This SF health coach shares a helpful guide to a happier stomach.
Download the app
Fitness memberships, workout classes, wellness services, beauty appointments and more.
Hello, 2019! It’s not breaking news: the new year equates to a must-do, or you’ll be disappointed mentality. From cutting sugar to being kinder, every January 1st of my adult life I have penned a laundry list of New Year's resolutions.... and to be honest, every year I find myself feeling overwhelmed by my somewhat fictitious commitments. It only took thirty-something trips around the sun, but I finally learned my lesson.
I’ve officially ditched the traditional notion of resolutions for goals. After the champagne toasts are over and my yoga pants are on, I set goals. My personal mantras to make *me* better. It could be one or three, but I outline real, authentic goals that illicit an overjoyed feeling when it comes to a fresh perspective. Forget the whole new year, new you—I am now embracing the new year as a continuation of my journey. An exclamation point on my well-being.
But what really made me say goodbye to resolutions? Despite how much I enjoy sparklers and the dressy attire, these are the three reasons why I changed how I view the start to a new year. It’s about time we loved ourselves a little more and kicked some serious butt.
Real talk: Resolutions set us up for disappointment.
I once read a blog that said when you set expectations, you set yourself up for disappointment. Lightbulb moment: resolutions are just that. Whether it’s my wellness plan, work, or a relationship, I’ve found this truth to be, well, pretty true. So instead of making resolutions, I look at the new year as a chance for simple, positive guiding principles that can influence my actions each and every day. You shouldn’t feel bad about yourself just because the scale doesn’t show that magical number you wanted to reach by a certain date or your busy calendar had you miss your gym session. Life happens—and I am finally realizing that.
Feel the focus: Find what's most important to you.
As we welcome a new year, find one area of your life you want to focus your energy on. For me in 2019, it’s all about mental (and emotional) wellness. By refining my new year's goals, I can shift my focus to one element of my life that I would like to improve on personally and everything else that benefits my well-being is an added bonus. Fitness, finances, relationships, balance—aspects of our life can feel overwhelming. Streamlining a relatable goal can help prioritize what is most important to you in the new year. And don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t have to be a lofty goal either... find that one thing you are hoping to shift for an even more amazing you.
Note to self: It’s okay to fail. Seriously.
It took a long time for me to not feel guilty for not meeting (or exceeding) my resolutions. Why didn’t I do it right? Why couldn’t I make it happen? These negative questions would plague the lines of my journal just a few weeks into the new year. I used to feel like my resolutions were this hard deadline I must achieve. Now, by establishing goals and accepting that they can shift, I’ve created a sense of positive accountability, accepting that it’s okay to reset my priorities and update what I want to achieve as the year progresses. Maybe I didn’t stick to my meal plan by eating a homemade brownie at work. Or maybe I didn’t hit the bench press reps I was on track to complete today. But guess what? I enjoyed that treat. I still made it to the gym. Owning change and accepting accomplishments—even if they seem small—is something we should all be proud of.
So this new year, join me in ditching resolutions and setting goals! Watch out 2019; this is going to be our best year yet!
Acupuncture is extremely beneficial for various ailments ranging from digestion to carpal tunnel, but the level of effectiveness varies from person-to-person. I’ve had Sciatica patients spend months combating their back and leg pain, and others hop off the table in two hours, never needing a follow-up appointment. Some rotator cuffs take six weeks; others take two years.
Why is this?
While your body's response to acupuncture depends on the complaint or injury, it also depends on your overall health, and how well you take care of the injured site between sessions. If we eat junk food all the time, are inactive, don’t sleep well, or overwork ourselves, then injury is imminent, and recovery is going to be hard. Equally, if we ignore an injury or don't care for it, then we will likely stay injured for longer.
So, let’s break down what’s best for you when it comes to acupuncture:
“How often should you get acupuncture with specific ailments?”
This is different for everyone, but here are some general guidelines.
More is better.
Acupuncture has cumulative effects, so while most feel relief after one session, it likely will not have resolved the issue. Multiple follow up sessions are needed, and for your own comfort, it’s recommended that you use sessions before the effects have completely worn off each time.
Every time you receive a session, your relief should be more significant, and the effects should last longer—bringing the injury closer to resolution. With this in mind; the worse the injury, the more frequent you’ll want to receive acupuncture. Several times a week is standard, that way you will get out of discomfort faster, and you’ll need fewer sessions overall.
Understanding acute versus chronic ailments.
Some acute symptoms like nausea, dizziness, bleeding, swelling, or anxiety will clear up on the spot. However, for recent injuries pertaining to tissues, like a strained muscle, you can use three acupuncture sessions in one week with great effect. For example, with strained lower back muscles, you will feel less pain in one session, a significant reduction in inflammation and symptoms within three sessions. An ankle sprain is a little more serious and may take two or three weeks, but the general idea is the same.
With stubborn pain, or chronic issues like sciatica, skin rashes, nerve pain, hormone irregularities, it can take a bunch of sessions to see lingering results. Often there will be relief right after each session, but the symptoms return quickly (albeit with a little less vengeance). This just means the results are happening in smaller increments. For this reason, your practitioner will tell you to come in over three times a week for two or three weeks so you’ll get more relief faster, but you can space the sessions out as you begin to feel better.
“What can I do to make my acupuncture benefits bigger?”
As mentioned, how you care for yourself between sessions makes a big difference. Here’s a few pro tips.
Your practitioner will give you specific directions they want you to follow for your ailment, but generally, after an acupuncture visit, it is wise to drink a lot of water and rest.
Here’s the obvious thing we don’t often consider. If you get instant relief for your pulled hamstring, but then you go running the next day, it’s going to take forever to heal! That injured body part needs to be pampered and catered to. Your acupuncturist will give you food, supplement, lifestyle, and movement suggestions to use between sessions– use them all.
I’ve seen countless patients walk in with frozen shoulder, spend 90 minutes in the chair with various points and stimulation techniques, and then leave swinging their arm painlessly with 50% more range of motion. If they eat well, do their physical therapy, and are kind to their shoulders, the effects will last. Then, next time, we can add another 50% on to their range of motionBut, if they paint a house or swing a baseball, then I see them go right back to square one overnight. How we take care of ourselves between sessions really matters.
You will want to note any changes; no matter how small or irrelevant they seem. Your practitioner is armed with many protocols and techniques. They will always start with the combo that they’ve seen work best for your complaint, from there they will work backward or tweak it slightly based on the information you give them. Make sure to tell them every detail, even if it seems unrelated.
One lady, with unrelenting pain, finally revealed a game-changing nugget to me while nonchalantly laughing about her need to wear neck scarves everywhere. I found out she had been experiencing chills and had a significant aversion to wind during the summer. This “irrelevant” snippet made me radically change the protocol, and she was pain-free and healing rapidly within four sessions.
So, there you have it. How acupuncture benefits various body parts depends on the area concerned, but also on how we treat our bodies before, during, and after injury.