Blue Heron Holistic Health Shaping Healthy Bodies, Minds, And Hearts Through Chinese Medicine

Proven Ways to Stay Well

It’s that time of year again! Time to figure out how to stay well! As an Amma Therapist, I am often treating clients through the fall, winter and spring with colds and flus. Many people come in to see me with symptoms of runny or stuffy nose, watery eyes, sore throat, fever and aches. All of those things are often pushed out within a one hour Amma session! That means that yes, usually by the next day or the day after, they feel that they no longer have a cold or have very minimal symptoms. That is the best deal you can get to stay well. Now, there are things that need to be done to keep the cold from coming back, and there are things to prevent them.

In order to stay well, we must address the physical body. How do we get sick in the first place? Usually it is because we are overdoing it, stressing ourselves and not giving ourselves enough sleep or rest time. If you want to be well the best ways to prevent illness is listening to your body, getting adequate sleep, getting regular Amma treatments, getting sufficient stretching and movement time in, and eating well!

In the autumn we begin to eat mostly cooked foods. We can add in more pungents at this time, as well as bringing in some sour and bitter to keep a good balance. Focusing on squashes, root vegetables (especially turnips, beets and parsnips), basil, cardamom, rosemary, thyme, spinach, kale, turnips, baked pears and apples), warm lemon water and nettle tea.

As metal is the element for the autumn season, we must address the principles of metal. There are metals in the body and we must look at minerals and detoxification. See my last email and blog for detox tips. Are you getting enough foods with minerals? If you aren’t sleeping well, you may have a mineral deficiency.

Metal is also a conductor, so has to do with communication. How are we communicating in this season? We must be assertive and know when to speak up for ourselves and loved ones. If you are having trouble communicating your needs, you may have a metal imbalance. Amma therapy also addresses these in treatment.

Remember, the best way to stay well is to be preventative! Giving yourself the gift of Amma each month is a way to honor your body’s need for rest, positive touch, energy balancing, and letting go of ways in which we have become “stuck”. In order to serve you better, I am offering a 15% discount this month to boost your immunity.

To Health!

Tanya

On Cleansing

With the season change, minimizing and simplifying are an important   
consideration. I recently found a way to cut out meal planning,   
cooking and long grocery trips~ it’s called cleansing! Lol!! No, I   
actually love all of the above, but it is nice to take a break, as   
with all things. And, as with minimizing clutter in our outer lives, 
it is good to clean house within!

Cleansing is a great way to give our digestion a rest. It has many   
health benefits, but after a lot of research recently on the detox   
process and cleansing, I have learned that it is a necessity. We   
live in a toxic world and no matter how good you eat and how careful 
you are to avoid chemicals and toxins they are in all of our air,   
water and food. Yes, even our organics. This is why it is even more   
important to always buy organic when possible, to have a good water   
filter, and to use glass containers for food storage.

As an Amma Therapist, I treat and work with people with autoimmune   
conditions, gut issues and other imbalances that are due to living   
in a toxic world! Often, our bodies are carrying a load for a long   
time before we notice and feel dis-ease. I have much to share on   
ways to detox for specific conditions and how to unload the toxin   
burden from your body.

One important way to remove the toxin burden from our over-stressed   
systems is with a cleanse. The more I have read into the Stanley   
Burrough’s Master Cleanse and used it myself, the more I have come   
to believe that not only is it a very safe and effective cleanse,   
but it may be the only one really needed to clear someone out   
regardless of what kind of condition~ be it acute or chronic that   
you may have. I also recommend some additional teas or supplements   
before or after this regime, but this is a great one! Please always   
consult with your doctor before starting a cleanse and enJoy!

The Master Cleanse

   1.  First, squeeze organic Lemons or Limes (approx. ½ lemon)
   2.  Then add real Maple Syrup, or Molasses if you have blood sugar   
issues
   3.  Then add 1/10 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper into 8 oz. pure Water   
(room temperature)
   4.  Combine the juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper in a 10 oz   
glass jar w/lid and fill with the room temperature water. If it’s cold outside, warm water should always be used. Shake it up and drink.
   5.  Drink a minimum of six to 12 glasses throughout the day   
whenever one is hungry
   6.  Take a laxative before bed.
   7.  Instead of the morning laxative, you can do the Salt Water Flush.

  INTERNAL SALT WATER BATHING DIRECTIONS: Prepare a full quart of   
lukewarm water and add two level teaspoons of sea salt. Do not use   
ordinary iodized salt, as it will not work properly. Drink the   
entire quart of salt and water first thing in the morning. This must  
  be taken on an empty stomach. The salt and water will not separate   
but will stay intact and quickly and thoroughly wash the entire   
tract in about one hour. Several eliminations will likely occur. The  
  salt water has the same specific gravity as the blood, hence the   
kidneys cannot pick up the water and the blood cannot pick up the   
salt. This may be taken as often as needed for proper washing of the  
  entire digestive system. If the salt water does not work the first   
time, try adding a little more or a little less salt until the   
proper balance is found; or possible take extra water with or   
without salt. NOTE: Do not take enemas or colonics at any time   
during the cleansing diet or afterwards. They are unnecessary and   
can be extremely harmful. This method will cleanse the entire   
digestive tract while the colonics and enemas will only reach the   
colon or a small part of it.

To Health! 

Tanya

 

 

Body Psychology: A Holistic Approach and the Modern Day Experiment

There is so much information out there on how to be healthy and what to eat. A big focus with my clients in guiding them to health in treatment is with Holistic Nutrition. But, as I often tell clients, it’s not just what  you eat, but how  you eat that makes a difference.  We are living in a time where people are having record weight gain, including children. Many people are sending their body mixed signals with not knowing what to eat, eating when they shouldn’t and feeling bad about their choices. There are challenges for each of us in keeping up on science research and sorting it from the trends.

We humans will always be evolving in our knowledge and even our body’s nutritional needs will continue to evolve. This particular time in history is especially interesting though, because in no other time in human evolution have we been exposed to as many environmental toxins, and in no other time have we eaten “foods” that do not exist in nature. Couple that with how our lives are taken over by media and electronics and we live more sedentary lives. In addition we are increasingly spending less time out in nature than in past generations. Our lives are full of stress and as we expose ourselves to more anger and violence through the media, our bodies respond by raising our insulin and cortisol. This constant stress makes our bodies weak and we are prone to illness and autoimmune conditions.  We are the Great Experiment.

You may have heard “Food is Love” and “You are What You Eat”. Perhaps you have heard the expression there are two types of people: Those who ‘eat to live’ and those who ‘live to eat’.  If we want to find health, then it is imperative to think of health in a holistic concept of nourishing the body, mind and spirit.

My recommendations to make this happen include making a commitment to create the healthiest gut ecosystem possible. We can do this by consuming whole foods which are foods that are grown in nature in their original form, unprocessed and unrefined. Processed foods and especially sugar are what we want to limit, as these are what create inflammation and stifle healthy gut flora.

This does not mean being perfect or never eating desserts or giving up an entire food group. There are do’s and don’ts, but these are for each individual based on their metabolic and biochemical needs. What is important is that most of the time we eat foods that are full of nutrition, that we enjoy them, and eat mindfully.  We all can help this process by becoming curious about our connection to foods, to our body’s needs, and learning when we are eating out of distraction, being tired, or to cover up an emotion.

Part of this curiosity can be channeled into each of us being our own best doctor. This may sound like an oxymoron, but it takes educating ourselves with reputable research which often entails seeking out a mentor who is knowledgeable about Holistic Nutrition.  This can be in the form of reading things from sources outside of media that may have an agenda. Once we have solid information, we can make informed decisions. We can and must also listen to our bodies. You are the only authority on your body! We each get to make decisions and learn through them. We can see what our intuition says. And when the body detects something foreign such as a chemical toxin that ends up in our foods, our bodies will reject these foods through pain and discomfort. When we continue to not listen, it will ‘up the ante’ and give us issues with these foods through food sensitivities, intolerances, allergies, or illness.  As these things come up in our lives we can see what changes we need to make and seek out help when it’s appropriate.

We get to be scientists as we get curious, seeing how our bodies react each time we eat. And also it means not beating ourselves up when we make a mistake or eating something we know is “bad”. When we constantly bombard ourselves with body judgment and criticism, we are not sending our body love. Our relationship to ourselves is modeled to our children as well. If we want them to be healthy and live long lives, then we must show them how to do this. Here’s an example. Sugar isn’t bad but how we use it can be. (It is arguably a drug that we as a society deem acceptable and overuse.) So talking to the young people in our lives about their choices is imperative. Having conversations with ourselves and our loved ones such as, “How does your body feel after you eat the sugar coated cereal?” is a strategy to empower us. By listening to how our bodies interpret what we put into it, we gain control and are able to make healthy choices through knowing the consequences.

Our body sends signals to us about our health all day long. We need to listen to our bodies telling us when we aren’t getting enough down time, or when we are pushing ourselves too hard during exercise, or not moving our body when it is begging us to! Being aware of adrenaline coming up after listening to loud and chaotic music, or to the stress response in our body after watching an action movie is important if we want to calm down the nervous system. Looking at our environment and assessing how it is impacting our health is necessary too. Living in areas where there is a lot of noise, air or light pollution can be a drain on your health. Last of all we need to spend time with ourselves and figure out the input we are receiving from body signals. We may have so many bombardments with physical, spiritual, emotional and mental needs that it may take some time to sort and process it all.

While we live in a world that seems to be accepting of denying body wisdom, we each have the responsibility to choose differently. When we don’t listen to our bodies they become sick. As someone who had a chronic autoimmune condition and suffered for years, I choose to be proactive in continuing learning to take preventative care of my body. I encourage you and support you to do the same!

Wishes for Optimal Health,

Tanya

 

Health In Summer Season

Here we are in the summer season with lots of heat! With another transitioning of the seasons, it is again helpful to keep in mind ways in which to keep the body in harmony. It’s a great time to eat more raw vegetables and fruits. The flavor of bitter correlates to the season of summer and eating more of it can assist your body. Some bitter foods to add in are: cabbage, turnip, artichoke, asparagus, miso, horseradish, brussel sprouts, kohlrabi, cauliflower, zucchini, mustard green, endive, watercress, arugula, kale, broccoli, dandelion greens and a little unsweetened chocolate (70% +).

The corresponding organs of summer are: the heart, small intestine, pericardium and triple heater. Issues with these show a need to balance your body’s fire. High blood pressure and low blood pressure, edema and cold hands and feet can be signs of a fire imbalance. The digestive fire must burn to process food well, and any gut issues mean the fire is low or not burning.

Out of balance fire may manifest as excessive joy, nervousness, inappropriate laughter or sadness. If there is fatigue, being overly shy, afraid to play, overly serious, or fainthearted then you may also have an imbalance. Other signs of disharmony include not being able to sort out things in your life, difficulty having sound judgment, trouble with compassion or serving others, and either no sex drive or too much sexual activity. (Too much sex depletes your body’s energy reserves.)

Amma bodywork is one of the best ways to balance the fire element. Because Amma is based on Chinese Medicine, I can address the correlating organs and help remove any blockages that have occurred. The body will then begin to regulate the blood flow better, assimilate the food digesting, and extract the nourishment, all while keeping balanced emotions. One can then express themselves with creativity, warmth and vitality!

To Abundant Health!

Tanya

Spring Energetics

The season of spring is upon us and with it comes more yang (activity), longer days and nature is awakening from its dormancy. Yay flowers, colors, and growth!!! With the season of planting, ideas are birthed and this is a time of creating new growth in all areas of life. What is your vision for your life and for your health? This is a good time to take an inventory, make new goals or check your progress.

Wood is the element from the five element system of Chinese Medicine that governs this spring season. When we are in harmony with the wood element we are flexible in our lives and we have good judgment. We are able to focus, organize, plan, make decisions and stay calm.

With a wood disharmony a person may exhibit poor flexibility (problems with ligaments and tendons), spinal problems, headaches, and neck and back tension. Being out of balance can add to poor immunity and illness can come up. From a psychological/emotional standpoint a person may become unrooted, anxious, angry, easily irritated, controlling, lack vision, or unable to decide or plan.

Enjoying sour foods during this season will assist in keeping the body in harmony with the wood element. Be careful to not overdo it, as too much sour also shows an imbalance.

The liver and the gallbladder are the organs associated with the spring. These organs are able to purify the blood, regulate metabolism, influence hormones and store vitamins for later use. If the gall bladder and liver are overloaded you will have more of the disharmonies mentioned above. It is important not to overdo alcohol, drugs, fried foods and meats. It is time to add a little more raw veggies in and sprouts are a great addition. Spring can also be a great time to cleanse. Let’s talk before you begin though, to be sure your body is up for doing so.

Come in this month for a check in on your health goals! Amma therapy brings the organs into harmony, and you will feel at ease and have clarity once again!

Here’s to a Healthy and Vibrant Spring!!!

~Tanya

Daylights Savings: A Good Idea?

How many of you wake up to the sound of (alarm) going off to get your day started? Raise your hands. How many of you would like to wake naturally? I know I would and was prior to this last Daylights savings. And it took me a long point in life to get to a place where I could do this!

According to the Journal of Sleep Medicine a 2009 study said that it can take from one day and up to 3 weeks for some people to get back adjusted to their schedule. “Like anytime you lose sleep, springing forward causes a decrease in performance, concentration, and memory.”

How many people in this room experienced more high stress episodes or emotional breakdowns in their lives over the last two weeks after we “lost” an hour? How many saw an increase in mistakes or accidents? How many experienced a decrease in concentration? I asked these same questions on a poll that I took on my Facebook page the week after Daylights Savings had happened to see how it affected people.

Here are some of the results: “Kids having difficulty and behavior has reflected this at school”, “totally sucky week”,  “I have had a harder time waking up and falling asleep making me more tired throughout the day. Also, I am sick today and I haven’t been sick in a year or so”, “Caught a rare cold”, “Worst week in months…similar to last year when the change happened. I find I still go to bed and try and wake on the old schedule, and take it extra easy, because I am all out of sorts. Normally, I know what time it is, in my gut, all day. When the change happens, I just feel CRAPPY.”, “I missed an appointment, for a MASSAGE. I never miss any, especially not that!”, “Friends have had sudden onset of anxiety attacks”, “I was late because I couldn’t get up in the morning! Have been very sleepy, groggy/foggy and not productive at all…I’m noticing how hungry I seem, too! This whole week has been a hurdle. I made a huge purchasing mistake on my credit card, too! I thought I was paying $89 for software when it was, in fact, $869!!! “, A woman who teaches special ed preschool, put it bluntly, “I have not had a stellar week.”

It’s important to know that when we change the time and have to get up either an hour earlier or an hour later, we are changing the circadian rhythm of the body. To put it another way, our bodies have an internal clock that tell us when to sleep and to do all these physiological processes, most of which we don’t have to think about. Disrupting the body’s sleep cycle is not a part of the natural biological rhythms of the body! You may have heard about when someone tried to explain Daylights Savings to an old Indian chief he said, “Only the white man’s government would be so stupid as to cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it onto the bottom, and think they have a longer blanket.” This makes me laugh every time I hear it!

I will also say that in my FB study, some people said they did okay with the transition. One woman said black tea helped. And I will say that many people who do better ingested higher amounts of caffeine, or regularly use it, or they were already up when it’s dark and so didn’t notice as much of a difference.

In a 2007 study published in the journal ‘Current Biology’. The researchers suggested that humans never really adjust to DST, and they explained that “the biological clock is in tune to natural changes in light throughout the seasons, and doesn’t respond well to artificial or social changes in the time.”

My body definitely wants to wait to get up with the sun. And personally, the saddest part about losing the hour is not getting to slowly gain that hour over the course of days, weeks and months, experiencing that light getting longer and longer.

Each person’s ability to adapt to the time change is different and varies depending on how much sleep you are currently getting, the amount of caffeine and alcohol you consume, as well as how much exercise you are getting. Other things that interfere with the body’s natural circadian rhythm is how much light you are exposed to during the day, how much artificial light exposure before bed, what medications you are on, and what you eat.

How does Daylights Saving impact the body? The journal ‘Open Heart’ did a study in 2014 looking at the number of heart attacks on the Monday following daylight saving time, and heart attacks increased 24 percent. This was compared with the daily average for the weeks surrounding the start of daylight saving time. Researchers also found when people gained an hour of sleep at the end of daylight saving in the autumn, heart attack numbers fell by 21 percent. There were more than 42,000 heart attacks during this study period, looking at a good balance of days at the start or stop of daylight saving time with other days during the study period.

Another study done by the American Academy of Neurology, compared the rate of stroke in more than 3,000 people hospitalized the week after a daylight saving time shift, to the rate of stroke in more than 11,000 people hospitalized two weeks before or after the week of transition.  The researchers released this study based in Finland on February 29th 2016, showing that after daylight savings, stroke was 8% higher. Cancer patients were 25% more likely to have a stroke during that time, and people older than 65 were 20% more likely to have a stroke. We have to be thinking about our stress levels this time of year and risk factors! If you aren’t exercising, are smoking and eating poorly, please pay attention to any chest pains that may occur.

As a Chinese Medical Practitioner, I am always seeing clients for sleep related issues. In fact, it is one of the most common complaints that I see in my office. People typically don’t come in to get help for this, they come in with back pain, with headaches, menstrual issues, with high blood pressure, and then after they tell me about their fatigue, stress, pain and their emotional highs and lows they add in, “Oh ya, and I haven’t been sleeping well.” I find it odd that so many people don’t think about their sleep enough to come in and say first thing, “I am not sleeping well”.

Christopher Barnes an associate professor of management at the University of Washington who researches the impact of sleep deprivation, especially in the workplace says, “As a society, we tend to treat sleep like a luxury or a necessary evil rather than a health issue. We work and live in a culture that tries to cram in so much activity. Because of this, everything else suffers. I always tell my students that sleep makes everything better: your work, your life, your health and your relationships.” I couldn’t give more sage advice.

To health!! ~Tanya

Year of The Fire Monkey

 

Didn’t feel the New Year of January 1st was off to anything new? You may feel more in sync with the rhythms of the Chinese New Year, which is always two new moons after the Solstice. This year’s will fall on February 8th and is the Year of the Fire Monkey. So what does that mean?

When you think of monkeys, you may think of their intellect, their playfulness and prankster ways, their ability to work with the group, as well as their curiosity, liveliness and altruism. A year with a monkey influence will have these characteristics as well as be communicative, have the ability to problem-solve, be innovate, reasonable, influential, and dare to come from a place of personal truth. These aspects can be present within the individual and collective.

Monkeys when out of balance can be insecure, have that “monkey-mind” (being unfocused or scatter-brained), be self-indulgent, hyperemotional, fickle, impatient or immature. The monkey is honest, but it can also be gullible. Be careful when making any agreements to be sure you aren’t being taken advantage of.

The monkey is freed from inhibitions, and because it will test its theories, you will see its sometimes rebellious nature, but often with discernment. It’s not afraid to throw out old conventions, and take risks. Monkeys can do just about anything and do not give up easily! Because there is no shame or guilt holding them back, they are okay to march to the beat of their own drum. They also have an ability to use humor to keep them playful and youthful. Physical stamina is another thing they have, and keeping up routines or starting one will be a good focus this year. Keep these attitudes in mind as you continue creating your heart’s desire!

Five element theory shows how the elements of each season affect us on an emotional/psychospiritual level. These are earth, water, wood, metal and fire. Each year also has a correlating element.

The element of fire is creative, action-oriented, brings out one’s courage, generosity, passion and joy. When in balance we are open to and excited for change! The season of summer is associated with fire and we can also burn out if we overdo it, especially as the physical heat affects us. Out of balance fire within a person looks like being afraid to play, being overly serious, or even overly joyful. In harmony we can sort things out, be compassionate, we have a good sex drive and have sound judgment. There is freedom in finding a balance within one’s self with the fire nature this year. Look to how in the outer world you can assist the group mind to be in harmonious fire balance as well. And enJoy the monkeying around!!

Namaste,

Tanya

Mindful Movement

After talking with several clients about movement, it occurred to me that the language of it is imperative. Many of us have negative connotations with the word exercise and I believe it is because so many of us feel that we are failures at it or have not enjoyed the activities associated with “exercise”. Some people have aversions to words like “yoga” and prefer “stretching”. See if word play can help you to enjoy getting movement into your day. Movement is medicine and you are actually nourishing your body and being your own doctor by taking the time to do so.

The way we were taught to think about moving the body in Amma school is referred to as mindful movement. Part of my practice of this includes Qigong and yoga, dance and hiking. There are many activities that you can be mindful in. The key is to stay in the moment of what it is our body needs now. It may be up for a vigorous hike or a swim, or it may need some Tai Chi or yoga. Perhaps your body needs a day off for rest. Not listening to our bodies is often what leads to injuries, or not being able to enjoy the activity.

Repetitive movements at work also cause problems and this includes sitting for too long as well as typing on a computer all day. Our bodies actually create scar tissue from repetitive movements and often times we don’t necessarily have injuries so we don’t realize the blockages that have occurred there. Amma is the perfect modality to address this either way and moves the fascia as well as moves the stagnant energy in the body. It will get qi and blood flowing where you have been stuck because of improper exercise.

Improper exercise can be doing things in a way that is hard on the body, but it can also be overdoing it. While some people can work up to running, if you have just begun working out, it is not the wisest place to start. Look at prior injuries, weight, age and your comfort with an activity before you begin something. If you are feeling worn out afterwards and feel totally depleted, it may not be the right movement for you! Remember, no two bodies are alike and while everyone you know may love Tai-Bo, it may not be for you. The other thing to be aware of is to be sure of the best time of day to work out. If you aren’t a morning person, requiring yourself to go to the gym at 6:30am will probably set you up for failure. If you are someone who has insomnia, a hard cardio at 8pm could keep you up too late.

Other thoughts with movement are in regards to your goals. Remember that some days are better than others, and while we all wish we made it to the gym 3-5 times a week, we are going to miss some days because life happens. Be compassionate with yourself when you don’t always achieve your goals. And remember some days that ten minutes of stretching or twenty minutes of walking is better than nothing. We don’t always need the hour long aerobics class, and we sometimes need to (and have to!) do less. That is okay too.

The last thing to think about in getting yourself moving is to be sure and get support. Find an accountability partner, a movement trainer, talk to your doctor or Amma Therapist, and use goal planning skills. Some of you may be familiar with SMART, but even more fun is to remember to RUMBA! Goals should be R=Realistic (Attainable, but do stretch yourself a bit), U=Understandable (Clear and in language that you like), M=Meaningful & Measurable, B=Believable and A=Agreed (Share it with others to have it stick!)

Much Healing and Blessings,

Tanya

High Blood Pressure and Chinese Medicine

The view of hypertension from a Chinese or Eastern Medicine System is similar to the Western in that the organs of the heart and the kidneys have a crucial relationship and must be addressed. Additionally, the liver plays an important role and all the assisting organs to those aforementioned: the small intestine, pericardium, bladder and gallbladder.
There is a heart and kidney balance that must be maintained as the heart gives blood to the kidneys, and the kidney raises heat for the fire needed in the heart. The kidneys not only need to assist the heart, but they store our essence and life energy.
In Chinese Medicine there is Five Element Theory and the elements that are of particular importance with hypertension are the ones that govern the kidney and heart. These elements are water and fire, respectively. The main functions of fire in the body are of heating and circulating. The heat is essential in the body to warm the digestive fire to assimilate the food and to extract the nourishment as well as regulate the blood flow. The other aspect of heat is that of the emotion and energy of vitality, joy and warmth to others. In an imbalance, those may not be present.
The water element is ruled by the kidneys. The kidneys move water and all the body fluids through, as well as filtering our blood. They move out the waste and are therefore imperative to immune function. Water carries heat to warm us and therefore when in balance one’s circulation will be good. When there is an imbalance or stuck energy of the water element, we can become overly emotional and fear can easily rise up.
With high blood pressure, it is imperative to exercise, get good sleep and reduce stress. I recommend Qigong, Tai Chi or Yoga or other mindful movement. Emotionally it is important to process any anger, sadness or worry with journaling, counseling, play and other therapies.
A low sodium diet is necessary and this means very little processed foods. There is a chemical addiction to using salt excessively or foods that have salt in them. Red meats and uncured meats should be reduced. MSG, if not taken out of the diet completely will disrupt the sodium balance in the body. If you wish to add salt to a dish, it’s important to use sea salt as this is a more natural form than table salt. The process in which table salt is made includes heating it, bleaching it with chemicals to make it white, and adding aluminum stearate. If you think you need iodine, try using seaweeds or a kelp iodine supplement.
Amma sessions harmonize the kidney and heart axis. They connect all the organ systems so that they may each individually work as need be and assist one another. The results are increased ability to sleep and relax, increased energy, improved circulation and digestion, reduced blood pressure, and having the willpower and warmth to carry out one’s duties and enjoy life!

 

Many Blessings,

Tanya

Traditions

Those of you who have been coming to see me for a while know that I love to share lifestyle antidotes to assist in the healing process. Amma is holistic and because of my education I am emphatic about how a holistic approach to health is the best way to achieve optimal health. You have probably heard me share the importance of using affirmations, of incorporating mindful movement into one’s life, and I often suggest journaling and seeking other forms of therapy. I am on a mission to share my research and ways in which one can achieve more health and happiness.

 
At this time of year as the days shorten and we come inside more, we find our focus on family and loved ones. At this time we can reflect on tradition and dream up what new ones you want to bring to fruition. I bring up tradition because research shows that the families that have traditions are the ones with children (and adults) who have the highest levels of self-confidence and emotional well-being. The rate of teens and young adults with depression continues to be the highest and the holidays are known to be a trigger of grief and anxiety for some. Without a sense of who one is and where they came from, we can feel lost in a society that emphasizes consumerism and media as a way to boost ones’ happiness. So today I want to talk about the ways in which you can add in family ritual to become a healthier individual.

 
I think most of my readers strive to be healthy. And since our rituals often surround food, we need to find a way to incorporate ones with holidays that are delicious and also not filled with sugar. There is a time and place for sugar, and a small amount can go a long way. There are also many alternatives available now and so we have an opportunity to explore and find ways to make a meal or dessert that everyone loves and isn’t going to leave us stuck to the coach immobile the rest of the evening. A favorite tradition we had at our Halloween parties as kids was bobbing for apples. No kid ever thought, “Oh no! It’s just an apple!” We loved the sweet fruit! It can be easy to find ways to make healthy choices fun too! Here are some ideas I have for rituals that can assist your family being healthier this year:

 
• Have a weekly tradition (maybe Tuesday nights) where you go for walks as a family. In the fall make it a tradition to kick the leaves or rake up a pile for the kids or (adults) to jump in!
• Have a weekend morning be one in which you make your favorite breakfast food. (Mine is a big veggie stir fry with an egg scramble and gluten-free banana pancakes & real maple syrup. Yum!)
• Have a weekly family night where you do an indoor activity such as board games or movies. You can make homemade popcorn, kale chips or roasted pumpkin seeds for nights like these.
• Have your spouse or kids help you make a meal one day a week. Making food together brings in teaching moments and can help you to experiment with new dishes!
• Volunteer with a group that the family decides on and can be passionate together with. This is a great way to meet and make new friends too!
• Break traditions that don’t serve you. That’s right, if you hate Christmas and don’t want to participate, take a vacation at that time. Or let your family know how you would like to celebrate it with them (or not celebrate at all). And let them know it’s not about them!

 

Here’s to creating new memories and health!
Tanya