Interview SeriesWho: Dr. Gina Morishige, DOM, CFMP, CFGP, Rx, CPT
Specialty: TCM & Herbal Medicine, Functional Medicine, Functional Genomics, Dermatology, Inflammatory, Allergic & Autoimmune Diseases
Location: Berkeley, CA and Santa Fe, NM
TCM in Modern Wellness
How did you get acquainted with TCM?
I’ve always been fascinated with health and science, reading my father's medical books and dreaming of being a surgeon between the ages of 4-7 years old and believing this was the only path to help people the way my soul has always desired. I was quickly turned off by most western interventions and approaches after seeing one of my brothers go through chemotherapy when he was just a young boy, he passed away due to the harsh procedure despite there being a natural intervention available for him at the time. Since then, I’ve always sought out holistic ways of living and addressing disease, pain and overall health and longevity. As a young adult, I left my career in law which gave me a great foundation for stepping into my Masters and Doctorate level training in holistic medicine and TCM. This is when all the previous paths I have taken on my life journey started to come together on a very profound and spiritual level.
How has TCM impacted your life?
TCM has made layers upon layers of impactful experiences and insights on my life, from personal healing and refining my lifestyle choices and habits to giving me a strong foundation with a theoretical, practical and tangible basis for understanding the human body, how we interact with our internal and external environment and development of our spiritual connections.
What's your favorite way to de-stress?
I love playing outdoors with a good hike into very high elevations or going deep into any wilderness and foraging for wild foods and medicine. When I need to destress quickly, in the moment or when I can’t make an outdoor excursion happen right away, I love a good herbal tea and meditation, exercise, taking care of myself with rituals for my skin, body and mind, such as acupuncture, massage, bathing, facials and healthy foods.
What's the one piece of advice you always give your patients?
To sum it up, this ‘one’ piece of advice that comes out differently for each patient as I observe and listen to their receptive love language, is to ‘deeply embody a sense of accountability, patience & commitment with yourself through this healing process.’ Helping my clients build their self-worth is crucial to deep and long-lasting healing and optimal health.
Acupressure At HomeWhat is one health issue that’s common in your practice?
From the Functional and Genomic lens, the digestive, adrenal, hormonal and genetic factors are a huge component of the many complex diseases I see in my practice. Dermatology issues are a more specific disease I see in practice as I specialize in TCM Dermatology and focus on the most common dermatological skin disorders, such as Eczema, Psoriasis, Acne, Rosacea, Warts, Fungal, etc.
What is one acupressure point that is helpful for this issue?
There are two points I always use in treatment to calm the mind before I address any of my client's issues, however, if I were to choose one point based on these most common and complex diseases that I see, it would be San Yin Jiao: Spleen-6, the 3 Yin Intersection. This point has functions that address all these issues Mind, Gut, Skin, Hormones, etc., and with a multitude of other benefits.
What is your favorite TCM herb?
Ahh, this is not easy as I have a favorite herb for different stages of disease. However, I’ll share from a modest, food-based and sustainable mindset, my favorite TCM herb is Wu Wei Zi -Schisandra chinensis.
- Benefits: It is known for its five flavors, Wu Wei Zi is predominantly sour, sweet and warm. It tonifies the yin of the five Yin organs, simultaneously secures the Yang fluids and primal Qi, and its warmth is harmonious and not drying. Wu Wei Zi is calming, nourishing, enriching, and generating with the power of grasping and containing energy (Qi).
It has an affinity for the Lung and Kidney, bringing harmony within, above and below by inhibiting the leakage of Lung Qi (above) and enriching the Kidney Yin (below). It quiets the spirit while calming and containing the Heart Qi and restoring communication between the Heart and the Kidneys.
Favorite way to take this herb/ Favorite recipe
I make a super delicious and very potent double extraction tincture in my herbal pharmacy, Morishige Herbal Pharmacy. I add this to my tea, coffee or other beverages, desserts or just right into my mouth because it’s very delicious, satisfying and soothing to all senses. I also use ground dried berries as it is easier to consume as a powder for mixing into dishes or beverages.
Favorite YINA productI love the Essential mist and Fortify serum, I use them daily, I alternate between the serums based on my needs, and I just feel a little ‘off’ without these two products at home or when I travel, haha. I also love the Divine Bio-Cellulose mask and Anti-pollution mask, they have a very satisfying feel and outcome during and after treatment. I have yet to find another Gua Sha tool that feels as good as Yina’s Bian Stone.
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