February 2021

Being happy as a couple includes sexuality, which is very important for a simple reason: sexuality makes the couple. You can share hobbies, vacations, housing, thoughts, laughter. If you don't have sexuality, they will say that you live as brother and sister. You are not a couple. So, to make your sexuality live and flourish is almost a duty if you want your couple to last for pleasure, not just by decision. 


Any animal can reproduce. No animal knows how to make love. Humans are the only species capable of cultivating a sexual art. And an art can be learned.

If you begin in love, you will know how to reproduce. But you won't immediately know how to enjoy all the pleasures. It is normal that you feel shy, limited, indecisive, clumsy, anxious. We all go through this stage.

Then, your sexuality can become more powerful, a shared pleasure. This takes time. Especially since each time you meet someone new, you start from scratch. The other one is completely different and doesn't look like anyone you've ever known. If you think you know everything about the other sex thanks to your little experience, you'll have a hard time really blossoming together...

At the age of 25, Viviane has never experienced an orgasm while making love. "I've resigned myself, I must be frigid. So, the sooner sex is over, the sooner I'm at peace. Viviane is out of it. Orgasm comes to women sometimes early, but sometimes late. And it is not by avoiding love that she goes towards pleasure. On the contrary, she should learn to appreciate her desire, the desire of the other, their excitement and all the pleasures of sensations. That is what sensuality is all about. And this is how her orgasm can be built and surprise her one day. Not by expediting sexual intercourse.

Discover 7 expert tips to learn how to make your sexuality blossom.

Observe what your partner is doing

Look at what kisses and caresses he (or she) gives you. It's a reflection of what he or she loves.

When we are in love, during love, we try to please. And we dispense what we find most pleasurable, that is to say, what we enjoy most ourselves.

If he caresses your shoulder, your hair, if he kisses your feet or your back, know that this is what will be very pleasant for him. 

Ask for what you want

Dare to express yourself, ask for more foreplay time, more kisses, this or that position. If you don't express what you like, the other person can't guess it.

One of the most common obstacles to sexual fulfillment is the belief that "when we love, we should understand each other without talking to each other. This is completely false and a source of a thousand misunderstandings. So express yourself and do more: ask the other person to express what he or she likes.

I can't ask, what can I do?

An exercise allows you to learn how to express what you want and feel: a non-sexual body massage to be practiced as a couple. Use oil and practice both naked.
Massage your partner and ask them what they like: "harder or softer? Higher or lower?", "More up or down? "More to the right or to the left? "Slower or faster movements? ». And then you switch roles. It's your turn to get a massage... Express your preferences and your pleasure. This massage allows you to learn to listen to your body, and to increase your ability to express it. Including afterwards in sexuality.

Cultivate the pleasure of foreplay

Foreplay (everything that happens before intercourse) is the key to a fulfilling sex life. And beware, fellatio or cunnilingus are sexual intercourse, not foreplay!
The foreplay is the words, the looks, then the kisses, the caresses exchanged, those that increase desire and excitement and increase pleasure.

However, young and healthy men often have little need for this foreplay, which seems superfluous to them. They don't know what they are losing: pleasure in quantity, quite simply! The longer the foreplay, the more intense the pleasure a man feels and the less likely he is to suffer from premature ejaculation. The longer the foreplay lasts, the more desire and pleasure a woman feels during sexual penetration and the more likely she is to reach orgasm.

In addition, foreplay can be very varied, since the surface of our body is vast and it allows us to explore all kinds of sensations. So, know how to explore and vary them.

Learn how to program your sexual relations

Most couples feel that they make love when they feel like it, on impulse. This is true and fortunately, but why stick to that?

The risk is to have periods without sexuality, if you are caught up in the daily routine or by worries. So, scheduling a regular sexual relationship allows for a different kind of fulfillment.

Choose an evening where you are quiet and plan a music, make a playlist, a scented candle, a mood light. Take a fragrant bath, coat your body with softening cream, wear your most stylish underwear (man or woman!) and have an erotic moment.

Knowing how to organize one's sexuality is a richness for the couple, allowing them to devote time and invest energy in sexuality, energy that increases fulfillment.

Discover the sexual art

You want your sexuality to be fulfilled. Do you think a few things are enough? The answer is no.

Sexuality can be elevated to an art form. And art can be earned. Don't hesitate to read tips on sexuality, on CAT, Tantra, Kâma-Sûtra! It can give you ideas, and little by little, together we can widen your range of possibilities.

Rome was not made in a day, you have the life to discover new caresses.

Break the monotony during lovemaking

For many imaginative couples in the field of caresses, during penetration, at the time of the back and forth movements, it's always the same story.

However, at this moment, you can vary the pleasures: alternate deep and superficial movements, fast or slow, in the axis or on the side, sliding or turning... The variety of movements provides a variety of shared sensations.

Test sexual games

"I would be a computer repairman who would come to your home and seduce you..." or "I would be an experienced woman and it would be your first time, so I'd have everything to teach you.

Together, find a sexual game that amuses you both. And stage it. To remind you that sexuality is not a service, but a game that brings together two people who love each other...

Zoom on our selection of healthy fruits and vegetables 

With only 70 kcals for 2 fruits, the clementine is a flagship food of the season! Its various properties make it an excellent fruit for health. The flavonoids, limonoids and carotenoids it contains are compounds whose antioxidant power has been recognized. The clementine thus makes it possible to protect oneself from diseases such as certain cancers, cardiovascular diseases or degenerative diseases (e.g. Parkinson's). Carotenoids are also essential for the production of vitamin A, because the body transforms them into this vitamin according to its needs. Clementine also provides an important source of vitamin C, which is known for its relaxing and de-stressing effect, and which helps stimulate our immune system.


A pomegranate, a fruit with a tangy taste, is equivalent to about 128 kcal. Its juice contains a significant amount of antioxidants that are beneficial in the prevention of many diseases, including prostate cancer. It protects against atherosclerosis (= deposition of fat on the arterial wall) and cardiovascular diseases since it increases the antioxidant activity of the blood.

Pomegranate also has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral properties, ideal to help the body fight, especially when temperatures begin to drop, against the little aches and pains of winter.

The Jerusalem artichoke is a root vegetable also called Canadian truffle. Low in calories with only 72 kcal per 100 g, it has interesting health properties. The Jerusalem artichoke contributes to intestinal health, especially thanks to its content of fructans, carbohydrates that contain inulin, a mixture of polysaccharides. These fructans help relieve constipation and have the advantage of balancing the intestinal flora.

Finally, the inulin contained in the Jerusalem artichoke facilitates the absorption of calcium and magnesium, essential minerals for the prevention of osteoporosis. Tip: if you do not know how to cook it, know that it can be eaten raw, grated on a salad for example, or cooked, in the oven, sautéed in a wok or in soup.

Leek is a vegetable of the lily family, which also includes onion and garlic. Very low in calories with about 60 kcal per 100 g, leeks are a healthy ally that will blend perfectly into your soups. It contains an antioxidant from the flavonoid family, kaempferol, which protects against free radical damage and gives leeks anti-cancerous properties. Finally, leeks have the advantage of being an important source of vitamins and nutrients. It contains vitamins A, B6 and B9, C, as well as copper and iron.


The kiwi is undoubtedly one of the most consumed fruits in autumn and winter.  One kiwi (90 g) represents only 56 kcal, but above all 2.7 g of fiber, which is a very important amount. Fiber not only helps intestinal transit, but also regulates blood sugar and cholesterol levels. A kiwi also provides 70 mg of vitamin C, knowing that the recommended daily intake is around 90 mg for a man and 75 mg for a woman in Canada, and around 110 mg for an adult in France. Tip: consume two kiwis per day, in the morning, to fill up with vitamin C and to enjoy its benefits throughout the winter!

The pineapple belongs to the family of bromeliads. Rich in fibres (cellulose), it facilitates intestinal transit and helps to fight against chronic constipation. It also contains polyphenols which, associated with vitamin C and beta-carotene, have recognized antioxidant properties and make it possible to fight against various chronic diseases. 

Slimming virtues are also lent to it because of its bromelain content which does not destroy fat but limits its absorption by the body.

The carrot

Carrots (raw, cooked or in juice) contain carotenoids including beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. They have antioxidant properties capable of neutralizing the body's free radicals and allow the body to better fight certain diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and certain diseases related to aging, including cataracts. 
In addition, carotenoids can be converted into vitamin A by the body if the body needs it. Vitamin A contributes to the maintenance of mucous membranes, normal skin and vision, and iron metabolism.


The pear contains phenols with antioxidant power. These substances, mainly present in foods of plant origin, can prevent several diseases, including certain types of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Containing fiber, it also contributes to good digestion. Rich in vitamin C and vitamin K, it strengthens the body's immune system. 

To preserve all its benefits, it is better to buy it organic and consume it with your skin. 


 Taking a lover is a common practice. Decorrelated from any moral judgment, is this infidelity trend favored by dedicated web applications and liberal morals a good solution to save your couple? Why is taking a lover so tempting? Sex and feelings, can we really make a distinction between the two?

Having a lover

Why is having a lover so tempting?

Taking a lover to fulfill your sexual fantasies

The first emotions of the love relationship that fall back, the companion who becomes a father, the couple who knows each other by heart... so many factors that make the nature of sexual relations change, sometimes becoming less exciting, almost boring. In addition to this, the woman's desires change and her fantasies evolve over time. In this context, taking a lover can be very tempting: to satisfy her sexual appetite but also to fulfill her fantasies, the lover represents that newness which excites, that unknown with which the woman can indulge in a liberated sexuality, without limits.

A lover to feel desired

As time passes the passion, the couple gets into a routine and sexual desire can suffer. Yet the woman needs - or at least wants - to feel desired. With a lover, the whole preliminary period of seduction begins again: the woman takes pleasure in paying attention to herself again to please her lover, and revels in being courted by a new man. The sexual desire of the lovers is at its peak: it is not damaged by the everyday life, better still it is boosted by the notion of prohibition which frames the adulterous relationship. Self-confidence, femininity, the lover exacerbates everything that makes a woman feel like a woman, and not just a mother or a companion.

Having a lover for the thrill

Beyond seduction and sex, the lover brings to the woman a thrill that spices up her daily life. The meeting is forbidden, it must remain secret: psychologically, this context adds to the excitement. By taking a lover, the woman begins a dangerous game in which she is the main actress: enough to enhance her while provoking strong sensations.

Taking a lover: what is the outcome for these adulterous encounters?

There are as many adulterous schemes as there are lovers. Some are satisfied with just one breach in the contract: an evening that slips up, a bloodbath, an uncontrollable love at first sight, and the woman goes through with it. Only once, just to see, to check. Others multiply the men, maintaining with each lover a relationship that is either ephemeral or ongoing. These followers of secret encounters cultivate the forbidden as an ingredient to preserve the balance of their couple and their family.

Regular relationship or furtive meeting, does having a lover make a woman happier? At the time, most women find the excitement and sexual pleasure they were looking for, enough to satisfy their desires and desires. Once the thrill has passed and the lover has left, when the woman returns to her daily life, she has to face divergent feelings, depending on her profile and character traits. Sometimes the woman feels guilty to the point of regret. Others, on the contrary, look back on the moments spent with their lover and derive pleasure from them. Some have in mind only to find their lover to feel again the pleasure in their arms. If taking a lover makes the woman happy at the time, her state of bliss does not always last, and the consequences of her act are sometimes difficult to assume.

Having a lover: can infidelity save the couple?

Among women who take a lover, some argue that their adulterous relationship makes them happy and fulfills them to the point of preserving the couple. In other schemes, adultery breaks up the couple: either because the man is aware of the relationship and cannot accept what he feels is betrayal, or because the woman mixes sex and feelings, with the lover becoming the object of her love.

In any case, before taking a lover, the woman may ask herself whether she is happy in her relationship. If she is, why not ask her partner to bring her what she would find in a lover? If she is not happy, communication can help to remedy it: by talking, the couple discovers what is not working and can implement the necessary means to find conjugal happiness without going through a lover. Sometimes the couple is doomed to failure and there is no other happy outcome than separation. In this case, some people prefer to stay as a couple so as not to break up the family, and the lover then represents a pleasant way out.

 Jealousy is an almost unavoidable feeling during a love relationship. However, undeniably, this feeling is painful, both for oneself and for the partner who suffers its various manifestations. SHOPOIR gives you ways to understand your jealousy and learn how to manage it.


Jealousy: a proof of love?

It is difficult to conceive of a love relationship totally devoid of jealousy. In fact, it is not uncommon to think that, on the contrary, a person who is not jealous at all does not sincerely love his or her partner. As a result, the two feelings are commonly associated.

In fact, jealousy is a response to a threat from a third party to a relationship we value. It is the fear of seeing one's partner taken in by another person, and therefore the desire to maintain the relationship, that is at the root of this feeling1. 1 In this sense, jealousy is less a proof of love for one's partner than a desire to keep possession of him or her. If the feeling of love often induces in fact the instinct of possession, the opposite is not necessarily true, and it is therefore not directly love that explains jealousy.

Jealousy is a natural feeling

Even though the partner may be exasperated by displays of jealousy that he or she may find exaggerated, it is important to know that jealousy remains an absolutely normal and human feeling1.

1,2 when we experience the sense of exclusivity that binds us to our mother, the fear of abandonment, or the jealousy we may feel at the birth of a baby brother or sister. It is in this sense a precisely primary feeling1, strongly linked to childhood, like envy, possessiveness or selfishness.

The psychology professor A.P. Buunk distinguished in 1997 three forms of jealousy in couples3 :

Reactive jealousy: a negative response to a partner's emotional or sexual involvement with another person.

Preventive jealousy: an effort to prevent the partner's intimate contact with a third person.

Anxious jealousy: obsessive anxiety related to the possibility of the partner's infidelity.

The feeling of jealousy can thus present different degrees, depending in particular on each person's personal experience. This implies that it can still, in some cases, become pathological and potentially destructive.

Jealousy: a destructive feeling

Jealousy is a particularly powerful feeling. Many people's experiences of jealousy often coincide with the idea that they are no longer in control of their emotions or actions, to the point where they think they have gone crazy1. 1 Ultimately, the person who causes their partner to experience jealous outbursts often comes out devastated.

Jealousy manifests itself in a variety of ways, which greatly impair the quality of the love relationship: distrust, surveillance of the partner, interrogations, accusations, all of which lead to arguments because they tend to deprive the other of his or her freedom. These manifestations can even turn into dementia if the jealous person does not try to rationalize their feelings, and allows themselves to be overwhelmed by their obsessive thoughts, which are often the main driving force behind jealousy2.

Thus, while it is almost impossible not to feel jealous at some point in a relationship, it is important to "educate "2 this feeling so that it is not fatal to the relationship.

Manage your jealousy by agreeing to acknowledge it.

Today, jealousy is usually a feeling that we are ashamed of and try to hide1. 1 Yet, denying or repressing it tends to make it even more important and leads to frustration.

It is therefore preferable to try to protect one's partner from possible jealous outbursts by letting him/her know that he/she is uncomfortable with a change in his/her behaviour or relationship. Openly discussing the problem with his/her partner and finding a compromise is a constructive way to manage jealousy2 , as opposed to destructive behaviour, such as threatening to end the relationship. Discussions promote stability in the couple and can even strengthen bonds.

Manage your jealousy by improving your self-confidence
One of the first causes of the feeling of jealousy is the lack of self-esteem1. Indeed, the jealous person feels threatened because he/she is afraid that the rival is more attractive, more intelligent, or generally has qualities that he/she does not have.

It is important to try to regain self-confidence because a lack of self-esteem tends to lead to destructive behaviour in the couple2. However, most of the time, the jealous person tries to regain self-confidence by soliciting his partner more, by provoking compliments, or even by asking for proof of love from him. However, this only temporarily calms the feeling of insecurity, and the jealous person will tend to increase these kinds of solicitations to reassure himself, which can, in the long run, irritate the partner.

Finally, it is in oneself that one can have the surest and most durable conscience of his own value and thus find a sincere self-esteem. By learning to value oneself, one is better able to trust one's partner because one doubts less about one's propensity to be attracted to another person.

Managing jealousy by rationalizing one's instinct for possession

The partner's desire for possession often stems from a mistaken vision of the love relationship, according to which both members are fusional and indispensable to each other, in all circumstances1. In reality, while each member of the couple brings unique things to each other, it must be recognized that one cannot meet all of one's partner's needs alone. It is perfectly normal for the partner to want to be active independently, by going out with friends or visiting family, and this personal balance must be respected.

One can go as far as to mention the ideal of a disinterested love, which would be satisfied with the freedom and happiness of the other, whatever the implications. This is obviously much more difficult to put into practice, but it is a perfect example of the absence of possessiveness and, consequently, of jealousy.

Our current lifestyles cause us a lot of stress and anxiety, which has a considerable impact on our health. It is important to take the time to find, from time to time, calm and serenity for our physical and mental well-being.

time to meditate

Research over the past 40 years has shown that meditation has measurable psychological and physiological benefits.

Here are 10 reasons to take the time to meditate:

1. To avoid depression

According to a study published in 2015 in the medical journal The Lancet (1), mindfulness meditation would be as effective an alternative as antidepressants against depression relapses.

In addition, a study conducted on 91 women with fibromyalgia published in 2007 (2) reports a significant reduction in depressive symptoms in patients who participated in 8 2.5-hour meditation sessions.

2. To learn how to stop

Nowadays, we don't really take the time to stop, we always do something during the breaks we give ourselves, like using our smartphone, watching a show or smoking a cigarette.

Meditation allows us to be more present to ourselves and to the world around us by becoming aware of the simple fact of being there. To practice meditation in mindfulness is to stop for a short moment and return to the present moment.

3. To be happy

A study published in the journal Scientific Reports (3) shows that meditation increases the volume of grey matter in the precuneus, a region of the brain that is larger in people who tend to feel positive emotions intensely and perceive real meaning in their lives.

4. To reduce stress

The effect that meditation has on stress is one of the best known benefits.

In 2008, a study showed that mindfulness meditation (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) was effective in reducing stress and anxiety (4) in both healthy people and those with chronic illnesses.

5. To sleep better

Some people show a reduction in insomnia through mindfulness meditation techniques. Because of its relaxing effect, meditation can be an effective solution to insomnia when insomnia is caused by stress and anxiety.

6. To avoid migraines

According to research published in the medical journal Headache (5), meditation could relieve migraine. This research subjected a panel of 19 chronic migraine sufferers to the MSBR (Mindfulness-based stress reduction) method for 8 weeks. The result: a reduction in the frequency of migraine headaches for patients who followed the Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MSBR) method.

7. To control one's emotions

Beginning in 1998, psychology professor Paul Ekman, who heads the Human Interaction Laboratory at the University of California, conducted various experiments, including one on startle (6). He has discovered that the more a person is subject to negative emotions, the more he or she jumps.

During his research, Ekman equipped the Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard with sensors and electrodes and made him hear a deafening noise, the equivalent of a large firecracker exploding next to his ear, and asked him to suppress his startle. The monk did not move and said he heard only a small noise.

The daily exercise of meditation, which leads to great serenity, can help us control all our emotions.

8. To reduce blood pressure

When we reach a state of relaxation through meditation, it causes a drop in tension by dilating the blood vessels.

In a study at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mental Health in Boston, patients with high blood pressure tested daily meditation with the help of a cardiologist. After 3 months of practice, 40 of the 60 study participants reduced their blood pressure medication. Meditation increases the body's production of nitric oxide (a gas that helps blood vessels expand, allowing better blood circulation).

9. To avoid burnout

Burnout is an ailment that is a direct result of chronic stress related to the work environment, different from depression.

American researchers have tested a meditation technique on doctors, a profession that is highly affected by burnout. For this study (7), 70 doctors followed mindfulness meditation sessions for 1 year.

The meditation sessions had the effect of reducing the symptoms associated with burnout. By the end of the program, participants' emotional exhaustion had decreased by 25.4%.

10. Because it's free!

You can of course practice meditation in a private or group class that you will pay for, but meditation can also be practiced alone, at home, for free!


Sex can take many forms - as a couple or with a stranger, romantically or bestially - depending on the reason for the act. Wanting sex to satisfy a desire or need for sex to have an orgasm, the motivations differ according to the individual but also according to the moment.

The desire for sex

The desire for sex: a physical need or the desire to satisfy an impulse?

Does the individual really need sex?

Except in the case of sex addict, whose impulses govern the daily life, the woman or the man does not have a vital need for sex. He can observe very long periods of abstinence without really endangering his physical or mental health. Even more blatantly, an asexual individual, who feels no sexual attraction to anyone, may never have sex. However, the influence of hormones, the desire felt for a person or love can make a person feel a strong desire for sex.

Satisfying your sexual urges, to fight frustration

If the need for sex is not vital, most individuals, male or female, sometimes feel irremediable impulses. Once the desire is stimulated, it is difficult not to go through with it without being frustrated. In this context, the desire for sex can lead either to consummate sexual intercourse or to masturbation until orgasm. Sometimes, too, a long period of abstinence is, in the opinion of those concerned, physically frustrating, to the point that the individual engages in solo sex without any particular prior stimulation. This is particularly true for men with high testosterone production.

In the end, it is difficult to decide between the desire for sex and the need for sex. Sex addiction is a good example of the need for sex when the asexual individual demonstrates that abstinence does not harm. While hormones, a physical factor, may play a major role in the need for sex, the psychological reasons for having sex tilt the balance towards a simple desire for sex. 

Women and the desire for sex: the reasons behind their urges

While men are said to want sex often and easily, women on the other hand generally have a lesser need for sex. Among the reasons for women's sexual urges are physical attraction, the desire for pleasure and love. Few women express an uncontrollable need for sex, except the desire for motherhood, which can lead to an irrepressible desire for sex.

On the other hand, sometimes a woman may not feel like having sex. Hormonal disorder, weariness towards the partner, lack of desire caused by the routine installed in the couple or personal problems that cause stress and anxiety: the factors are numerous. Fortunately, there are just as many ways to rekindle the desire for sex. 

"Wanting you" or needing sex: the boundary between desire and purely physical sexuality

Is sex just a desire for a particular person or can it be a simple impulse that can be satisfied with "any" partner?

It all depends on the circumstances. When the desire for sex is motivated by love or physical attraction, only the person who is the object of the feeling will be able to satisfy the need for sex. On the other hand if the impulse is hormonal, a priori only the orgasm counts. In the same way when the individual wants sex in particular circumstances - to satisfy a fantasy or to show himself that he can seduce and please - the need for sex is abolished from the notion of identity, the physical act being at the heart of the concerns.  

It hasn't escaped your notice that making love was reputed to be good for your health. Whether it's for its effects on morale, or for its virtues on health and keeping the body in shape, sex is good for us. What are the health benefits of a fulfilled sexuality?

Sex the health benefits of fulfilling sexuality

A fulfilled sexuality contributes to our well being.

It is undeniable that sex is beneficial to morale and mental well-being. Pleasure, especially orgasm, has several effects that can contribute to our good mental health: antidepressant, tranquilizer, etc. This is mainly due to the action of different hormones produced during the sexual act. Similarly, the physical contact and desire expressed during lovemaking contribute to a feeling of general well-being. A fulfilled sexuality also improves self-confidence and the image we have of ourselves. Having sex is reassuring and allows us to be aware of the desire we are arousing. Finally, by giving pleasure to our partner, we also contribute to our own: being able to make someone happy also puts us in good mental conditions.

Sex keeps you healthy

In addition to the benefits on the psyche, sex also has virtues on our health. Indeed, a regular sexual activity makes it possible to practise a physical activity and to keep in shape. Making love can also be recommended if you want to lose weight or monitor your caloric balance. 10 minutes of sex can burn up to 50 calories, and this by combining the useful with the pleasant. Just like when we do sports, sex, and even more so if practiced at a pace that suits us, also has a liberating power. It is an excellent way to let off steam and allows to evacuate toxins. Finally, the endorphins released during the act also provide a feeling of physical relaxation conducive to relaxation.

Making love helps to fight migraine and stress.

The sex, and more particularly the orgasm, also has virtues on the migraine. This is due to the action of the hormones released during pleasure and orgasm, especially endorphins. The latter provide a feeling of well-being and help to reduce pain. Sex is therefore a perfect remedy to fight the headache. Similarly, having sex also helps reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. This is serotonin, a hormone secreted during sex, which provides a general feeling of relief and thus helps reduce anxiety, anguish and stress.

Sex helps reduce the risk of cancer

Several studies show that frequent sexual intercourse reduces the risk of certain cancers. In particular, it has been shown that there are links between regular physical activity and a reduction in prostate cancer. It is frequent ejaculation that would reduce the risk of cancer at this level. Similarly, sex is also good for heart function. In fact, making love helps maintain good blood pressure and stimulates the cardiovascular system. When we have sex, the heart rate increases, which stimulates blood circulation.

Making love improves sleep and memory.

Finally, sex is also known to be beneficial to sleep and to improve memory capacity. Indeed, during sexual intercourse, our production of oxytocin and melatonin increases. These two hormones contribute to a peaceful and restorative sleep. The feeling of relaxation that appears a few moments after orgasm is good for our morale. In addition to this feeling of relaxation, it also brings a sense of accomplishment and vigor, which are beneficial to us. Similarly, several studies have shown that sex stimulates the production of neurons, which has the effect of improving memory capacity, and this at all ages. Thus, making love helps to prevent cognitive deterioration or degeneration and to maintain one's optimal neurological capacities longer.

You are far from your partner but still want to maintain a relationship with him or her? Don't panic: with long-distance sex, there's no need to give up carnal pleasure, despite the miles that separate you from each other. So here are our tips for experiencing virtual sex, or love at a distance.

Love from a distance

What is long distance sex?

If you are involved in a long-distance relationship, chances are that you have already experienced a situation where you feel a strong desire for your partner, without being able to respond to it. If you are in a long relationship, your libido may even tend to run out of steam or suffer from distance. However, despite the distance, it is still possible to experience sexual pleasure and give back. This is called distance sex! Whether it's making love over the phone, through erotic videos or sexual messages, there are dozens of ways to practice sex at a distance. This type of relationship also has several advantages: it allows you to vary the pleasures, to try new experiences and to keep the flame alive in your couple. The distance can have a disinhibiting effect, and allow you to dare to do things you wouldn't necessarily do in person.

How to stimulate yourself sexually at a distance?

You wish to have an erotic relationship at a distance with your partner but don't know how to put yourself in a situation? Think about the reunion: after being separated from your partner for a while, the pleasure of seeing him or her again will be even stronger. It's a human reaction: waiting makes the desire for the other person rise. In fact, it is when you strongly desire something, but cannot have it, that you most want to possess it. The famous "run away from me I follow you, follow me I run away from you"! You can also use erotic supports such as videos, photographs or erotic stories.

Dare erotic messages

Do you feel the soul of a poet? Then, to you the stories, poems and other erotic messages! Writing is a great way to explore your fantasies and other sexual thoughts. If you enjoy writing, sexual messages can be a good way to experience sex from a distance. If you want to add a romantic side to your approach, you can opt for a handwritten letter, decorated with your perfume or a photo of you for example. You can also opt for the electronic way, by concocting "sextos" or sensual emails to the attention of your partner. Here, everything is allowed: be creative! Don't hesitate to develop your fantasies, to vary erotic scenarios, to add naughty details, etc.

Test the sex by video interposed

If you have access to a computer or a phone, you can also learn about virtual sex via video. Whether it is with a webcam or by filming yourself with a camera, video is still the most explicit way to stimulate your partner. Thanks to an internet connection and a messaging application, you can even masturbate or caress each other simultaneously, one in front of the other, each behind your screen. Of course, there is no substitute for physical contact, but this technique allows you to experience a new and very erotic form of sexual intercourse. Here again, you can be creative: costumes, props, scenery: everything is good to spice up your video and increase desire.

Zoom on the connected sextoys

Technology is increasingly being used for remote sex. Today there are connected sextoys for men and women that can be controlled remotely through the Internet. For example, you can activate your partner's vibrator, choosing the rhythm and intensity, and your partner will react to your commands. This makes it possible to practice masturbation in a connected and synchronized way: each person decides for the other. You can combine this technique with video or a phone call to see your partner's reactions live.

 Stress is said to be the cause of more than 60% of visits to the doctor. It affects a very large public, regardless of age and social level. Stress becomes worrisome when it persists because it can become dangerous to health.

Impact of stress on health

How does stress affect our body?

According to endocrinologist Hans Selye, stress is a normal adaptation response of the body to the stresses and strains it experiences. It triggers a series of reactions that allow the body to manage the situation and regulate the stress caused by the triggering event.

The process of stress consists of 2 phases:

The alarm phase: The body reacts to this "attack" by stimulating the adrenal glands to release adrenaline so that the body can react immediately. The heart rate and blood pressure increase, some muscles contract and glucose is released into the bloodstream.

The resistance phase: The body then releases other hormones, including cortisol (hormone involved in the regulation of blood pressure, cardiovascular function, immune function), dopamine (= pleasure hormone), endorphins (= wellness hormone), serotonin (= sleep and calming hormone).

Once the stressful situation has been calmed and controlled, a relaxing reaction is triggered. After a period of rest the body returns to its natural metabolism.

When stress makes you ill

Sometimes the stressful situation lasts longer or recurs frequently.  The body then enters the 3rd phase: the exhaustion phase. The hormones produced to manage stressful situations are produced almost continuously, which costs the body far too much energy. Excess cortisol blocks the production of new neurons in the hippocampus (the region of the brain that acts on mood), which could lead to depression.

Too much stress could be the cause of some immune system failures. In addition, stress could be responsible for many ailments such as certain skin infections, insomnia, or amenorrhea. It also aggravates certain diseases such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes and cancer. 

The Impact of Stress on Cardiovascular Health

American researchers, Dr. Friedman and Dr. Rosenman have been interested in how the personality of individuals affects their stress management.
They identified 2 typical personalities: type A and type B individuals. Type A individuals are at risk of suffering the harmful effects of stress because they are impatient, hardworking, aggressive and ambitious. Conversely, type B people would be much more optimistic and relaxed. Type A people would be 6 times more likely to suffer from heart problems than type B people.

Stress would cause aging
Hormones secreted during a stressful situation leave traces in the body. These wastes are deposited on arteries, joints, skin and promote tissue aging.
Stress generates free radicals (= unstable oxygen compounds) and increases oxidative damage, i.e. the aging and death of cells.

 Fatigue on waking is not normal and can be the result of several factors. Frequent unrepaired sleep that cannot be explained by a change in lifestyle is a sign that something is wrong. It is therefore important to find out what the causes are and remedy them.

Sleep needs are very different for different people and ages. An adult sleeps an average of 7 to 8 hours a night but some will need 11 to 12 hours of sleep to feel rested. The ideal amount of sleep is therefore specific to each person. It is the time of sleep that will allow you to be in shape and efficient when you wake up.

Wake-up Fatigue

When sleep is not restorative and does not constitute a true rest, one can feel tired when waking up: getting up then becomes difficult. When you are tired, the activities of daily life, which are usually easy to accomplish (work, housework, children's homework...), become a chore.

"Sleep is an excellent indicator of a person's general state of health and their relationship with their environment," according to Dr. Valaxt, a researcher at an INSERM (French National Institute for Health and Medical Research) unit specializing in the study of sleep and dreams. It is therefore important to monitor one's sleep and pay attention to the changes it undergoes.

Fatigue on waking up: causes and remedies: understand everything in 2 minutes

Source Channel: This Morning
The causes of waking fatigue can be multiple. It is not a phenomenon to be taken lightly because this fatigue can be linked to a psychological or physical problem.

When the psyche takes over...
This feeling of not resting can be due to stress, overwork at work, too intense leisure activities or even an unbalanced or insufficient diet. To find out where this fatigue comes from, it is necessary to analyze the changes that may have occurred recently in your life. Wake-up fatigue is one of the signals sent by the body to make the person suffering from it understand that their lifestyle is not suitable for them.

Non-repairing sleep is also a symptom of depression. Constant tiredness, insomnia, loss of motivation are signals that must be monitored. Don't hesitate to talk about it with your doctor.

Fatigue and illness
Waking up tired for several weeks can be a warning sign of illness, as many of these symptoms can manifest themselves. Whether it's fatigue caused by an exhausting illness such as the flu, osteoarthritis or cancer, or by a silent condition such as anemia or a thyroid disorder, it is important not to take unrepairable sleep lightly and consult a specialist without delay.

Unexplained fatigue may also be a sign of sleep apnea. The sleeper occasionally blocks his breathing, which causes a drop in blood oxygenation and forces the heart to work harder to make up for this lack of oxygen. The sleeper with sleep apnea often wakes up tired and unaware of what has happened.

Changing your lifestyle
It is important to change certain habits in order to sleep better and to avoid any risk of fatigue in the morning.

- Getting enough sleep is the first rule of thumb to avoid feeling tired in the morning. To do this, you must listen to your body (yawning, heavy eyelids, tingling in the neck...).

- Practicing a regular sport activity allows you to relax, to evacuate the pressure accumulated during the day and to tire your body in order to have a real restorative sleep.

- Adopt a balanced diet (fruits, vegetables, cereals...) and drink at least 1.5L of water per day.

- Limit alcohol and cigarettes which have harmful effects on the quality of sleep. Alcohol and nicotine are responsible for very disturbed sleep (frequent waking up, reduction in the duration of deep sleep...).

- Avoid excessive stimulation before bedtime, whether auditory, intellectual or visual (computer screen, excessively bright light, video games, etc.).

Remedy this naturally...
In order to fight against this tiredness, many food supplements and plants can be used. Cures of caffeine, vitamin C or iron can be used to counter this constant tiredness thanks to their toning and relaxing properties.

Phytotherapy is also a good way to relieve temporary fatigue. Herbal teas of green anise, red vine or rosemary can be very good remedies against fatigue. As well as rhodiola, schisandra, ginseng and eleutherococcus.

Taking antiasthenics (amino acids, mineral elements, vitamins, stimulants, restorative, fortifying...) can also help you feel more toned and stimulated.

The arrival of a newborn baby in the home upsets family organization and daily life. Whether it is at the level of the couple's relationship or the relationship between the parent and the child, it can be difficult to regain the balance that existed before the birth. So what are the different changes involved in a new birth and how best to manage them?

First child: moving from being a couple to being parents

how to manage the arrival in the family?

What change in the couple when the first child is born?

In the case of a first child, the biggest change in the family occurs at the level of the couple, who are given the new role of parents. In many cases, this transition is difficult and is accompanied by a decrease in satisfaction in the couple, and thus a deterioration of the love relationship1. The first child tends to monopolize the parents' attention, to tire them, not to mention the questions and worries that his arrival raises, which considerably harms the couple's relationship. According to a survey carried out by the UDAF in Paris in October 2013 among 600 parents (70% mothers and 30% fathers)2 , 53% of the parents questioned felt tensions in their couple following the birth of their child. The increasing scarcity of intimate moments of love also poses problems: 37% of the parents questioned said they had encountered difficulties in their sexual life after the birth of their child. Even if this does not prevent 90% of the parents from living well during the first months of their newborn's life, it is important not to let tension and boredom persist in the couple.

How to avoid that the baby interferes with the love life?

Communication is important in the prevention of conflicts related for example to the sharing of tasks or the education to be given to the child. It is therefore essential that the couple agree on each other's new role as parents, in order to facilitate the organization. Similarly, differences in views on the education to be transmitted play an important role in marital tensions. Accepting these differences and, ideally, finding common ground before the baby's arrival is crucial to a smooth start to parenting.

Since tension in the couple after the birth of the first child is also linked to fatigue and irritability, new parents need to be given the opportunity to rest and recharge. Most parents appreciate first and foremost the provision of "material" help, such as childcare, help with child care, or help with household chores.3 The first thing that most parents appreciate is the provision of "material" help, such as childcare, help with child care, or help with household chores.3 The second thing that most parents appreciate is the provision of "material" help. Emotional support is also important, and on this subject, more than half of the respondents in the UDAF Paris study2 were able to rely on their family (parents, brothers and sisters). The respite time provided by outside helpers is an opportunity for new parents to relax, to communicate their feelings, and to regain their status as a couple.

Welcoming a newborn to a family with a child The jealousy of the elder: an almost unavoidable stage

The arrival of a second child once again changes the family order, as the first child, then unique, becomes a big brother or sister. Not only does the mother pay less attention to the eldest child, but she also tends to be more restrictive and strict with him or her. Even if this is not systematic2, the fact that the parents' attention is no longer focused exclusively on the first child but on the newborn can cause frustration and anger, to the point of thinking that the elder is no longer loved by his parents. They may adopt aggressive attitudes towards the baby, or adopt immature behaviours in order to get attention. Overall, the child shows less affection towards his mother and may become disobedient. They may even exhibit regressive behaviours, such as not being clean or asking for a bottle, but this is especially true when the child has acquired these behaviours shortly before the baby arrives (a few weeks to a few months). All of this is a manifestation of the child's jealousy. This is a normal behaviour, very often observed, especially in young children under 5 years of age3.

How can we prevent and calm the older child's jealousy?

To prevent jealousy reactions from the first child, it is essential to announce the future birth to him or her, trying to be as positive and reassuring as possible about this change. It is a question of valuing their new responsibilities, and the activities they will be able to share when the baby grows up. It's important to show understanding for his jealous reactions, which means not getting angry, so he doesn't feel further punished. However, firmness is required as soon as he shows too much aggressiveness towards the baby, or if he persists in his regressive behaviors. The child must feel reassured, i.e., it must be explained to him that, despite everything, he is still loved, and he must prove it to him by arranging moments of exclusive complicity with him. Finally, patience is needed: 6 to 8 months are necessary for the child to finally accept the arrival of the baby.

Updated April 2012 - Notice to those who idealize non-conflictual love relationships: repressing anger can shorten the longevity of spouses!

According to a surprising 2008 study1 of 192 couples in a small town in Michigan, U.S.A., the risk of dying is higher for couples who suppress anger and avoid conflict.

Couple bickering would make it possible to live longer

This conclusion is the result of 17 years of observations in which couples were classified according to the attitudes demonstrated by the spouses in conflict situations.

Among the 26 couples with partners who avoided conflict or had little communication, both spouses were four times more likely to die prematurely than those in which at least one spouse regularly expressed anger.

Specifically, 23 per cent of "non-conflictual" couples had both spouses die in the course of the study, compared with 6 per cent of other couples. Similarly, 27% of "non-conflict" couples lost a spouse, compared with 19% of other couples. These results persisted even after controlling for other risk factors for death.

Differences between men and women

During the same period (from 1971 to 1988), 35% of men in couples where there was a lack of strong verbal exchanges died, compared to 17% of men in other couples. Among women, 17% living in a couple with no conflict died, compared with 7%.

According to the author of the study, conflict resolution in couples is a public health issue because by repressing it, anger adds to other sources of stress and contributes to shortening life.

Because conflict is inevitable, the key point is how each couple resolves it: if you don't resolve it, you're vulnerable," says Ernest Harburg, a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan.2 "Conflict is inevitable, so the key is how each couple resolves it: if you don't resolve it, you're vulnerable," says Ernest Harburg, a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan.

Between the stress linked to the life of a couple, the modern will to have a fulfilled sexuality or the notion of commitment which sometimes poses problems, one can imagine that love life is not always synonymous with happiness or appeasement. However, we often hear that "love is health". What is it really like?

Love, a token of good health?

The love process, whether it is attraction, mutual attachment or desire, involves many hormones. These are related to sensations or emotions that are beneficial to health.   

The exhilaration of the first days

When we fall in love, the feeling of euphoria, exhilaration and elation is linked to the secretion of a hormone: phenylethylamine (PEA). It is nicknamed the "passion hormone" and chocolate, known for its positive effects on mood, contains it. Phenylethylamines act as neurotransmitters (= chemical molecules that ensure the transmission of messages from one neuron to another) which allows them to have a particular action on certain neurons.  In this case, phenylethylamine soothes stress and anxiety and is also a psycho-stimulant1.

Attachment and couple building

After the stimulating actions of phenylethylamine come those of dopamine (happiness hormone) and oxytocin (attachment hormone). Dopamine is a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of pleasure and dependence. It is believed to be involved in the attachment process and feelings of fidelity.

Oxytocin2 is naturally secreted by our brain. Also produced naturally during childbirth and lactation, this hormone is responsible for the feeling of relaxation, attraction and attachment to another person. It is said to be a powerful anti-stress and has doping effects on the immune system.  It is secreted during a hug, a loving thought or a simple look. 

Lasting love

Throughout the love relationship, endorphins are at the origin of the feeling of well-being. These hormones are neurotransmitters of the opiate family. They act in the same way as morphine by binding to specific receptors that block the transmission of pain signals and reduce the sensation of pain. They are believed to be used to combat anxiety. Endorphins can be produced by the body after a major effort such as a sports activity. Dependence on endorphins is strong but not harmful to health. Endorphins could also modify our immune responses favourably.

No two love relationships are alike. For some people, love provides a feeling of well-being and happiness that fills them up and helps them feel good psychologically. For others, it is the sharing and the perpetual discovery of the other that helps them to be happy. Falling in love has many impacts on mental health. A love relationship is often a way to surpass oneself in order to please the other, to feel reassured by the other, to blossom and to have self-confidence. Love, also thanks to the hormones secreted during a love relationship, is in fact a kind of antidepressant! In addition, sexuality would help reduce stress and generally lead to happiness according to a Quebec survey.

But love has not only good sides and can be synonymous with stress and worries. Like any relationship with the other, love is a succession of complex and opposing feelings: well-being, jealousy, fulfillment, anger, passion, stress, worries... Arguments within the couple, jealousy or infidelity can cause annoyance and generate stress and anxiety. Being in love is not always easy and it can have a negative impact on our mental health. The couple's health is often at the center of mental health, which fluctuates according to the good relationship or the difficulties encountered. 

Modern codes concerning love relationships and sexuality can also be factors of stress and anxiety. Wanting to conform to current clichés about what a couple or a sexual life should be does not necessarily lead to happiness and would be an additional factor of anxiety and even self-denial.

 Many experts agree that there is a parallel between physical and mental health. Physical health would reflect emotional health. When a person feels depressed or stressed, their physical health can deteriorate, increasing their chances of getting sick compared to someone who feels happy.

Love, accompanied by a sense of well-being and happiness, would be a good way to stay in shape. According to one study, people living in couples have less flu and have more effective immune responses than people living alone.

Sexual relations are also a way to stay in shape. Numerous scientific studies have been conducted and find that sexual relations contribute to well-being and happiness. According to a study conducted in Great Britain, sexual activity may reduce the risk of heart disease and prevent hypertension and various cancers, including prostate and breast cancer.  

In spite of a balanced diet and regular physical activity, it is not always easy to get rid of some recalcitrant little kilos. In fact, certain areas of the body such as the thighs or hips seem to be the favourite places for fat to lodge itself. Certain fat-burning foods can then be of great help. In this article, discover the top 5 fat-burning foods!

fat burning

Top 5 Fat Burning Foods

In the diet, some active ingredients can stimulate fat combustion, oxidation or elimination via intestinal transit. Fat-burning foods have the particularity of concentrating them and having a positive effect on the body. Here are the 5 most effective fat-burning foods. 

Eggplant, a food that burns powerful fat

If you are used to cooking eggplant, you have certainly noticed that this vegetable behaves like a real sponge that catches the oil. In the body too, its flesh captures the fat and traps it, thus promoting its subsequent elimination. This fat-burning effect of the eggplant is above all linked to its high content of dietary fiber and, more precisely, pectin, which makes it a slimming ally of choice. For an optimal effect, it is best to steam or bake the eggplant.

Green tea, a drink that stimulates the oxidation of lipids

This is now scientifically proven: green tea is one of the most effective fat-burning foods. Indeed, in addition to its record content of antioxidants and diuretic active ingredients, green tea contains catechin. Specifically, epigallocatechin, also known as EGCG. EGCG stimulates the metabolism and significantly increases fat burning. As a result, regular green tea drinkers are generally slimmer.

Lemon, to help the body digest fats

The major active ingredient in lemon is citric acid. In the body, citric acid has many benefits. Its antioxidant capacity makes it possible in particular to stimulate the immune defenses and to fight against cellular ageing. To lose weight, citric acid also has some advantages. Indeed, it stimulates the production of bile and digestive enzymes and thus makes it possible to awake the digestive system and to facilitate digestion, the reuse and the elimination of fats after their metabolization. Therefore, lemon is a very interesting fat-burning food.

Oat bran, a food that traps fat in the body 

Oat bran has two main advantages when it comes to weight loss. These two benefits are directly related to the very high content of soluble dietary fibre in oat bran. First of all, oat bran has a fairly powerful satiating effect. Its integration into the diet allows you to be satiated longer, avoid cravings and eat less at main meals. Secondly, soluble fibre has the effect of trapping bile salts and cholesterol in the body and encourages their elimination by also stimulating intestinal transit.

Apples, a pectin-rich food that helps burn fat better

Like oat bran, apples are an effective fat-burning food thanks to their soluble fiber and pectin content. In the digestive system, pectin actively participates in the elimination of excess fat via the intestinal transit. An adequate intake of soluble fibre even helps to regulate blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels. This is very interesting in the context of a weight loss project.

What should we think of pineapple as a fat-burning food?

Pineapple is certainly the most popular fat-burning food. However, one must be careful! Indeed, pineapple gets its reputation from its content of bromelain, an enzyme that stimulates fat burning. However, bromelain is mainly contained in the stem of the pineapple, the inedible part. Therefore, you should not rely blindly on this fruit to lose weight, as is sometimes the case in certain diets. However, the pineapple is a fruit rich in fibre and micronutrients and has its place in a healthy and balanced diet.

How to integrate fat-burning foods into the diet?

A fat-burning food can be a great ally to help you lose weight and give you a boost to help you get rid of those stubborn pounds. However, no food has miracle properties. The consumption of fat-burning foods should be done in addition to a varied and balanced diet. That is to say, rich in plants, dietary fiber, micronutrients, lean protein and quality fats. The foods mentioned above are a crutch in case you want to lose weight, never a solution in itself.

 This section describes how Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) conceives the organization of the human being and how it considers the imbalances that can affect its main components:


  • the Viscera (ZangFu);
  • the Substances;
  • the Meridian Linking Network (JingLuo) which allows the exchange of Substances between the Viscera and all the components of the body such as the organic tissues, the trunk, the head, the limbs, etc.

At the next level, all these elements, and more particularly their relations and interactions, are described in more detail.

A holistic physiology

In Western medicine, anatomy and physiology are very descriptive and detailed. They are based on important notions of chemistry and biochemistry and accurately describe cells, glands, tissues and different systems (immune, digestive, circulatory, reproductive, etc.). In addition, they provide a thorough description of the biochemical interactions between nutrients, enzymes, neurotransmitters, hormones, etc. It explains that all these elements and systems are involved in homeostasis, i.e. maintaining the individual's various physiological constants at their normal value: temperature, cardiovascular tone, blood composition, acid-base balance, etc.

In TCM, a few texts, defining the characteristics and functions of Viscera, Substances and Meridians, serve as a physiological presentation. Although there are some rather rough descriptions of the shape and weight of certain Organs observed with the naked eye during rare dissections, the physiology of TCM includes mainly an analogical description of the role of Viscera and tissues. Traditional Chinese physiology speaks the old language of images. It privileges the correspondences between different organic components whose complementary functions it considers to be complementary, whether they are Viscera, tissues, sensory openings or even emotions and psychic activities.

A whole greater than the sum of its parts

Through observation, Chinese doctors have found that the various components of the body form affinity networks under the umbrella of one of the five major organs: Heart, Lung, Spleen/Pancreas, Liver and Kidneys. These five Organs participate collectively in the balance, both physical and psychic, of the organism, thanks to their network of influence and to the management of the substances they preserve or put in circulation throughout the organism through the intermediary of the Meridians. (See Organic Spheres.)

For example, the Liver manages the Blood, promotes the free circulation of Qi, influences the circulation of Organic Liquids, digestion, muscular activity, vision, mood (frustration, anger, moroseness), menstruation, etc. (See Organic Spheres). Moreover, its functioning, good or bad, will have a specific impact on other visceral systems and functions. It is therefore from a set of concrete, clinically observable signs that TCM will recognize the proper functioning or pathological state of an organ and its sphere of influence.

This physiology may seem simplistic. In fact, it has the shortcoming of not being very detailed and would not be of much help when performing an operation on the brain... On the other hand, it has the advantage of taking into account the whole person in a perspective where the environment, lifestyle, emotions and even personal and spiritual values are intimately linked to health and medicine. This explains in part its effectiveness in the face of chronic or degenerative diseases.

The environment as part of human physiology

When TCM defines the framework for the development of an imbalance or disease, it uses the terms External and Internal, which evoke a relationship between the organism and its environment.

Life is essentially a process of exchange, where our organism must continually assimilate, transform and then reject a multitude of nutritional inputs from the environment: Air, Food and stimuli. The environment is therefore considered an integral part of our "external" physiology. And this environment is itself constantly in transformation, and affected by occasional or cyclical changes. All these transformations imply a constant adaptation on the part of our organism so that it remains authentic (Zhen) or correct, (Zheng) to echo both philosophical and medical terms used by TCM. In order to remain ourselves in spite of this incessant renewal of what constitutes us, we call upon another component of our physiology: the Three Treasures of Life.

The Three Treasures of Life

These three treasures represent three forces of our vitality that we perceive through their manifestations, without being able to touch them with our fingers.

  • The Shén. They are the Spirits who inhabit us. They allow us to be conscious, to direct our life, to follow our aspirations, to give a purpose to our existence. The Shen manifest themselves from the first hours of our existence by a will to exist, and develop according to the experiences of life. (See Spirits.)
  • The Jing. Precursors of materiality, they are Essences - in the sense of essential and original -, a little like invisible plans and specifications that weave the necessary weft for the manifestation of the Shen. The Essences received from our parents contain the plans of our organism and determine how we will build ourselves: they are the innate or prenatal Essences (see Heredity). Other Essences, called acquired or postnatal, are the result of the transformation of Air and Food.
  • The acquired Essences can be renewed permanently while the innate Essences wear out and are not renewable. Their decline leads to signs of aging and then death. However, it is possible to save them and take care of them, which is one of the keys to health. (See Substances.) Essences also serve as a support for memory.
  • The Qi. Regarded as "the universal energy", it is the subject of a complete fact sheet. In the body, it is perceived as an amalgam of "densified" breaths. It then takes the form of Substances such as Blood or Organic Liquids, which circulate in the body through the networks of different Meridians and vessels to reach all tissues. It also represents the dynamic force that allows the body to accomplish all of its functional activities. Thus, Qi in its dynamic aspects is at the origin of the movement of various Substances which are stable and condensed forms of the same Qi. Just like the acquired Essences, the Breaths must be constantly nourished in order to renew themselves.

The pure and the impure

Pure and impure are the terms used to qualify the states of Qi. The most refined states are said to be pure; the coarse states (before processing) and the degraded states of the residues are said to be impure. In order to maintain its integrity, the organism constantly assimilates and settles the different Qi states circulating in the body. These operations aim at the maintenance and preservation of the material framework of the organism, considered as a pure substance.

The decantation of the pure and the impure is done through the Viscera. According to their relationship with the pure and the impure, they are classified into two categories, the entrails (Yang) and the organs (Yin). The Bowels are responsible for receiving the impure Qi, in the form of Food, extracting the pure components, and then rejecting the impure. For example, the Stomach receives the Food (coarse, therefore impure) and prepares to decant it; the Large Intestine, after having completed the recovery of the pure and useful components for the body, eliminates the residues (impure) in the form of faeces.

For their part, the Organs are in charge of managing the pure in its various forms: Blood, Organic Liquids, Acquired Essences, Nourishing Qi, Defensive Qi, etc. For example, the Heart circulates the Blood, the Kidneys preserve the integrity of the liquids by eliminating the used liquids and help to refresh and humidify the organism, the Lung distributes the defensive Qi to the surface, etc.

Viscera (ZangFu)

The Viscera (ZangFu) include on the one hand the so-called "full" Organs (Zang) (Heart, Spleen/Pancreas, Liver, Kidneys and Lung) and on the other hand the "hollow" Entrails (Fu) (Stomach, Small Intestine, Large Intestine, Gall Bladder and Bladder).

Although the management of the organism is the responsibility of the Spirits, the balance of physiological functions is attributed to the Viscera. The place of the Brain has been debated at length in Chinese medical texts without ever correctly identifying the functions of the cortex. All Chinese medical theories (Yin Yang, Five Elements, Viscera Theory, Meridian Theory, etc.) attribute the control of homeostasis to the Viscera and more precisely to the balance of the spheres of influence of the five Organs (Zang). Before describing the Viscera more precisely, it is important to remember that in Chinese physiology, this description is not exclusively physical.

Several other aspects are integral to physiology, including the functions of the Organs and their relationship with the Substances as well as with the emotions. Physiology also takes into account imbalances in organic functions and the deficient state of the Substances or their pathogenic degradations that lead to disorders on all levels, both physiological and emotional and psychological. It also takes into account the fact that the non-resolution of inner conflicts, the uncontrollable presence of certain emotions or an imbalance of the Spirits can lead to a bad management of the Substances and a disturbance of the visceral functions.

The division of the visceral functions specific to TCM is very old, and includes certain anatomical errors. Even though physicians such as Wang QingRen (1768-1831) have made efforts to revise the errors, TCM is slow to change its old codes and list of functions out of concern for continuity with the clinical expertise that has proven itself over the centuries.

The Organs (Zang)

The Chinese names of the organs are difficult to translate, because the entities they describe do not always correspond to the organs defined by Western physiology, hence the use of capital letters, which remind us, for example, that what TCM calls Gan, which is translated as Liver, does not correspond exactly to the liver of the Western anatomy.

The Lung (Fei). This organ roughly corresponds to the "western" lung, but it encompasses the exchanges of the right heart and pulmonary circulation. Indeed, in addition to managing the respiratory system, Fei is the Organ that combines what comes from Food and what comes from the Air into a complex Qi that will be distributed to the rest of the body through the arterial blood.

The Heart. It manages the blood vessels and includes the left heart which pulses the blood, but it also has certain characteristics of the brain since it is closely related to the Mind and Consciousness.

The Heart Wrap, located around the heart, has characteristics of the autonomic nervous system that stimulates the heartbeat (modern western physiology has found that part of the heart is made up of nerve cells that are connected to the brain, and is commonly referred to as the "brain of the heart").

The Spleen/Pancreas (Pi). Although it manages the digestive system, it shares some characteristics with other systems (coagulation factors and the role of insulin in cell absorption, for example).

The Liver (Gan). While corresponding to the hepato-biliary sphere, it has certain characteristics of the hormonal and nervous systems.

The Kidneys (Shèn). They manage the urinary system, but also have certain characteristics of the adrenals and reproductive glands. In addition, among the Kidneys, we theoretically find MingMen, an entity responsible for our original vitality and its maintenance; it is very likely that it is related to the precursor role of hormones from the hypothalamus.

The Bowels (Fu)

With the exception of the Triple Warmer and the "curious" Entrails, the Entrails (Fu) are very similar to those of Western physiology.

The Stomach (Wei) receives and prepares Food.

The Small Intestine (XiaoChang) sorts the Food.

The Large Intestine (DaChang) eliminates faeces.

The Gall Bladder (Dan) stimulates the intestines with bile.

The Bladder (PangGuang) eliminates urine.

The Triple Warmer (SanJiao) describes a reality that is difficult to find an equivalent in Western physiology. It represents a subdivision of the trunk into three sections also called Foci: the Upper, Middle and Lower Heater. All the Viscera (Organs and entrails) are housed in one or other of these Foci. It is easy to see the symbolism of the terms Fireplace and Heater, which designate the places where the different Qi and Organic Liquids are produced and circulated. The Triple Heater is hollow and is a place of passage and transformation, which makes it the sixth of the Entrails of Chinese medical physiology.

The Curious Entrails. In TCM, the vessels, bones, Marrow, Brain and reproductive organs are part of the Fu Viscera. Although they are not entrails in the sense we understand, these tissues correspond quite well to those described by Western physiology, although the Marrow and Brain have certain functional characteristics that are specific to TCM.

The Substances

The Substances are the currency of exchange between the Viscera. Blood and Organic Liquids, as well as Spirits, different forms of Qi and Essences, are all considered Substances. They constitute all the components that circulate in the body and that activate, protect or nourish the Viscera, the tissues, the sensory organs, etc.

The weakness of a Substance causes pathological signs at the same time as it makes the body more vulnerable to environmental factors. For example, a weakness of the defensive Qi leads to heavy sweating at the slightest effort as well as greater difficulty in warming the skin. This deficiency predisposes the body to "catch cold" or to develop repeated infections in areas close to the surface of the body (ear infections, rhinitis, sore throat, cystitis, etc.).

The quality of the substances depends on external inputs: daily, diet; in crisis situations, pharmacopoeia. In addition, acupuncture, massage and health exercises (Qi Gong and Tai Ji) allow to act specifically on the Substances, activating their circulation, distributing them better in the body and releasing stasis and stagnation. Indirectly, these therapeutic interventions improve the functioning of the Viscera that produce the Substances in question (such as Spleen/Pancreas and Lung) or those that preserve their quality (such as Kidney and Liver). Finally, since Spirits are part of the Substances, meditation exercises (Nei Cong) are an important part of the treatment modalities.

The Meridians and their ramifications (JingLuo)

The ability of Air and Food Qi to become Blood, Essences and Organic Liquids, and to reach the superficial or deep structures of the body to defend, nourish, moisturize or repair them, depends largely on their mobility. As mentioned above, Qi - in multiple forms - enters, ascends, descends, and is eventually expelled as waste, through the Triple Heater and the Viscera that work there.

But this mobility must be projected throughout the body beyond the Triple Heater, from its center to the periphery, from the Viscera to the tissues (bones, skin, muscles and flesh), the sense organs and the limbs. The TCM calls JingLuo the distribution network through which this circulation takes place. The JingLuo describes the main circulation axes (the Meridians), in a simple and rectilinear way, according to a process that is above all mnemonic. It should be noted that modern scientific anatomy has chosen a different path by trying to isolate each system and describe it with precision: nerves, arteries, veins, lymphatic vessels, etc. However, this way of doing things also has its limits, since we can see that this vision lacks globality and is never completely complete: we regularly discover new nerve ramifications as well as new networks, such as those of the fascias or those of ionic currents and electromagnetic fields.

Rather than trying to precisely identify the constituents of each network, TCM has focused, in a very pragmatic way, on discovering the possibilities and characteristics of these networks with regard to communication, circulation and regulation of the body's functions.

Acupuncture points

Part of the Meridians connect specific points on the body surface to various areas within the body. The stimulation of these points, among others through acupuncture, generates a precise action on the circulatory capacities of the Meridians and on different Organs and various functions.

The mapping of the points and the Meridians is the result of a long clinical experimentation. Science is only just beginning to see the accuracy of the results and to try to explain the mechanisms involved. In some cases, the peripheral nervous system serves as a support; in others, information travels through the central nervous system or through relational chains such as those of muscles and fascias; some reactions depend on the release of endorphins; others are the result of the modification of ionic currents in the interstitial fluid caused by acupuncture needles.

The use of acupuncture instruments - needles, heat, electrostimulation, laser light - therefore triggers various reactions, often complementary, which, for example, reduce pain and inflammation and inhibit the exaggerated production of certain transmitters (e.g. histamine), to relax muscles and tendons to straighten the structure, to activate the circulation of blood and nerve impulses to the tissues and organs, to stimulate hormonal secretions, to promote tissue regeneration by better elimination of waste products and a greater supply of nutrients, to allow repolarization of cells, etc.