On December 31, 2014 I set the goal of doing my 9 Daily Health Practices every day during January 2015.
Day 4 brought more healthy challenges and things to improve on.
I woke up early to teach a couple of Foundation Training classes. One of my new clients was a lady who has been experiencing chronic back pain since her pregnancy. Her chiropractor recommended her to do Foundation Training exercises. I taught her some exercises for lower back pain and some for shoulder and neck pain. She enjoyed the session, felt better and mentioned that she would come back for more. She also showed interest in my holistic massage therapy services. It felt good to start the day knowing I helped someone get out of pain.
After teaching I went home to write my blog entry for Day 3. The rest of the day included long hours of sitting in front of the computer, doing research and adjusting some pages on my website. For five hours I did nothing but work!
I have found it challenging to practice a healthy lifestyle on the days that I am so busy with work or away from home. There are days that I can spend most of my time in front of the computer without remembering how bad sitting is for my back and overall health. I have learned it is essential to get up and move at least once every hour to keep my body healthy. Setting reminders helps.
Around 4 p.m. I was lucky to get an invitation to go on a walk with my mother. This allowed me to stretch my legs, get some fresh air and get my head off my work. Here is a beautiful picture from our walk.
After walking we went out to eat with my father. We ordered salad and pizza and even though most of the food was healthy it left my stomach feeling a little bloated. Every time I visit my parents I struggle to eat as healthy as I would like. Although they were the first to teach me healthy eating habits, it seems that now my sensitivity is higher. I have learned that when I visit them, it is important for me to be more mindful of what and how much food I eat.
I would love to be stricter with my eating habits. I also believe that part of a holistic approach to health includes practicing blending with the environment. In some cases, this includes accepting food you would rather not choose, eating out of a regular schedule or having an extra glass of wine. I recommend following a diet that fits our desired lifestyle while remaining social and adaptable to change. It is all about finding the sweet spot where we can explore life and at the same time honor our needs.
By the time I got back home I felt bloated from the pizza and had low energy to do all the practices I still had left to do. I felt like giving up but I knew that I had to honor my commitment. I decided to start with a gentle practice: drawing. Then I went on to practice gentle restorative breathing to renovate my energy levels. After 20 minutes of conscious breathing I was already feeling much better. I continued with a Foundation Training workout to decompress my spine and further oxygenate my body.
From there I went straight to practice self-acupressure massage. I set up my phone to ring a bell every minute, and every minute I changed my hand position to a new acupressure point. I pressed on some major points including LI-4, LI-11, LV-3, PC- 6 and HT-7. You can find their locations here.
If you want to self-massage and acupressure the first step is to find the points and apply gentle pressure. To energize press and circle your finger clock-wise. To clear stagnation press and move your finger counter-clockwise. You can learn more about self-massage here.
After that I practiced Qi Gong with the same strategy, one minute per exercise. I spent 10 minutes opening up joints and 10 minutes clearing and cleansing the energetic pathways. I carried on through my yoga practice using the same approach, one pose per minute through a Sun Salutation Flow. It was an effective approach that I plan on trying during one of my yoga classes in Santa Barbara.
By midnight all I had left to do was meditate and journal but what I needed most was a good night sleep. I decided to lay in bed and notice my thoughts as I fell asleep. I will make that count.
Considering the challenges of a busy day, Day 4 was another success. I would have liked to have more time to practice, yet I am proud I overcame some obstacles and followed my routine. It helped me go to sleep in peace. I am looking at Day 5 with optimism.
Wishing you a healthy week!
- Bruno Treves