Qi (pronounced “chee”) is like the body’s internal battery. The word, a fundamental tenet of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), roughly translates as “life force” or “vital energy.”
Qi flows throughout the body along pathways called meridians, which connect all organ systems. Acupuncture and acupressure help restore qi by treating specific meridian points throughout the body. Other ancient medical systems have similar concepts. In India, internal energy is called prana; in Japan it is known as ki; in Greece it is called pneuma.
In scientific terms, qi is similar to adenosine triphosphate (ATP), an energy-carrying chemical found in the cells of all living things. Like qi, ATP provides energy for everything from muscle contractions to nerve impulses. The organs most closely related to qi are the adrenal glands, which produce energizing hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol.
Regardless of medical tradition, the underlying idea is this: when your internal battery is fueled, your body works more efficiently and you are better able to fight off colds and flus that come your way. But just like the battery in your phone, qi needs to be recharged regularly. This internal life force is fueled by healthy lifestyle habits, from emotional strategies like boosting self-esteem, finding purpose in life and reducing fear, to physical habits like getting enough sleep and practicing deep breathing exercises. Signs of qi deficiency include thyroid disorders, adrenal fatigue, irregular menstruation, infertility, weakness, anxiety and susceptibility to infections.
Exercise tops the list of ancient lifestyle habits that confer health benefits. But there are a number of other profoundly restorative habits that are (or are becoming) widely available. I encourage you to explore these options to find the ones that suit you and your lifestyle, and bring you the kind of healing you need.
Healthy Habit #1: Yoga
The word yoga is first mentioned in India’s oldest sacred text, the Rig Veda. The fact that it is so popular today is a testament to its effectiveness. I am a fan of this contemplative movement practice because it is an exercise with an intentional side. Doing the postures in sequence helps you get in touch with your body-what parts are tense, where you hold tension-and stay centered in the present moment. The result is improved balance, strength and flexibility, both physically and emotionally.
Here’s the impressive list of benefits of yoga:
– Stress relief
– Sleep improvement
– Pain relief
– Reduction of anxiety and depression
– Weight loss
– Improving the quality of life of people with chronic diseases.
If you are new to yoga, find a good teacher for your first classes to make sure you do the postures correctly. Then you can easily follow a yoga video at home.
2. Tai Chi
One of the earliest martial arts in ancient China, this mind-body practice is often referred to as movement meditation, as it consists of a series of slow, gentle movements inspired by the movements of nature. This practice raises qi, allowing you to feel rested but energized. This is a wonderful option if you are new to fitness, suffering or recovering from illness, or if you have physical difficulties that prevent you from moving with ease. Traditionally, you perform the deliberate movements standing, but you can easily do a modified seated version. In either case, the benefits are endless.
Research shows that it can improve balance and stability in the elderly and people with Parkinson’s disease, reduce pain in people with arthritis and fibromyalgia, and improve mood in people with heart failure and cancer.
#3. Functional muscle training
You may think strength training has nothing to do with the brain, but it has a powerful effect on mood and brain structure, and it’s a great way to develop qi. A study published in Molecular Psychiatry found that six months of strength training improved cognition and increased the size of associated brain regions. Other research has shown that it can alleviate anxiety and depression.
Functional strength training does not require a gym membership or equipment. It simply uses your body weight to increase strength and fitness by performing movements such as burpees, planks, and crunches. (Online programs can show you how to do these movements, which you can adapt to your fitness level.) As with any exercise, start slowly and build strength gradually. And don’t forget that simply setting small goals-and achieving them-can also boost your morale.
#4. Walking in nature (“forest bathing”).
Here’s a quick eye-opening exercise: put down that book, walk outside, look up at the sky and take a deep breath. You feel a little different, don’t you, more energetic, more focused, calmer, happier? There’s something about being in nature, instead of hunched over in front of a computer, that releases positive chemicals in the brain and rebalances the body’s qi. And when you immerse yourself in nature, walking in a local park or remote forest, you benefit even more. The Japanese have a particularly wonderful name for this: forest bathing. A study published in the journal Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine found that people who walked in a forest had lower blood pressure and cortisol levels than those who walked in a city.
If you live in a city, a walk in a park or near a body of water can do the same thing. Immersing yourself in nature at its best can reduce stress, improve mood, stimulate creativity and boost immune system activity. In addition, it can enhance your spiritual life, inspiring feelings of awe, wonder, gratitude and respect, emotions that make you feel better and can motivate you to be more generous, cooperative and kind.
#5. Relaxation and downtime.
There is a new health problem affecting more and more people in our fast-paced culture: burnout, the most modern example of qi deficiency.
Burned-out employees are 63% more likely to catch a sick day and 23% more likely to go to the emergency room. Brazilian researchers have found that burnout is a major predictor of heart disease, headaches, gastrointestinal and respiratory problems, and mortality in people under the age of 45. You may have experienced it yourself. It’s something our ancestors didn’t have to deal with, but learning from their slower, less distracted lifestyles can give us the balance we need.
The secret: incorporate relaxation into your day. Go out at lunchtime, sit on a bench and do nothing. Just watch the world go by. In the evening, instead of watching the latest Netflix series, lie down to read a novel, relax by the fire or light some candles and take a dip in the bathtub. The Dutch call this idea “niksen.” This type of relaxation can effectively counteract stress, and letting your mind wander also encourages creative problem solving. A gift that is stifled in our fast-paced lives.
#6. Digital fasting
The average adult spends about eleven hours a day interacting with technology, whether it’s reading or watching something online, scrolling through social media, or listening to a podcast.
Does this sound familiar? If you’re constantly connected to technology, you never fully relax, which is hard on your body and mind. You probably already know this.
By putting your phone and laptop aside for an hour, a day, a weekend or a week, you give your brain and body time to relax and regenerate, allowing your qi to recover as well. It is also advisable to remove destabilizing or irritating influences from social networks and add more uplifting ones. These little bursts of anger and indignation build up. Protect yourself by replacing them with things that bring you joy.
#7. Sleep (and plan your life) according to your circadian biological clock.
Circadian rhythms are integrated physical, mental, and behavioral changes that occur naturally in a daily cycle, such as sleeping at night and being awake during the day. In Western medicine, circadian rhythms are mainly considered in terms of the sleep-wake cycle. But traditional Chinese medicine takes the concept much further, linking nearly every function and organ of the body to the time of day when they have the most energy.
The 24-hour circadian clock can be a useful guide for planning your day and understanding why you may feel a little off at one time or another. For example, your heart’s energy is at its highest between 11 am and 1 pm. This is the ideal time to catch up with family and friends, or to talk to them on the phone. Similarly, the large intestine is active between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m., so these times are ideal for waking up and starting the day. TCM advocates a slow transition from sleep to wakefulness. Meditating or praying first thing in the morning allows the mind and body to wake up smoothly and sets a positive tone for the day.
In ancient times, people went to bed at dusk and rose at dawn. Our internal body clocks continue to adjust to these same circadian dials, even if we regularly ignore them. But there is reason to be more careful about getting seven to eight hours of sleep most nights.
According to ancient Chinese medicine, you should relax at 8 p.m. and sleep at 11 p.m.: when you sleep, the gallbladder, which controls emotions and judgment, and the liver, responsible for emotional well-being, are repaired. When you sleep too little, these two organs suffer.
In fact, research shows that lack of sleep affects your ability to think clearly and makes you moody, irritable and depressed, which means you are more likely to react negatively when something goes wrong.
If work or travel does not allow you to sleep during these hours, try to maintain as regular a sleep schedule as possible. As long as you have a regular schedule, the body is remarkably adaptable. One way to get more sleep, regardless of your sleep schedule: put away your phone and devices a few hours before bedtime and do something relaxing. Blue light from screens can interfere with the natural sleep-wake cycle. This one change can help you live more in line with your body’s natural circadian rhythms.
This therapeutic practice involves activities such as walking barefoot outdoors, lying in the grass or on the beach, or wading in a lake or ocean to do what our ancestors did naturally all the time: physically connect with the earth. The benefits, which include improved red blood cell fluidity (great for cardiovascular health), reduced muscle soreness after exercise, and reduced stress, depression and fatigue, stem from the fact that the earth emits electrical charges that have positive effects on your body. Although the research is still in its infancy, it appears that the electrical charge affects the living matrix between your cells, leading to less inflammation. It couldn’t be easier to do – and it may actually allow your body to recalibrate its internal parameters and improve your health.
Like earthing, crystals are beautiful stones mined from the earth that carry electrical energy. Although there is no current research on their effectiveness, they have been used throughout history to improve health. And while they are not miraculous or cure any health problems, they do have subtle health benefits. There are many types of healing crystals: from clear quartz, known as the master healer, to obsidian, which protects you from emotional and physical negativity… but the idea is to choose the one that’s right for you.
You can find out about the different qualities of each type of crystal and buy online the one that seems to suit your needs. You can also choose a crystal by going to a store and holding different stones in your hand, one by one. Many people say they can feel which one suits them best. To benefit from the energy of your crystal, you can meditate with the stone, put it in your bathroom, carry it in your pocket, or place several stones in your home.
#10. Rain, ocean and other sounds of nature.
Research shows that physically connecting with the earth is healthy, and listening to its sounds can be as well. Natural sounds have long been associated with relaxation, and studies are beginning to validate this age-old theory. Research has shown that the sounds of streams, birdsong and fountains improve cognitive performance in adults and children, for example. In a study published in Scientific Reports, researchers used fMRI brain scans and heart rate monitors to determine the effect of various sounds on people.
What they found: when listening to artificial sounds, such as traffic and highway noise, people’s cognitive attention was focused inward, as it is when we worry or ruminate, and their reaction time was slower than when listening to natural sounds, which elicited more external attention. In contrast, the study found that natural sounds were more likely to trigger a relaxing parasympathetic nervous system response, as well as reduce heart rate, blood pressure and stress levels.
People seem to benefit most from natural sounds that are familiar to them. So it’s a good idea to find a playlist, app, or noise machine that offers sounds you’re used to, whether it’s rain, waves, or the murmur of a stream. Or, if you don’t live in a city or near a busy street, just open the windows and enjoy the soothing natural symphony outside your home.
Life is hectic and at first it may seem difficult to adopt a new lifestyle habit or even find a good acupuncture or chiropractic practitioner. However, each of the strategies described above improves qi by providing calm, sustainable energy. And when your qi is strong, you are better able to cope with all your other responsibilities.
The 9 benefits of oats
There are so many health benefits to enjoying a bowl of oatmeal every morning. Loaded with fiber, protein, and vitamins, rolled oats are a perfect way to start your day. Along with its nutritional content, oats also have amazing cosmetic benefits that you may not be aware of. Keep reading to know more!
Here are 10 reasons to add oatmeal to your routine:
They are full of nutrients.
Rolled oats are a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, including 27% RDA manganese, 7% RDA phosphorus and copper, 10% RDA zinc, 4% RDA iron, 5% RDA magnesium, and vitamin B1. .
They help reduce cholesterol levels.
Oats are often touted as a health food, and for good reason. Not only are they a good source of fiber, but they can also help lower cholesterol levels. The soluble fiber in oats binds cholesterol in the intestine and prevents it from being absorbed into the bloodstream. In addition, oats promote the excretion of bile acids, which are made from cholesterol.
They stabilize blood sugar levels.
Anyone who has ever experienced hypoglycemia knows that it can be a real ordeal. He feels irritable, shaky and generally in a bad mood. Rolled oats are a great way to stabilize your blood sugar and avoid those dreaded lows. The soluble fiber in oats slows the absorption of glucose into the blood, providing a more regular source of energy. Additionally, rolled oats contain nutrients such as magnesium and chromium, which help the body to better process glucose.
They are filling and satisfying.
One of the reasons oats are so filling is because they contain a type of fiber called beta-glucan. This soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance in the stomach. This helps slow down the digestion process. Therefore, oats can help you feel full longer.
They can help you lose weight.
Its high fiber content makes oats a healthy food that promotes weight loss. Fiber helps keep you full longer, which prevents overeating. Plus, oats are a complex carbohydrate, which means they take longer to digest and provide long-lasting energy throughout the morning. Eating oatmeal for breakfast can also help regulate blood sugar and prevent cravings later in the day.
They keep you regular.
The high water content of rolled oats helps keep the intestines hydrated. This helps reduce constipation. Beta-glucan can also help absorb excess water in the intestine, making stool softer and easier to pass.
They protect against heart disease.
Rolled oats have long been considered a heart-healthy food, and for good reason. Studies have shown that rolled oats can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. One of the main nutrients in oats is a type of active ingredient called avenanthramide. This special component helps prevent the body from absorbing cholesterol and also has powerful antioxidant properties. Let’s not forget about our beloved beta-glucan, the soluble fiber that helps lower LDL cholesterol levels.
They are beneficial for your skin and your hair…
Oats are often used in beauty products as they are believed to relieve dry skin and scalp conditions such as dandruff. They are also said to soothe itchiness caused by poison ivy or sumac rashes. In local application, in the form of a mask or compress, oats would relieve the inflammation and redness of eczema or other inflammatory skin conditions.
An infusion of oats can help eliminate acne.
Applied topically, oats can help relieve itching, inflammation, and dryness. Infusion of oats is another way to harness the power of this humble cereal. Made by infusing rolled oats in hot water, oat tea has the same skin-benefiting properties as topical oat products.
Likewise, an infusion of oats can help detoxify the skin and eliminate acne. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds work together to reduce redness, irritation, and breakouts. For best results, drink oatmeal tea daily, then apply a gentle cleanser and moisturizer. With regular use, you should start to see a noticeable improvement in the appearance of your skin.
How to behave better with your teenager? Here are 8 phrases to ban
Teenagers can be a difficult audience. They are in that middle phase of life where they are not quite children, but not quite adults. Therefore, they can be very sensitive and overreact to the slightest thing. Therefore, as a parent, it is important to choose your words carefully when addressing your teen. With that in mind, here are 8 phrases you should avoid saying to your teen:
“You are exactly like your father/mother.”
As teens get older, they try to figure out who they are and their place in the world. They often look to their parents for advice and support, but can sometimes feel that they are being compared to their parents in a negative way. If you find yourself telling your teen “you’re just like your mom or dad,” try not to do it. This statement can make you feel that you are not good enough or that you will never measure up to your parents’ achievements. Instead, focus on praising her unique qualities and strengths. This will help you gain self-confidence and feel good about yourself.
“Don’t be a drama queen. »
Anyone who has been a teenager knows that life can feel like one big drama. From acne to heartbreak, it can feel like the world is constantly conspiring against us. So the last thing a teen needs is to be told they’re overreacting or being melodramatic. This not only invalidates their feelings, but it can also make them feel powerless to control their own emotions. When a teen is feeling overwhelmed, the best thing he can do is offer her support and understanding. And if you’re tempted to tell her, “Don’t be a drama queen,” bite your tongue and think about how you wish you’d been treated at her age.
“I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed. »
When a teenager hears this phrase, it can feel like a stab to the heart. It’s hard enough hearing that a parent or guardian is disappointed in you, but feeling like you’ve let them down can be devastating. Unfortunately, this phrase is all too common and can do more harm than good. On the one hand, it indicates that the interlocutor is more concerned with her own feelings than with those of the adolescent. It also suggests that the adolescent has failed to meet an arbitrary standard and is lacking in some way. Finally, it sends the message that the teen can’t fix things. So think twice. Expressing yourself better or explaining yourself more can do a lot of good.
” You are punished. »
It is a phrase that no teenager wants to hear. And that is a phrase that parents should never say. Why ? Because punishing a teenager is often ineffective and can have such serious repercussions. When a teenager is grounded, he is often isolated from her friends and forbidden to do what she loves. This can lead to feelings of loneliness, frustration, and resentment. In addition, punishing a teenager causes conflicts between parents and children.
Instead of resorting to punishment, parents should try to find other ways to discipline their teens. For example, setting clear expectations and consequences for misbehavior, or removing privileges like the right to drive or use a cell phone. Punishment should be the last resort, not the first thing that comes to mind when a teen misbehaves.
” We’ll see. “
If you’re a parent of a teenager, you’ve probably heard the phrase “we’ll see” more often than not. It’s the answer when your teen doesn’t want to do something, whether it’s going to school or taking out the trash. And while “we’ll see” may seem like a harmless way to postpone a decision, it can actually be very damaging.
Here’s why: This phrase sends the message that your teen’s wants and needs are not a priority. It indicates that her feelings are invalid and her opinions don’t matter. In other words, it’s a way of invalidating your teen’s experiences and postponing her needs indefinitely. The next time you’re tempted to say, “We’ll see,” try something else. For example, you can say “Let me think about it” or “I’m not sure yet.” These responses show that you take your teen’s concerns seriously and are committed to making a decision that works for everyone involved.
“Fine, do what you want. »
When it comes to teenagers, this answer is never the right one. He communicates two things to a teenager: that you don’t care about his opinion and that he is not willing to compromise. The result is likely to be a teen feeling ignored and misunderstood, leading to more conflict later on. Instead, he tries to say something like, “I see you’re passionate about this, and I’m willing to compromise.” This sends the message that you respect their opinion and are willing to work together to find a solution that everyone can enjoy. Ultimately, this is the best way to avoid conflict and build a strong relationship with your teen.
“I don’t care what others do. »
When you’re a teenager, you feel like everyone is watching you and waiting for you to make a mistake. So when someone says “I don’t care what anyone else does,” it can sound like they’re saying “I don’t care what you do.” Although that is not what it means, it can be painful. Teenagers are already under a lot of pressure: from school, from their parents, from their friends. The last thing they need is someone telling them their choices don’t matter. The next time you talk to a teenager, remember that they are just trying to figure things out. He will be patient and understanding, and let him know that he is interested in what he is doing.
“Trust me, I know what I’m talking about. »
We have all been there. We try to give a teenager sage advice, but he won’t listen. So we utter those fateful words: “Trust me, I know what I’m talking about.” “Big mistake. These words are almost certain to trigger an immediate and provocative response.” Oh yeah? Well, you know nothing at all! The problem is that teens are programmed to push back against authority figures. Telling them to trust you will only drive them deeper.
If you want to be heard, you need to find a way to connect with your teen on their level. Avoid using phrases like “when I was your age” or “you’ll understand when you’re older.” Instead, try to empathize with how they feel and explain things in a way that makes sense to them.
Take care of your dry skin with these 7 effective tips
A few years ago I had a conversation with my aunt about menopause and skin care. She told me that during this period, many women suffer from dry and sensitive skin. “You have to be very careful with the products you use,” she told me. “Some people react badly to even the mildest soaps” I took her advice to the letter and began to be more selective with the skin care products I used. I had no idea that a few months later, I would start experiencing the same problems…
Sensitive skin is a common symptom of menopause. Hormonal fluctuations can cause the skin to become thin and dry, making it more susceptible to irritation. For many women, this can be a frustrating and even painful experience. However, there are simple ways to soothe sensitive skin during menopause. Here are five of the best:
Use mild cleansers.
Avoid harsh soaps and cleansers that can strip away natural oils and upset the delicate balance of the skin. Look for products designed for sensitive skin or that contain ingredients like aloe vera or chamomile.
Moisturize your skin regularly.
The changes that occur in a woman’s body during menopause can have a major impact on her skin. Estrogen levels drop, which can lead to dry, thinning skin and increased sensitivity. Also, hormonal changes can cause breakouts and other skin problems. To help combat these effects, it is essential to keep the skin hydrated to prevent dryness and irritation. Find a thick, creamy moisturizer and apply it liberally twice a day.
Protects the skin from the sun.
Ultraviolet rays can exacerbate dryness and irritation, so it’s important to wear sunscreen when spending time outdoors. To protect your skin during menopause, it’s important to use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Be sure to reapply sunscreen every two hours, even on cloudy days. Also, drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated from within. By following these simple steps, you can help keep your skin looking young and healthy for years to come.
Avoid hot showers and baths.
As any woman nearing menopause knows, hot flashes and night sweats can make daily activities uncomfortable, to say the least. And while a steamy shower may seem like a tempting way to cool off, it can actually further irritate sensitive menopausal skin. This is because hot water strips away the natural oils that protect the skin, making it vulnerable to dryness, redness, and itchiness. To cleanse, use lukewarm water and limit your shower or bath to no more than 10 minutes.
Consider using a humidifier.
Many women find it beneficial to use a humidifier. A humidifier adds moisture to the air, which can help soothe and protect the skin. Additionally, a humidifier can also help alleviate other symptoms of menopause, such as fatigue and headaches. For women struggling with sensitive skin during menopause, a humidifier may be just what they need to find relief.
Prefer PHA exfoliants.
PHA-based scrubs are great for sensitive skin during menopause because they have a larger molecular size. This means they don’t penetrate the skin as deeply and are therefore less likely to cause irritation. PHA scrubs are also great for dry skin, as they help exfoliate and remove dead skin cells. To use a PHA scrub, simply massage into damp skin in a circular motion. Rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry. Then apply your usual moisturizer.
Omega-3 acids are your best ally.
A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help alleviate some of the symptoms of sensitive skin. Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, or sardines are an excellent source of omega-3s, so be sure to include them in your diet. Borage and evening primrose oils are also beneficial for the skin of postmenopausal women. So don’t be afraid to experiment with different oils until you find one that works for you.
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