Spring Clean, April Newsletter

The month of April is all about Spring Cleaning. Out with the old, and in with the new! We hope to motivate you to open those messy drawers in your kitchen and bedroom, dust off the cobwebs, and clear out the clutter. Spring Cleaning can relate to cleaning your environment, but it can also relate to your cleaning your body.

To clean your house from the colds and flus of winter, open all the windows in your house during the day. Let the breeze move the air and Qi.

Here are 6 essentials for having a clean body and mind, free from yucky toxins (Brought to you by Zachary Taffany):

  1. Oxygen – Take ten deep breaths upon waking, before meals, and before sleeping.
  2. Hydration – Instead of sugary and caffeinated beverages, substitute water infusions like cucumber /mint and Lemon/Stevia.
  3. Rest – Adults need a minimum of seven hours sleep per day.
  4. Sunshine – We have a nationwide epidemic of Vitamin D deficiency. Get twenty minutes of sunlight daily.
  5. Movement – Perspiration is the body’s preferred method of eliminating toxins, so make a habit of daily movements that create a light sweat.
  6. Diet – eat LOL (Live, Organic, Local)
    Master these basic health principles to increase the body’s ability to detoxify and clean itself

May you have a clean and clear mind, body, and spirit this month!

Month of GREEN; March Newsletter

Month of GREEN 

The month of March is all about going GREEN. Get ready to bust out your shamrock tee-shirts and green socks, and celebrate a color that signifies renewal, rebirth and rejuvenation. Spring is a time when kittens are born and buds get ready to bloom.

In Chinese medicine green relates to the element of Wood, which regulates the liver and gallbladder. Seasonal allergies such as springtime hay fever are considered a symptom of liver dysfunction and usually indicative of a body that needs purging and less stress. Stress can be caused by diet, negative emotions, and the environment. Eat organic and avoid genetically modified foods, and food grown with pesticides. The positive virtue of Wood is kindness so now is definitely the time to complement your green wardrobe with positive thoughts about yourself and others.

Here are some tips that encourage your health and home to blossom as winter weather gives way to everything green and fresh.

Eat green. Organic fruits and vegetable are like a pot of gold for your body. Add as much green to your plate as you can. Try green favourites like broccoli, rapini (Italian broccoli), sea vegetables (e.g., Irish moss, kelp) and asparagus. Drizzle fresh lemon and coconut oil on vegetables to improve liver function and flavour. Popular and powerful green foods and spices that support your body’s Wood element (liver and gallbladder function) include wheat spring greens, lemon berries, quince (fruit), quinoa, daikon root (white radish), vinegar, chrysanthemum flower and turmeric.

Clean green. Green living means you’re conscious of the products you use and how they affect the environment. Consider homemade cleaning solutions that are both effective and economical. Common green ingredients such as baking soda, cornstarch, cooking oils, essential oils, lemon juice, salt and vinegar are good for your health, your home and the planet. Another bonus? When you make your own cleaning supplies you save a lot green (money!) and that’s always good luck.

May you have the luck of the Irish with you this month and always. We wish you kindness, growth and abundance. Happy St. Patrick’s Day !

Love and gratitude,

Chris & Parisa Shelton & the Morning Crane team

Community Clinic

Living with pain, but can’t afford medical care?

If so our low cost community clinic is the answer!


Suggested donation

$25 per session


Help the interns who have graduated from our Medical Qigong program, gain experience while they work with you to eliminate pain. Under the supervision of expert healer & therapist Chris Shelton.

Medical Qigong can help with the following aliments

(not limited to)

·       Back pain

·       Join pain (acute and chronic)

·       Migraines

·       Depression/Anxiety

·       Cancer

The clinic is primarily for low income.


For more information and to sign up call (408) 391-2846

Gentle Yoga and Yoga Nidra Workshop With Kyczy Hawk

March 29th, 2014 1 – 3pm 

Relax and rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit.  This practice will include one hour of gentle  yoga followed by relaxing tension releasing guided visualization.  Avail yourself to the rich practice of yogic traditions.  Leave feeling restored and refreshed.

Wear loose comfortable clothing and bring a blanket.

Cost: $35

 Click here to sign up or call (408) 391-2846


Instructor: Kyczy Hawk

Drawn to yoga later in life, Kyczy Hawk has enthusiastically embraced the practice as well as the philosophy. Trained at the Lotus Yoga Teachers’ of The Himalayan Yoga Institute in the Chicago area (2005), she returned to California to leave her corporate career and to teach / practice yoga full time. Combining the traditional hatha practices from her teachers with therapeutic techniques Kyczy teaches a holistic class offering modifications and focused poses to address the issues of befriending our bodies as they change. She has taught somatic, restorative and gentle yoga classes as well as chair yoga and is currently a yoga teacher with Kaiser at the PM&R chronic pain recovery clinic in Santa Clara. Kyczy also specializes in yoga for people recovering from all types of addictions. More about that work can be found on her website: yogarecovery.com.

Kyczy also teaches “Body Befriending Yoga” at Morning Crane every Tuesday 11:30am-12:30pm.

Click here to sign up for this class.




Hearts on Fire! February Newsletter

This month Cupid delivers joy and love, and might even deliver some chocolate and roses your way. Whether you are in a romantic relationship or not it is important that you nurture your Heart now and always.

They say that the Heart houses the Spirit, also known as the Shen  神. The Shen’s power is reflected in the sparkle of ones eyes.   Lots of sparkle signifies a spirit that is in tact. The Heart (Yin) is also know as the “Emperor of the body,” and is related to the Small Intestines (Yang) and the Fire element.

If you are deficient in the Fire element, you are likely to experience abandonment, loneliness and/or lack of joy. Such attitudes and behaviors do not serve ourselves or the people we love. If you’re Fire deficient and want to bring balance back into the bedroom, consider honoring Feng Shui principles. For example, ensure that your bed’s headboard faces south. Find red and pink accents that you can add to your linen and bedding.

The positive virtue of the Heart is LOVE.   Remember that Love conquers all. “The only way to fight darkness is with light.” Our hope for you is that you find your passions and share your light.

Love & gratitude & Happy Valentine’s Day,

-Chris & Parisa Shelton and the Morning Crane team

Year of the Wood Horse!

Gong Hey Fat Choy!

It’s the year of the Wood Horse! The energy of this year will be full and busy.  Horses are aggressive and ambitious, capable of employing any means to achieve an objective.  They seem self-centered, but this is hard to judge, because they can be extremely generous as well, and active participants in whatever they get involved in. Constantly busy, with skillful hands and minds, they are often found practicing handicrafts or cooking exotic cuisines.  The Wood element represents springing forth, rejuvenation, and expansion.  This is a great year to pick up an old hobby or start a new project. Create a stable environment for yourself and give yourself plenty of tender loving care.  Try not to get caught up in drama. Stay focused on your goals. In sink with the energy of the Wood Horse year, we have lots of exciting upcoming events and workshops!

Kidney’s: Storing the Essence of Life

Taken from Qigong for Self-Refinement by Chris Shelton

The Water Element relates to the Kidneys and the Urinary Bladder.  It controls the skeletal system (bones), reproductive system including the testes and ovaries, and endocrine system including the adrenals, pancreas, hypothalamus, thyroid, pituitary gland, pineal gland, and thymus.  Thus, the Kidneys rule overall constitution, health, and longevity.  The health of the Kidneys is considered the foundation for the overall balance of all the other internal organs. The yin aspect of the kidneys is storing the Essence of Life (Jing) and water; the yang aspect is serving a life gate of fire, that is, as the motive force for transformation in the body.  Because of these fundamental functions, the Kidneys are affected by any chronic disease. The Kidneys rule the bones and produce bone marrow; the teeth are considered a surplus of the bones.  The Kidneys open into the ears and the hair on the head.  The ancient texts say that if the ears and Kidneys are harmonized, the ear can hear five tones.  The moistness and vitality of the hair on the head are related to the Kidney essence.   (The hair also depends on blood for nourishment which is why the hair on the head is also referred to as a surplus of blood.)The main functions of the Kidney are storing the Essence of Life, regulating water metabolism, and controlling and promoting inhalation.
– Storing the Essence of Life
There are two components of the Essence of Life. The first is known as the Prenatal Essence of Life.  It is given at birth.  It can be somewhat strengthened through food and nutrition, and is, or can be, transformed to the Qi of the Kidney. The Qi of the Kidney contributes to the growth, development, and replacement of the body, for example, the growth of teeth.  The body grows as the Qi increases.  When the body reaches puberty, the Qi of the Kidney is at its peak.  It then initiates the production of sperm in boys and eggs and menstruation in girls.  As the body ages, the Qi of the Kidney weakens, also diminishing reproductive capabilities.

The second component or type of Essence of Life is known as the acquired, or Postnatal, Essence.  It is derived from food.   The Spleen and the Stomach transform food into acquired essence, which is then transported to the five viscera and six bowels.  When there is not enough acquired essence of life for the five viscera and the six bowels, the kidney will supply it from its essence of life.   When there is surplus, the kidney stores it.  So, when any of the five viscera and the six bowels are not functioning correctly, the Kidney needs to be nourished because it will be relied upon to supply any deficiencies.

The Kidney’s Essence of Life can aid in making bone marrow, which nourishes the bones. When the Kidney is functioning well, bones and teeth are strong. Conversely, when the Kidney is weak, both bones and teeth are weak also. The Essence of Life also turns into blood, which nourishes the hair. When the kidney is functioning well, the hair is strong and shiny. Withered, balding, or gray hair can be a sign of a weak Kidney.  Finally, the Kidneys also influence brain function; when Kidney Qi is strong, thinking and memory will also be strong and clear.

– Regulating water metabolism

The Kidney maintains balance of the fluid in the body.  Fluid in the body is responsible for transporting nutrients to organs and tissues, and for carrying waste out of the tissues. The Kidney plays an important part in both functions. The Kidney either releases water or retains needed water. When the Kidney is functioning well, urination is normal. When it doesn’t function well, the Kidney could release too much, causing diseases like polyuria (excess urination) and frequent urination. When the Kidney does not release enough, it can lead to oliguria (scant urination) and edema (swelling, excess water collecting in body tissues).

Controlling and promoting respiration

According to Chinese medicine, the Kidney, along with the Lungs, can aid in inhaling air. When the Kidney is not functioning well, exhaling will occur more than inhaling, which can result in dyspnea (difficult or labored breathing) and severe panting.

Kidney dysfunctions

In Chinese medical theory, Kidney Essence is like the battery power that runs your life.  You  can never have too much, but you can use it up.  Thus, all Kidney disease patterns involve deficiency of some sort.    Sources of potential deficiencies—that is, ways your Kidney Essence can become exhausted– fall into six categories:  Hereditary, emotional, sexual, chronic illness, aging, and overwork.

– Hereditary weakness

Prenatal Qi or Life Essence is formed at conception; its quality is determined by the quality of the parents’ Essences, Heaven, and the environment into which you were born.   If the parents’ Essences are weak, which means they had weak constitutions, then the child will also be weak and may have such symptoms as poor bone development, poor teeth, enuresis (inability to hold his/her urine), thin or weak hair, and in extreme cases some mental retardation.  Since a person’s vital energy naturally declines with age, conceiving late in life can weaken the constitution of the child.  When Prenatal Essence is weak, the person must pay particular attention to the other factors in order not to put a stress, or drain, on this irreplaceable vital force.

– Emotions

Fear, fright, shock, and anxiety makes the Qi descend, especially in children.  It can happen to anybody; something that happens to you or something that you witness can cause shock, and deplete  your Kidney Qi.  In adults such depletion may be the root cause for insomnia and mental restlessness.

– Sexual activity

Excess of sexual orgasms weakens the Kidneys because orgasms are directly related to the Kidney Essence.   This also includes masturbation. Since the heart and kidneys are closely related, during an orgasm one can often experience palpitations.   Conversely, Heart deficiency caused by sadness and anxiety can weaken the Kidneys and cause impotence or lack of sex drive, as well as coldness in the limbs and enuresis (involuntary urination).

– Chronic illness

Any long-lasting, chronic condition will create a deficiency of Kidney Yang and/or Kidney Yin.

– Aging

Kidney Essence naturally declines with age.  In fact, in Chinese medicine the process of aging is defined as the manifestation of a decrease of the Kidney Essence.  Hence, as a person ages, they experience decline in all the functions controlled by Kidney Essence, namely, decreases in hearing, bone density, sexual function, memory, and hair.

– Overwork

This means mental and physical work for long periods of time or burning the candles at both ends.  In modern society, this is the most common cause of depleting Kidney Yin.  Long work hours, particularly mental work, in poor environments, emotional stress, lack of relaxation, lack of exercise, improper and irregular meals, poor sleep, lack of exercise, etc. are normally fueled by Yang energy.  But when Yang energy normally used for these functions is exhausted, then the body starts using the Yin essence.

2 Types of Common Colds in Chinese Medicine

The weather is turning cold, and the days are shorter.  Like spring, autumn is a transition season, which makes us particularly susceptible to colds and flu. Stay healthy this holiday season by learning some simple ways to treat the common cold.  In Chinese Medicine, the common cold comes in two flavors:  Wind-Cold type, and Wind-Heat type. Beware!  Each has its own characteristics, and those characteristics determine your treatment strategy.

Wind-Cold Type – The symptoms are: chills, fever, no sweating, headache, body aches, stiff neck, and clear nasal discharge.  In this type, the Chinese say that cold has “invaded” the body.  Indeed, you probably feel cold to your core, and you may feel weak, like all your energy has been drained.

Wind-Heat Type – The symptoms are:  high fever, some chills, sore throat, yellow nasal discharge, headache, cough, and body aches.  In this type, you probably feel “stuffed up”, like energy has been blocked and the resistance is creating heat and congestion.

Once you know which Type you have, pay attention to your diet because the foods you eat can either help or make the condition worse.

For the Wind-Cold Type, you want to eat foods that will warm you up and restore normal energy circulation from the center outward.  Such foods include:  ginger, all the onion clan (garlic, scallions, leeks, as well as onions); cinnamon.

For the Wind-Heat Type, drink more, eat less.  Digesting food tends to generate heat in the body, while drinking liquids tends to cool the body.  Drink hot tea, especially made with mint, chrysanthemum flower, or cilantro.  Apples and pears are good.

For both types of Colds—and whenever you don’t feel well, in fact—try to eat so that you don’t put stress on the digestive system.  This means eating only until you are about 60% full (don’t overeat!).  Avoid heavy proteins, especially shellfish; cold and raw foods; fats; processed foods, especially refined sugars and starches.  Also avoid vinegar, because it closes the pores when what you want is energy moving toxins from the center out of the body.

Instead, make soups and stews, or congee (soupy rice).  Sip water through the day.  Enjoy bland foods, warm and well cooked.  Get plenty of quality sleep, and stay out of cold drafty places.  In this way you will give your body a rest, , inside and out, and allow your natural healing abilities to do their job.

Protect yourself against Autumn sniffles- October Newsletter


Here we are in mid-October–the heart of Autumn.  The leaves on the trees have started to change color, cool nights are killing tomato and squash vines.  The days get shorter- and in a few weeks (Sunday, 11/3) Daylight Savings will end.  Even more important to remember right now is that, in thistransitional season of the Metal Element, the lungs are particularly susceptible to disease. People are getting sick right now because of the change in the season. Temperatures are fluctuating, sometimes catching people off-guard. There are two things you can do to protect yourself against Autumn sniffles:

1.  Fortify your body with foods that are pungent such as steamed or braised garlic and onions, cinnamon, and ginger.  This will stimulate and strengthen the flow of energy in the Lung and Large Intestine meridians.

2.  Take extra precautions to keep your chest and neck warm.  The acupuncture points on the neck are most susceptible to wind and cold.  Therefore, wearing a scarf helps prevent wind and cold from entering the body.

Also, this is a good time to review and resume practice of the exercise for the Metal Element.  This is a good time to address-and resolve-issues of sadness and sorrow.

Tango ON, August Newsletter

“If you make a mistake and get all tangled up, you just tango on.” -Al Pacino in Scent of a Women

Sometimes life gets crazy; the point is to make a tango out of the tangle!  Which is exactly what we did, after a recent big disappointment. We hope you can do the same!

Here is a snapshot of Chris and Parisa tango-ing away at the Book Release Party at the Center on August 3.  It was a great success, and we enjoyed sharing news with all who found time to come. Thank you!

Looking ahead, we’re offering several special workshops:  Face Reading on 8/19 and something new?Feng Shui?on Sept. 6; plus ball-room dancing lessons Friday evenings.  In addition, Chris will be teaching a series of FREE lectures based on his new book.   Mark your calendars now–and be sure to click on the link below to reserve your place!

  • Monday, 8/19, 7:30-9pm-Chinese Face Reading–  Learn what the tips and corners of the mouth, eyebrows, and nose can tell you about a person. (Instructor: Chris Shelton; $45 in advance, $55 at the door)
  • Friday, 9/6, 6-7:30pm- Feng Shui Basics– Learn to diagnose and improve the energy of your home; make sure your home’s Qi is supporting you not working against you! (Instructor: Martha Dahlen; $35 in advance, $40 at the door)
  •  Friday, 9/13, 9/20, 9/27, 10/4, 6-7:30pm-Tango & Salsa Lessons Learn how to do the Tango and the Salsa.  Prepare yourself for cruise ship ballroom dancing, weddings, vacations, parties, corporate holiday functions, and social dance clubs! (Instructor: Hayes Koles; Single class, single person: $20; Single class, couple: $35; All 4 classes, single person $60; All 4 classes, couple: $100


  • Sunday, 9/22, 1-4pm-Finding your Fulfilling Tribe Are you doing what makes you feel happy? This workshop will prepare you for harmonious, happy relationship with yourself! (Instructor: Amber DeAnn & Nanci Tudish; $35 in advance, $40 at the door)

FREE SERIES with Chris Shelton:

  • Saturday, 9/14, 12:15-1:30pm- Qigong for Health & Vitality – Experience a powerful and effective way to increase your health, vitality, and athletic performance.
  • Saturday, 10/12, 12:15-1:30pm-Nutrition According to Your Constitution– Five Element diagnosis can help you understand how to nourish your body for optimum health.  Get a glimpse of nutritional theory according to Chinese Medicine.