Get outside more. Our interaction with the environment is an important factor for good health because the body naturally follows the changes in weather and seasons, such as temperature, humidity, hours of daylight. It affects our mood as well as our metabolism. This is especially pronounced in temperate climates with four seasons because of the many changes in the year. Being in harmony with our natural habitat reduces the stress caused by the changing environment.
Be kind to yourself. Sometimes it feels that we can’t find the energy for an activity that used to come easily and we tend to beat ourselves up. Actually the root cause of our dis-ease may be hidden at first in our fast-paced modern lives, but may become more apparent when we take a step back to listen to our body and take the time to get replenished and balanced. Acupuncture can help greatly in this process, although it is seldom a quick fix, but rather cumulative small steps toward long-term improvement. Taking our time also means that we enjoy patience and heal at a natural pace in order to balance the sudden (hence stressful) change brought about by every day life.
Eat food that is good for you. Generally this means seasonal non-processed food grown locally or in a similar environment, ideally eaten slowly. This improves digestion and the energy produced from it, but also helps us to be in tune with the environment (having bananas may not be a good idea during winter). Some foods may be more or less advisable depending on our individual constitution (hot-spicy foods may not benefit a person that gets irritated easily). The same goes for drinks (a warm tea and a cold soft drink have different effects on digestion). Please ask your acupuncturist for more details tailored for you, knowing that small changes, anytime, are perfectly fine to start enjoying the benefits!
Breathe deeply and slowly. Stress makes our breathing shallow and rapid, as part of the fight-or-flight mechanism, but with a slow breathe deep into the belly, as if breathing with the abdomen, we tell our body to relax into the rest-and-digest mode, which promotes self-healing. This may lead us to mindful breathing, in other words, meditation.
Exercise. Our bodies are designed for an active lifestyle, so as a consequence of our modern sedentary lives we are more vulnerable to stress and prone to stagnation which leads to pain. Daily exercise, even walking or stretching (also helpful in the evening), helps reduce stress and improves digestion as well as energy levels.