The Yin and Yang of Back Pain

Posted in Patient Help-Sheets | Comments Off on The Yin and Yang of Back Pain

Untitled

Posted in Patient Help-Sheets | Comments Off on Untitled

Seven ways to setting and achieving your goals

 

No matter what you’re trying to accomplish, setting goals is one way to help you get there. Often, when people have no goals, they lack motivation, focus and direction.  Setting goals also provides a benchmark to determine whether or not you are succeeding. But how do you set goals if you’ve never done so before? Or what if you have set goals in the past, but you didn’t achieve them? Do you just give up and tell yourself that goal setting doesn’t work? That’s one option, but let’s put things into perspective.

 

  1. Set goals that motivate you. The goals you set for yourself should be important to you, making you feel there is value in achieving them. Make sure you’re able to identify why each goal matters to you, otherwise it will be hard to take action.
  2. Break the larger goals down into smaller, more specific goals. For instance, if your goal is to lose 60 pounds over the next year, break that down into smaller more achievable goals. For example, set a goal of losing five pounds per month for the next 12 months. This makes the larger goal more feasible and accessible.
  3. Write down your goals. The physical act of writing down a goal makes it tangible and real and adds a sense of accountability to the goals. Pay attention t the wording you use. In place of “I would like to” use “I will” to give your goals more power.
  4. Make an action plan to achieve your goals. In other words, don’t just focus on the end result. Spend time working on the steps it will take to get you to your ultimate goal.
  5. Adjust your goals periodically. Goals may change as you age or as you start to change. Your goals should be adjusted accordingly, allowing for flexibility and growth.
  6. Tell someone close to you what your goal is. Like writing your goals down, saying them outloud to someone makes them feel more real and helps to hold you accountable for achieving them.
  7. Don’t give up. Many times, when we are faced with failure, we tend to give up on our goals. Some of the most successful people in history failed numerous times before they got it right. And they all had to stop, adjust and reevaluate their goals as they went along, but they ultimately succeeded because they stayed the course.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Seven ways to setting and achieving your goals

4 Tips for an energizing, joyful summer

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, each season is associated with one of the elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Perhaps unsurprisingly, summertime is associated with the element fire. Fire represents maximum activity. In nature, everything is at its peak growth during the summer, so TCM sees our energy as its most active and exuberant. Summer is the time of year with the most yang energy, which is all about excitement and assertiveness.

 

Summertime is also associated with the heart and small intestine, according to TCM. When the fire element is in balance, the heart is effectively circulating blood and ensuring the beginning of the digestive process in the small intestine is working. From an emotional standpoint, a balanced fire element looks like confident self expression, gentle sensitivity and a strong heart and mind connection.

 

TCM suggests that summer is the time when our fire and yang energies are most likely to be in balance, because of what is happening in nature. However, it’s also really easy to get overextended, quite literally overheated and energetically burn out by September. Summer can be a very busy season, full of outdoor adventures, holidays and social commitments on top of our regular obligations.

 

Here are 4 tips to maintain balance in your fire element this summer.

 

Adjust your sleep schedule. TCM suggests realigning your sleep schedule as the season changes will help you have the most energy throughout your day. In the summer, take advantage of the long days by getting up early, going to sleep later and taking a rest in the middle, hottest part of the day.

 

Be conscious of your priorities. At the beginning of summer, write down your four top priorities for this summer, so you can come back to them all season long as you find yourself pulled in many directions. These might be reading, spending time with family, swimming and cooking. Or something totally different. Whatever they are for you, mindfully choosing four priorities is a great way to stay grounded through all the activity.

 

Balance your exercise with breath. Summer is the highest energy, highest movement time of year, including in terms of moving your body. TCM suggests getting a lot of exercise during the summertime. Along with running, biking, swimming, hiking or whatever your summer activity of choice is, incorporate some slower, more mindful movement to stay strong and healthy. Practicing yin or restorative yoga or choosing to meditate in stillness outside can be great for staying in tune with your bodies needs and cultivating mindfulness in all your activities.

 

Stay hydrated. The opposing element to fire is water, and addressing its implications is an important part of staying balanced during summer. Especially if you live somewhere very hot in the summer, it is very important to drink plenty of water each day. Whether the climate is humid or dry, drinking enough water is very important. Staying hydrated helps your energy levels and assists in digestion. TCM also recommends watermelon juice for cooling the body and cleansing the system.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Tips for an energizing, joyful summer

Healthy eating from early to late summer

 

Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM is all about balance. In this ancient system, the key to health is to move through the world in such a way that our bodies can remain in homeostasis, in balance. This idea connects to sleep patterns, what we eat and ultimately the flow of Qi, or energy, throughout the body. For that reason, healthy eating in summertime, according to TCM, is all about using cooling foods to balance out how hot it is outside. In other words, we can find homeostasis from the inside out.

 

With that in mind, here are a few suggestions for healthy foods to keep you cool and active all summer long.

 

Fresh fruits like watermelons, strawberries, tomatoes and pear are cooling and have strong yin energy. Summer meals should be predominately fresh fruits or vegetables, according to TCM. These food groups have the strongest yin energy, balancing out the fierce yang and fire energies of summer.

 

Fresh vegetables that are in season in your region are also a great choice, especially cooling vegetables like cucumbers, spinach, lettuce, peppers, celery, raddish, carrots and cauliflower. Vegetables have the second highest yin energy, according to TCM.

 

Summer herbs like basil, cilantro, parsley and mint are a great, healthy addition to most recipes. These herbs are also natural diuretics and heavy-metal detoxifiers, which flush excess waste from the body.

 

The best foods to eat vary with geography. If you live in a place where summer days are long, but not very hot and the nights get really cool, incorporate more neutral or even warming fruits and vegetables into your summer smorgasbord. These fruits and vegetables can include most varieties of squash, especially pumpkin, butternut and acorn squash, lentils and legumes, whole grains like brown rice and root vegetables like beets, potatoes and parsnips.

 

In places with cooler summers, or during late summer, the fifth season according to TCM, diet is about prioritizing self-nourishment so it can be utilized as energy. Late summer is the time to choose smart sugars that won’t clog up the spleen pathway, including apples, carrots, dates, figs, grapes, peaches, pears, sweet potatoes and squash. These smart sugars also regulate the body’s blood sugar, which decreases the strain on the pancreas.

 

For those whose summer climate is hot, here is a recipe for a cooling, detoxifying water you can drink all summer long to keep yourself in balance.

 

Cooling detox water:

  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime
  • ½ cucumber
  • Water
  • Bunch of fresh mint

 

Slice the lemon, lime and cucumber and add to the water. Stir in the mint. Let it sit in the fridge overnight and enjoy chilled.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Healthy eating from early to late summer