Relief for IBS

Summer Heat have you and your body Irritated?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, otherwise known as “spastic colon,” is a common disorder that affects the colon and causes many disruptive symptoms. Many of these symptoms can be managed with a simple change in diet and lifestyle. Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture may be able to help.

IBS symptoms may include gas, bloating, alternating constipation and diarrhea, pain, mucus, an uncomfortably full feeling and abdominal cramping. Most of these symptoms develop over time, and there is no structural or anatomical change that can be detected as cause. Doctors are unsure of the origin, though stress and diet are said to be triggers of distressing symptoms. Women suffer from IBS more frequently than men.

One of the most common diagnosis of IBS in Traditional Chinese Medicine is what is known as a “liver-spleen disharmony” due to stress. Normally, the liver is in charge of the free flow of energy (or vital force), blood and oxygen to the spleen and stomach, the organs who do their job of digesting food by transporting and transforming food and descending energy downward. When the liver energy becomes stagnant through emotions such as stress, frustration, anger, moodiness and tightness in the body (the liver is sensitive to these emotions), this encumbers proper digestion and what can result is acid, belching, nausea, abdominal distention and bloating. Diarrhea or constipation can occur or irregular bowel movements. Other common symptoms of stagnant liver energy are PMS, cramping with clots and irregular menses. Easing stress would be the most important aspect of the treatment plan to get to the root of the issue.

Another common cause of IBS is food sensitivity. Eliminating trigger foods has been shown to help symptoms tremendously. Here are some things to consider eliminating:

Too many cold, raw vegetables: Eating too many cold, raw vegetables dampens the digestive fire and leads to malabsorption. Cook vegetables instead and eat them warm.

Cruciferous vegetables and legumes: These are healthy but can cause gas and bloating in sensitive individuals.

Dairy: Lactose intolerance can lead to digestive ailments. If you aren’t sure, try eliminating dairy such as milk, yogurt and cheese.

Eating fast, while angry or hurried: When you eat or drink quickly, you might be inhaling too much air and eating too much. Eat slowly and mindfully.

Other triggers: Sensitivities might include chocolate, carbonated drinks, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, greasy food or processed food. Hormonal changes could also be a factor in increased IBS symptoms.

How to know for sure? It is best not to self-diagnose symptoms, so see your medical provider to see if you have IBS and not something more serious. Your Chinese medical practitioner can help you by diagnosing the symptoms according to a more eastern perspective, administering acupuncture and perhaps prescribing an herbal formula, and adjusting your diet to eliminate triggers that are irritating for your particular constitution.

Some remedies for IBS include; acupuncture to improve flow in the abdomen and ease stress, herbs, increasing fiber (gradually, or it could worsen symptoms), massaging the abdomen (9x clockwise, 9x counter-clockwise), exercise to move things around such as tai qi or qigong, and probiotics to increase good bacteria in the stomach. Peppermint, magnesium, and chamomile can soothe and ease symptoms.

Your Immunity Boost: Meditation!

Benefits Of Meditation

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Meditation is used by many people not only to relax from a busy day but also to tune into their own bodies and minds. Since days have become more stressful, the world has become more crowded and the more that worldly problems have risen, many people are finding comfort, safety and bliss in a few minutes of meditation a day. Meditation can help the user to focus his or her thoughts and block out any distractions in order to experience the pleasure of silence for a moment during the day.

The benefits of meditation can span from relieving migraine headaches to relaxing cramped muscles to a simple moment of pleasure, satisfaction and quiet. Over-stimulation and stress are both problems that many people deal with on a daily basis. These daily stressful situations and the exposure to too many over-stimulating activities can seem to be normal and accepted conditions that everyone takes for granted as standard. Although most people are dealing with these situations on a regular basis, it doesnt mean that these situations do not still put stress and tension on the body and mind. There are many people who may feel stressed and hopeless about their current home or work situation. Most people think that a vacation or a break from their daily lives is the way to relieve this stress. However, a retreat from basic stresses is only a temporary fix from the anxiety in our lives. In order to have the ability to deal with the tensions that life can put on our body and mind, many people are turning to meditation to teach them how to handle their daily lives with ease, patience and a clear mind.

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By creating a moment in the day to connect the mind, body and soul in a calm and hushed manner, many people are finding their stressful days don’t seem as stressful anymore. Meditation can help a person to realize the many options he or she has when dealing with the daily tensions of the workplace or home environment. By possessing the foundations of meditation, the situations that can usually seem impossible to stay calm through, can now seem easy to think through and figure out.

Here are a few meditations to help you manage your stress!

Five-Minute Meditation
You can do this breathing meditation anywhere and at any time. (It’s even safe to do while driving.)

Breathe in: Grace. All grace.
Exhale: You are connected to the world.
Take deep breaths as you say aloud (or to yourself) the words, “Grace. All grace.” This reminds you to take in and accept grace for yourself.

When you exhale, contemplate your connection to the world, in light of the grace you have just accepted

Here’s a one minute meditation, if you don’t have five!
Set a timer for one minute (use your phone) — One minute of meditation can seem like forever. But we can endure almost anything for one minute — a mere 60 seconds.

 Sit or stand comfortably — If sitting, rest your hands on your thighs or in your lap.

Take a deep breath — Blow it out slowly and as completely as you can.

Focus on your breathing — When breathing in, tell yourself, “I’m breathing in.” Breathing out say, “I’m breathing out.”

Label thoughts — Here’s the hard part, but only for one minute. Your attention will wander away from your breath, perhaps instantly. When you notice this, focus it back on your breath. How long you can focus on your breathing is completely irrelevant.

Quit when the timer goes off — Don’t think about it again until the next time.

Repeat 1-2 times per day.

What Meditations do you do on a daily basis?

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7 ways to make your loved one smile this Valentine’s Day

Blog-img - 7 ways to smile this Valentines Day _640Smile this Valentine’s Day!
Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to show your loved ones how much you care. Below are some ideas to make this year’s holiday a memorable one.

Start the day off right

Make a homemade breakfast for your loved one or close family and friends in your life. Everyone can appreciate waking up to something homemade. Try doing breakfast in bed for your significant other or hosting a friends and family brunch at your house.

Show your appreciation

Don’t forget to tell your loved one how much you appreciate them. Show them how much they mean to you by making a creative list of all the reasons you are happy they are in your life.

Plan the day

Make a plan for the day! Decide to do an activity that you both enjoy whether it is getting outside, going to a museum or going out to the movies. Splurge a little for the day.

Don’t sweat the small stuff

Take this day to put everyday stressors on the back burner. Life gets busy, and a lot of times we take it out on the people we care about the most. Try to forget about trivial problems and enjoy your loved one’s company! The small things you may fight about don’t matter, especially today.
Take the pressure off

Instead of doing Valentine’s Day gifts this year, make a decision with your significant other to put the money toward something else for the both of you. Instead of feeling the pressure to go buy a gift, plan a weekend getaway together or even a day trip to enjoy each other’s company.

Take care of yourself

Your loved ones care deeply about you, so make sure you are taking care of yourself as well. Keep your health in check and remember that it is ok to be selfish sometimes. The people in your life want to see you happy as much as you want to make them happy.

Every day can be Valentine’s Day

Remember that any day is the perfect opportunity to show how much you care and love the people in your life. Strive to make your loved ones smile today and every other day as well. The small gestures can go a long way.

5 Ways to Eat Without Overeating this Holiday Season

Blog-img 5 Ways to Eat Without Overeating this Holiday Season_640Moderation
We’ve always the heard the saying to enjoy everything in moderation, and that is definitely true when it comes to holiday foods. Don’t try to deprive yourself during the holidays, it most likely won’t go over well. Having an extra holiday treat here and there won’t kill you. You’re allowed to indulge a bit, just keep portions small when it comes to holiday desserts and make sure you limit how often you eat them. Going the whole season without any treats is cruel and will most likely end in binging later, so have your guilty pleasures, just keep them in moderation.

Watch the alcohol
The holidays are a time for celebration, which most likely means more alcohol. Not only does alcohol add on empty calories, but can also lead you to eating more while drinking. If you are at a gathering, limit yourself to one or two drinks to cut down on the unhealthy cravings you might be feeling afterward.

Focus on the protein
Protein-packed foods are a great way to fill up without adding a lot of sugar and empty carbohydrates. Pack your plate with low-fat meats like turkey and chicken. If you’re vegetarian, eat more of the tofu than the side dishes that are most likely to be sugar and carbohydrate heavy.

Fill up on the water
Don’t forget about water! The holidays are an easy time to drink more sugary beverages than normal. Substitute drinks for water, and drink a lot of it. Not only is water essential for your health, but drinking a glass before a meal can fill you up more as well, preventing you from overeating.

Take your time
Eating too fast is one of the easiest ways to overeat. When you don’t give your body the chance to digest food and feel full before you stop eating, chances are you’re going to end up eating more than you want. Eat slowly and enjoy each bite to give your body a chance to catch up. This way, you’ll end up getting full faster and eat less.

Most of all don’t forget to enjoy the holidays and the delicious food that comes with it, don’t be afraid to indulge a little!

7 Tips to be Stress-Free During the Holidays

7 Tips to be Stress-Free During the Holidays

Keep a routine
It is especially easy to lose your normal routine during the holidays due to festivities and the special occasions that tend to happen this time of year. Don’t abandon your healthy habits, keep your usual routine of diet and exercise, which is especially important when holiday foods and drinks come around. Try keeping a calendar to keep better track of your schedule.

holiday stress

Prioritize
It is easy to take on too much during this time of year. On top of your normal schedule, there is the obligation to see family, attend gatherings and gift-giving. You can only do so much! Prioritize and don’t be afraid to say no if you simply don’t have enough time to commit to something. The holiday season is busy and overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.

Watch the wallet
There is nothing that will stress you out more in the long run than spending too much money during the holidays. Make a budget and stick with it. It is incredibly easy to overspend during this time. Budget and allow yourself to spend a certain amount for the entire season, you’ll thank yourself after the holidays are over.

Make time for yourself
Although it is the season for giving, make sure to make time for yourself too. It can be stressful and overwhelming when you try to constantly please others. It is okay to say no to events that you may feel obligated to go to. One of the most important ways to stay stress-free this season is to give yourself time to relax. Do yoga, read or any other activity you like to do to relax.

Try acupuncture
There is no better time than now to try acupuncture. If you are feeling under the weather, stressed and not at your best health, acupuncture can help. Acupuncture can help lower stress levels, boost your immune system and leave you feeling relaxed. Give it a shot!

Give Back
Volunteer at your local food back or donate to a clothing drive. Giving back to the community is always important, but especially during the holidays. Spending time helping out doesn’t just help others, but can benefit you as well.

Don’t sweat the small things
Holidays are meant for family, friends and for celebration. Don’t sweat the small stuff. This is a time to relax and be thankful for the people in your life. Material objects come and go, but relationships will be there and are the most important thing of all. Put your job and your stress on the back-burner for a bit and enjoy the people who mean the most around you.