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Holiday Guide to Relaxation

The holiday season is upon us, this means cold weather, twinkle

light nights and STRESS.

Here are some holiday at home remedies to ease the stress.

 

1. Take a magnesium bath.

Epsom salts contain magnesium and are already a usual go to when having a bath. Magnesium helps with a variety of conditions and is something most of us are deficient in.

“Magnesium is known to reduce muscle tension, lessen pain associated with migraine headaches, improve sleep, and address neurological disorders such as anxiety and depression.”-ancientminerals.com for more information click here 

2. Cup of tea.

Chinese medicine promotes stoking your internal sun/fire. Drinking and eating cold/raw foods drains our internal heat,  tea will help combat this. Here are a list of great DE-stressing teas.

3. SLEEP Zzzz.

With the shorter days, we should be sleeping more, but with screens and busy lives this is not the case, throw on holiday stress and we’re pretty deprived.

Napping can relieve stress and leave you more refreshed and energized.

“A NASA study found that a 40 minute nap increases alertness by 100%. Other studies have found that a 20 minute nap is more effective than either 200 mg of caffeine or a bout of exercise. Yet another study showed that pilots who were allowed to take a 25 minute nap (while the co-pilot manned the controls!) nodded off fives times less than their nap-deprived peers. They also made less errors during take-offs and landings.”-Take a Nap! Change Your Life by Sarah C. Mednick, Ph.D

4.Aroma-therapy.

According to WedMD : “Practitioners of aromatherapy believe that fragrances in the oils stimulate nerves in the nose. Those nerves send impulses to the part of the brain that controls memory and emotion. Depending on the type of oil, the result on the body may be calming or stimulating. ”

Adding a few drops to food, tea, a bath or on tissue a pillow next to you while you sleep can help de-stress you. There are a lot of stand alone oils that can aid but there are great blends as well. Harmony carries 5 different aromatherapy blends, our current favorite is immunity boost great for cold season!

5. Meditation and Yoga.

It is no secret now that this eastern practice has been scientifically proven to aid in overall wellness. There are some great classes and instructors around the city if you are looking start your practice. But here are a few yoga stretches we like that can be easily done at home.

i) cat pose

ii)bharavaja’s twist

iii) child’s pose

Those are our top 3 but here is a great list from Huffinton post.

 

Inflamation in the Body

Lots of study’s have been released over the last couple years showing the disturbing trend between inflammation in the body and disease and/or chronic illness/conditions.

Here are some anti-inflammatory foods to help keep inflammation down in the body.

Food Group:

Meat, Fish, Poultry:

Anti-inflammatory:

  • chicken, trukey and lamb
  • all legumes, dried peas and lentils.
  • cold water fish: such as salmon, halibut and mackerel

Inflammatory:

  • red meats
  • cold cuts, frank furter, sausage and canned meats
  • eggs

Dairy Products:

Anti-inflammatory:

  • unsweetened, live culture yogurt.
  • milk substitutes such as: rice milks, nut milks and soy beverages

Inflammatory:

  • milk and cheese
  • cream and ice cream
  • non-dairy sweeteners

 

 

12 Health Tips

Here are our Health Tips for YOU! Throughout the year.

 

1- peppermint

Soothe with Mint –Tame tension headaches by rubbing peppermint oil, Tiger Balm, or white flower oil into your temples. All three remedies contain menthol, which has analgesic properties.

2- ginger

Sip Ginger — The volatile oils in ginger have long made it a useful herbal remedy for nasal and chest congestion. Pour 2 cups of boiling water over a 1-inch piece of peeled, grated ginger; steep for 10 minutes; and strain. Add a pinch or two of cayenne pepper to the water and drink as needed.

3- rosemary1

Sniff Rosemary –According to some research, catching a whiff of this aromatic herb may increase alertness and improve memory. To stay sharp, try smelling fresh rosemary or inhaling the scent of rosemary essential oil before a test or meeting.

4-bitters

Embrace Bitters — Combat a yen for sugar by following a Chinese medicine approach: Eat foods such as endive, radicchio, cooked greens, and olives.

5-probiotic

Pop a Probiotic — To keep yeast infections at bay, head for the vitamin aisle. Supplementing with “good” bacteria (for example, Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium) may help restore the balance the of bacteria living in the female genital tract and inhibit the growth of yeast in women with recurrent infections. Foods such as naturally fermented sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir, as well as yogurt with active cultures, also contain these bacteria.

6-moisture

Keep Capsaicin Cream on Hand –For sore muscles and joints, apply a cream or ointment that contains capsaicin, the active ingredient in chile peppers, two or three times a day. The heat from the peppers has been shown to help relieve pain.

7-tulsi

Take Tulsi — Research suggests that this Ayurvedic herb, also called holy basil, may help manage levels of the stress hormone cortisol, helping to boost your mood. Look for teas and supplements in health-food stores and follow package directions.

8-avacado

Eat Avocados — For dry skin, incorporate more avocados into your diet. They’re rich in monounsaturated fat and vitamin E, both of which promote healthy skin. Try them on salads and sandwiches, and even in smoothies.

9-acupuncture5

Try Acupressure or Acupuncture for a queasy tummy — Calm a queasy stomach with this quick acupressure trick: Use your index and middle fingers to press down on the groove between the tendons that run from the base of your palm to your wrist. Wristbands that apply pressure to this spot are available at drugstores and online.

10-lekorice

Use Licorice — Treat canker sores, painful spots on the inside of the mouth, with deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL), which appears to soothe mucous membranes. Buy in powder form and mix with a little water to make a paste; apply it to the sore as needed. DGL is also great for heart burn and acid stomach.

11-liquorice

Drink Mint Tea — Ease occasional indigestion by sipping a cup of peppermint tea after your meal. Peppermint improves the flow of bile, which moves food through the digestive tract more quickly. Use peppermint with caution if you have acid reflux; it can make that problem worse.

12-fennel

Chew Some Fennel Seeds — Fennel seeds are considered a carminative, a substance that helps relieve gas. Chew and then swallow about half a teaspoon of the seeds after meals.

Food & Flavour For Thought

Foods to consider to reduce the effects of wind:

There are several foods that naturally reduce the effects of wind. In early spring try oats, pine nuts, prawns, ginger, fennel and basil. Later in the season choose celery, mulberry, strawberry and peppermint. Other foods that limit the effects of wind include black or yellow soybean, black or yellow sesame seed, sage and chamomile.

The Sour Flavour:

Sour is connected to the Liver and spring time. Sour strengthen the liver and has a contracting, astringent effect and dries and firms.  Once eaten, sour heads straight for the Liver. A small amount of the sour flavour is essential for a balanced Liver, but too much will make the Liver too strong and cause imbalance in the body. Examples of sour foods include lemons, limes, hawthorn fruit, pickles and rosehip and vinegar.
A little bit of gently warming pungent foods can be good for spring. These include fennel, ginger, spring onion, chamomile, oregano, rosemary, caraway, dill, bay leaf, grains, legumes and seeds. Pungent flavoured foods stimulate circulation of Qi (energy) and blood, moving energy up and out.

Your Body is a Garden

One of the philosophies underlying Chinese medicine is that we are not separate from nature. Nature’s constant motion – its flowing seasons and cycles – coincide with our body’s natural rhythms. When we engage in gardening, we strive to be in harmony with nature’s rhythms. This allows us to reap a bountiful harvest. Life flourishes when the elements of air, water, light and earth are balanced.

There are basic principles of gardening that you can apply to facilitating the health of your body:

Fertilize: Just like plants need fertilizers, we need food in order to re-energize our bodies. In general, a healthy, balanced diet is made up of unprocessed, organic foods such as grains, fruits and vegetables.

Water: Our bodies are made up of 70% water. We need its life-giving force to cleanse our bodies of toxins, to regulate body temperature and to aid digestion and circulation.

Sunshine: Just like plants, we also need sun’s energy to grow and thrive. Sun provides our bodies with Vitamin D, which promotes strong bones, supple muscles and a healthy immune system.

Weeding: Weeding your garden is vital to keeping the soil clean and properly oxygenated. Our body also needs cleansing. One of the easiest ways to cleanse our body is sweating through exercise as well as eating meals of fresh veggies and fruit.
Your goal is to learn how to cultivate and support your inner garden. My goal as a Chinese medicine practitioner and acupuncturist and is to help balance your inner ecosystem so that it can flourish—and you can enjoy health and harmony.  Together, we garden and can identify and “weed out” any imbalances that could cause problems.
.Acupuncture isn’t a “quick fix.” It does provide you with the tools and knowledge needed to nourish the garden from within. Your participation in the process is essential. After all, you wouldn’t simply plant seeds in the ground and expect them to bloom unattended. It’s the same with your health. Working with your acupuncturist and committing to long-term care can create positive changes for your overall health.

 Do you have seasonal allergies?
If you are an allergy sufferer, I recommend avoiding mucus producing foods, such as dairy, wheat, sugar, and cold raw foods and also taking a pro-biotic. This will help minimize allergy attacks in most people. Acupuncture and herbal medicine are also great to help with allergy symptoms.