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Three Essential Components to Staying Conscious, Mindful, and at Ease

Three Essential Components to Staying Conscious, Mindful, and at Ease

We are living through stressful times. It’s time we elevate our lifestyle to incorporate a foundation of health that will keep us healthy, grounded, and centered in our everyday lives. If we follow this three basic practices, we can come back to center as we navigate through our everyday experiences. If we get triggered, we can come back to center. With a simple daily practice we can bring these into our everyday lives helping to keep us healthy, our immune system ,strong and our spirit resilient. It’s what we need in these times.

The three essential components to staying conscious, mindful and at ease are 

  1. Breathing
  2. Hydration
  3. Sleep

Breath Deep, from the Belly

The breath is the Organizing Principle. Proper breathing allows the body to extract Qi (Chi) from the air just as we extract nutrients from food. When we practice mindful breathing we connect the brain and the heart with the kidneys and all the organs can communicate. We feed our life force.  Now more than ever, we need to recognize the shift from self-care to essential practice. 

A Simple Way to Begin.

  1. At night before sleep, while resting in bed, place one hand on the belly and one hand on the heart. 
  2. Take a deep cleansing breath and  exhale strong. We are ready to begin, 
  3. With your hands still in place, breathe in slowly into the abdomen, feel the belly rise. Inhale to 60% capacity. 
  4. Exhale long and slow. The exhale should be double the length of the in-breath. (Want to know why? In stretching we stretch deeper, we release on the exhale. In Martial Arts we kick or punch on the exhale. The action or the release happens on the exhale.)

As you practice nightly, you allow your body to come into the Parasympathetic state (rest & digest). This was considered self-care prior to 2020 and it is now essential. 

You can also watch this Video: Qi Gong Breathing: 7 Minutes to calm body and mind

Welcome, Good Water

Proper Hydration is critical for all of the functions of the body. When dehydrated, the fibers of the muscle look like a dry lake bed. They lose their conductivity. This makes pain feel worse and can hinder or delay recovery. Even if sub-clinical, dehydration can cause muscle pain and tightness. Even if you drink water regularly,  you can become dehydrated.

How much should I drink?

Everyone’s hydration’s needs are different. But here is a general idea from what The Mayo Clinic recommends:

Around 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men

Around 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for womenAn easy way to get your water in is to pre-fill your bottles of water for the day and make your way through them. Often we need electrolytes as well so as not to over tax the kidneys. Always be sure to drink clean, purified water without chlorine or fluoride. 

Rest Deeply

Now, more than ever we need adequate sleep. Life is stressful in a macro way, not just a micro way as it used to be. We are all affected by what’s happening in the collective, we need to sleep, to rest and to recharge our body, mind and spirit. Everyone’s sleep needs are different. Some need 8 hours, some need 10 hours. Experiment and see what helps you feel well-rested in the morning. 

See what bedtime works best for you. Often climbing into bed by 10pm allows for deeper rest even if reading for 20 minutes. For a good night’s rest, be sure that all cell phones are off and out of the room. Turn off the wifi in your home. Disengage from electronics, news and other stressful events 30min to 1hr before rest. Try some gentle yoga stretching with the lights low, drink some warm decaffeinated tea, practice deep breathing and then rest and repair. 

If you’d like support with a breath work daily practice, learning more about hydration or help with better sleep. Call us, we can help.

We're Here to Help. Schedule Now.

 or Call our office 828-333-5087​ to discuss your options.

Holiday Gift Preview

Holiday Gift Preview

Packaged Treatments with Products – Great for loved ones, someone new to acupuncture, or yourself!

We’ve been working hard to create quality value-added gifts for you and your loved ones this holiday season. In the coming days we will be officially rolling these out.

We are finalizing all the details right now – please contact us to get on the pre-sale alert list.

+ Back Pain / Back Health +

Support for chronic and acute back pain.

Includes: 90 min Treatment Session*, Herbal Bath Soak, Pain Cream, Plasters/patches, *Add-on Treatments Optional

 

+ Computer User Rescue +

At the computer all day? Come and get some overdue treatment support for eyes, head, neck, shoulders, brain and body.

Includes: 90 min Treatment Session*, Magnets for daily treatment, Shungite, Free and easy wanderer herbal formula, * Add-on Treatments Optional

+ Stress Less * Sleep More +

Need Some Serious Self Care? Now you can Stress Less and Sleep More

Includes: 90 min Treatment Session*, Sleep Supportive herbs, Rose Hydrosol, Lavender Essential oil, Lavender Chamomile Tea from Asheville Tea Co, *Add on Treatments Available

 

+ Cold, Flu, and Immune Support +

Come in for a deep immune boosting session and get everything to support yourself and family at home.

Includes: 90 min Treatment Session*, Home Moxa Set, Skin Brush, Gan Mao Ling Herbal Formula, Cold/flu tea, * Add-on Treatments Optional

Foot Pain Cure

Got foot pain? Arch issues? Plantar Fasciitis? Toes run amok? Come in and get support for your foot pain.

Includes 90 Treatment Session*, Silver Ball Foot Magnets, Foot soak – Sinew Relaxing Zheng Gu, * Add-on Treatments Optional

+ Chinese Medicine First Aid Kit +

Curated by Chad, this on the go kit has everything you need – take it camping, hiking, traveling and more. Details soon.

Gift Cards

Customize your own design or purchase a take home card in the clinic -these are available to purchase for any amount right now.

We're Here to Help. Schedule Now.

 or Call our office 828-333-5087​ to discuss your options.

Give Yourself a Break and Support Your Adrenals

Give Yourself a Break and Support Your Adrenals

It’s been a rough few years and we have all been -to varying degrees- in fight or flight. This raises cortisol and puts extra strain on the Adrenal Glands.

Here are some quick tips to support your healthy body and its myriad of functions:

  • Get plenty of rest – 8-10 hours of sleep, embrace naps, and scheduled downtime.
  • Hydrate – have you tuned into your water lately? Drink high quality H2O and plenty of it.
  • Support your Kidneys (the Adrenals and Kidneys are best friends) – do this by doing the above, drinking bone broth or vegan mineral broth, keeping warm, being chill.
  • Moxa & Acupuncture support the Kidneys and Adrenal function – they are the deepest layer, they are in charge of the will and in relationship to the heart spirit as well. A moxa and acupuncture treatment can support better sleep (goodbye insomnia), relieve anxiety, and support the body in keeping the parasympathetic response.

What is your stress level on a scale of 1-10?

Sometimes the first step is to realize you are operating at a high level of stress. Some folks feel like they are at a 4 when they’re really at an 11 on scale of 1 to 10. Take a moment to tune in and assess where you really are. Are there activities or habits you can let go of?

We are here to support you. Call to schedule an acupuncture treatment or a health coaching phone session.

 

We're Here to Help. Schedule Now.

 or Call our office 828-333-5087​ to discuss your options.

4 Ways to Make the Most Out of Water

4 Ways to Make the Most Out of Water

What is the best way to Hydrate? There are a lot of differing opinions out there (much like with food) and many of them are sound and good. So how do you know which is best for you?

The Answer: You have to tune in and find out.  Here are a few quick tips on the best way to make the most out of drinking your water.

1. Drink 2-4 cups with lemon upon waking.

When we sleep, our bodies are very busy repairing and detoxing. When we awaken, we are actually quite dehydrated. When you wake up squeeze a wedge of lemon into a glass of water and drink it. The lemon helps cleanse your liver and flush out toxins as the water hydrates you. My Nana used to do this every morning. It’s a terrific way to start hydrating and getting in your glasses of water. Then drink a tall glass of water.

2. Don’t drink water while you eat.

When we chew, we release digestive enzymes –digestion begins in the mouth. If we down water with our food, we dilute our digestive juices and hamper, digestion and absorption. Wait 20-30 minutes before or after you eat to drink your water — in between meals.

3. Drink throughout the day, and stop a few hours before bed.

Start first thing in the morning. Drink water when you’re hungry instead of reaching for a snack right away. See if water can quench your perceived hunger. Timing differs for everyone, find your optimum stopping point so that you may have a full night’s rest without waking for trips to the bathroom.

4. How much?

While it’s important to hydrate, how much water depends on what you’re eating. If you’re diet is rich with raw fruits and vegetables, you’ll find you need less water. If you eat a lot of cooked foods (the water cooks out) you’ll require more water by the glass. It’s important for you to be the judge. In the winter we tend to drink less water.  A basic rule of thumb is the drink half your body weight in ounces. Example: 140lbs = 70 ounces of water per day.  Keep in mind, too much water drinking can tax the kidneys.

Not enough water can cause dehydration, increased appetite, dry skin, hair, brittle nails, sluggishness, constipation and whole host of other things. There are many health professionals that believe the root of illness and disease is chronic dehydration. Our job is to tune into our unique body to find out what it needs. 

When I follow the steps above, I stay regular (who doesn’t want that?), my skin looks great, my energy flows, and I feel good. I do however, have to make a conscious effort to hydrate, the habit comes and goes for me. What about you?

Test out steps 1 -3 for a week and let us know what you find out. How much water are you drinking now? What are your water drinking goals?

Read about Hydration’s Role in Healing.

Nourish Yourself with Golden Milk

Nourish Yourself with Golden Milk

Golden Milk is a delicious and nourishing drink that packs incredible health benefits into one warm mug at a time.

It’s very

Some of the wonderful benefits of Golden Milk:

  • Anti-inflammatory – easing joint pain
  • Soothing to the spirit and aids in digestion and sleep
  • Supports healthy liver function
  • Supports the spleen and stomach
  • Supports healthy blood sugar levels
  • Supports the heart and brain
  • Supports a healthy immune system
  • Supports the nervous system

The key Ingredient in Golden Milk  is tumeric – which is a powerhouse. Curcumin is the most active ingredient in turmeric – It’s a strong antioxidant is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial  anti-fungal. However, curcumin is not well-absorbed into the body — UNLESS it is blended with black pepper. Black pepper contains piperine which has it’s own anti-inflammatory properties. The black pepper enhances the curcumin ability to work synergistically with the body.  Golden milk is blended with other herbs and spices for flavor and health benefits. Once you begin to get the hang of it you can add your own favorites in.

You can drink Golden Milk 2- 3 times per day. I prefer it before bed. You can make a homemade version with our recipe below or purchase a  mix. We have used Gaia Herbs brand and it is wonderful – with the added benefit of Ashwaganda. Ashwaganda is an adaptogen which helps the body deal with stress. That said, you can certainly add that into your recipe.

Delicious Golden Milk at Home

  • 1 cup Milk or  Dairy Free coconut milk (regular, full-fat, canned)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (can use MCT coconut oil)
  • 1½ teaspoons ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom (optional – to taste –  I love cardamom and addition to almost everything)
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • if sugar sensitive sweeten with 10 drops liquid pure stevia extract, or to taste
  • OR Sweeten with raw honey to taste after removing from heat
Directions:
  1. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, whisk together the coconut milk,  water, coconut oil, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, and pepper. Warm slowly until hot but not simmering, about 7 minutes
  2. Remove the pan from the heat, and whisk in the stevia or honey (not both!)
  3. Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to three days

 

 

The Kidneys Ask Us to Slow Down

The Kidneys Ask Us to Slow Down

In Traditional East Asian Medicine, the body’s physiological processes can be viewed through the lens of Five Phase theory. 

Each phase relates to a major organ, an emotion and a season. 

All things can be viewed through this lens for easy discussion and healing discoveries.

The heart and lungs are relatively higher in the body away from the earth. They process blood and air every second of every day. 

 

The liver and spleen are physically just below the diaphragm in the middle. They process food and blood on a daily or in some cases weekly cycles. 

 

The kidneys are the lowest of these five.

They rule events in life such as birth, puberty, child bearing.

These processes are slow. 

In the last 40 or so years the speed of our lifestyles has increased exponentially.  Mother Earth is still telling us all to slow down – more. 

In 2020 I went from 50 patients per week to 22. It wasn’t by choice. But it was most certainly better for me. More time for conscious breathing, exercise, and hydrating. 

Kidney Deficiency usually manifests in the low back and the knees.

This past year has been challenging, heart-breaking, and difficult to varying degrees for each of us.  As we press on into this third wave, it is important to understand the stress this has on the kidneys. We are all to some degree in fight or flight. We are in survival mode. Every social pattern we have known has been disrupted and changed. As we move through this transition, the healthiest thing we can do is to acknowledge how this affects the kidneys and support ourselves accordingly.

In the kidneys resides essence or Jing and our will to live.

The connection between the kidneys and the heart is important to understand. If you look at the diagram, you may notice  that this is the axis of fear and joy. Water and fire. This is a spectrum. The antidote for fear – is Cultivating Joy. The adrenals and kidneys are directly connected. We want to nourish our kidneys and support our essence. We can do this in the following ways:

  • Turn the TV off
  • Take a holiday from social media
  • Go outside. Make a fire, talk a walk, tend to your yard- connect with the natural rhythms of nature. Feel the wind, see the stars, you get the idea.
  • Get plenty of rest at regular intervals
  • Hydrate well and often with good quality
  • 20 min Gentle movement necessary during the day – yoga, qi-gong or pleasant walk in the park (not a 3 mile run)
  • Plan to do less
  • Practice self-care
  • Drink bone broth or mineral broth if vegetarian

 

The Kidneys…

  • are at the deepest level of all the organs (this operates on the levels of mind, body and spirit) 
  • control your entire blood pressure system
  • regulate Blood cell production
  • regulate all the water in the body (regulate the salinity of the water through the advanced filtration system)
  • are related to the element of water and are in affinity with the colors black and blue (where these colors to support the kidneys!)
  • In the Kidneys we find the will – including the will to live – the will to move forward and conversely, fear. Kidneys out of balance will be an experience of stuckness/frozen in fear. It is like the roots of the tree are all dried out.

Winter is the time of a deep going within, it is the season of the kidneys, so having loving intention in this direction can amplify our process.

If we can find the gifts, the silver linings and perhaps even find the joy in places and moments we can proceed in that direction, slowly, mindfully and heal.