Posts tagged ‘health’
Ugh. Limits. I hate having limits. I don’t like knowing that I can’t do something. I don’t want to say no or ask for help. I don’t want to be that high-maintenance person that can’t eat this, and can’t drink that. But you know what? I DO have limits. I really can’t eat certain foods or stay up all late or drink a bottle of red wine with my girlfriends because I’ll get sick. Every time. Whenever I try to push my limits too far, guess what? I get sick.
The truth is, we all have limits. Some people can manage on very little sleep and function normally. Some of us can’t. My husband can go hours and hours without eating and feel fine. I miss a meal and I’ll get über crabby and then proceed to pass out. Limits can be imposed by our bodies, our finances, and even our fears. We all have them, but we don’t always actually listen to those limits and then we get into trouble.
I’ve always been the busy girl involved in every club, every sport and every social scene. I used to say Yes to everyone and then suffer through the consequences of exhaustion and bad food choices. I’m beginning to learn that it’s OK to say No. It’s OK to be particular about how I spend my precious stores of energy and be picky about what I put into my body. It’s OK to cut ties with people who only drain my energy and cause me stress.
I’m coming to terms with my limits and beginning to listen to my body, and instead of feeling like I’m missing out, I’m actually happier because I feel so much better without the headaches and nausea. Instead of my friends being irritated with me, they’ve been amazingly supportive. Surprisingly, everyone was fine with my limits but me! I’m going to continue to work on being gentle with myself and accepting my limits.
Is there anything in your life screaming out for you to stop? Do you feel “limited”? If so, how does that affect your life?
I’m totally new to the blogging world, so I’m super excited about my first feature on another blog! Thank you, Eric over at Health Demystified! Little surprises like this feature keep me motivated to continue blogging and help get me out of “writer’s block” moments. Every “like” or comment I get on my blog let’s me know that there are others out in the world looking to improve their lives, their health, and their happiness just like I am. I am so blessed with this opportunity to share my story with the world and hope I continue to inspire you to take charge of your life and your health.
While you’re here, go check out Eric’s blog! He has a lot of really great health information and a unique angle on the health care industry that you don’t want to miss. Even though Eric’s blog is extremely informative, it’s funny too, so you’ll really enjoy every post. Click here to go to Eric’s blog, Health Demystified, and be enlightened.
It’s been one of those days in which I just feel downright crummy. I’m sitting here trying to ignore the throbbing pain in my head and the anxiety that keeps telling me why I suck. I’m in need of a little boost. I think I’m going to head outside into the sunshine for a little jog. Exercise is a powerful stress reliever, and I’m hoping it’ll get me out of my little funk.
What is your favorite bad-day buster?
It’s amazing how when you put your thoughts out into the world things return to you! Just as I was sitting to write this post, my inbox pinged me to notify me of a new email. The topic of that email? What to Expect at your First Acupuncture Treatment from my HuffPost Healthy Living Newsletter. I wish I had this information in hand when I first decided to try acupuncture, but at least I can make it available to you now that I’ve done my research and been to a few sessions myself.
Acupuncture is a relatively new experience for me. I was very nervous to go for my first session and I’m not even one of the estimated 10% of people afraid of needles. I was nervous because I didn’t know what to expect. The anxiety disappeared almost immediately after I began the interview with my LAc. She really took the time to get to know me and my story while being empathetic and understanding. We spent over 45 minutes discussing my health, concerns, diet, and lifestyle before she even mentioned doing an actual treatment with the needles. It was really refreshing to have a medical professional actually LISTEN and TRUST that I know my body best (I do live in it after all). When was the last time you experienced that with a Western trained physician?
P.S. The needles used are one-time disposable needles. They are extremely flexible and thin. It’s normal to have very slight bruising.
Once I actually got to the needles, the process was pleasantly quick and easy. I felt a slight “pinch” and tenderness in some places, but no major pain. Once the needles were properly placed (the webs of fingers, ears, tops of feet, neck, head, shins, and wrists) I felt immediately relaxed and most of the pain I had at the beginning dissipated. As each needle entered my body, she asked how I was feeling, and where the site of pain/pain level were at. Occasionally she stopped to take my pulse.
Want to try acupuncture? Here are a few conditions scientifically proven compatible with acupuncture treatments.
1. Headaches and migraines (this is the primary reason I go)
3. Chronic pain
4. Hormonal/Menstrual issues and Infertility
5. Digestive Disorders
6. Nausea and Vomiting (esp. caused by chemotherapy)
8. Stress and related ailments
Most doctors and researchers will admit that acupuncture works. During my first visit, my provider said, “We all know it works both anecdotal evidence and through research. We just don’t really know how.”
If you are thinking of trying acupuncture, but just don’t know what to expect, read on.
Below are steps to ease acupuncture anxiety and mentally prepare for your first session:
- Find a licensed and reputable practitioner. Look here if you don’t already have a referral from someone you trust. Also, look for a qualified and trained herbalist as well. Traditional Chinese herbs are often a complimentary treatment and can extend the amount of time between acupuncture treatments. You definitely want a practitioner who can find the correct blend of herbs for your specific ailment. My LAc blends herbs herself and adjusts the dosage/ingredients at every visit to make sure I am getting the most out of my treatments.
- Check with your insurance provider. You may actually have acupuncture benefits in your health plan! Find a LAc who accepts your insurance if you do, in fact, have coverage.
- Be mindful and in touch with your body. Knowing how you feel both emotionally and physically will make it easier for your provider to fine tune your treatments. Also, there is some evidence to “the placebo effect” having a genuine positive affect on the effectiveness of your treatment.
- Eat something light before your treatment otherwise you may feel a bit light-headed when you’re done.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing so that you can skip the awkward hospital gown.
- Use the restroom before your treatment because once the needles are in, you’ll need to lie still for about 30 minutes.
- Bring medical records and your health history. You’ll likely be asked these questions and it’s better to bring your records than try to remember off-hand.
- Ask questions. Don’t be shy! Your provider is there to help you! Also, the more information you give them, the easier it to treat you.
- Avoid intense exercise immediately following your session. Better yet, plan out an extra half an hour to nap. Many providers recommend taking a short nap immediately after a session to maximize the benefits of your treatment.
- Drink up! Water, water, water…or green tea! Stay hydrated.
Healthy living needs to become Habit. It’s not easy changing the way you live. My personal example: Coffee. I live for my morning coffee, my afternoon coffee…and the ones in between (I know, it’s horrible, you’re cringing). It’s not just the caffeine that’s addicting. I’m addicted to the comfort of the cup, the warmth, and the glorious smell. Coffee was my go to form of self-medication for headaches and sometimes even stress. Unfortunately caffeine can cause a phenomenon called rebound (more on that in a later post) and probably contributed to my head pain more than it helped.
Honestly, it’s been super challenging to cut the amount of coffee I consume, but making healthy substitutions (like green tea) is helping. I made my usual morning coffee and only drank half today so I know it’s getting easier.
Quitting coffee isn’t necessary for everyone, but if your doctor suggests it or you’re struggling with insomnia, it just might be a good idea. Coffee in and of itself is not the problem. Caffeine is the problem. Many health sources say coffee is fine in moderation, and may even be good for you. However, it’s important to remember that coffee does contain a potentially addictive stimulant.
Wish me luck on my quitting adventure! Luck to you on yours!
Living naturally sounds quite simple. In many ways, it is. The problem, however, is that we are accustomed to using chemically laden products, eating processed foods and medicating with prescription drugs. It often seems easier to pop a pill than it does to cook a healthy meal and go for a walk. In our over-scheduled, hectic lives we often take “shortcuts” that negatively impact our health. At first, these shortcuts make our lives easier and free up precious time. However, in the long run, unhealthy practices corrode our energy and weaken our immune defenses. Making time for exercise and rest actually increases productivity and improves energy in the long run. Proper nutrition is essential for the immune system. Your body will thank you for giving it all the tools (nutrients, sleep, exercise, etc.) it needs to work properly. I guarantee you’ll be happier and feel better when you allow your body to work as designed.
On that note, it’s ok to start small. Don’t expect to make one big swooping change and live an instantly different life. Studies have shown that it takes time to change behavioral patterns and form new habits. Studies also show behavioral changes last longer when made and mastered one at a time. Give yourself one small goal and work until you reach it. For example, it was my goal to ditch the chemical additives found in most personal care products. It occurred to me that I’d have to switch shampoo, toothpaste, lotion, makeup, perfume, mouthwash, soap, laundry detergent, hair products…you get the point. One simple goal actually ended up being more complicated than I thought. Honestly, there are a lot of products I haven’t changed yet because I decided to change products as I run out of the old ones to keep from being overwhelmed and wasting what I had previously purchased. Eventually, I will have all new products but it takes time. Be kind to yourself and start where you can. Little improvements add up to make big changes.
Sometimes we slip up a little. That’s fine. Just move on and try again tomorrow. Eventually, the habit will have formed and whatever it was you were trying to change will have become a part of your life. And then you’ll smile.
I’ve been seeing more and more positive media coverage on alternative medicine and natural living these days and it’s getting me excited! As alternative medicine is better understood, it becomes more accepted as a viable form of medicine and preventative health. Eventually, this means that insurance companies may begin covering services not typically considered “medically necessary” from the viewpoint of Western medicine. I am a firm believer that health is very personal.Therefore, every person ought to have choice when it comes to managing their health. It’s pretty exciting to see insurance companies beginning to add coverage for “alternative health” practices like preventative health, acupuncture, and mental health services. Eventually, I hope to see supplements and naturopaths fully covered as well.
Trying to follow every health fad or diet is stressful and ineffective. That’s why I’m including the best media coverage of health related news in my blog. Throughout this blog, I will be curating links on issues related to alternative medicine, health and wellness, nutrition, exercise and mental health. For example, I just came across this article today. It’s exciting to see the military incorporating acupuncture into treatments for anything ranging from back pain to PTSD.
Check back for the best health and wellness news on the web.
Welcome to my blog! I hope I am able to help you on your journey to living a more natural and healthy life. I began this blog after living with chronic migraines and daily headaches for over 12 years without relief. Throughout my teen years and early adulthood, each trip to the doctor left me feeling more helpless and frustrated than the last. Finally, after a near trip to the ER and countless hours of lost productivity, I declared war on my headaches and decided to take charge of my health. I made the decision to stop looking to modern medicine for all the answers and began searching for a more holistic solution. Alternative medicine, health (physical and mental), wellness and natural living have long been passions of mine so it only made sense that I would look to holistic methods for healing. I’m excited for the opportunity to share some of the research I’ve conducted, the changes I have implemented in my home, and the progress I am making on my journey to becoming headache free.