New Year's Resolutions - 7 Essential Keys to Health

Are you looking for some New Year’s resolutions or just interested in boosting your overall level of wellness? If you focus on these 7 keys you can feel better both physically and emotionally, improve your outcome with almost any health condition, prevent the development of illnesses in the future, elevate your quality of life, and extend your lifespan.

New Year Resolutions

1. Nourishment

The focus here should be on foods that are fresh, seasonal, organic, whole, and unprocessed. Fresh foods generally have more nutrients and more chi than foods that are frozen, canned, dehydrated, or highly processed. Our amazing local tailgate markets are the best source for these types of foods. In general, most people need to eat less sugar, refined flour, and saturated fats, and more whole grains, vegetables, especially leafy greens, and polyunsaturated fats, like those we get from nuts and seeds.
 

2. Hydration

Water helps us flush out metabolic toxins. It is essential for replenishing yin, keeping us cool and helping our mucosal membranes and joints stay moist and lubricated. Water helps us digest food and absorb nutrients and can even boost our energy and improve cognition. The general recommendation is to drink half your weight in ounces per day. If it is hot or if you are very active you will need more water, as well as electrolytes. The best quality water is fresh from natural, unpolluted sources, like spring water.
 

3. Exercise

Exercise has a host of benefits, from improving your energy levels and cardiac health to reducing high blood pressure and stress. Moderate, full-body exercises are best because they boost your chi and keep it flowing: swimming, walking, tai chi, dancing, bicycling. It is optimal to get some exercise most days; even just one 20-minute walk can have immediate, noticeable benefits. An important component of exercise is sunlight and fresh air so make sure to get outside.
 

4. Sleep

Sleep gives your body time to repair damaged tissues and replenish energy reserves. It is when we integrate our waking experiences and when our body flushes out our brains with fresh cerebrospinal fluid. Because of this, sleep improves mental alertness, memory, and problem-solving. In Chinese medicine, we recommend 8 hours of sleep per night. In the winter, the most yin time of year, when it is darker and colder and we naturally hibernate more, we recommend up to 9 hours per night.
 

5. Rest

In addition to sleep, we also need time for rest. Rest helps us be present and gives us time to reflect, reevaluate, and plan for the future. Rest is also essential for emotional health because it gives us time to decompress, reducing the toll that things like chronic stress and anxiety can have on our health. Rest even has direct physiological benefits, like reducing inflammation and improving immunity. Everyone should rest at least a little every day. Balancing activity and rest is an important way that we can balance yin and yang in our lives.
 

6. Emotional Balance

Taking care of our emotional health means many things. Making time for fun, doing things that we love, and expressing our creativity are all part of it. It also means feeling connected: to the people who are important to us, to our community at large, to nature. For most of us, feeling like we are living a life of meaning and purpose, like we are making a positive difference in the world, is also essential. In Chinese medicine, physical health is absolutely essential to emotional health, they are completely intertwined and one depends on the other. 
 

7. Toxin Reduction

In the modern world, we are exposed to toxins of many types. Eating according to the guidelines above reduces the number of toxins that we take in, staying hydrated gives our body what it needs to flush toxins out, and exercising in fresh air helps clear our lungs. Other ways to reduce toxins include limiting our intake of alcohol and drugs and reducing our consumption of stimulants like tobacco and coffee. In Chinese medicine, intoxicants and stimulants increase the amount of heat in the body, leading to inflammation of the organs and tissues. In addition to reducing our intake of toxins, occasional fasts or cleanses can help the body clear them out.
 
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West Asheville Acupuncture
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2007-2024