Categories > Stress Relief

Mindfulness Meditation Class

Mindfulness Meditation: the art of seeing clearly what is happening and how we are relating to it.
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Tips For Getting A Better Sleep

Sleep, everybody needs it, but not everyone can seem to get enough of it. People often fill their day with too many tasks and don’t leave enough time for quality shut-eye. But then there are people who have the time to sleep, but still wake up feeling tired and not well rested. This can happen for a number of reasons and it can be frustrating, but the good news is there are steps you can take to provide yourself with a better sleep every night.

Sleep vs.Good Sleep

You might be sleeping, but are you getting a good sleep? Sometimes we don’t sleep as well as we should, for a variety of reasons. A common problem that many people experience is that they are not sleeping deeply enough or are wakeful throughout the night.

There are a number of reasons why a person might not be getting the deep rest they need. Sometimes those problems are biological. Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea may interrupt normal sleep cycles, reducing the quality of sleep and causing the person to still be tired in the morning. Often sleep is restless because of environmental factors. Things such as excess lights and sounds or uncomfortable temperatures can cause wakefulness throughout the night. Anxiety and stress can also reduce sleep quality. If your mind is not relaxed, you may become restless and wakeful throughout the night, which reduces your quality of sleep.

Setting Up a Good Sleep Environment

If your sleep issues are environmental, there are steps you can take to improve your environment for sleeping. For instance, if light bothers you, you might want to consider a blackout shade in your bedroom. The light from a streetlight might seem fairly dim and distant, but it can be enough to compromise your sleep quality.

If noise is the issue, you might want to consider getting heavier curtains to filter out outdoor sounds. A white noise machine may also be effective in covering disruptive noises, providing for a more peaceful sleep.

Dealing with Health Issues

If your inability to get a good night’s sleep is related to physical or mental health, don’t assume those problems will just go away or that you can fix them on your own. Any health issue requires attention from a doctor. By avoiding the doctor, you might actually be worsening the problem as your lack of sleep will be making matters worse.

A Good Sleep Routine

If the problem is that you’re having a hard time getting to sleep, get yourself in a sleep routine. Try turning off the TV or any other screens an hour or two before bed time to let your mind de-stimulate. Try to relax yourself further with mediation or a warm bath. Make sure your bedroom is a clean and peaceful environment that you enjoy being in.

It may take time, but by establishing good sleep habits and taking care of any health issues inhibiting your sleep, you will improve your sleep quality and your overall quality of life.

Meditation, Acupuncture, and Massage Therapy Can Help

If you are having trouble sleeping, meditation is an effective and easy way to set yourself up for a successful night’s sleep. Some techniques for meditation that are proven to be effective in helping people fall asleep include deep breathing, guided visualization, progressive muscle relaxation, and mindfulness exercises.

Further, acupuncture and massage therapy are successful treatment options for many types of sleep disorders and promotes relaxation. Click here to learn more about how acupuncture, massage therapy, and meditation can improve your sleep!

If you have any questions on our mind body medicine, acupuncture, and massage therapy and how to improve sleep quality, please do not hesitate to contact us today!

Mindfulness Meditation Class: Self­-Compassion and Presence

Want a moment of calm? Who doesn’t! Let’s face it, we are getting busier, doing more for others and less for ourselves. But, there is a way to create a moment of calm in your busy week, that’s right just for yourself. (more…)

Mindfulness Meditation Class: Self­-Compassion and Presence

Want a moment of calm? Who doesn’t! Let’s face it, we are getting busier, doing more for others and less for ourselves. But, there is a way to create a moment of calm in your busy week, that’s right just for yourself. (more…)

Mitigating the Harmful Effects of Stress

There are times when stress is completely unavoidable, such as a high demanding job, training for a competitive sport event, dispute with your partner or friends, or caring for a sick parent, etc. (more…)

4 Board Certified Fellows of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine at Whole Family Health

Congratulations to Christina Pistotnik RAc, DAc, HHP, FABORM and Monica Patt RAc, HHP, FABORM on your recent certification with ABORM! (more…)

Mindfulness Meditation Class: Self­-Compassion and Presence

Want a moment of calm? Who doesn’t! Let’s face it, we are getting busier, doing more for others and less for ourselves. But, there is a way to create a moment of calm in your busy week, that’s right just for yourself. (more…)

Mindfulness Meditation Class: Self­-Compassion and Presence

Want a moment of calm? Who doesn’t! Let’s face it, we are getting busier, doing more for others and less for ourselves. But, there is a way to create a moment of calm in your busy week, that’s right just for yourself. (more…)

Anxiety Risking our Health and Happiness Part 3: Five Strategies for Coping with Anxiety and Stress

I know it may seem hard to believe but I am not always the most calm and collected individual, anxiety can hit me like a ton of bricks and trust me it can be hard to come out of. Here are some strategies that I’ve learned to help me cope:

  1. Regular Exercise
    This helps me to expel that extra pent up energy that can often turn into anxious type feelings. I’m not saying that you have to run five miles a day, but scheduling at least 30-60 min three times a week of moderate to intermediate physical activity will quell over whelming feelings of anxiety and stress. Plus getting the blood pumping and body moving enhances the release of endorphins which helps us feel happy.  Exercise also, benefits self-esteem by seeing physical results that may include less body fat, increased stamina, and muscle tone.
  2. Proper Eating Habits
    I know that if I let myself get too hungry I am not a happy camper (some people call it hangry) Therefore, it is important to be eating regular meals everyday in order to stabilize blood sugar. When blood sugar becomes too low it causes stress to the brain and can lead to anxiety becoming worse. This is because the body is not getting nutrients into the blood stream.The types of food that you put into your body also have an effect on anxiety. Feel good meals should include:
    -Foods high in Tryptophan (precursor to serotonin): Turkey, chicken, banana, oats, cheese, soy, nuts, and sesame seeds.
    – Vitamin B rich foods/supplements: Beef, chicken, pork, eggs, leafy greens, legumes, rice, oranges/citrus fruits, nuts, and whole grains
    -Omega 3 rich foods/supplements: Chia seeds, flax seeds/oil, salmon, tuna, lake trout, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies
    –  Foods high in Protein (stimulates production of norepinephrine and dopamine): Greek yogurt, lentils, beans, soy, nuts, cheese, eggs, and meat

    Foods that should be avoided that increase anxiety include:
    -Caffeinated and alcoholic drinks: both lead to dehydration, which increases chances of anxiety. Caffeine also suppresses brain serotonin and as we know this is a feel good hormone.
    -Foods high in sugar: The initial reaction to sugar may feel good at first but as the body releases insulin to counter balance that rush the body and mind are left feeling tired and in a low mood.
    -Processed foods (meats, high fat dairy, fried foods) A UK study found that people who consumed processed foods regularly were more prone to anxiety and depression (source).

  3. Breathing Exercises
    Sometimes I let my day get away from me and realize that I have not been taking full breaths and wonder why all of a sudden I’m feeling overwhelmed? Therefore I’ve been trying to make a conscious effort to take a few deep breaths every 30 min to help my mind and body feel more at ease.  Deep breathing gets more oxygen into our body that stimulates our calm at rest state of being also known as the Parasympathetic nervous system. Shallow breaths stimulate our fight or flight response or our sympathetic nervous system thus making us feel anxious and overwhelmed.
    One particularly easy breathing technique I like and can be done anywhere at anytime is called “Equal Breathing” Start by inhaling through your nose and count to four and be conscious that you are moving the air all the way down (your abdomen should inflate if you are doing it right) and then exhale through your nose for a count of four. I like to do this 2-3 times in a row to really get myself in a calmer state.
  4. Me Time
    Schedule at least thirty minutes to an hour to your own downtime every week is also important when managing anxiety and stress. Relishing in the things you like to do will help you to feel happy and grounded. These things can be as simple as taking a bath, reading a book, or listening to your favourite music.  Invest time in yourself, because you are worth it!
  5. Acupuncture
    As stated in my previous blogs regarding anxiety, acupuncture helps to reduce stress hormones in the body.  This is essential for the body to get to its state of rest and relaxation by inducing the parasympathetic nervous system to go into action. Another added bonus to acupuncture is that it can be counted as me time! How often do we get to just lay back and relax for 45 minutes without the world buzzing around us? When coming in for anxiety treatments, I suggest starting off with weekly appointments to monitor how you are coping and if things are going well then we taper the treatments off to twice a month then to once a month.

If you have any questions about how acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help your stress and anxiety, please do not hesitate to contact us today!

Hope for Recovery from Concussions

I’m sure you know someone who has suffered from a concussion at some point in time. Concussions are unfortunately relatively common, with an estimated 1.6 million to 3.8 million concussions occurring each year in the United States.
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