Preparing your Body for Summer
The Healthy View
As we prepare for the change in seasons, it’s important to take some time to check in with ourselves. Are you sleeping enough? Are you eating well? Do you need to spend more time on supporting your mental health? Ensuring that you are your best self is the greatest asset you can provide to your family, friends, and colleagues. So, take a minute today. Check out these articles and even click through to review some of the resources and surveys our practitioners have highlighted to ensure you are in your best shape.
Sleep: Regenerate and Refres
We all know that 7-8 hours of quality sleep a night is ideal for our physical, mental, and emotional health. But that doesn’t mean that we’re all getting that much sleep. How many nights have you struggled? Most of us encounter this struggle with varying degrees of frequency.
Our habits and awareness of stressors can greatly impact the length and quality of our sleep. Many of us currently have a flexible work schedule, so specific routines may not be a priority right now, but your habits should be. For sleep, I find it is very important to have routines that let your body and mind know you are preparing for rest and sleep. It could be as simple as having some herbal tea, brushing your teeth, washing your face, and a little reading. Anything that helps you relax at the end of the day is helpful, since sleep is a letting go process. For example, here are a few sleep meditations that I have enjoyed and often share with friends and patients (it’s okay if you fall asleep within minutes)!
Click here to listen on Apple Music.
Click here to listen on Spotify.
Modern life, as we all know, comes with electricity, plenty of ‘artificial light,’ and screen time. Prior to our ability to have light on demand, humans needed to run their lives around sunlight, setting their schedules based upon sunrise and sunset. While that worked for our ancestors, times have changed. It’s important that you understand your daily sleep-wake habits so you can determine the best times for you to fall asleep and wake up each day. You can take a quick survey here.
Keeping to a schedule where you feel best and rely on an alarm clock minimally will improve your sleep quality, energy level, and general well-being.
The general advice for good sleep is:
- Stop screen time an hour before bedtime
- Sleep in a cool, quiet, dark room
- Have your dinner well digested
- Stop caffeine intake before 3:00pm
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, insomnia, is differentiated between inability to fall asleep, waking in the night and being unable to fall back asleep, and general unrestful sleep. Some people tend to feel hot at night, others cold. Some enjoy their dreams and others are disturbed by the types and amount of dreams they have. Some need to urinate more than once in the night. Some wake far too easily and find their sleep restless. Some sleep for 8 hours and wake up foggy and lethargic. Ideal sleep is being able to fall asleep easily and wake 7-8 hours later, refreshed and full of energy. This may not happen too often for some, but there is always hope that sleep can be improved. TCM acupuncture is very helpful for improving sleep, as it helps to calm the nervous system and treat the underlying conditions that cause poor sleep quality.
All of us have different perceptions of sleep. Some people insist they need only a minimal amount of sleep. Others like taking sleep aids sometimes to a fault, since the body becomes less sensitive to any sleep aid over time. Some of us can sleep on planes and through various noises, but no snoring, please! I have observed in myself and have had many clients report their sleep is less sound around the full moon, so there is also natural variance in sleep quality. Longer daylight hours in the summer months brings longer waking hours and less sleep for the season. Winter is conducive to hibernation. Anyone raised kids? That’s a phase where sleep is likely deprived! Wherever you are in relation with sleep, it is a most important health habit to prioritize, as it is the time your body regenerates itself.
Feel free to email with any of your questions or concerns on sleep or to book a complimentary 15-minute consultation on how TCM Acupuncture can help improve your sleep.
Registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncture
Adelaide Health Clinic
Keeping Your Head in the Game
Keeping your head in the game requires focus, motivation, and energy. Maintaining good physical health improves our mental wellbeing but sometimes we need a boost on top of our workouts. The availability of mental health supports has increased tremendously during the pandemic with more online resources and great mobile apps.
Here are my top 10 mental health resources:
- Mind Beacon: Cognitive behavioural therapy, free for Ontario residents
- BounceBack: Mental health coaching program, free for adults
- SleepWell CBTi: Cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia
- Wellness Together Canada: 24/7 counselling, supported by the Canadian government
- AbilitiCBT: Cognitive behavioural therapy, free for Ontario residents
- Psychology Today: Listing of psychologists, psychotherapists, and social workers available to provide counselling
- Calm: App for sleep, meditation, and relaxation
- Headspace: App for mindfulness and meditation
- My.life: App for mindfulness
- Mind Over Mood: Change how you feel by changing the way you think. A book by Dennis Greenberger and Cristine A. Padesky.
Optimizing your mental wellbeing will help you manage stress, improve your sleep, lower your risk of illness, and give you the energy you need to succeed!
Dr. Jennifer Campbell
Adelaide Health Clinic
Alkaline State vs. Acid State
In order to reach good optimal health, we need to make sure our body is in a healthy acid/alkaline balance.
Our cells work more efficiently in an alkaline environment as opposed to acidic state. When the body is predominantly acidic over long periods of time, degenerative conditions/diseases can result.
Your body should be 70% alkaline and 30% acidic, so how do you maintain this balance?
- Eat alkalizing green foods (mostly vegetables). The best alkalizing foods are chlorella, wheatgrass, seaweed, algae, kelp (major chlorophyll component)
- Take your macro minerals - such as magnesium and calcium - that are highly alkalizing
- Avoid red meats, chocolate, processed foods, coffee, pop/soda, and fruit juices
- Avoid too much protein
- Eat more millet, quinoa, and brown rice
- Eat alkalizing fruits
- Drink green tea
- Take apple cider vinegar
Are there supplements that can help? Taking appropriate amounts of magnesium, calcium, chlorella, spirulina, and greens powder can also help.
There are also lifestyle changes you can make that can impact your acid/alkaline balance. Try:
- Mindfulness, which reduces stress (alkalizing)
- Eliminate smoking
- Drink lemon water upon waking (highly alkalizing)
Adelaide Health Clinic