It’s December! The end-of-year and new year madness have started. Christmas parties, family gatherings, catching up with friends – with October and November seemingly passing in a blur. Sound familiar?
We all tend to work in overdrive or hyper-vigilance – trying to be everything to everyone and everywhere at once. Hoping not to ‘drop’ the ball, all whilst keeping our eye on the prize of a Christmas Break! The end result…we finally get to relax and take some time to recharge and we inevitably get sick. Spending most of our holiday making promises to ourselves that next year will be different.
Why wait until the New Year to reboot or recharge?
Chinese Medicine is all about creating balance. Making sure the body’s energy system or Qi is flowing harmoniously through your body via energy pathways, or so called meridians. When there is a disruption or a weakness in the flow of these meridians, you veer off track and that’s when fatigue, stress, anxiety or pain might set in and general health can get affected.
So how do you unwind, stay healthy and on top of everything?
There are several things you may look at implementing into your daily routine to make sure you can rest and relax on holidays and not simply fall in a heap.
Acupuncture directly addresses the flow of Qi in your body. In the case of low energy or fatigue, we might try to strengthen the Qi flow and bring Yin and Yang energy back into balance.
If Yang (active energy) is not anchored in Yin (restorative energy), it can become hyperactive and lead to anxiety, agitation and as sense of feeling overheated. The result might lead you to feel tired but wired.
On the other hand, if Yin energy becomes too dominant, you might feel lethargic, depressed and cold in your body.
By rebalancing Yin and Yang, we are working towards settling your body and mind, activating your autonomous nervous system, and allowing your system to rebalance and ‘fill the tank’ with positive energy. Simply put, acupuncture is like a tune-up for your body…it helps put everything back where it should be!
This is the hardest to tackle leading into Christmas. Whilst we aren’t trying to take away the Christmas ‘cheer’, we are saying moderation. Have some days off from foods and drinks that slow you down or impact on you gut, liver and kidneys. Processed foods, sugars, alcohol, caffeine, gluten, dairy and red meat all take time to process. Ever wonder why after a huge meal you need a nap! Your poor body is working overtime to breakdown the foods. The less refined,the healthier it is for your body to process them and convert them into useful nutrition. Your gut, liver and kidneys will thank you and you will have the energy and drive to go for that morning walk along the beach instead of the urge to sleep in!
When looking at the full picture Oriental medicine combines the elements of Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal in creating a balance or harmony within your body. Attached to each of these elements are natural herbs that can be used to support and ‘encourage’ your body back into balance. It is really important to mention any additional medications, natural or prescribed when discussing supportive herbs as these may impact on the effectiveness.
Rest! It sounds crazy, but we do actually need rest. A time to recharge. Set an alarm to remind you to put down the devices, turn off the tv, 30 to 60 minutes before you want to go to sleep. A second alarm reminds you to go to bed! An adult requires between 7 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep a day!
We also need to look at all of things we are trying to cram into each day and ask the importance of them. Can the dishes sit there for an hour longer whilst you read a bed time story to your child or can the washing wait whilst you lay in the hammock with a cup of tea? Prioritising your ‘to do list’ and trying to weave in small ‘down times’ will allow you to unwind.
Time for you! Whether it is 10 to 20 minutes first thing in the morning, when the house is quiet or 15 minutes prior to closing your eyes. Having time to sit somewhere peaceful inside or outside and reflect on what your intentions are for the day (e.g kindness, gratitude, patience etc) and give you a sense of calm and direction. At night reflecting about the day and what you have already achieved will help you sleep better and quieten your mind.Reflection time will allow you to take a deep breath and face your busy day with clear purpose.
Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet that solves everything. The only way to bring your body back into balance is to listen to it. Take the time to understand the impact that work and life have on your health and take the simple advice of slowing down.
If you would like to squeeze in a catch up before Christmas arrives, book through our new online system or give us a call on (07) 3371 0100.
Make the most of the Christmas period and have a safe and happy holiday!
Ondol Clinic reopens on the 10th January 2019 to help you welcome in the New Year and start 2019 with purpose and a clean slate!