What is Most Important?

What is Most Important?

Money? Sex? Fame? Sleep? Food? All of those things are important, and one or two are probably particularly important for you, but what is most important?

Recovering from a major stroke gives you a lot of options to choose from to answer that question. Let’s see.., my scalp acupuncture sessions, those are pretty important. Ok, uhh, my Chinese medicine herbalist, I have to include her, she prescribed me two kinds Aconite. Wait a minute, what about Flint Rehab, I’m learning so much from them right now.., I don’t know, which one is it?

Typing up this article on my iPhone with my right hand (that was affected by the stroke) is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do, but if I want to recover full function, I don’t have a choice. Each tap with my finger sends a signal to my brain that helps initiate neurogenesis (growth of new neurons in the brain), and it’s not just a few taps that I’m talking about, it’s probably something on the order of hundreds of thousands, even millions of taps over the next few years that will lead to restoring my finger’s full function (more specifically my brains full function). Tapping away with my right finger is something I’ve been putting off for the last two years. Granted, first I had to lift my hand to my face (that took about 6 months). Then, I had to have my finger steady enough to tap each key on the iPhone (another 6 months, and another year, well, for good luck). At that point it was just a matter of trying, having a mind that is willing to try a million times or more; a “try mind” as my teacher used to say.

My finger’s not that steady, believe me, spastic is a better word to describe it, but I figured at some point I’ve just got to jump in. Tapping each key on the phone is more of an understatement, really it’s more a matter of tapping a hundred times to select fifty of the right keys; thank God for auto-correct. It also helps to tap slowly, allowing my mind to concentrate on what I’m actually trying to say.

My friend Amanda is a great source of inspiration for me, she has encouraged my recovery since day one. Even with us not talking and being out of sorts lately, it has forced me to begin writing letters to her by hand, my right hand. That was two weeks ago and look at me tapping away now!

A good friend and partner is perhaps the next most important thing you can have. If that person is helping you to connect with your own heart through loving them, they are bringing you closer to God and feeling love in your heart sure helps with all this damn tapping! So, if you asked me what is the most important thing, I wanted to say a try mind at first, but I’m leaning towards a mind (mind and heart are the same character in Chinese —心) that’s full of love — which is really the source of a try mind when you think about it.

Post with permission by Morgan James

Simple ways to stay active on those hot summer days

Simple ways to stay active on those hot summer days

As we enter into the heart of summer, finding time to keep fit can be a real challenge, but it’s important to remain consistent if we want to maintain our best possible health into the New Year. Read on for our best tips on how to stay active and beat the summer heat!

Time it right

When it comes to working out in warm weather, timing really is everything. Ideally, you want to avoid exercising in peak temperatures which generally tends to be around midday to early afternoon, and instead get your workout in first thing in the morning before the sun has had time to heat up. 

Stay hydrated

While you should be making an effort to stay hydrated when working out all year round, this step is especially important when you are exercising in high heat. Keep a cool bottle of water handy and try to sip before, during and after your work out, even if you don’t feel like it. 

Listen to your body

Most importantly, be sure to always listen to your body and don’t push yourself further than you feel comfortable with. While you may be striving to reach a certain target or set a new personal best, doing so on a hot summers day may not be the best idea. Heat stroke and heat exhausting can have some very real consequences, and as well as making you unwell, any recovery time could even set your training back even further.

For more advice on how to stay in shape all year round, book an appointment at Luciferous Traditional Chinese Medicine today. 

3 easy ways to incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine

3 easy ways to incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine

For many of us, it seems our lives are becoming busier and busier – so much so that it can often be difficult to find time to take a break and switch off from the world. However, insufficient rest can lead to increased stress levels as well as a whole host of other ailments.

Thankfully, mindfulness can help. Defined as a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, mindfulness is a highly effective therapeutic technique used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine. 

Want to try it for yourself? Follow our three easy ways to incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine and start experiencing the magic of mindfulness today.

Spend time with your thoughts

Start by setting a few minutes aside each day in which to simply sit with your thoughts, and focus your awareness on the emotions that follow. While it may seem simple, many first-timers are likely to be surprised at how challenging it can be to avoid distraction!

Switch off your autopilot

Do you ever feel like you’re just going through the motions? An important part of mindfulness is learning how to switch off your autopilot and making a conscious effort to bring your awareness back to the task at hand. 

Engage your senses

One of the key elements of mindfulness is to stay in the present moment. Rather than allowing your mind to wander, try to think about your surroundings. Brining your awareness to things like the sun on your face or the scent in the air is a great way to train yourself to do this is by engaging your senses.

Do you practice mindfulness as part of your regular routine? Let us know what works for you in the comments below.

How to stick to your routine throughout the holidays

How to stick to your routine throughout the holidays

With the holiday season fast approaching, it can be difficult to stay on track with your regular health and wellness routine. From Christmas parties to family gatherings and end of year celebrations, we can often find ourselves eating and drinking far more than we usually would, and losing track of our regular fitness regime.

While we all deserve to treat ourselves from time to time, it’s important to be aware of our excess consumption and make a conscious effort to move our bodies a little more and do our best to stick to a good routine throughout the holiday period. Here are our top tips to help you enjoy the holidays without compromising your health!

Plan ahead

One of the best ways to ensure you stay on top of your health regime is to be aware of all of your upcoming events and plan ahead. If you have a get together where you expect there might be a lot of tasty treats on offer, try to fit in an extra workout earlier on in the week. If you’re likely to be eating a large meal for dinner, enjoy a lighter meal for lunch and ensure you stay well hydrated.

Stay accountable

December can be one of the most chaotic times of the year, and with so much else on our minds it’s all too easy to skip a few workouts here and indulge in a few treats there – but in time, these things can really add up without us even realising! Try to stay accountable by recording your workouts in a schedule, or you may even want to recruit a friend to workout with. If you’re having trouble with all the extra treats, you might even consider tracking your food intake in a diary. For some, seeing it all in black and white can really help put things into perspective and give you the willpower to say no!

Don’t overdo it

At the end of the day, the holidays are here to be enjoyed – and it’s important to remember that you don’t need to deprive yourself, as long as you don’t overdo it! Like most things in life, the key is to find a happy balance between enjoying yourself and not undoing your hard work from throughout the year.

For further support on staying healthy throughout the holiday period and bringing balance back into your life, contact Luciferous Traditional Chinese Medicine today. What helps you stick to your routine throughout the holidays? What would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments!

Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment for Bell’s Palsy

Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment for Bell’s Palsy

Bell’s Palsy is a serious condition in which patients experience a sudden onset weakness or paralysis in one side of the face. While the condition is in most cases only temporary, the effects can be highly distressing as it can often result in a ‘droopy’ or ‘lopsided’ appearance and even lead to difficulty in eating, drinking and blinking. Thankfully, Traditional Chinese Medicine can help.

According to the Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, Bells Palsy is the result of a deficiency within a person’s underlying qi, in which external wind and cold are attacking the channels of the face. As such, Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment for Bell’s Palsy involves expelling the wind and removing dampness while stimulating blood circulation in order to restore balance within the face.

To achieve this, your Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner may prescribe a number of different methods to help you overcome Bell’s Palsy and regain control of your facial nerves.

Acupuncture

In most cases, acupuncture is likely to be the first step in your Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment plan. To reap to full rewards that acupuncture can offer, you will most likely be required to attend a minimum of one to two sessions per week to enhance your facial mobility and overcome Bell’s Palsy.

Herbal Medicine

For a truly holistic approach, patients may wish to add herbal medicine options to their treatment regime. A customised prescription of herbal medicine may help to target underlying symptoms and restore a greater sense of overall balance within the body, which can really help speed up the Bell’s Palsy recovery period.

Relaxation

Often, Bell’s Palsy can lead cause patients to experience a great deal of stress – which is actually counterintuitive to your recovery. Higher stress levels make it more difficult to overcome the condition, and can even extend your recovery period. Your practitioner will likely recommend you try to find a way to relax, whether it be by meditation, regular massages or taking some time away from your normal responsibilities, finding a way to relax is highly important.

Here at Luciferous Traditional Chinese Medicine, we’ve had great success in helping patients overcome Bell’s Palsy. For more information on how we can help you, please get in touch with us today via the contact page.

Have you or one of your loved ones experienced Bell’s Palsy before? What has worked for you? Let us know in the comments section below!

How to start the day with a spring in your step

How to start the day with a spring in your step

Do you often find yourself repeatedly hitting the snooze button and struggling to get out of bed? If so, you’re far from alone, but there are actually a few very simple Traditional Chinese Medicine inspired solutions that can help you start every day with a positive outlook and wake up with a spring in your step.

  1. Plan ahead

According to TCM principles, too much stress can wreak havoc on our internal systems and cause a variety of undesirable effects. Avoid the morning rush and any unnecessary stress by planning for your day the night before, whether it be laying out your clothes, packing your bag, or preparing a simple breakfast to eat before you head out the door.

  1. Avoid screens

For many of us, our entire day can revolve around screens, so it’s best to avoid them for as long as possible when we wake up. Rather than reaching for your phone or turning on the TV, consider reading a book, listening to some music or tuning into a podcast, and save your screen time for later in the day.

  1. Hydrate

After going hours without water, it’s best to start hydrating as soon as you wake up to start clearing away any toxins that may have built up in your digestive tract overnight. For an extra boost of vitamin C that kickstarts your metabolism, try adding a splash of fresh lemon juice!

  1. Stretch

For a great burst of energy without relying on caffeine, consider adding some simple stretches into your daily morning ritual. Remember to be gentle, and don’t expect your body to be at its peak flexibility first thing! Add in some deep breaths and you’ll soon be feeling revitalised and ready to take on whatever the day throws your way.