grain brown rice, 2) long grain brown rice, 3) sweet brown rice, 4) whole oats, 5) whole barley, 6) millet, 7) quinoa, and 8) buckwheat first (this was fun for students to know there are many whole grains and to identify whole grains since most of us do not know many whole grains are available for us to cook. I showed how to prepare and cook brown rice the traditional way (macrobiotic way), without a rice cooker. All the Japanese students know how to make white rice in the rice cooker and some know how to make brown rice, since rice cooker companies have developed the rice cooker for cooking brown rice. Japanese people usually never make rice without a rice cooker, and I was one of them until 1993. It means departing from a convenient routine, which is not easy for most of us. Japanese students are very polite, and they do not say much in class; I guess they do not want to interrupt the teacher, but after class some of them ask me questions or tell me their thoughts. During this class only one student who had lived in the U.S. for a long time spoke up. Most of them told me after class that they were a little concerned that brown rice would not be as tasty if they did not use a rice cooker, but they were surprised when all the three different kinds of preparation of brown rice came out so delicious, even better than when cooked in a rice cooker. In fact, they found the rice that got burned at the bottom to be tasty as well. That’s right, after having taught cooking for over 20 years, I still burn the rice, and I want my students to see me as I am – not perfect. I want them to understand that sometimes we burn the rice, and it is alright as long as we know why it happened. It is important to accept it, since making mistakes is part of life, right? We just need to know what happened and do our best to not repeat the mistake as much as we can (but we also accept that as humans we make the same mistakes over and over until we really learn).

Brown rice with kombu sea vegetable

Brown rice with kombu sea vegetable

IMG_5081

In this class I showed three different ways to cook brown rice:
First, all the brown rice are washed and soaked over night.

1. in a stainless steel pot, 2 cups of brown rice with 4 cups water and add a pinch of sea salt when it start to boil and simmer for 45 minutes. You don’t have to mention how much rice & water to add?
2. in a ceramic pot, called “Nabe” in Japanese, 2 cups of brown rice with 4 cups water and add a stamp sized piece of kombu sea vegetable when it start boil and simmer for 45 minutes.
3. in a pressure cooker, 2 cups of brown rice with 4 cups water add a umeboshi plum (Japanese traditional pickled ume plum, which is very high in alkaline (organic California aged umeboshi plums can be purchase at Seed Kitchen) when it start to boil and simmer for 45 minutes.
Since I had not used the pressure cooker for a while, the pressure did not go up correctly, and I was also talking to students when it was time to remove it from the stove, so the rice cooked too long, burned the bottom slightly. I quickly removed it from the stove when I realized that I was talking instead of watching the pot, so I kindly sent the good wish to the rice and said “Sorry to have missed your perfect timing, but I am sure you are going to be tasty!”
I added quickly blanched stems of kale to the burned rice to dress it up with green polka dots, so it looked and tasted better.

IMG_5084

Roasting sesame seed after you rinsed sesame seed with water.

Roasting sesame seed after you rinsed sesame seed with water.

I also taught how to make gomashio (sesame salt which is usually recommended to eat with grains) condiment and quick water sautéed onion, carrot and kale.

Water sautéed kale.

Water sautéed kale.

There was no time to teach how to make the dressing so I served fresh tahini miso dressing from Seed Kitchen (my husband Eric Lechasseur and my restaurant in Venice, California) which was so tasty some of the students were pouring it over the brown rice. Everyone wanted to learn how to make this dressing in the next class.

The food was all ready!

The food was all ready!

Simple and beautiful delicious three different kinds brown rice with vegetables.

Simple and beautiful delicious three different kinds brown rice with vegetables.

We had a delicious lunch together outside on the picnic table under the California sunshine.
We all look forward to meeting again at the next class, Whole Grains part 2.

IMG_5087

Love, Sanae❤️

These below questions are from one of students who took the class. I want to share them for other Japanese students to see and learn from them.

ビーガン・マクロビオティック基礎シリーズクラス第1回:
炊飯器を使わないで伝統的な玄米炊き方3種類。

下記にあるのはこのクラスを受講したYukoさんから来たメールにある質問ですが、
Yukoさんから承諾をもらってこのブログに載せました。
この答えがみなさんのお役に立てたら幸いです。

ー草千先生、

一昨日のクラス、ご指導頂きまして有難うございました。
素晴らしいメンバーの方々にも会えて感謝の気持ちでいっぱいです。

クラスの後にSeedに寄って主人と美味しいクッキーと昆布とお塩も購入させていただきました。
購入したお塩ですがお塩は常温保管でよろしいですよね?
入れ物(瀬戸物、ガラス、または木で作られた)に入れて常温で保存して下さい。

さて、課題の玄米炊きのおさらいとして早速、昨日ステンレスのお鍋で玄米を炊いてみました。
炊き上がり、表面は”カニの穴”も出来てふわっと炊けましたが鍋底は真っ黒に焦げてしまいました(涙)。。。

やはりフレイムディフレクターが無いせいでしょうか?
又は火が弱火よりちょっと強かったのかもしれません。
フレイムディフレクターがあれば焦げなかったでしょうが、きっと火の加減も少し強かったのかもしれませんから、次回は気をつけてみてやって下さい。

そして、ごま塩もホールフーズでオーガニックの生のゴマを見つけたので早速作りました。
やはりホカホカのご飯に香ばしいごま塩は最高ですね!レシピのとおりごま大さじ12に対しお塩を小さじ2杯で作ったのですが教室で試した時よりも塩辛い感じがしました。

お教室の時は少なめでしたか?
レシピは、スタンダードなごま塩の作り方の量になっていますが、クラスでは、感覚的に少し塩を少なめに使いました。
レシピは参考に使って自分の感覚や体調によって変えていくことが大切です。

お塩を煎ってすり鉢にかけてごまを煎ってすり鉢にかけてじーっくりと美味しくなるようにごま塩を擦っている時は私にとって良いメディテーションだなぁと思いました(笑)。
そうですね、メディテーションと言って正解ですね。私もごま塩を作る時にいつもそう感じていますよ。

この次は圧力鍋と土鍋で試してみます。尚、お鍋ですが
オススメの圧力鍋のメーカーなどございますか?
圧力鍋はいろんな種類があって好みだと思いますが、私は、KUHN RIKONを使っています。

土鍋は先生のような深いご飯炊き用が良いのですよね?
鍋は通常の鍋でも美味しく炊けますので、もしもっていたらそれをまず使ってみて下さい。
私が使っているご飯炊き用の鍋を見つけたら購入してみて下さい。

いくつかの質問、アドバイスいただけたら幸いです。
よろしくお願いいたします。

P.S. マクロビにコーヒーは厳禁だと思います。がどうしても朝のコーヒーがやめられません。
先生の本に色々なレメディドリンクのレシピがありますが
私におすすめのドリンクはありますか?
マクロビをしている人でコーヒーを飲んでいる人もいますが、
お茶やコーヒーに含まれるカフェインは、カルシウムの排出を進ませますので、
やはり病気治しをする時はコーヒー、お茶を飲むのをやめるべきだと私は思います。

やめる為のレメディーは、実際にはありませんが、甘い野菜のレメディーは、コーヒーを飲んで疲れ気味な膵臓を癒してくれます。(Love, Sanaeの本のページ164のSweet vegetable Drink参照)
やめ方は少しずつ飲むのをやめる方法と一度の飲むのをやめる方法のふたつですが、どちらにするかは自分の性格とやめた時の精神的また感情的状態を把握して心の準備が必要です。

少しずつやめる場合はコーヒーをお茶(緑茶)に変えてから少しづつ減らしていくと成功率が高いと他の生徒さんやクライエントさんから聞きました。

コーヒーを飲むのをやめた時どんな禁断症状があるか、それとコーヒーを飲むのをやめるときに注意することを次回のクラスで少しお話しますね。

愛をこめて、草千❤️