New Year, new pathways to health

For many, the New Year is time to start detoxing from all the indulgence of Christmas, with new goals for the new year set including losing weight.  Who really wants to detox in one of the coldest months of the year?Deciding to be healthier is no bad thing, but detoxing is best left for Spring.  In Chinese Medicine, Spring is when the Liver and Gall Bladder are most active. This is when your body has more energy reserves available to detox.  With the start of a new calendar year, it is a great time to set new routines and habits for the months ahead. This mindset can support your health and well-being and enable you to get the most enjoyment out of life.

Get Active

One way to start addressing the Christmas spread is to incorporate exercise into daily life. As it’s dark when we wake and when we leave our places of work, we don’t get to spend as much time outdoors as in the Summer. Making just a few changes to our usual routine, can make a noticeable difference to our health. If you normally take a bus, train, tube or drive to work, then maybe walk the last 20 minutes. You will need to be well dressed for the weather. This will help you start the day feeling invigorated and ready for action.If you work in a large office covering many floors, try walking if you need to visit a colleague or go to a meeting on another floor rather than use the lift.

Nutrition

This is a good time to start bulk cooking and making bulk batches of healthy snacks. This means you will be less likely to reach for sugar at mid-morning or mid-afternoon when your energy levels start to crash. Cooking can be fun and very relaxing, especially if you’re making lovely treats!  Try making your own raw chocolate, which is lower in sugar. It’s quick, fun and you can make it to your taste, as well as saving you money. Even though I believe detoxing should be left for Spring time, making healthier choices is good.

Holistic treatments to aid health and wellbeing

To clear out the toxins from your body, why not try cupping and massage? This will help promote the removal of toxins from the lymphatic system. You will also need to drink plenty of water to aid this function after treatment. Another benefit is it will sooth stiff, achy muscles, which are holding tension due to the colder weather.

Less Wrinkles

If you’re looking in the mirror, noticing a couple more lines or blemishes and you’re not happy, this is the time to have cosmetic acupuncture.  It is a treatment that causes local injury to the skin, around the site of the needle insertion. By breaking down old collagen and then replacing it with the new, helps delay the signs of ageing. It is predominantly concerned with treating lines, wrinkles and acne scarring. Body points are also used to aid overall well-being. This is a good alternative to botox and fillers. Your face will still look natural and have expression and no toxins are injected in to the body.

For those who like to understand treatments backed with some scientific research, there is plenty out there on this subject but essentially collagen has been shown to improve by up to 200% around the local needle site, after just one treatment. Take a look at the links below:

Digital Detox

When we think of improving our routines, we also need to consider switching off tablets, smartphones and computers at a reasonable hour. The blue light they emit can stimulate the brain and disrupt sleep. By turning these off, a couple of hours before bedtime means your body can start to wind down properly. Don’t be afraid to step away from what’s digital and regain your evenings of reading a good book and listening to music.

Meditation

Exercise regimes are very concerned with their external appearance but let’s not forget about mental health. We all know, how helpful meditation is, to keep us calm amongst the business of life. You don’t have to go on a full day cource or weekend retreat. It’s about finding the time for just 5 or 10 minutes a day and training yourself to find that quiet, calm space. There are several Apps out now that can help you get started with this.

Sing

Do you sing in the shower, if not, why not?  I’ve often heard it said that singing makes you feel uplifted and happy, but perhaps it depends on what you sing…  From a Chinese Medicine perspective, singing engages and moves the diaphragm. By moving the diaphragm, you move the small muscles around the ribs and the pelvis, so the heart can beat effectively. A sign that the diaphragm isn’t moving well and allowing the heart to pump blood efficiently, will be a tendency toward cold extremities. When the heart pumps, you move the blood. From a Chinese Medicine perspective, the blood houses the spirit, so when you move the blood you can move stuck emotions. Chanting can also be very good for this and can be very soothing at the same time.

Know your community

It seems like online interaction is more common than meeting people face to face now. However, we still need to feel connected to people and rooted in our local community. So why not try to get involved in your community this year and try and to establish better, more fulfilling contacts with people face to face. This is another way we can feel nourished and supported in the place we live.

Wishing you a happy, healthy and thoughtful 2019!