Cultivating FLOW in life, Hormone Regulation, Building RESILIENCE
This weather is an exercise is patience. It's WARM, it's cold, it's windy, it's sunny, it's gray, it's SNOWING?!? It's a transition season, and that involves a lot of back and forth. Which has the potential to bring some irritability with the unpredictability. With that scenario in mind, I want to discuss SYSTEMS in our bodies, and how they flow. Our bodies want regularity--regular sleep, regulated energy, regulated emotional states, regulated blood sugar, regular menstrual cycles, regular bowel movements. When those systems get thrown off, it throws us off.
One way to set the tone for regularity in our internal systems is to set a rhythm within our days, weeks, months. Pick a regular bedtime, and a regular wake time. Choose to eat meals at regular times, so your body knows how to regulate blood sugar. Choose to exercise regularly during the week, and to take some time for mindfulness each day. Now, I'm not proposing a boring, regimented life, but one where the systems FLOW in an orderly fashion. Within that organization is a freedom, a security in knowing that your systems are keeping you healthy. As many of you know, I love to do qi gong--a flowing, moving meditation that organizes my energy so that I can move through my days, relationships and emotions in a flowing fashion.
When our internal systems are off, or in big transition, it often shows up as pain, or discomfort. Constipation, painful periods, perimenopause, headaches, exhaustion, insomnia, irritability, depression, anxiety, weight gain, back pain, neck and shoulder tension--you name it. And while we will never remove all external stressors in our lives, (I think that's just called LIFE!), we can do things support our systems so that they function more efficiently and don't add to the daily stress load.
How do we organize our systems? The biggest bang for my buck is some sort of daily mindfulness practice--qi gong, meditation, walking meditation, you name it. A chance to pause, check in, and get grounded. It's like hitting the re-set button for our systems. This pause often provides the opportunity to see things in new ways, understand why things are off, and to see what steps need to be taken to find flow again. With that in mind, here is a link that discusses the best apps to start a daily mindfulness habit. Teaser: some of them do micro-mindfulness--3 minute meditations. Remember, it's not about perfection, it's about small, daily habits that add up to a big difference!
But what about those internal systems? As a 47 year old, I know a bit about hormones in flux. And I'm not just talking to women, here! As we age, our hormones change, and it's not pathological--it's a natural shift of aging. BUT it doesn't have to be MISERABLE! Chinese medicine can ease these hormonal shifts and pave the way to the next phase of life, with more ease and less discomfort. Be in touch if you need some help with regulating your cycles, regulating your energy, regulating your sleep and metabolism. If you want to be proactive about this, and you want to impress your family with some Chinese medicine skills, here's a link to short video I made about self-care hormonal acupressure points:
In thinking about rhythm and regularity, I caught myself wishing I could feel AMAZING every. single. day. Wouldn't that be nice? It's sort of the thing I strive for with my patients and my life. However, there are ups and downs within EVERY day, week, month and year. It's what makes the high-flying amazing times feel SO GOOD. There's power in the contrast between not so great, 100% human days and those days of feeling invincible. So why bother? Well, decreasing the magnitude between those shifts help us feel more aligned with the natural rhythm and flow of change. I like to use the idea of RESILIENCE as a method for managing the more challenging times. One thing I often tell my patients is that there WILL be stress in life. It's how we manage it that gives us power. Here's a short and sweet article from the NYTimes with some simple tips for building RESILIENCE into your life (and you don't have to be middle-aged to use them!)
After all your good hard work, here's a treat of some delicious spring recipes to help you feel in sync with the season, nurtured, and hopeful for warmer weather!
For quick reference, here are the quick and dirty spring take-aways for more flow in your life:
1. Keep it regular
2. Keep it moving
3. Pay attention
4. Invest in yourself
4. Build RESILIENCE
I write these newsletters because I truly LOVE helping people live more robust, flowing lives. Lives with less pain, better digestion, balanced hormones, great sleep and energy, and strong mental health. If you know someone who may need a boost in this area, please feel free to share this newsletter--I'd love to help them too! If YOU or a family member feel like you could use a good spring tuneup, give us a call and we'll get you feeling better in your body and your life.
SUPER EASY QUICK FLOW TIP: MASSAGE
Jomar Yockey, the exceptionally talented Massage Therapist has a few openings this FRIDAY and SATURDAY. Don't fret over the chilly weather this weekend, do some good self nurturing and get yourself out of that TIGHT NECK and SHOULDERS, rid of that LOW BACK pain, and into the FLOW of relaxation!
Here's a link to our NEW scheduling page (and new WEBSITE!)
Thanks so much for reading, for taking care of yourselves, and for being part of our world!
In deep humanity AND loving kindness,
PS: I so appreciate your referrals--thank you for spreading the word about my corner of the world and holistic health! I really love helping our community feel better, one person at a time.