Cultivating a Healthy Lifestyle
A healthy lifestyle takes commitment to make good decisions daily. It can be overwhelming. But the payoff is worth it!
Feeling good is what we all want. When we don’t feel good, it’s harder to achieve our goals and enjoy the life we want. I always find a new appreciation for good health after recovering from a sickness or an injury. Good health is something we take for granted and something we wish we had appreciated when we don’t have it.
Luckily cultivating a healthy lifestyle is all about the basics:
Get good quality restful sleep
Sleep is vital for good health. While you are sleeping, your body is working hard to regenerate and your liver is working to cleanse your body of toxins. Quality sleep benefits your immune system, your energy, and your mood. People tend to be cranky and irritable when they are not sleeping well and aren’t able to handle stressful situations as well. If you struggle with sleep, creating a nighttime routine and good sleep hygiene can help. It’s important to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, decrease screen time before bed, and don’t bring work into the bedroom with you. Meditation or deep breathing can also help you fall asleep quicker. Once a nighttime ritual becomes a habit, it will signal to your body that it’s time to start winding down.
Eat a balanced and nutritious diet
You are what you eat, right? Your body wants to thrive. Why not give it the nutrients it needs so that it can thrive.
This body is the only one you get. Fill it with premium foods! Eat whole organic foods and avoid processed foods whenever possible. Get plenty of fruits and vegetables and try to make your meals colorful. Pay attention to which foods make you feel bad and avoid eating them in the future. Some of the common food sensitivities are dairy, gluten, corn, peanuts, and eggs. If you struggle with digestion, adding a probiotic is very beneficial. I also encourage patients to cook their veggies to help support their digestive system.
Stress is a huge contributor to health issues. We live in a world that often values a full schedule and burnout over rest and relaxation. We need to allow ourselves time to relax and regenerate. Find time to play and laugh. What makes you happy? What makes you forget about your to-do list for a moment? Do that daily. Even if it's just for a few minutes.
Appreciate the little things and let go of the perfectionism. Although focusing on the positives won’t remove your stress, it will certainly change what you’re giving energy to and will help your body enter a more relaxed state. Breathing exercises are something you can do throughout the day too. Even just one or two minutes of deep breathing can shift the body into a more calm state.
Exercise and move your body daily
We all know that movement and exercise are so important to our health. Adding exercise to your routine doesn’t have to feel overwhelming. Even a short amount of exercise can help so much. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park at the far end of the parking lot instead of the first spot, take a short walk on your work break. Blocking out time for exercise on your schedule can help with accountability. Treat it as if it’s an important meeting that can’t be rescheduled. Put together a workout bag the day before so it’s easy to grab and go in the morning. If exercise is planned, you are much more likely to follow through with it.
How Acupuncture can help
Acupuncture brings the body back to a parasympathetic (rest and relax) state so it can work efficiently. This helps improve how the body functions as a whole. When all the systems are working well together, everything improves. Sleep is more restorative, digestion is enhanced, and daily stressors feel more manageable. Not only does acupuncture support how the body works physically, but it also improves our emotional wellbeing. I often see patients walk through the door feeling overwhelmed and defeated and then walk out feeling regenerated and ready to take on the day.
It’s important to discuss a treatment plan with your acupuncturist based on your health and what your goals are. The number of treatments and frequency of treatments will vary based on the severity of the issue, the length of time you’ve had the issue, and how quickly your body responds to the treatments. Even after the original issue has been resolved, I always ask my patients to continue getting regular “tune-up” treatments to maintain their health and avoid having their health issues return.
If cultivating a healthy lifestyle is a goal for you, including regular acupuncture treatments in your wellness routine is the perfect addition.
Do you have health concerns & wonder if acupuncture is right for you?