Traditional Chinese Medicine: General health guidelines
Nutrition, Sleep, Exercise, Relaxation
There are general things that we can do every day to further improve our health. These general things may seem difficult to do at first but once you get into a rhythm with it, you will notice that it has many benefits to your health and how you feel.
Below are some of the guidelines that I would like to recommend that you begin to incorporate into your life:
- Having a balanced, whole foods, organic meal is best.
- Majority of people have spleen qi deficiency. One way to improve spleen qi involves the avoidance of overeating the foods below or eliminating them.
- If you eat the following foods, then please be mindful and eat them only in moderation. Having a balanced, whole foods, organic meal is best.
- Fat/greasy foods
- Cold/raw foods
- Many people have insomnia and I understand that it may be difficult to get into a good sleeping schedule or have good quality sleep. However, one great way to build/nourish yin is to have good sleep. There are many benefits to a good night sleep such as better focus and concentration, increased energy, improvement in mood, etc. As a general rule of thumb, try to be in bed by 10 pm and be up by 7 AM. Sometimes we tend to do last minute things at night and by the time you know it, it’s already 10 pm or past 10 pm. Every minute that you stay up later to complete last minute tasks, there will be an impact on your energy and mood the next day and so forth.
- Many people have liver qi stagnation (stress). Exercising in moderation is a great way to move qi stagnation. Qi gong, Tai chi, yoga, aerobic exercise/cardio work out, dancing, walking, swimming, as well as many other are some of the different forms of exercise that you can do. In general, 150 minutes of exercise per week is good. Please discuss with your primary care provider in regards to which exercises would best suit you and how much you should do if you have any health conditions that may restrict your exercise.
- We live in such a fast paced and busy environment that many of the times we forget what relaxing is. I encourage you to find time to take care of yourself. If you are already doing it then GREAT. If you have room for improvement then make it a priority. I know it is easier said than done but just like the other general health recommendations above, you will notice so much improvement in your health if you can de-stress. Coming in to get acupuncture is one great way to help with relaxing and to take care of yourself and so you should give yourself a pat on your back for making this step already. Continue to find what works for you. Some ideas to help with relaxing includes but are not limited to:
- Meditation or breath work
- Reading a book
- Going out for walks with a family or friend
- Taking a nice, warm bath
- Taking naps when needed
- Sleeping on time
- Craniosacral therapy
Written by: Amy Lor, LAc, EAMP