The Ultimate Holistic Guide to a Healthy 2019
by Rene Ng, DOM, AP, L.Ac.
In January of each year, most of start listing out our new year’s resolutions. Typically, these involve losing weight, getting healthier, making financial strides or maintaining positive relationships. But when it comes to getting healthier, this should include more than just nutritious eating and consistent exercising. This requires you to re-assess everything about your current lifestyle. Here are the top habits that you should take into account when putting together your list of health resolutions:
Breathe Fresh Air
Contrary to popular belief, the factor that starts us on the path to health is not positive nutrition—it is an adequate supply of oxygen in our blood. Our circulatory system provides the nutrients to the entire body. When quality, oxygen-rich blood flows and nourishes our organ systems, they become strong and perform their functions well.
One of these functions is to assimilate and digest the food we consume. So include regular walks (15 minutes or more) as often as possible (preferably daily) in oxygen-filled areas surrounded by trees. Walk slowly, breathe deep and make a conscious effort to clear your thoughts and just enjoy the fresh air that you breathe in.
This is an item on almost every person’s resolution list. But what does it mean to eat healthy? To eliminate red meat or dessert, for example? In Chinese Medicine, everything is expressed in terms of the Yin and Yang energies. Being healthy means the body is in homeostasis. The Yin and the Yang energies are balanced and flourishing. To achieve this, moderation is the key. Too much of anything is not beneficial.
You need to have equal, balanced portions of meat, vegetables, acidic fruits and alkanlinic fruits. And you also do need suger, as it feeds the ATP process that produces energy the body needs. Too much sugar, however, is not healthy and can increase inflammation in the body and can lead to the development of health issues.
That being said, limit the intake of dairy, desserts, and oily, greasy, and fried foods. What about GMOs and processed foods? The less you consume, the better, of course. And keep fruit in your refrigerator, so when you open the refrigerator late in the evening because you are hungry and want to grab a bite, you will have a healthier option when compared to high-fat foods, desserts and ice cream.
Develop Smart Eating Habits
The human body is a creature of habit. It functions best when its processes are consistent, especially when it comes to food. When you eat the same number of meals and at the same time every day, then you are helping the body plan out the distribution and use of these nutrients from food. Consistency allows the body to know when to expect new food coming into it. This helps the body determine how much to use and how much to store between each meal, it and helps to optimize the overall funcationing of the body. So eat slowly, chew thoroughly, and allow enough time for the food to digest.
Ensure Regular Bowels
Food that is not transformed into nutrients and used by the body become waste products which we need to expel from the body. Otherwise, over time, these waste products can turn toxic and can even become harmful to the body as forms of tumors and cancers. Therefore it is essential that we maintain a healthy bowel movement system and are able to go regularly and daily.
You can do so by maintaining an optimum amount of fiber in your diet and by keeping your intestines moist so that the lubricated stool can pass. Nutrition plays a significant part in maintaining bowel health, so you should minimize intake of dairy products, fried/oily foods, and also drink plenty of fluids. Including foods such as watermelon and peaches in your diet can also help to facilitate bowel movements.
Say “Sayonara” to Stress
This does not mean that you can eliminate stress entirely. In fact, for the majority of people (if not all), stress is part of their lives when it comes to family, career, health, environment and more. You cannot run away from it. However, you can find more outlets that will allow you to manage this stress constructively.
Stress is like a balloon. You fill it with air, and sooner or later, it will burst. But if you release some air every now and then, the balloon will never reach its breaking point.You need to find ways to constantly release stress, otherwise you might lose control and potentially have a nervous breakdown.
Stress affects us both physically and emotionally. To manage physical stress, become involved in hardcore physical activities such as competitive sports, iron pumping, running and other cardiovascular exercises. This will disperse the energy (Qi) that is stagnated in the body whenever stress prevails.
In addition, Emotional stress affects us mentally, and if not controlled, depression or irritability can manifest. Creative outlets that nourish positive energy control emotional stress. So find creative pursuits such as dancing, singing, painting, drawing, sewing and designing. Convert the stagnated emotional energy into vibrant energy. Then you will be less overwhelmed by stress and able to channel that stress meaningful and exciting outcomes.
Develop a Healthy, Happy Spirit
A happy mind is essential to a happy heart, and a happy heart is essential to a happy life. When you exist in a state of happiness, you will experience an improved quality and enhanced physical and mental health. You’re able to look forward to waking up each morning, and somehow, positive karma seems to be nearby.
As part of your resolution, plan activites that will provide fulfillment. One powerful way is through the process of giving. So involve yourself in charitable and non-profit work. Religious people have many opportunities for doing this at their churches, mosques, synagogues, temples and missions. Donate your time and lend a helping hand to those in need.
I do not necessarily mean monetary giving either. Often, putting in a tactile effort is more powerful than just donating a dollar. The feeling that you have just helped someone in need cannot be measured or weighed in terms of dollars and cents—it will feel more like gold, and will cause a huge smile to spread across your face.
Strenghten Your Body
Allocate time to exercise and move the body on a conistent basis. Physical activities promote circulation and keep the muscles and internal framework strong. Breathing and energetic exercises such as Tai Chi, Qi Gong and meditation smooth out the flow of energy in the body, unobstruct stagnated energy and calm the mind. Eye movement exercises (including ping-pong) keep the eyes lubricated and the associated muscles strong. This leads to healthy vision and slows down the deterioration of eyesight.
R3 à Recover, Rest and Relax
The body is like a well-oiled machine, constantly being used and always in action—sometimes running at 100 miles per hour non-stop for days at a time. But if we do not pause and allow this machine rest and recover, it will break down sooner or later. Regular, adequate sleep is essential to the body’s recovery from exposure to daily turmoils.
Create a schedule that allows you a couple of hours each night to unwind, refrain from electronics and other optic nerve-stimulating devices, slow the brain down and allow for your food to digest before going to sleep. Meditation, hot bath soaks, calming teas and essential oils can help to achieve this.
So there you have it—my top areas to cover in a list of resolutions for the New Year. So will 2019 be a healthy one for you? The choice is yours— so Happy New Year, and I wish you all a safe, prosperious and healthy 2019.
Rene Ng, DOM, AP, L.Ac., is a board-certified, licensed Acupuncture Physician and Chinese Herbalist in Sarasota. He is a three-time winner of Sarasota’s “Favorite Acupuncture Physician.” For more information, call 941-773-5156 or email RNG@ChineseMedicalSolutions.com.Edit ModuleShow Tags