Here we are at the beginning of the year and many people are looking for ways to improve their overall health and well being, including mind, body, and spirit.

I think they all go together, offering a more holistic approach to our healing.

My experience shows it's not just about one thing.

We need to integrate our health practices to include all aspects.

We are in the season of winter, and for many, winter can be quite challenging.

In this episode we will begin to look at ways in which we can create balance.

My guest on this subject is actually one of my healers. Someone I call upon instead of a “doctor.”

Foti Sardelis is the owner of Anthos Acupuncture & Herbal clinic in Birmingham Alabama, which he founded in 2016. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB) and Texas Health and Science University (THSU) in Austin, TX. He holds a Bachelors in Philosophy from UAB, a Bachelors of Science from the THSU, a Masters in Oriental Medicine, is certified by the National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, and is a member of the association for the advancement of Oriental Medicine in Alabama (AOMA). He has experience with a wide range of health concerns including pain, fertility, stress, and allergies.

Foti answers these questions for us.

  • What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?

 A lifestyle and holistic approach to your body and the world and how we interact.

  For more information:

  • What is acupuncture?

  Acupuncture entails the use of needles inserted at specific points on the body. The points     are located on pathways of energy flow connected to all the internal processes of the   viscera. The needles stimulate or reduce the flow to restore balance.

  • Does acupuncture hurt?

  Yes and no. Listen to the podcast to get the full answer!

  • What are the five elements in Traditional Chinese Medicine?

  The Five Elements are aspects of Qi. These are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. In the     poetic language of the Five Elements, health is a harmonious balance of all the elements.   The Qi of the elements waxes and wanes in daily and seasonal cycles. Each one of us is a   unique blend of the influences of all the elements.  

Like yin and yang, the Five Elemental Energies maintain their internal harmony through a system of mutual checks and balances known as generative cycles and control cycles.


Water generates Wood by nourishing its growth; 

Wood generates Fire by providing its fuel; 

Fire generates Earth by fertilizing it with ashes; 

Earth yields Metal by extraction and refinement; 

Metal becomes liquid like Water when it is melted.


Wood brought into contact with Metal is felled;

Fire brought into contact with Water is extinguished;

Earth brought into contact with Wood is penetrated;

Metal brought into contact with Fire is dissolved;

Water brought into contact with Earth is halted.

  • Why is it so hard to maintain our health in winter?

 Winter is all about the Element of Water

Meridians: Kidneys, Bladder

The Water energy is a strong generative force centered in the lower belly. When the Kidney Qi is strong, a person is fearless, determined, and can endure many hardships in pursuit of their goals. Persevering by willpower is characteristic of those with strong Kidney Qi. Longevity is also considered to be associated with healthy Kidney Qi, signified by large, elongated ear lobes, like those of the Buddha.

Water Imbalance

When the Kidney Qi is weak, there can be problems with water metabolism, urination, fertility, or sexuality. This person could be anxious, fearful, withdrawn, and, in more severe cases, phobic.

Kidney Qi declines with aging. There may be diminished hearing or ringing in the ears. In menopause, the Kidney yin declines, which is associated with classic signs of heat and dryness – hot flashes, night sweats, dry skin and mucous membranes. Kidney yang weakness is associated with cold – cold extremities, cold back and belly, declining sexual vigor, urinary frequency or incontinence.

The color of the Kidney is black, like the night, or like black ice. When the Kidney Qi starts to weaken, dark circles or pouches appear under the eyes. The Kidney Qi rules in the winter, a time when living things are contracted with cold. Like a seed deep in the cold ground, Qi is dormant, waiting for the time to sprout.