Welcome back to Active Life Health Clinic's June newsletter
The past two months I've written about getting back to the basics,
first with exercise and then with food. This month I'm going to discuss
another getting-back-to-the-basics with the simple topic of
"The Meaning of Life". Well, not really. But how about the meaning of your life, for you?
Read on and then email me email@example.com to tell me your tips for leading a healthy and happy life. Is it a place, a person, a thing to do, a frame of mind?
Survival requires the following 5 items: oxygen, water, food, shelter,
and sleep. Why do we sometimes mess up these 5 simple things and
what can we do to get back on track?
||Feeling Good, Looking Good.
Life isn't simply about survival. How about feeling good?
TCM uses cupping for massage, eliminating toxins, improving
circulation, and facial rejuvination.
||And more..."Tuesdays with Morrie"
Helping you help yourself!
To work in partnership with you to bring you to your optimal health.
Ongoing health, not just temporary relief.
This is active health.
What are the essentials of life? Oxygen. Water.
Food. Shelter. Sleep. These are the things that you
need to survive.
Let’s start with the first: oxygen.
If you've been to my clinic, you'll see a couple of reminders about the
importance of breath. It's on one of the treatment room
walls. It's on me, "Just Breathe".
If you want to learn how to breathe, watch a baby. See his or her
belly rise and fall with each breath. How is it then, that as we
get older we forget this simple essential and start to breathe only in
the upper part of our chests? Yoga, taichi, qi gong,
meditation...all of these practices teach you that the basis of their
practice is the breath. Now, breathe in deep feeling your belly
expand. And breathe out, letting all of your stress and tension
out at the same time.
1 molecule of hydrogen and 2 molecules of water. It’s
something so simple, and yet so necessary. Tons of advertising
money is spent on the multitude of beverages available. Red Bull
to energize you. Gatorade if you sweat. Coke Zero so you
can splurge and still be carb-free. Big Gulps to satiate even the
most insatiable thirst...and sweet tooth, for that matter.
Canadian beer to help you feel more patriotic--"I am Canadian".
And so on. All of these are poor substitutes for pure, clean,
healthy spring water. Water makes up about 70% of the
earth. A trained athlete will also be made up of about 70% water,
while older adults and obese individuals contain a lot less water,
perhaps as low as 36%. Enough said. Drink water.
nourishment, but it's also enjoyment, culture, tradition, pleasure,
family, friends, and business. See last month's e-newsletter if
you want to read more on my take on food. May 2006
is about a feeling of safety, security, and sanctuary. Whether
you adopt the principles of feng shui or simply surround yourself with
things that you love, it is important that you have a personal space of
your own, uncluttered and sacred to you. It can be a whole house,
a room, or even just a corner. And when you have no other
options, it can be a place in your mind, imagined and wonderful.
Hopefully I haven't put you to sleep with this article yet because as
important as sleep is, I'd like you to read on. Maybe your magic
sleep number is 8, maybe it’s 6, or maybe it’s 10.
Whatever the case is, listen to your body. If you are drifting
off when you are in a meeting, chugging back cups of coffee to keep
going, or passing out even before your head hits the pillow, you need
more sleep. Sleep is restorative--helping your body repair
injured or damaged cells, so I remind my patients with pain to get
enough sleep. Recent studies have even shown that lack of sleep
can contribute to weight gain. Sleep is also a chance for you to dream, to clear your mind, and to give your body a bit of a break.
Looking Good, Feeling Good With Cupping
First things first, what is cupping? Cupping is an ancient
Chinese therapy that uses either heat or a pump to suction glass or
plastic cups (or traditionally, bamboo) onto the surface of the
body. Egyptians and Greeks have also been known to use cupping,
and in fact, one of my Greek patients was happily surprised that I do
cupping as his mother used to employ it as a traditional treatment
(it's called vendusas in Greek--not sure about the spelling).
Now, why would anyone ever want to do this? One of the functions is to act like a reverse massage.
Instead of applying pressure downward onto the body, the tissues are
stretched and loosened by pulling upward with the vacuum of the
cup. It's a great way to relax tight muscles and fascia. It
also improves circulation to
the underlying tissues, allowing for better healing to the area.
As it has been found to affect the body for up to four inches into the
tissues, it also helps to eliminate toxins by assisting lymph drainage, clearing colon blockages, invigorating the skin, and improving stretch marks, cellulite, and varicose veins.
Cups can be placed on the skin and left for 5-15 minutes to allow them
to draw out stagnation and toxins. Perhaps you've seen people
with strange circular hickeymark-like bruises on their skin?
Gwynneth Paltrow is probably the most famous of people to show her
marks off in a back-baring dress: Cupping marks on Gwynneth.
These marks are caused by the suction and can indicate the level of
stagnation in the area. The marks are not painful and will
disappear on their own after a few days.
Dont' want any marks? Both moving cupping and flash cupping are
much less likely to leave any marks on the skin and so are used where
bruises want to be avoided. Moving cupping treatment uses oil on the
skin so the cups can glide smoothly along...feels fantastic! With
flash cupping the cups are suctioned onto the skin and then quickly
removed. For a long time I've used cupping on my patients for
muscle tightness, especially of the neck and back, but with new cupping
sets I have many more possible treatments available.
Skin is the largest human organ, containing fluid,
blood, blood vessels, nerves, and muscle. Your skin acts as an
entry point for topical substances into the body. Think about
this when you apply lotions, sprays, perfumes, and such to your
skin--would you actually want that in your
body? It is also imporant to let your skin breathe to allow an
escape for toxins and for temperature regulation. Taking care of
your skin is as much about vanity as eating healthy foods.
You've likely heard about the ever growing popularity of facial
rejuvenation acupuncture. The function of it is to improve
circulation to the skin to improve elasticity, increase collagen
production, reduce puffiness, and improve skin texture and
vitality. For those of you who are nervous about needles in your
face, there is facial cupping. Small cups are quickly suctioned
onto your face and neck and removed to improve circulation, drain
toxins, improve lymph flow, relax the muscles, and rejuvenate the
face. It is a safe and comfortable alternative to botox
Facial cupping is a start to healthy skin. It is also important to drink lots of water, consume enough essential fatty acids,
eat plenty of fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants, help your
elimination process with sufficient fibre, and get your beauty sleep.
Beauty really isn't just skin deep. Although that is a start.
The essentials provide you with a foundation--a solid foundation to
build upon. How about building on that foundation?
I recently read a
book that a patient gave me called "Tuesdays with Morrie". If you get
a chance to read it, it's well worth it. It's an easy, quick read, but
will likely leave a lasting impression on you. A few things that
Morrie says contributes to a happy life are connection, love,
contribution, and being and feeling truly alive.
What are your tips and ideas for a healthy and happy life--both the
essentials and the "extras"? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org so
we can share our ideas with others.
Active Life Health Clinic
Dr. Melissa Carr, B.Sc., Dr.TCM, R.Ac.
Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Regent Medical Building
#410-2184 West Broadway
Vancouver, B.C., V6K 2E1
In appreciation of each of your referrals, Dr. Melissa Carr will offer you 10% off of
your health product purchase, so don't forget to tell your friends,
family, colleagues, and acquaintances to give us your name when they
book an appointment.