Achieving balance in life is not always easy but it should be what we all thrive for. We all know what can impact our health, and what to avoid (i.e.: drugs, smoking, stress...), in order to stay grounded. Let's focus on what we can DO to prevent chronic illnesses and live a long happy life. Defining health: - Eating a wholesome non processed diet that suits you need. - Go play outside, get some fresh air daily no matter what the weather is like. - Exercise: whatever you enjoy, hiking, swimming, playing sports, yoga, tai chi. - Get some sleep, go to bed every night at the same time, practice deep breathing and let your body relax. - Having family and/or friends support is crucial to your wellbeing. - Do you have a purpose, a goal, a vision? Work on it daily. - Listen to your favorite music, dance, sing and fill your soul with harmony. - What are you passionate about? what makes you happy? what makes feel alive? - Use natural therapies for preventive measures: get massages, acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments regularly, talk to a Naturopathic doctor, use infrared saunas, talk to a counsellor...
Many people when drinking turn into someone else. Some become more flirty, others laugh a lot, or fall asleep (That would be me), but quite a few become angry. Growing up in France, wine was the drink of choice. My next door neighbour was an angry drunk. He used to come home from the bar, and trash furniture while shouting obscenities. He did hit his wife as well, unfortunately. His daughter was terrified of him and until she was 12, was loosing bladder control at night. She was a bed wetter.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) sees emotions as a major cause of illness and each emotion relates and affects an organ within the body. Also, if an organ is not functioning at its best, it may cause emotional behavior changes. It works either way, it's the chicken and the egg or in TCM, the Yin-Yang theory (all things are connected and related).
- According to TCM,the Liver system connects with the following: anger, irritability, rage, frustration, and impatience. The liver also corresponds to type A personality, the planner, the visionary, the goal setter, the one in control. All the emotions and personality traits above are not bad for your liver as long as they're not ruling your life. If you're a planner, it means you will be well prepared. But do you get upset (angry, irritable or frustrated) when things don't go according to plan? When you're not in control? Then it becomes an issue, and the body will be affected by physical symptoms. If you get irritable once in a while because someone cuts you off on the road (I hate that), that's alright. But if you're constantly wanting to bite people's head off: Houston we have a problem!
- The symptoms showing an imbalance of the liver are: High Blood pressure, temporal headaches worse on stress, shoulder tension, insomnia (especially waking up between 1 and 3 am), red eyes, dizziness, blurred vision, weak joints, tremors, twitches & tics, spasms, ear ringing that comes and goes (high pitch), and for women at PMS time: tender breasts, bloating, and mood swings. - If you're finding yourself constantly short fused or frustrated, and have a few of the above symptoms, then it's time to talk to your acupuncturist and get your liver back in balance. Don't go jumping both feet first into a liver cleanse. Talk to a qualified professional first, as each individual is unique and needs specific attention to reach optimum health. Your liver may not necessary need to be cleared up, but strengthened instead.
- Liver Friends: Acupuncture, herbal medicine, and ways to relax (like reading, getting a massage, dancing, meditation...).
- Liver Foes: Alcohol, over consumption of spicy foods, greasy processed foods, stress, repetitive work such as those leading to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and perfectionism.
Don't get angry, get help!
- According to TCM, the Kidneys system connect with the following: Fear (Irrational or not), phobias, anxiety, and a feeling of insecurity. A strong kidney system shows great motivation, will power and courage and trust. If you lack motivation or will power and have low self-esteem, or feel insecure, then according to TCM, your Kidneys are not totally balanced. Also the Kidneys system relates to the aging process and our constitution (Think DNA: somethings you cannot change and we cannot stop the aging process, we can only slow it down)
- The symptoms showing an imbalance of the Kidneys are: bed wetting in children, incontinence in older adults, fertility issues (for men or women), fatigue, insomnia, sweating when nervous or at night, low bone density, loose teeth, lack of focus, poor memory, constant ear ringing (Low pitch), and grey hair or balding at an early age. - If you child is wetting her bed, look for a fear base cause (maybe bullying at school). If you are constantly fearful, dreading events, lack motivation, talk to your acupuncturist or other qualified professional, and get help. Psychological help maybe necessary as well. Some past events maybe difficult to deal with on your own.
- Kidneys Friends:Acupuncture, herbal medicine, mineral supplements, Yoga, laughter, healthy wholesome diet, and anything that may slow down the aging process.
- Kidneys Foods: black sesame seeds, almonds, walnuts, wild salmon, sardines, bone marrow, quinoa, kidney beans, royal jelly.
- Kidneys Foes: Emotional shock (Bad news can turn someone's hair grey overnight), Physical shock (i.e.: car accident), people that lower your self-esteem, standing for hours every day (i.e: Security guard), Osteo-arthritis, lack of minerals (Calcium, magnesium), drugs (legal or illegal), anything that contributes to fast aging (anything in excess, stress...).
Are you having a tough time changing the health habits of your significant other? Almost ten years ago, I met a great guy who is now my husband. When we met, we had the love of the outdoors in common, so our dating process was filled with kayaking, hiking, mountain biking and camping in beautiful British Columbia.
So we had the outdoors and traveling in common, which was fantastic, but when we decided to move in together, it wasn't an easy ride at first.
Because I enjoyed cooking, I was in charge of grocery shopping and meals preparation. And because he had an office job that required him to dress up, he was in charge of laundry and ironing (yes ladies: it's true, I don't do laundry!).
When we first dated, I was shocked at his fridge supplies: orange juice, milk and ketchup: that was it! He ate out every day, fast foods, hitting the Food Court at work, and a quick coffee in the morning: yikes! No fruits, no veggies! He also was allergic to dust, animal dander and every spring, had hay fever. He was covered in rashes on his legs and had one bowel movement every week (Oh my!).
So when we moved in, I decided to turn his health around. It was tough and I had to make small changes weekly because, let me tell you, I came across a lot of resistance. He used to say to his friends: "There is no food in our house", while our fridge was full. Because no junk food meant no fun to him. He used to say: "What is that? Bird food? It looks funny" at every meals during the first year.
I took it slow and Each week I changed only one thing:
Introduction to meatless dinners
Fresh Fruits salads for snacks
Almonds and dark chocolate for hiking
Tasty salads with goat cheese, walnuts, olive oil and balsamic vinegar
I never bought junk and made his lunches and breakfasts: he saved money (which he was very happy about) and in spite of the resistance, he ate it all, admittedly with some complaint at first, but soon realized his health was improving. I also added supplements and acupuncture to his regimen.
Today, he has no allergies, his skin is rash free, and has a daily bowel movement. He probably will be embarrassed I'm mentioning his daily bathroom ritual (Dr. oz opened a whole new world to us since he talked about poop). He's never sick with the flu and hasn't miss a day of work in years. He loves healthy foods and actually will request my brown rice stir fry dishes, grilled asparagus, quinoa salads and smoothies. Of course bad habits die hard. He still likes fast foods and will enjoy it once in a while, but at least not every day and keeps telling me, he owes me his health. So it's all worth it!
When you find it difficult to keep your kids or partner on a healthy path, remember that in the long run, they will thank you and appreciate the effort you made on their behalf. Just do it slowly, incrementally and with love, the reward is so worth it.
And for the record, I brought health to my hubby but he opened up a new world to me, and now I really enjoy reading the news and watching science fiction movies with him. In the past ten years, we have grown from each other and our relationship is stronger each year because of it.
As a parent you have probably heard the term attachment style parenting. You might even use it as a guide for your own parenting. You aimed for a natural a birth, you’re a strong believer in breastfeeding, and maybe you co-sleep on occasion. Attachment parenting of an infant isn’t easy but we have all had those moments where we know it was the best choice. It just feels right.
But what happens when your infant turns into a toddler? Attachment experts seem to disappear and there isn’t much guidance. Fear creeps in, and you begin to wonder if all the cuddles and affection are really creating a monster… what if your mother-in-law was right all along?
The focus of attachment parenting is about letting our little ones know they are loved unconditionally. As an infant that means lots of cuddles and bonding. This doesn’t change with a toddler. What does change is that now we also need to manage our children’s behaviour. Children are going to challenge the rules; they do this to explore their world and test out consequences.
Here is the good news. Attachment parenting is an affective style of parenting a toddler and we can use discipline while being attachment focused. Here are a few tips to help guide you…
Set clear boundaries. One common misinterpretation of attachment parenting is that we let our kids run wild and don’t ever discipline them. Somehow respecting and loving our kid unconditionally has been pared with letting them be in charge. This is not the case. Not only do our little ones need clear boundaries, they crave them (they really do!). They want to know how the world works, and they feel safest when they can trust their parents to know the rules and share them.
Setting clear boundaries is not always about saying no to behaviours we don’t like. It’s often about showing them the behaviours we do like. For example, my little one was always picking my flowers and generally destroyed anything I managed to keep alive in our garden. Instead of constantly telling her not to pick the flowers, I taught her how to smell them instead. I set a boundary and showed her the behaviour I expect from her. There is a trick to this (and don’t think for a second that this will eliminate all tantrums, but it might make your life a little bit easier!). Find out what drives the behaviour and meet those needs. My little one was exploring her environment; I showed her a different and more appropriate way to do it. (Some motivations are more difficult to work with. I talk more about these motivations in the parenting courses I teach, feel free to contact me if you’re interested in attending).
2. Use Encouragement. Focus on encouraging certain behaviours in your child. Our little ones aren’t tiny monsters sent here to drive us crazy. They just want to learn how best to be in the world. And remember, they are starting from scratch. Trust that for the most part, they want to please you and they want to behave well. So when they do share a toy, or say thank you, make sure to encourage those behaviours. Often we take good behaviour for granted and only notice when it’s bad. We just need to change our focus a bit.
3. Address the behaviour not the child. Sometimes, our kids are just plain misbehaving and we need to put our foot down. One thing to remember when we are doing this is to address the behaviour, not the child. By carefully choosing our language we can let them know we love them no matter what, but we don’t like certain behaviours. This is easier said than done however. Here is a simple rule that’s easy to remember. STOP-EDUCATE-REDIRECT. STOP the behaviour, EDUCATE them on why it’s inappropriate, unhelpful or ineffective. Then REDIRECT them to a more appropriate choice of behaviours. This tip helps to focus on the behaviour not the child, and it keeps us focused on the solution instead of the problem.
I encourage you to try out these tips and see how they work for you, but remember- you know your kids better than anyone and only you will know what is best for your family. Good luck and get some rest!
Our fantastic team of practitioners contribute to our blog articles. Together we aim to restore balance within the body, educate each patient and guide them on their journey to optimum health. Our clinic offers natural health for the entire family, from babies to older adults and everyone in between.
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