We are Anne & Steve. We help those failed by shortsighted healthcare discover how Chinese medicine is their personalized answer to renewed health.
I (Anne) have always been into alternative healing methods, ever since I was a kid, but I took the deep dive when Steve’s lymph nodes in his neck were swollen 6x the normal size, wouldn’t go away after months of waiting, and testing came up inconclusive.
As he laid on the hospital bed during his ultrasound, I stood plastered against the back wall and prayed a thousand times that I wasn’t part of some Grey’s Anatomy episode where the technicians can’t say anything until the doctor confirms that it’s cancer but all the nurses know anyways and walk away shaking their head in sympathy. Thankfully the ultrasound results came back “normal,” but it also left us with no answers. The doctor didn’t know how to define the problem or how to treat it, and that’s when we turned towards alternative methods.
Steve started researching essential oils, superfoods, lymphatic massage–Yes! That’s a thing. We had so much hope with each new method we tried and nothing made a lick of difference. After months of spending money and driving ourselves mad with research, Steve had a serious interest in trying a Chinese herbalist. So we trekked down to Chicago’s Chinatown and stepped foot into the very unfamiliar world of Chinese medicine. The herbalist checked his pulse, analyzed his tongue, asked a few questions, and felt his swollen neck. In a matter of minutes she prescribed a special tea concoction (still have no idea what it was!) and a list of foods under the “warming” category that he shouldn’t be eating. It was like a foreign language. Why couldn’t he eat strawberries, nuts, peppers, or beef? The list went on.
We struggled to make sense of it all, because at that moment in time, we didn’t understand any of it and the herbalist didn’t explain anything. Just, “eat this; don’t eat that.” I’m not one who can operate on directions without an explanation. If I can understand the why part, then I can reign in my self-control and do things I may not like to do in order to heal. But just telling me that we shouldn’t eat some of the main staples in our diet like garlic, peppers, and onions was way too much for me to handle.
As the main cook in our house I was frustrated because I didn’t know how to cook for Steve and what would benefit him. I was overwhelmed by the seemingly long list of foods he “couldn’t” eat and the fact that there was no path to follow as to what he “should” eat and for how long. So I rented some library books and dove in. I learned thermal temperature of foods and how it affects our body. I learned in-depth, which foods were best to clear Steve’s “damp heat”, and how to cook for him. And after two years of making BIG changes to our diet, his lymph nodes have gone from 6x the size they should be to now only slightly inflamed. If you’re reading this and screaming inside, “What changes?! Tell me the changes!” I’ll tell you: we stopped eating beef, we eat a rice porridge for breakfast, we introduced more fermented foods and seaweed into our diet, we eat very little spicy food anymore, cut back our sugar intake, switched to sprouted grains, no more green smoothies–the list goes on and on. But the fundamental principle we learned is that each body is different and needs different things. What works for Steve's body doesn’t always work for mine. What works for us may or may not work for you. But with some knowledge and guidance, you can learn the same methods and apply them to your own life.
We want to show you what we’ve learned and help you implement it too. We’re not claiming to be doctors. We're not even going to pretend we understand everything about Chinese medicine. But we do know enough to have seen a difference and to know that you will too. We couldn’t stop our journey after Steve’s lymph nodes got better; we were hooked. I continued pouring through book after book, grasping at anything I could to learn more. We started to apply the concepts of food therapy to treat other ailments we both were facing. By changing our eating and cooking habits and learning to use food as medicine, we’ve overcome intestinal flu, dry-cracked hands, hemorrhoids, consistent phlegm, cold hands and feet, summer heat symptoms, red skin, acne, and the list goes on and on.
All of this ignited a passion in us to help show others how traditional Chinese medicine could help them too by making it easy to understand and implement without so much of the frustration and mystery. We know what it’s like to be overwhelmed by the amount of information and differing opinions that exist when it comes to our health—what it's like to feel alone and have no answers. If there’s one thing we hope you learn here, it would be how to listen to what your body is telling you. We want our journey and findings to help and inspire you too.
We are so glad you’re here.