Five More Faves

Get Back to Your Happy Place!

Through my late 20s and early 30s, I often had an ache or pain in my body or felt stressed.

Perhaps you have had a similar experience, especially if you are in a bustling metro area.

I have good news! The solutions below can help put a new spring in your step.

Try one or two… I’d love to hear how you feel.

Infrared Sauna

Near Infrared:

  • cell health / immunity

  • would healing

  • skin purification

  • pain relief

Mid Infrared:

  • pain relief

  • improved circulation

  • weight loss

Far Infrared (the deepest penetrating wavelength)

  • weight loss

  • detoxification

  • blood pressure reduction

  • relaxation

I signed up for my first session the weekend after Thanksgiving at Atlas Bodyworks in Merrifield, Va. (for locals - right next to the Mosaic District, with plentiful free parking).

I was not too enthralled by the thought of sweating in a small, overheated room. The owner, Robert Waters, assured me that it would feel like a day at the beach and I could exit at any time to re-hydrate. Indeed, it felt like a perfect beach day, and I slept like a baby that night. After a more recent second visit, my face was radiant for days, presumably from the detoxifying effects.

Curious to learn more, I asked Robert to explain the benefits of sauna as part of a regular wellness routine.

Many of my clients ‘ache all over,’ or feel sluggish and unmotivated. A visit to the sauna can help, especially an infrared sauna. It can be uncomfortable to remain in a traditional sauna long enough to sufficiently detoxify the body. In fact, much of what appears to be sweat can be external humidity settling on the skin. Think of the condensation effect of a cold glass of liquid on a hot summer day (i.e. your relatively cool body in an extremely hot room). However, an infrared sauna is more comfortable for longer periods of time and penetrates the body at three levels, offering up to seven times the detoxifying effect of exercise or traditional saunas. (see sidebar)

To sum it up, folks, it just feels good. I encourage you to give Robert a call to learn more or visit Atlas Bodyworks or an infrared sauna near you. I learned about infrared sauna while listening to Ashley James’s Learn True Health podcast. Trusting her exhaustive research and recommendation, I found a Sunlighten sauna, because it provides all three levels of infrared wavelengths in one place.

 

Fasting

I first began fasting many years ago. It was a simple discipline - to mindfully enter the Lenten season or to “reset” my system after a weekend filled with too much junk food.

Fasting provided a mental and emotional shift. On the days when I chose to focus on something or someone important to me, in lieu of eating, the hunger would subside. In its place, I felt greater care for others and connection to a purpose greater than myself.

There also are purely physical benefits to fasting. An Internet search of “intermittent fasting” can tell you all you want to know. The recipe helps to sustain my energy on fasting days.

*Note: be careful not to exceed daily allowances of sodium/potassium. It is always a good idea to check with your health professional before fasting.

 

Tapping

When our emotions hijack us we need to engage the body to let it know that it is safe. What I like about tapping is that it can be used whenever and wherever you need it to help dissolve negative emotions.

Developed by Dr. Roger Callahan, the technique (also referred to as Emotional Freedom Technique) combines Chinese acupressure points with modern psychology to send a calming signal to your amygdala to say, “Everything is okay.”

Try tapping the next time you feel anxiety, sadness or anger bubbling up from within (perhaps not in the middle of a meeting with your boss, but afterwards, in the privacy of your office).

Marie Forleo has a wonderful interview and tapping demonstration with Nick Ortner, who has written a book on tapping, here. You also can learn more or download the tapping app on Nick’s website.

 

Yin Yoga

I took a restorative yoga class a few years ago and have since touted the benefits (though admittedly not practiced much). Then I discovered the ease of yin yoga from the comfort of home with Yoga with Kassandra.

While yin is similar to restorative in the use of passive yoga poses, the intention behind yin yoga is different. Restorative yoga is intended to restore balance to your parasympathetic nervous system (i.e. to destress). Yin yoga, which can have a similar destressing effect, is intended to affect the joints and connective tissue in beneficial ways.

I practice yin yoga two to three times a week, and every time, the effects are immediate and good – as I walk across the floor, I feel like I’m floating. Kassandra’s attention to where your body might be out of alignment during a pose reveals her expertise, and her explanations for how to correct it are specific, clear and timely, making it easy to follow along without having to crane your neck to see the demonstrations.

It’s also entertaining when her cat wanders into the room to join in the relaxation.

Learn more at these links or follow Kassandra on YouTube here.

Yin vs. Restorative

Principles of Yin Yoga

Practice Beginner Yin Yoga

 

Adrenal Fatigue

edited.jpg

Who knows how long my adrenals had been fatigued before I became aware of it after a weeklong hospital stay for a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak. Shortly thereafter, I received physical therapy for pain in my shoulder, and I began to feel better than I had in years, even in other parts of my body.

The reason? Liz Bracken. Liz is a Certified Integrated Manual Therapist (IMT through Great Lakes Seminars), which means that her approach relies on understanding not just the mechanics of the body, but also how the lymphatic, adrenal and nervous systems work together to heal imbalances. She utilizes IMT and Fascial Counterstrain techniques.

In my case, not only had the hospital stay been overwhelming to my body and mind, but prior stress had most likely worn out my adrenals. The constant production of cortisol from long-term stress in the body means that your adrenals lose sensitivity to how much cortisol to produce, and this irregular production can lead to low energy, mood swings, trouble sleeping and autoimmune issues.

While I cannot give medical advice, I encourage you to ask a doctor, naturopath, functional medicine doctor or physical therapist about the possibility of adrenal fatigue. It could make a world of difference in how you feel.


Take Five

Do you have a health or wellness resource to share? I’d love to hear about it!