Blog : Lifestyle
One question I ran into as while walking more and one that I’m sure you came to is: how much movement do I need to do daily? It’s common to hear 10,000 steps a day, but the conclusion that I found is as simple and complex as just saying more.
This all depends on where you’re in your health journey, but take the average number of steps you walk in a day and increase it. For example, if you walk 3,000 steps a day work on a goal of 4,500 steps a day. As your body gets used to that increase, you’ll find it possible to take even more steps or to increase the speed. Saying 10,000 steps is a nice number for people to give (along with other phrases like, “drink 8 glasses of water.”), but giving people the standard advice doesn’t really work because there isn’t a standard person. One person’s first marathon could simply be walking to the mailbox and back. So, figure out where you’re at in your process, decide where you want to be, and work on a plan to get there. Everyone at Red Earth will be here to help you along that journey.
Last month, I covered Line Creek in Peachtree City. This month, I’m going to talk about the trails Samhain and I used while getting into a walking schedule-Brown’s Mill Battlefield in Newnan, GA.
In the clinic, there are three components to restoring your body’s ability to heal: acupuncture, herbs, and lifestyle. Two of these components- Acupuncture and Herbs- are available to everybody and discussed regularly. The third component, except for nutrition, has been left to the side, out of the larger discussion. However, it’s super important and filled with so many fascinating nuances that it’s high time to bring it into the conversation.
Lifestyle is the portion that you can control and has a great effect on the success of the other two. It’s not just about nutrition, it’s about movement, managing stress, and balancing your life.
A regular component of the newsletter has been about recipes, and those are not going away, but I want to introduce a second component: movement with my special guest Samhain (Sow-en).
Breathing. It's something we're always doing. We rarely, if ever, even think about it. What if I told you that we’re getting it all mixed up?
Try this out to see what I mean:
Take a breath in. Now breathe out. Are your shoulders going up with the breath in and down with the breath out? Does your stomach stay still? That's the breathing that most people do on a daily basis, called vertical breathing or shallow breathing.
To get a better idea of how of breathing should be, try this:
Sit up tall, shoulders back. Breathe in for 4 seconds. Hold for 4 seconds. Exhale 4 seconds. Hold for 4 seconds. Repeat for as long as you want.
Do you feel your stomach expand and contract with the breath? That's the breath fully filling your lungs. This is the breathing we did as babies/ toddlers and, as long as there are no specific issues, this is how we breathe when we sleep. So, if this is the way the body is supposed to work, why don't we breathe like that all the time?
Well, it started with going to school.
Let’s look at the fastest, easiest things people can do stay healthy and keep the terrain of their bodies as favorable as possible to stay in balance and fight disease.
When we learn about disturbing events and news that makes us cringe such as we have heard in the last few weeks, it can be extremely hard for us to process it. We may think that it’s something that just should not have happened, it goes against our sense of right and wrong, and we just can’t get our minds around why and how it happened. We may become obsessed with watching the same news reports over and over trying to grasp what happened. However, this just brings more sorrow and distress for the victims, and makes us feel like we are helpless to do anything. We may even fear for ourselves and our families. The more we watch, the more we feel despair, fear, anger, grief and discouragement. And when other traumatic life events such as the death of a loved one, or a car accident happen in the midst of this chaos, we can reach the tipping point and experience these emotions in a big way. If we have experienced trauma in the past, then current shocking events may trigger a resurgence of negative emotions and anxiety. One of the down-sides of our current media saturated culture is that it is easy to become “caught” in a negative media feedback loop. To help break this cycle, you can simply give yourself a “News Fast,” by turning off the TV and not checking Facebook, etc. for a period of time. Regarding stress, trauma and negative thoughts, we have seen many people helped through using acupuncture.
One of our recommendations for calming the emotions is to meditate, however we realize that some people are intimidated by the word 'meditate', don't know how to do it, or feel that they aren’t good at it. Sitting with the thoughts that arise during meditation can be very difficult for those who are dealing with traumatic experiences. In these cases, guided imagery is very helpful to calm the mind and can be a great way to learn to meditate.
We frequently suggest getting outside to reconnect with nature as a way to become more grounded and ease emotional upsets. This poem sums it up beautifully.
Summer, the Fire Season, is the most yang of the seasons. It is a time of lush growth, brightness, activity and heat, particularly in the South. In Chinese Medicine, fire is related to the heart, blood vessels, Small Intestine and the emotions (see the February post to learn more about the heart). The heart is in charge of memory, emotions, consciousness, thinking, sleep and speech.
When Fire is imbalanced, we see symptoms such as anxiety, despair, poor circulation, hypertension, heart palpitations, and insomnia. In nature, extreme heat withers and dries crops, creates drought and blazing forest fires, and we too can easily become overheated during the summer months. Here are our top 10 tips to keep your fire in check during the summer.