Self Care

Exercise

Katie, Sparks acupuncture practitioner, stresses the importance of getting physical activity back into our lives! Not only will exercise make you feel better psychologically by boosting energy and endorphins, but strengthening muscles and losing fat will speed the healing process for whatever ails you.

Here are some guidelines:
– Do it every day, no matter how little, make it a habit.
– Mix it up, hike one day, jog the next, swim, play frisbee, do yoga, dance with friends, do Qi Gong.
– Make a pact with a friend to be more active.
– Don’t spend a lot of money, there’s no need to join that fancy pilates studio, you can of course if it makes you happy, but don’t let money be an excuse, there are many free options for exercise, be creative!

If you are limited by physical injuries, Katie can teach you about which activities or stretches are appropriate for you. For some people, exercise is a more appropriate recommendation, for others, a slower pace and meditation will be recommended, it all depends on your diagnosis. The doctor will help you make that decision.

Diet

Proper diet is extremely important to the process of healing. For difference conditions, Katie will discuss with you certain foods to eat/avoid. But also, there is a general TCM diet we should all be aware of:

EAT:
– warm, cooked foods, they are nourishing and easy for you body to digest
– soups, rice, quinoa, steamed veggies, lean proteins, nuts, beans, fruits

AVOID OVER CONSUMPTION OF:
– cold and damp foods: smoothies, salads, raw foods, ice water, dairy, breads, sugar

NEVER EAT:
– soda or fast food
– other processed foods with chemicals in the ingredients list

Mental Health

Stress is a leading factor in many illnesses. It’s important for everyone to take time out from their busy days to de-stress. Here are some ideas on how to do that:

– Meditate at least 10 mins a day (ask Katie if you need help)
– Keep a journal to release some pent up anger or obsessive thoughts
– Laugh and smile! Take a minute out of your day to watch a funny video or listen to some jokes
– Be alone and quiet in nature, sit on the beach or go for a walk
– Qi Gong or Tai Chi (take a class or learn from a DVD)
– Seek professional help with a therapist
– If you have more serious needs, Katie can refer you to a mental health professional