Tag Archives: Gratitude

Say Hi Inside

This simple meditation suggests that you “smile” to all of your internal organs and glands. It is a way of saying “thank you” to your body for working 24 hours­­­, 7 days a week!

Focusing your attention and smiling in this way can calm the autonomic nervous system, revitalize the internal organs, and increase the flow of blood and Qi.

 

say hi inside

Below is the Inner Smile Meditation for the main Meridian Organ Systems:

Choose a quiet spot and keep warm throughout the meditation. Sit comfortably at the edge of a chair, feet flat on the ground with your back straight. Breathe deeply and relax. Clasp your hands together, left hand on bottom and right hand on top, palms touching, and rest them in your lap.
Close your eyes and feel a connection between the soles of your feet and the ground. Focus on the midpoint between your eyebrows. Place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth, just behind your front teeth. Put a smile on your face and journey down to the wonderfully amazing body that keeps you ALIVE, ALERT & ACTIVE!

Heart-See your heart as a vibrant red color. Focus the energy of “joy” into your heart. Feel it pulse with love. Breathe in and exhale with the sound of HAW.

Lungs – Radiate the feeling in your heart to your lungs. Picture your lungs as pure white. Focus on letting go of sadness and grief. Exhale with the sound of SSSSSS.

Liver – Keep the feeling spilling over into your liver, which is just under your ribs on the right side. Picture it as a vibrant grass-green. When exhaling, let go of anger and frustration with the sound of SHHHH.

Spleen- Continue to the left, under the ribs. Shine a vibrant yellow color into this organ. When you exhale, let go of over-thinking and worry, and use the sound of WHOO.

Kidney – Focus your attention on your lower back, just below and under your ribs. Imagine a deep blue-purple light. Breathe in courage and exhale fear. When you exhale, use the sound of WOOO.

It’s all right if you don’t know the exact locations of your organs. Just bringing awareness to your organs is benefit enough. Your body will love you just the same.

Perform each exercise 9 times, twice a day. These exercises can affect your body and mind, so it is advisable to consult with your healthcare provider before beginning any new exercise routines.

 

For more information, please refer to Mantak Chia’s book, Taoist Ways to Transform Stress into Vitality.

Copyright ©2012 Acupuncture Media Works. All Rights Reserved.

The Pessimist’s Guide to Gratitude

Your mother was right–say thank you.

Scientists have now proven what your mother always knew–it’s good to be grateful. Being grateful is more than just politeness; it’s actually good for your health and well-being.

In a study by Robert A. Emmons, of the University of California, and Davis and Michael E. McCullough, of the University of Miami, people who kept gratitude journals showed higher levels of health and well-being than people who journaled neutral events or counted hardships.  After 2 months, the people who journaled their gratitude felt more optimistic and happier than their control counterparts. They reported fewer physical problems and spent more time working out.  People with neuromuscular problems who did the same thing fell asleep more quickly, slept longer and woke up feeling more refreshed.  Even their spouses noticed the difference!

How can you cultivate gratefulness even if you’re a glass-half-empty person?

The first step for pessimists is to fake it.  Write down what you’re grateful for, even if you don’t feel it at the moment.  Eventually the habit of finding life’s gifts will change your outlook.

Keep your gratitude list simple.  Write down 5 things you’re grateful for every day.  Use short, simple sentences, but be specific.  “I’m grateful for my son” is less effective than “I’m grateful my son snuggled next to me before bed.”

Carry a traveling gratitude journal.  Buy a mini-notebook or use a note-taking app on your smart phone.  Count the things you’re grateful for as they happen.

And finally, write a gratitude letter.  Send a letter to someone who influenced your life and tell them how much you appreciated their support.  You’ll feel happy and you’ll make them feel happy.

The trick to building gratefulness is to do it often and regularly.  While the end of the year is a good time to celebrate gratefulness as a holiday, take the habit into your everyday life.  Soon you will notice that you feel lighter and happier.

I am grateful to all of you for an extraordinary year.  It has been my pleasure to work with you and support your health.

The Best and Worst – Thanksgiving Foods

Thanksgiving is a great meal. Friends and family come together to give thanks and celebrate the harvest season– and to overeat.
All of us know the feeling of eating too much, too heavy, too rich. When we should be enjoying our time with loved ones, we are uncomfortable. We exasperate our health conditions and catch a cold. We put on weight and feel lethargic.
I’m not going to tell you to make dramatic changes to your Thanksgiving meal. Usually that doesn’t work—and besides, it’s no fun.
Instead I suggest you just make small choices. Pick one food instead of the other. Make little positive choices and they’ll add up to a healthier, more enjoyable meal.

The Best and Worst Thanksgiving FoodsPie
Before we begin, let’s set some ground rules. Obviously, everyone uses different recipes and buys different products. Nutritional value of Thanksgiving foods can vary widely. And everyone has different health concerns—from watching calories, to cutting cholesterol to boosting their immune system.
The “Best and Worst Thanksgiving Foods” list is intended as a general guideline. Consider the overall nutritional value of each food—calories, fats, nutrients and additives. Which food moves you closest to your health goals?
Dark Meat vs. White Meat
This is the classic Thanksgiving debate. But for health, white meat has the advantage. For each 3oz serving, white meat has 50 fewer calories and 4g less fat than dark. And at Thanksgiving, you’re bound to eat more than 3oz.
Sweet Potatoes vs. Mashed Potatoes
Generally potatoes are a healthy food. I especially recommend sweet potatoes for fall and winter diets. But when you add Thanksgiving condiments to potatoes, they lose their nutritional standing. Gravy or butter makes mashed potatoes full of fat. And adding sugar or marshmallows to sweet potatoes makes them closer to dessert than a vegetable.
The best: Savory sweet potatoes. Bake diced sweet potatoes with a tiny bit of olive oil, garlic and rosemary for a delicious and nutritious side dish.
Clearly the worst: Mashed potatoes swimming in butter or gravy.
Homemade Gravy vs. Canned Gravy
Gravy is delicious—but bad for your health. Basically, gravy is fat.
One quarter cup of homemade gravy has 18g fat, most of which is saturated, and contains virtually no nutrients. On the other hand, canned gravy has less fat but it’s high in salts, sugar and preservatives.
The best: Both are equally bad. The best choice is to eat very small amounts (or none).
Brussel Sprouts vs. Collard Greens
This one is a trick question—they are both good. Skip the recipes with bacon fat; steam these up and fill your plate. They are good for you and they fill you up so you don’t overeat other foods.
The best: Tie for first place.
Homemade Cranberry Sauce vs. Canned Cranberry Sauce
Cranberries are healthy and full of phytochemicals, which help protect against urinary tract infections, inflammation and cancer. Unfortunately, cranberry sauce is a different matter. Canned cranberry sauce can have high fructose corn syrup. You can leave the corn syrup out of homemade sauce, but many recipes call for lots of sugar.
The best: Homemade cranberry sauce.
Bonus choices: Reduce the sugar in the recipe or skip the cranberry sauce altogether and save your sugar for dessert.
Beer vs. Wine
The beer vs. wine debate is hotly contested, with each side claiming victory. Generally a serving of wine has fewer calories than beer and in some studies it is linked to cardiovascular health and lower cholesterol. On the other hand, a serving of beer generally has more nutrients and less alcohol than wine.
The best: You pick based on your health concerns. Are you watching calories or alcohol intake? In both cases, moderation is best.
Apple Pie vs. Pumpkin Pie
Both apples and pumpkins are a healthy start, but they take a turn when they become pie. Pies have a lot of fat in the crust and sugar in the filling.
Which is healthier? Pumpkin pie weighs in with 95 fewer calories and 5g less fat than apple pie, mainly because it has only one crust and is topped with a small dollop of whipped cream instead of a large scoop of ice cream.
The best: Pumpkin pie. Bonus if you pass on the whipped cream.
Whipped Cream vs. Ice Cream
This is a tough comparison because there is a wide range of products in each category. From Cool Whip to homemade whipped cream, from “frozen dairy dessert” (read the label of cheap ice creams and you’ll see this description) to real ice cream—there is a wide range of ingredients.
Obviously, both have fats and sugars. But one big difference between the two is how they are served. Generally a scoop of ice cream on a piece of pie can be at least half a cup, while a dollop of whipped cream is closer to two tablespoons. A serving of whipped cream is simply smaller than a serving of ice cream.
In both cases, check the ingredient labels for pure natural ingredients. Homemade gives you more control of the ingredients but choose your recipes wisely. Whipping cream has less fat than heavy cream, but it’s the high fat content in the recipes that make it “good.”
The best: Whipping cream. Bonus if you stick to two tablespoons.
Happy Thanksgiving
Best wishes for a fun Thanksgiving feast. May you and your loved ones have safe travels and good times.

Thank You

THE PESSIMIST’S GUIDE TO GRATITUDE

Your mother was right–say thank you.

Scientists have now proven what your mother always knew–it’s good to be grateful. Being grateful is more than just politeness; it’s actually good for your health and well-being.

In a study by Robert A. Emmons, of the University of California, and Davis and Michael E. McCullough, of the University of Miami, people who kept gratitude journals showed higher levels of health and well-being than people who journaled neutral events or counted hardships.  After 2 months, the people who journaled their gratitude felt more optimistic and happier than their control counterparts. They reported fewer physical problems and spent more time working out.  People with neuromuscular problems who did the same thing fell asleep more quickly, slept longer and woke up feeling more refreshed.  Even their spouses noticed the difference!

How can you cultivate gratefulness even if you’re a glass-half-empty person?

The first step for pessimists is to fake it.  Write down what you’re grateful for, even if you don’t

feel it at the moment.  Eventually the habit of finding life’s gifts will change your outlook.

Keep your gratitude list simple.  Write down 5 things you’re grateful for every day.  Use short, simple sentences, but be specific.  “I’m grateful for my son” is less effective than “I’m grateful my son snuggled next to me before bed.”

Carry a traveling gratitude journal.  Buy a mini-notebook or use a note-taking app on your smart phone.  Count the things you’re grateful for as they happen.

And finally, write a gratitude letter.  Send a letter to someone who influenced your life and tell them how much you appreciated their support.  You’ll feel happy and you’ll make them feel happy.

The trick to building gratefulness is to do it often and regularly.  While the end of the year is a good time to celebrate gratefulness as a holiday, take the habit into your everyday life.  Soon you will notice that you feel lighter and happier.

I am grateful to all of you for an extraordinary year.  It has been my pleasure to work with you and support your health.