Tag Archives: Fit

Commit… Then Follow Through

commit then follow through

Let’s get right to the point.  There is no magic bullet, the easy way out is the wrong way, and quick fixes never stand the test of time.  We all know this to be true yet, astoundingly, we have been led to believe the exact opposite when it comes to our health and well-being.  Medicine has become our magic elixir, our get-out-of-jail-free card.  Why exercise your bones and joints when you can pop a pill instead?  Sure you risk abdominal cramping and bone death, but at least you don’t have to get off the couch.  Hair loss, obesity, short temper, shyness, itchy skin, dry eyes…  You can bet that whatever ails you, no matter how trivial, there is a pill marketed for it.

The reason acupuncture continues to thrive for the past 2,500 years, even at times in the face of fierce opposition, is because it is built on solid, lasting, time-tested principles and theories.

The health of your body is in direct proportion to the health of how your bodies innate healing energies travel throughout your meridian system. Energy flows throughout your body by way of an intricate network of pathways called the meridian system.

Taking migraine medicine for a headache requires that your body not only fight the cause of the migraine, but now also the dangerous chemicals you are dumping into it.  We have essentially been trained to put out a fire by dousing it with gasoline.   We have been led to believe that the work that the body has been accomplishing over thousands of years with amazing efficiency is suddenly no longer possible in the absence of drugs.

As much as we tend to overcomplicate it, staying healthy is really pretty simple.  Getting well requires that we optimize the function and flow of energy within our meridian system and then maintain its integrity to allow the body to do what it was created to do.  The reason that so many of us struggle with our health is because as simple as the concept is, actually following through requires a high level of commitment and necessitates specific action steps on a daily basis.  Everyone knows the formula for losing weight is to cut out the bad calories, watch your portions, and exercise daily, but few people can commit to following through.  It’s easier to look for the pill that requires no work output or the exercise video that promises miracles after 2 weeks, or to simply give into temptation.

Your body is a masterpiece and it requires consistent attention and respect.  If you’re ready to make the commitment to getting well – not just feeling better through artificial means, but truly getting well – then welcome aboard!  We’ll do everything we can to help you get there.

Copyright ©2011 Acupuncture Media Works All Rights Reserved.

100 Years… and Counting!

Would you like to live to be 100?  You would be surprised at how many people would answer “no” to that question.  Many people are in such poor health that it is a physical and emotional struggle to get through each day, let alone an entire century.  It doesn’t have to be that way.

Actually, if we are living properly, enjoying the rich quality of life that we are entitled to, we should all be thrilled to live to 100!  In fact, the hard part should be figuring out how to squeeze all of our goals and accomplishments into such a relatively short period of time.

It’s true that we are living longer than our ancestors, but while the medical profession is quick to point out that our lifespan is increasing, what remains hidden in the fine print is the atrocious quality of life that our senior population must endure.  Twinkies® have a long shelf life, but it would be a stretch to call them healthy.

A balanced meridian system is the foundation of health and longevity, and it is like a bright light glowing deep within.  Dim the light and your quality of life dims along with it.  Extinguish the light and you die.

100 years and counting

The key to living a long, healthy life is to maximize the function of the meridian system as long as possible.  Acupuncture does exactly that.

Understand that longevity is built right now.  Today.  This very day is part of your 100 years.  Your state of health at this moment is a result of your actions yesterday and the days prior.  Your state of health tomorrow depends on what you do today.

Health is not black and white.  It is a continuum, with death at one end and complete wellness at the other end.  We are never stagnant, we are constantly moving back and forth along the scale.

Every action you take either moves you toward health or away from it, and the key to longevity is to habitually engage in those activities that drive you in the right direction.  Things like acupuncture treatments, daily exercise, proper nutrition, gratitude, a positive mental outlook, spiritual fulfillment, love, and so on.

It’s been said that success is a journey, not a destination.  The same can be said of longevity.  If a long, healthy life is a goal of yours, then don’t just let your life play out and hope for the best.  Longevity is not about dragging out an existence just to make it to a certain age.  Longevity is a byproduct of living the right way every single day until, before you know it, a hundred years have passed.

Copyright ©2011 Acupuncture Media Works. All Rights Reserved.

Ten Steps For Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning

Spring is a season of awakening and of new beginnings. Making healthy choices that will carry you through the seasons is important this time of year. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

1. Embrace yourself honestly.
Assess the various aspects of your life, taking note where the stressors and weaknesses exist. Are they in your diet, exercise program, work or relationships? Focus on the ones that need improvement, and begin moving away from the ones that detract from your life.

2. Examine personal relationships.
Include your significant other, friends, and relatives. Think about how you affect each other and what you can do to make each relationship more meaningful.

3. Choose to change habits.
Perhaps you want to be more positive, exercise more, or give up junk food. Do you need help or can you do this on your own? It may be easier to make changes with support from others.

4. Clean and organize.
Clear out the old and bring in the new. Take a look at your possessions and give away or recycle anything that doesn’t serve a good purpose. You may be surprised at how much lighter and happier you feel when you’ve cleaned and freshened up each area of your home.

5. Get active.
Schedule more exercise into your day to improve your health and reduce stress. Walk around your neighborhood, try a yoga class, go dancing, or ride your bike someplace new.

6. Make positive choices.
Think about what you take in every day with your eyes, ears, and heart. Consider the things that make you feel your best such as beautiful music, energetic friends, and inspirational art. Consider taking a break from TV, news, violent movies, and stressful people.

7. Feel your best.
Assess your emotional well-being. Take an honest look at your moods and emotions. Find the cause of the disharmony, and make a conscious choice to change. Many factors, from diet and digestive health to learned behavior, can have an influence on mood and energy level.

8. Try a Detox Program.
You may want to try a 1-3 week detox program during the spring. Choose a program that works for you whether it’s a juice cleansing, fasting, cutting out dairy or refined sugars, or a more in-depth detox diet. Talk to me, I may be able to give you helpful information about how to approach the detoxification process.

9. Consider nutritional supplements.
You might find supplements helpful for boosting your immunity and overall health. Consider taking an age and gender appropriate multivitamin and mineral daily, as well as additional antioxidants such as Vitamins C and E. Also remember to drink plenty of water and green tea.

10. Commit to a plan.
Consider what you want out of life, from your health, habits and relationships to your career and work. Create a plan to achieve these goals. Most importantly, remember to be nurturing and kind to yourself as you commit to making positive changes in your life.

Copyright ©2012 Acupuncture Media Works. All Rights Reserved.

One Simple Summer Eating Tip

Healthy eating tips for the summer are a little tricky. Since the weather is warm, you need light, cooling foods.  Juicy peaches, sweet watermelons, tomatoes hot off the vine…  The right foods are easy to find.  One trip through your garden or a walk through a farmer’s market and you’ll have the perfect summer meal.

But since you’re outside exercising and working in the garden, you build up an appetite.  You work hard and play hard.  You crave calories to keep the fire burning.  Are cucumbers the first food you reach for after rototilling the garden?  Probably not.

Unfortunately, many times craving calories trumps craving fresh food.  You satisfy your appetite with a meal of tortilla chips and soda.  Or brats and beer.  Or hamburgers and ice cream.

And afterward you feel full, bloated and hot.

Fortunately there is a solution.  It is possible to eat well, have energy and avoid feeling bloated.

The trick is in the timing. With an easy tweak to your natural summer diet, you’ll feel fantastic.

simple summer eating tip

Summer Eating Tips

It should come as no surprise that I recommend eating lots of fruits and vegetables in the summer.  In fact, I recommend eating fruits and vegetables all year, but in the summer they are especially important.

Summer is a yang season and is associated with the fire element.  Fire governs the heart and small intestine.  When fire is balanced within the body, the heart governs and circulates the blood properly and the intestines properly digest food.  Emotionally you are balanced, sensitive and enthusiastic.  You feel good.  There are a few simple guidelines to keep
fire balanced.

  1. Focus on yin foods.  Yin foods are wet and cool.  Fruits and vegetables (especially green vegetables like lettuce, cucumbers and watercress) are yin.  For protein, eat fish or seafood instead of meat.  Smoothies and salads are yin and are excellent summer meals.
  2. Eat moderately.  Avoid huge meals.
  3. Eat bitter foods.  Bitter foods support the fire element.  Coffee, tea and chocolate (without sugar) are all bitter and moderate amounts of them are appropriate for summer health.  This is the season you can call your coffee a health food.  Asparagus, bitter greens like kale, arugula or escarole, celery and rhubarb are all good foods for the summer.

Eat Big in the Afternoon

If you focus on yin and bitter foods, your diet is cooling and light.  But what happens when you need more energy than a slice of watermelon provides? This is when the timing of your meals matters. If you need a heavier meal, eat it mid to late afternoon.  “Picnic time” is the best time to fuel up.  Avoid eating a big meal early or late in the day. A healthy summer eating plan starts with a breakfast of fruit, smoothies or yogurt.  Have a salad for lunch.  Eat a heavy meal later in the afternoon and end your day with more fruit.

By eating mostly fresh, light, wet foods and including a heavy meal only in the afternoon, you will help your fire burn bright but not out of control.  You’ll feel light, cool and energized.  Your heart, circulation and digestion will be strong.  You won’t feel bloated or full.

Traditional Chinese Medicine uses nutrition as a tool to maintain health and promote healing.  Eating a yin diet with your heavy meal in the late afternoon is good general advice, but your constitution may need a slightly different routine.  The proportion of yin food matters and varies from person to person.  To get the best summer eating tips, contact me and together we’ll make a plan that’s perfect for you.

one simple summer eating tip

Adapting To A Healthier Life

Imagine you are working at your desk and suddenly one of the fluorescent lights overhead starts buzzing. You take notice of it since it is a new stimulus, but don’t think much of it. The longer it persists, however, the more annoying it becomes. But, eventually you are able to ignore it and continue with your work, until finally you don’t even realize that the buzzing noise still continues.
Later that night you walk into a movie theater and are met by the overwhelming smell of fresh popped corn. After some time in the theater, the smell of the corn becomes virtually unnoticeable.

So what changed in the examples above? Did the light stop buzzing? Did the aroma coming from the popcorn machine diminish? Or did your body simply adapt to the situation?

The answer, of course, is that you adapted to the external stimuli. The body is designed to do so in order to avoid sensory overload.

Adaptation is a good thing when you are dealing with a trivial nuisance that should not garner an inordinate amount of your focus, but what about when you are dealing with more important stimuli pertaining to your health? More specifically, is it a good thing or a bad thing when you adapt to a stimulus if that trigger happens to be a bodily symptom?

That depends in part on the nature of the symptom, but in general it is not a good thing to simply ignore your body’s signals until they eventually fade into the background.

Headaches that are initially unbearable, or at least a persistent annoyance, can eventually go virtually unnoticed as you learn to adapt to the pain. It is not uncommon to hear people say that daily headaches are just a part of life. You can see that the line between adapting to the headache and adapting to a horrible quality of life quickly begins to blur.

Understand that when you are simply addressing a symptom, whether through your own ability to adapt, or by masking the pain with a medication, you are doing nothing to improve your situation.

Symptoms are your body’s warning system and are there to alert you to an underlying problem. Trying to adapt to (ignore) a continuous symptom is like mentally blocking out the fire alarm while your house burns down around you.

Remember that the symptom is not the problem, but a result of the problem. The only effective way to bolster your health and your quality of life is to correct the underlying cause. Getting regular acupuncture treatments can help you achieve the quality of life you want!

9 Healthy Holiday Eating Strategies

Holiday Family Meal
Pie. Cookies. Chocolate. Eggnog. Champagne. The holiday season is filled with good foods. You eat and drink with your friends and loved ones to celebrate how much you care about them. But we all know that too much of a good thing is no longer good. Too many rich foods can lead to extra pounds, digestion upsets, mood swings and a generally “yucky” feeling. It’s all about balance. Good, healthy holiday eating can make the difference between an enjoyable holiday season and a miserable one. The trick is to enjoy treats without overdoing them. Make a healthy holiday eating strategy and plan to enjoy the holiday celebrations without feeling bad the next day.

Healthy Holiday Eating Strategies

Strategy #1 Moderate
Decide on a moderate way to approach treats that are most tempting to you. Avoid brash decisions like “I won’t have any holiday cookies this year.” It’s easy to break unreasonable rules. Instead, make a moderate healthy holiday eating plan. For example, if cookies are your nemesis, allow yourself to eat 1 cookie at the holiday cookie exchange. If you can’t decide between your 2 favorite cookies, have a half of each. Either way you won’t feel deprived but you won’t overdo. Pick your battles to get maximum enjoyment with minimal deprivation.
Strategy #2 Substitute
Find healthy alternatives for rich, high calorie food. Substitute nuts and fruits (both fresh and dried) for cookies or candy. Drink juice instead of soda, and herbal tea instead of juice. Make eggnog with skim milk instead of cream. During a meal, eat mostly vegetables instead of potatoes and stuffing. And remember, sweet potatoes with brown sugar or marshmallows are closer to a dessert than a vegetable.
Strategy #3 Avoid Hunger
The hungrier you are, the more likely you will binge on bad foods. Remember to eat breakfast. Eat a healthy meal before you go to a party. Start every big meal with hot soup. Fill up with healthy food so you don’t race to the bad stuff.
Strategy #4 Maintain Healthy Routines
Don’t stop your healthy habits just because it’s a holiday. Continue to drink lots of water and get enough sleep. Make time to exercise. Spend meaningful time with your loved ones. Take time to meditate or pray. Get outside. Maintain the healthy habits that you already have. When you feel good, you’ll be less inclined to eat foods that make you feel bad.
Strategy #5 Journal
Keep track of what you eat and how you’re feeling. Write about your stresses and emotional upsets. Compose poems and short stories. Keeping a journal will give you a non-eating outlet for stress, and remind yourself how good it feels to be healthy, happy and creative.
Strategy #6 Trick Yourself
Trick yourself into thinking you’re eating a lot.Use small plates to make modest pie portions seem larger. Pour drinks into tall, skinny glasses to drink less. Fill your dinner plate with salad before adding the entrees. Full plates make small portions seem big.
Strategy #7 Partner Up
Get a healthy holiday eating buddy. Partners make it easier to keep your healthy commitments in the face of indulgences. They provide accountability and support.
Strategy #8 Commit
Look through this list of strategies and pick the ones that are the most helpful and the least difficult. Write down your list of healthy holiday eating guidelines and post them where you see them several times a day. Commit to following them. Don’t allow yourself excuses to break your rules.
Strategy #9 Tune Up
Now is a great time for an acupuncture tune-up. Acupuncture helps balance your body so it’s easier to make healthy choices.

Fit vs Healthy

On your mark...

We have all read the unfortunate headlines.
37 Year Old MLB Baseball Pitcher Dies of Heart Attack
NHL Hockey Player Found Dead in Condo at Age 35, No Foul Play Suspected
Olympic Skater’s Life Cut Short at 28, Dies of Natural Causes
These were elite athletes at the top of their sport. Were they fit? There’s no question about it.
Were they healthy? Not so much.
Let’s be clear. These athletes were certainly healthier than the majority of us. The very fact that they were competitive athletes at the top of their game required the physical work and commitment to get them there. The nature of their body composition, physical conditioning, and cardiovascular endurance left them less predisposed to many of the chronic ailments that tend to plague those of us with a more sedentary lifestyle.
On the other hand, a truly healthy body just doesn’t suddenly quit working. So clearly there is a big distinction between being physically fit and toned on the surface, and possessing genuine health and wellness underneath.
A physically fit body is typically a body that feels good and exudes health and vibrancy. But this often relies the fact that sickness and disease, such as cancer and cardiovascular disorders, can be festering undetected under the surface. Another prime example are meridian imbalances, which most of the time develop and progress painlessly while robbing the body of its vital energy.
So clearly, gauging your level of health and wellness based simply on the way that you look or feel on the outside can be a very dangerous practice.
In addition, a common misconception is that you can somehow exercise away an imbalance. This simply is not the case. While exercise is essential, and certainly encouraged for its plentitude of benefits, the only correction for an imbalance is an acupuncture treatment. Once the change is made, exercises, especially those specific to your condition, will serve to complement it.
So while health and fitness is certainly encouraged, exercise alone will not carry you to the pinnacle of health. The foundation of healthy living is a powerful free-flowing meridian system free to help the body without interference. That foundation is built by acupuncture.