In today’s fast-paced world, it is important that we remind ourselves to prioritize practices that promote self-care and harmony. One of the key concepts of Traditional Chinese Medicine is maintaining balance within the body, mind, and soul. Thus, it is key that we balance the stressful demands of our lives with practices that nourish our wellbeing.
The good news is that maintaining a well-balanced life does not require a complete lifestyle overhaul. Rather, we can pursue wellness through simple, intentional changes that can have a profound impact on our physical, mental, and emotional health. In this article, we'll explore a few TCM practices that can be seamlessly incorporated into your daily life to boost your overall wellbeing.
For those of us who don’t have access to regular acupuncture sessions, massaging our own acupressure points is a simple and effective alternative. Each acupressure point has unique properties and benefits, making these self-massages a versatile treatment for a variety of issues. Two popular acupressure points are He Gu and Bai Hui.
The He Gu point is located in the webbing between the index finger and thumb. This point is great for clearing pain, specifically in the face, neck, and head. It also helps improve digestive functioning and aids detoxification. Massage this point with your opposite thumb using gentle to moderate pressure in circular motions for several minutes.
Bai Hui is located at the highest point of the head and is the meeting point for all six yang energy channels. This point is effective for treating stress and anxiety, countering fatigue, and lifting qi. To find this point, place your thumbs at the tops of your ears and meet your middle fingers at the crown of your head. Apply slow and firm pressure with your middle fingers (without rubbing or massaging) for 15-20 seconds at a time, then release for 5 seconds. Continue this pattern for 5 minutes.
Qigong is a form of exercise that promotes health and energy through movement, breathing, and meditation. Qigong is accessible to people with all levels of experience and physical abilities, and even just 15 minutes of practice a day can bring numerous benefits.
A popular qigong exercise is Baduanjin, which loosely translates to Eight Pieces of Brocade. This practice comes from medical qigong and is primarily intended to improve help. The exercise consists of eight individual movements, each one repeated a few times before moving to the next. The eight movements are:
- Hold the sky with two hands
- Draw the bow to shoot the eagle
- Separate Heaven and Earth
- Look back
- Sway the head and shake the tail
- Grab the two feet
- Clench the fists and glare fiercely
- Bounce on the toes
You can find a step-by-step guide to Baduanjin here.
A nourishing and nutritional diet is the foundation of good health in Chinese Medicine. A healthy diet takes numerous factors into consideration, including the season, your body constitution, and any existing health conditions. Here are a few tips that can help support healthy eating habits.
Always Eat Breakfast
The stomach and spleen energies are highest in the morning, especially between 7:00 and 9:00 AM. Therefore, the morning is the best time to have a hearty, healthy meal. Eating a substantial breakfast everyday will aid your daily digestion and ensure that you have enough energy for the day.
Eat with the Seasons
Seasons do not only change our environment, but our bodies, as well. It is important that we change our diet when the weather changes, as this will allow our bodies to adjust and maintain harmony. As we are currently in Summer, we should incorporate light, cool, and hydrating foods into our diet. Read more about dietary changes for the summer here.
Drink Warm Water
While a glass of cold water can feel refreshing, TCM advises that we stay away from such cold beverages. While cold beverages slow the digestive system, warm beverages improve blood circulation, calm the body and mind, benefit metabolism, and improve digestion. We recommend opting for warm water, especially in the morning and before meals.
By incorporating simple TCM practices into our daily lives, we can achieve a balanced lifestyle. Share your wellness routine with us on Instagram!