Five Reasons to Get Acupuncture for Low Back Pain

Statistics show eight out of 10 people will experience low back pain at some point during their life. Seeking medical treatment for back pain is very common. Typically back pain is fleeting and can be easily resolved with rest, heat and an occasional anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen. However, once the damage is done, the recurrence of back pain can be as high as 50 percent. Part of this is because as we age, things like muscles and tendons become less flexible and pliable. It is also very well known in the United States, people are too sedentary and this leads to excess weight gain that can create added pressure on the body, especially the low back. continue reading »

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12 Easy Ways to Be More Active

As busy adults, many of us might find it hard to incorporate more physical activity into our daily schedules. We often get stuck in a routine and feel that we don’t have the time. Still, there are some easy ways to be more active that you can start doing today. Think simple, start small, and begin to build a system that allows you to be more active.

ways to be more active

1. Start with a Morning Stretch

Don’t just wake up and go — start your morning with a good stretch. This is more than just the stretch and yawn right after waking up. This means getting into a good flow of body movement. If you practice yoga, the morning is the perfect time to practice. Pilates will also help you stretch and put your body in the right space to get your day started.

2. Take a Walk During the Day

Most adults work 9-to-5 jobs during the week. Many of those professions are considered sedentary. They require us to sit in one position for long periods of time throughout the day. You can break that up and get your body moving by taking a walk during your breaks. Break your day up into segments. After two hours, take a walk through the building. On your lunch break, take a walk around the block. Finally, a couple of hours before it’s time to go, take another quick walk to get your blood flowing again.

3. Skip the Elevator

Take the stairs. Walking up and down the steps is a simple movement that is considered an aerobic exercise. Therefore, skipping the elevator and taking the stairs will get your heart pumping and body moving. If you work on a higher floor, test your limits and see how far you can go before taking the elevator. You can also start taking the stairs in other buildings as well.

4. Join a Social League

easy ways to be more active
If you enjoy organized sports and meeting new people, joining a social sports league will get you moving. Every major city has its own social sports leagues that you can join. Most include a diverse list of sports, including kickball, soccer, softball, flag football, and volleyball. In addition, bowing leagues are still fun ways to get active. Pick your favorite sport and join a team.

5. Incorporate Acupuncture

You might not initially consider acupuncture as a way of being active. After all, you are completely comfortable while receiving treatment. However, acupuncture can help you become more active because of its benefits. Many people use acupuncture as a way to treat chronic pain, sports injuries, muscle aches, arthritis, and even asthma. As part of your total wellness plan, incorporating acupuncture can give you the mobility and relief to include more exercise in your daily or weekly routine.

6. Volunteer with a Local Charity

In the process of looking for ways to get active, you can also make an impact in your community. Volunteering with a local charity will get you up on your feet and working with organizations that could use your time and energy. Think about the causes that matter to you. Get online and find some local nonprofits that are looking for the involvement of community members.

7. Start a Garden

Being a gardener is much more of a physical hobby than people expect. You’re digging, planting, watering, and pruning all kinds of plants. Choose a lot in your backyard and plan out the perfect garden for your home and family. You could even plant vegetables for your family and try out some new recipes.

8. Become a Weekend Warrior

For many busy adults, there aren’t many options during the week to add additional activities or hobbies that will help you become more active. Instead, you can become a weekend warrior. This means that on Saturdays and Sundays, be sure to schedule some time to get active. Consider joining your local gym, going for a trail walk, or even taking a hike. If you have a bike, you could also go for a nice, long bike ride through your neighborhood. Although it’s only two days a week, it’s still a planned effort to get moving.

9. Wake Up Earlier

easy ways to be more active
Set your alarm an hour earlier than usual. You’ll notice that going to bed earlier at night and waking up earlier in the morning gives you more time and energy throughout the day to accomplish more goals. With that hour, you can add time for yoga, meditation, or just making sure that you have time for a healthy breakfast.

10. Exercise During Commercial Breaks

We all enjoy relaxing in front of the TV after a long day at work or on the weekends. However, our favorite streaming services encourage binge-watching when we spend hours at a time watching our favorite shows. You can even add some activity during this time by incorporating some quick exercises during commercial breaks or between episodes. Do some jumping jacks, jog in place, or do some stretching.

11. Park Further Away

Give yourself a further distance to walk. When you park your car at work, the mall, or the grocery store, park a few aisles further away from the door than normal. Most people have a habit of trying to find a spot as close as possible. However, reversing that thinking is a practical way to get in a few more steps while we’re out running errands.

12. Track Your Progress

You’re not getting more active for no reason. Tracking your progress will act as the perfect incentive to keep going. Set some goals for your increased activity. Whether it’s weight loss or increased flexibility, tracking your progress will help you see how far you’ve come. You can do this by keeping a journal or simply tracking your weight loss journey. A pedometer is also a great and simple way to track your steps and set new daily goals that you can meet and surpass.

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3 Acupressure Points for Low Back Pain

Statistics show that almost eight out of 10 people experience low back pain at some point during their life. Seeking medical treatment for back pain is very common. Typically back pain is fleeting and can be easily resolved with rest, heat and an occasional anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen. However, once the damage is done, the recurrence of back pain can be as high as 50 percent. Part of this is because as we age, things like muscles and tendons become less flexible and pliable. This can also be attributed to the fact that many people suffer from low-grade dehydration because they don’t drink enough water and they don’t ingest enough healthy fats that keep the muscles and tendons loose. It is also very well known that in the United States, people are too sedentary, and this leads to excess weight gain that can create added pressure on the body, especially the low back. continue reading »

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How to Create a Self-Care Plan

What is a Self-Care Plan and Why You Should Create One

With a growing focus on mental health in the public sphere, you’ve likely encountered references to individuals creating a “self-care plan.” A self-care plan is a coping mechanism that keeps you from being overwhelmed by life’s sometimes chaotic nature. It’s also a proactive measure that you design. It’s filled with activities that bring you joy, reminders of your self-worth, as well as ways to tap into your support network. Below are three reasons why investing in a self-care plan ahead of time is essential:

1) A customized self-care plan is empowering. Take some time to look within first; you’ll know what things in life bring on stress and what things make it melt away. Through this self-reflection, you’ll have the foundations for developing your self-care plan and having it written down offers a safety net for the moments when you need it most.

2) Self-care plans help you respond, not react in moments of crisis. In terms of mindfulness, a self-care plan allows you to respond to situations versus simply reacting. Creating a plan ahead of time, therefore, empowers you to feel more in control of your life and avoid becoming overwhelmed by it. Likewise, you’ll be in a better position to know what type of outside help you might need and where to go for it.

3) Developing a plan helps keep you on track. A tangible, clearly laid-out strategy keeps you accountable and motivated to build new, positive routines. Knowing what you need to do when things get tough should also prevent you from making excuses and defaulting to old habits.

 

How to Create a Self-Care Plan Cloud 9 Acupuncture

How to Create Your Self-Plan

Now that you better understand the importance of creating a self-care plan, it’s time to bring your own to life. Remember: this is a course of action that you take everywhere and seeks to balance your physical and emotional needs. The plan can also include resources that you can rely on and reminders about your personal goals.

Build your self-care plan by following these steps:

Step 1: Write down an activity list that shows the different components of your life. To get you started, here are a few example areas to focus on:

  • Your day job
  • Your relationships: romantic, platonic, family, community
  • Your physical activity
  • Your internal thoughts

When this list is complete, you’ll want to add activities that you enjoy, bring happiness, and wellbeing to each space in your life. Sample activities include downloading a meditation app for your phone, meal prepping, keeping a gratitude journal, working with a therapist, or scheduling recurring acupuncture sessions.

Step 2: Write down the things that might get in your way. Afterward, devote some time to figuring out potential ways to address these barriers positively. An example would be if you’re in the habit of negative self-talk, take 5 minutes each morning to write down 3 good things about yourself. Over time these “shifts” in thinking and action will build to even larger life changes and you being well-suited to handle future stressful situations.

Step 3: Share your plan with your support network. Once your self-care plan is complete, send a copy to the people you trust most and are willing to help keep you accountable. You may also want to encourage these individuals to develop their own and share them with you.

Sticking to Your Self-Care Plan

For your self-care plan to be successful, you’ll need to commit to regularly acting on it. We know this is easier said than done, but we encourage you to be empathetic towards yourself and give yourself time to build new habits. Yes, there’ll likely be times where you slip back into past responses; this is okay and natural. When these moments do arise, be kind to yourself and use it as a chance to refocus.

Here are a few ways you can set yourself up for success when implementing a self-care plan:

  • Set daily reminders on your phone to do something that brings you joy
  • Meet up regularly with your accountability partner
  • Bring your plan to life through drawings, photo collages, or another visual medium
  • Schedule recurring appointments that contribute to your well-being, such as acupuncture or gym workouts
  • When you do falter, take a moment to reset with 5 deep breaths and visualizing your best self
  • Reward yourself when you’ve stuck to a part of your plan for a certain number of days, weeks, months, etc.
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3 AcuPoints for Anxiety

One of the most wonderful things about being an acupuncturist is the ability to stimulate points on my own body when I need to. If I get a headache, or feel a cold coming on, I can always hop up on my table for a quick tune-up with some needles. Even when I’m not at the office, the magic of acupuncture can still work for me – as long as I know where the points are and what they do, I can press on them and get results. continue reading »

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