- Cloud 9 Acupuncture22 West Padonia Rd. Suite A-203
Timonium, MD 21093
Sign up to receive news and updates and get my free report:“The Top 10 Reasons to Try Acupuncture”
- Acupuncture and the Small Intestine
- TCM for Summer Heat
- In Summer, Nourish Your Heart
What’s in your mug? There are coffee enthusiasts, and there are tea aficionados. If you’re a bigger fan of tea, then you already know how it can directly impact your mind and body. Whether it’s your first beverage in the morning or your last before bed, drinking tea is part of a routine that helps many people get through the day and establish a sense of well-being. If you want to be more intentional about drinking tea, here is an overview of the best teas you should be drinking.
For Physical Health
Tea is defined as an aromatic beverage. It just requires hot (or cold) water to infuse the flavors and other compounds into your brewed cup. For physical health, various types of tea feature elements that have a positive impact on your body.
- Peppermint tea has a minty and cool flavor. It can help calm an upset stomach if you’re feeling nauseous or generally queasy. It’s also great for bloating and indigestion.
- Chamomile also works against bloating and nausea. It’s also helpful for irritable bowel syndrome and colic.
- Fennel tea can help settle stomach pain, including heartburn and bloating.
- Green tea is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. It can also help boost your immune system.
- Hibiscus tea features useful vitamin C and antibacterial properties.
- Ginger tea helps relieve muscle aches, motion sickness, and headaches. It can also help loosen congestion and relieve a sore throat.
Cramps and PMS
- Ginger tea helps relieve muscle aches and can be beneficial for increasing comfort during menstrual cramps. It can also help reduce heavy blood flow.
- Tumeric tea features curcumin, a biologically active compound that helps relieve pain.
- Green tea contains health-promoting compounds called polyphenols that inhibit inflammatory responses.
- Holy Basil tea helps the body overcome physical stress. It’s rich in vitamins A and C, calcium, zinc, iron, and chlorophyll.
- Rose Hip tea contains antioxidants, beta carotene, and vitamins C and E.
For Mental Health
- Herbal teas can help stimulate mental health by bringing about specific effects that include relaxation and tranquility. A cup of tea can also help reduce stress and anxiety while increasing mental focus.
Calm and Relaxation
- Lavender tea is caffeine-free. It’s known for its aromatic head that can help induce relaxation and calm agitation.
- Lemon Balm tea helps calm restlessness and reduce feelings of alertness. It’s also beneficial for reducing nervousness.
- Hawthorn berries are tiny fruits that grow on trees and shrubs. Making hawthorn tea has been known to calm emotional distress and lower blood pressure.
- Valerian Root tea can help ease the inability to sleep by reducing the amount of time it takes to fall asleep.
- Catnip tea contains nepetalactone, which induces drowsiness, reduces anxiety, and calm restlessness.
- Banana tea helps blood vessels and muscles relax, allowing you to stay asleep longer.
There’s no doubt that if you’re a professional, you’ve experienced a level of stress at some point in your career. It can be distracting and impact your productivity. That stress could even spill over into your life at home. However, remembering to practice self-care — even in the office — can be an effective way to regain your motivation and joy in the work that you do.
Delegate Tasks Effectively
If you work with a team of co-workers or if you’re the leader in your department, don’t hesitate to delegate tasks to your supporting members. For some people, it can be a challenge to ask for help. Some professionals may even feel awkward, giving others a job to do. However, if you pile up all these duties, you may find yourself overwhelmed and stressed. Effective delegation is the ideal way to keep things organized throughout your workday. You can consider it a practice in self-care because you’ll be placing a higher value on your time and the way you spend your energy. You were hired for a purpose, and you won’t be able to fulfill it if you’re exhausted and depleted.
Find Ways to Stay Active
Staying active is a great way to increase your energy and maintain a positive attitude. If you work in an office setting, sitting in a chair for several hours at a time could leave you feeling stiff, sore, and even unmotivated. Consider adding an activity schedule to your day. You can start by setting an alarm on your phone that reminds you to stand up and stretch. You could even use that time to get up and take a walk around the building. Many professionals use standing desks that allow them to elevate their work so that they can complete it from a standing position. This allows for better circulation through the body. It will also allow you to stretch your legs while maintaining productivity.
Incorporate Team Building
Workplace wellness is about more than just being productive in the office. Sometimes getting out of the office and participating in team-building exercises is a great way to boost morale and encourage more collaboration and communication among co-workers. Consider planning a relaxing nature walk or something more active, like laser tag. These activities are great for breaking up your daily routine and disrupting the monotony of the 40-hour workweek.
Take Advantage of PTO
There’s a reason paid time off is considered part of your benefits package. Your employers expect you to take advantage of this time. Therefore, don’t feel bad about leaving work on your desk and your co-workers in the office when you use this time. Having the opportunity to decompress and spend time doing other things that you enjoy is incredibly important to your self-care routine. Take another look at the explanation of your benefits package so that you’ll know how many paid days off you get. For some companies, those days may carry over to the following year; however, this isn’t always the case.
Propose and Initiate a Wellness Program
Consider taking some initiative and planning a wellness program for your office. It’s a way to encourage self-care throughout the office to ensure that you can work in an atmosphere where everyone is prioritizing their mental and physical health. Propose fitness challenges where the person that walks or bikes the most miles in a month gets a prize. It could also include a healthy potluck. Suggest other methods of self-care to your co-workers, like massages, acupuncture, or even meditation, which can be done as a group.
The season of fall brings cooler weather and shorter days. As with any season, the world adjusts accordingly. Plants begin to go dormant, animals begin scrounging for food to store to get them through the upcoming winter months and humans start winterizing everything.
As fall descends on the land, it reminds us we need to start cutting back on the numerous cooling foods that are consumed during the summer months. Things like raw foods, salads, juices and fruits should be decreased because they can create too much cold in the body, according to traditional Chinese medicine. continue reading
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 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.
Essential oils are used for myriad reasons. They’re the natural compounds extracted from plants and are known for being fragrant. While some people choose to massage them into the skin others use diffusers to inhale the aroma. Regardless of the method, people turn to essential oils to unlock the many benefits of aromatherapy.
As a form of self-care and holistic wellness, aromatherapy is used for physical and emotional purposes. It’s an alternative to more traditional treatments and many people find joy in creating their own unique blends. Aromatherapy is perfect for in-home wellness or combined with other services, like a massage or acupuncture.
1. Great for Stress
Aromatherapy is an excellent way to reduce your stress. That’s because essential oils have proven to alleviate stress symptoms, including fatigue and restlessness. Lemon and thyme oil are both great options for stress and nervousness.
2. Get an Energy Boost
People who live busy lives are often faced with the possibility of burning out physically and mentally. However, not having the energy doesn’t stop us from having responsibilities. Aromatherapy is a great way to get an energy boost in the middle of your day. Some people even have a diffuser in their office for a midday boost. Try some wild orange, bergamot, grapefruit, or pine.
3. Help for Headaches
Anyone who has ever had a headache knows how debilitating they can be. If you’d prefer not to rely on traditional medicines, you can mix your essential oil with a carrier oil and gently rub them into your scalp and temples to relieve the pain. Mix lavender, rosemary, or chamomile oil with a carrier like almond or avocado oil.
4. Sleep Better
If you’re having trouble winding down and getting to sleep at the end of the day, try placing a diffuser on your nightstand or using essential oils in the bath. If you experience insomnia, anxiety, or restlessness, use ylang-ylang, neroli, or cedarwood.
5. Improve Digestion
Not all essential oils are safe for consumption but of the ones that are, they can be beneficial for conditions like nausea and help facilitate digestion. Add a couple drops to a cup of water, take them in a capsule, or cook with them. Ginger is an excellent essential oil for nausea and indigestion. Fennel essential oil works well to remedy upset stomach, bloating, and heartburn.
6. Mood Enhancement
Don’t forget that you can create your own essential oil blends with your favorite oils. This is a great way to enhance your mood by combining your favorite smells. Inhaling essential oils is known for inducing a sense of calm, relaxation, and positivity.
7. Breathe Better
Speaking of inhaling, there are some essential oils that contain antiseptic properties that help get rid of bacteria and mold, clearing the air and helping you breathe better. If you’ve noticed that you’ve been sneezing and coughing more often at home because of the change in weather, try diffusing some eucalyptus, oregano, or geranium.
8. Improve Complexion
If you experience acne or other frequent blemishes, you might think that putting oil on your skin would be counterproductive. However, there are essential oils that contain the right amount of qualities that help calm irritated skin and even brighten and even out the complexion. Mix the essential oil with a carrier to create your own moisturizing blend. Tea tree oil contains anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Rose essential oil counteracts dryness. Carrot seed oil is an antioxidant for skin renewal.
9. Great for Pain and Inflammation
For athletes, people who have active lifestyles, and older people who often experience aching joints, inflammation, swelling, and sore muscles, essential oils can be a great addition to your pain management regimen. Massage some peppermint, sandalwood, cypress, or clove oil into the affected areas for relief from your symptoms.
If you are interested in learning more about essential oils contact Cloud 9’s owner, Laura Parks, with your aromatherapy questions today.