• January 26, 2022 9:13 AM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

    You've probably heard that detoxification is good for you but what exactly is detoxification and why is it important?  Detoxification happens to us naturally on a daily basis when our lymphatic system, which is 95% water, releases impurities through urine, bowel movements and perspiration.  Healthy lymph circulation is key for all our vital organs to function optimally.  Here's how you can nudge your lymphatic system along to encourage lymphatic drainage.  

    1. Practice oil pulling.  Oil pulling helps reduce plaque and freshens the breath.  Use an oil like sesame or coconut oil.  Swish it around in your mouth every morning for up to 20 minutes before ingesting any other substance. Spit it out in paper towel or another receptacle and throw it away instead of washing it down the drain to prevent drain clogging.

    2. Practice tongue scraping. For this you'll need to purchase a tongue scraper.  Tongue scraping is the best way to remove toxins and bacteria from the tongue.  It also freshens the breath.

    3. Dry brush your skin.  For this you'll need a body brush.  The skin is the largest organ in the body.  Dry brushing removes dead skin and increases blood flow as well as lymphatic circulation to support the body in the detoxification process.

    4. Drink warm water with lemon every morning before eating. Lemons are full of vitamin C and other antioxidants which help clear toxins from the liver.  The liver is responsible for metabolizing and storing key nutrients and stabilizing blood sugar levels.

    Check out Melissa's Monthly Healing Intensives where she will guide you through a safe detoxification process in small groups.

    Melissa is an expert on healing the body for the purposes of fertility.  Learn more about how she can help you at www.goddessmotherhealing.com.  

  • January 19, 2022 9:40 AM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

    This past Monday we celebrated MLK Day.  Over his lifetime, Dr. King offered the world so many insightful, inspiring, and strong words. Words that urged us to live our lives differently and that urged us toward community. 

    For me, of all the wisdom he offered, these words resonate especially:

    “We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality….This is the way God’s universe is made; this is the way it is structured.”

    As a yoga practitioner and teacher, I’ve seen how the long term practice of yoga can lead me to deep feelings of interconnectedness–interconnectedness to all living beings.  Through yoga, I’ve become more aware of the inherent beauty of the world as well as of the incredible responsibility we have to one another, to our community, and to our planet.

    In short, I’ve come to appreciate Dr. King’s single garment of destiny.  

    As the pandemic has led many of us to contemplate the paths of our lives, our physical and mental health, and our responsibilities to others, many of Del Ray’s own wellness practitioners and businesses have come together to look after and care, not just for their clients, but for each other. These businesses, recognizing their network of mutuality, have promoted one another, shared clients, and held each other up in an effort to better serve our community with intention and integrity.

    2021 saw several ways that Del Ray’s wellness businesses came together. The “Wellness District'' was formed within the Del Ray Business Association (DRBA) to support wellness practitioners and businesses. This very blog - The Wellness District Blog - and the Wellness District Holiday Guide are both examples of wellness practitioners working together to share their services with the community and, in so doing, to bring healing to Del Ray’s residents.  We blog and we created the Holiday Guide to ensure that you know that we are here for you.  In particular, we know that this pandemic has been, and still is, hard.  Together–with resilience, inner strength, and caring–we will get through it and come out even stronger.  

    An Inescapable Network of Mutuality

    We’ve learned in the past couple years, if we didn’t know it before, that  everything we do has a ripple effect.  If we invite a friend to join us in a pilates class; if we share the name of a therapist with a family in crisis; or, if we give a gift card to a teacher for a massage, the benefits of those actions reach beyond the single individual we’ve tried to help, echoing positively throughout our community.  Realizing this, a focus on wellness takes on new meaning–a meaning full with the knowledge that the benefits of that focus are far-reaching and bigger than we can measure.

    I’d like to take a moment to offer a few ideas for actively increasing wellness for yourself, and through our single garment of destiny,  our community:
    There is something so simple and yet so powerful about what it takes to make a difference in the world one little ripple at a time.  

    Tara Casagrande yoga & mindfulness provides yoga, mindfulness and meditation classes as well as a Women's Wisdom Circle and Embracing UnEase, racial discussions through the lens of yoga. Learn more at easeyogacafe.com

  • January 12, 2022 8:56 AM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

    Stretching is like a vitamin.  Do it daily and it works better.  Rather than a big new year's resolution, I like to try to incorporate quick and easy habits that support my health.  Most of us sit at a desk every day and so we need to do stretches that counter that position.  

    Low Lunge 
    This one opens up the hip flexors (front of hip) which get tight and atrophied from sitting.  Tight hip flexors can pull on the low back and create low back discomfort.  Do this one on both sides for balance.

    Low Lunge Twist 
    One of the best movements you can do for your spine and your internal organs is to twist.  A flexible spine is a flexible mind.  If you find yourself feeling stuck or tired during your day, try a twist to get your creative and intellectual juices flowing again.  Twisting sends fresh blood flow to your vital organs and gets your lymphatic system moving to reduce feelings of sluggishness. Do this one on both sides for balance.

    When sitting, there is a tendency to slump over and round the back.  This posture effectively counters that tendency.  It opens the hip flexors and shoulders and over time can help to prevent kyphosis (hunch back).

    Wide Leg Forward Fold 
    This pose stretches the backs of the legs (hamstrings).  The hamstring muscles shorten from too much sitting and can compromise the low back.  This posture helps to lengthen the hamstrings.  Squeeze the front of your legs (your quads) to facilitate stretching the back of your legs more.  

    Child's Pose/Side Stretch 
    When stressed, we often become unconscious of how we are breathing and breath into our chest only, which exacerbates stress in the body.  To counter that, do this is a variation of child's pose.  Walk your hands to the right to stretch the left side of your body.  Walk your hands to the left to stretch the right side of your body.  Focus on deep breathing into your rib cage while you do this posture.  Expand your torso with breath.  This pose facilitates deep breathing which is crucial for a calm and centered mind.  

    Sara VanderGoot is a certified massage therapist, experienced yoga instructor and co-owner of Mind the Mat Pilates & Yoga. At Mind the Mat she teaches a variety of classes including Deep Stretch on Wednesdays at 5pm and Slow Flow Yoga on Saturdays at 11:15am in Del Ray. Come on in and try out her class!  Learn more at mindthemat.com.

  • January 05, 2022 8:37 AM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

    Most people think of the mouth as a place where food comes in and where you smile. But it is far more than that. The mouth is considered as one of the most important parts of your body. It’s the gateway to the rest of your body, and effects the rest of the body’s health. The truth is that your oral health impacts your systemic health and can manifest warning signs of something more serious occurring. Here at Dental Excellence Integrative Center, we help patients understand the ten common signs of an oral dental imbalance which can ultimately affects your overall health. 

    • Leaky gut and dental issues are a chick and the egg situation. Its hard to determine where exactly the problem starts, the gut or the mouth. This is because the month is the beginning of the gut, and anything that enters the mouth will also enters the gut. It is known that the same type of inflammation that causes leaky gut also causes gum disease. Without addressing the mouth, little progress can be made to heal the gut. 

    • Grinding and clenching is not just a bad habit but can be signs of stress, trauma, unresolved problems, and abnormal jaw position and growth. In addition, grinding and clenching can also be related to sleep apnea and airway problems. The ultimate treatment for long lasting healing, is to consider addressing the jaw and airway structure. 

    • Nighttime urination is often connected with sleep apnea and airway issues. It can occur even if you don’t snore. This affects both adults and children. It can cause long term damage on the overall health. 

    • Chronic headaches can be a sign that something more serious is occurring. Therefore, it’s important to consider what is inside your mouth. Old mercury fillings contain an average of 50% mercury and release its toxin for more than 30 years. These toxins can pass blood brain barrier and placenta. Causing heavy metal exposure and a variety of symptoms such as headaches. In addition, bone infections in the jaw such as cavitation can also be a contributing factor. 

    • Autoimmune disease is connected to something called the “three-legged stool” theory, which suggest that autoimmune disease is the result of a genetic predisposition, leaky gut, and environmental trigger. For example, if you are predisposed to have an autoimmune disease and have a leak gut, oral infection (environmental factor) can trigger the autoimmune disease. 

    • Food intolerances are the result of dysbiosis of bacteria in the oral and gut environment. If the mouth has an imbalance of microbiome there is a large chance the gut, has it too. An imbalance of microbiome can often be caused by harsh bacteria-killing oral care product such as alcohol-based mouthwash. The good microbiome is constantly being killed, allowing the bad microbiome to over grow. Probiotic or prebiotic products are a good alternative and can help restore the good oral microbiome. 

    • Joint pain is caused by inflammation of the joints. Research has discovered that people with joint pain are also likely to have oral infection, cavities, periodontal disease, and imbalanced of oral microbiome. 

    • Chronic infections can be due to harmful bacteria or infections lurking in cavitation, old root canals, and even old fillings and crowns. It’s known that the blood supply for the tooth is the same blood supply for various parts of the body. Therefore, bacteria from the mouth can easily travel and infect the rest of the body.  

    • Bleeding gums does not just mean that you need to floss more. Instead, it is a major warning sign that something else is going on. And should not be ignored. Bleeding gums causes gum disease, which have been found to be link to heart disease, strokes, and preterm labor. It just goes to show there’s a deep connection between oral and overall health. 

    • Bad breath can be embarrassing but it’s a major indicator of an unhealthy mouth. There can be multiple issues at play, such as imbalanced oral microbiome, gum disease, gut issues, abnormal saliva pH, and even silent infections in old root canals, cavitation, and crowns. 

    But this is not all it. Research has also discovered other major disease such as erectile dysfunctions, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer, breast cancer, arthritis, kidney disease, respiratory infections, prostate cancer, and still birth (just to name a few), all having a strong link to imbalance oral health. Here at Dental Excellence Integrative Center, our patients understand the connection between oral health and systemic health. Because they know that their oral health can ultimately save their life. So don’t hesitate to reach out to our office, if you, a family member, or a friend wants to learn more. 

    Dental Excellence is proud to offer advanced, custom smile design techniques, expert and caring advice, and preventive care plans with a whole health and naturalistic approach.  Dental Excellence utilizes state-of-the-art equipment, provides the latest in dental procedures and upholds the strictest sterilization techniques. Their mission is to educate patients about all possible oral healthcare options and to help them when choosing a treatment plan that is most suitable for them.   Learn more at dentalexcellenceva.com

  • December 29, 2021 9:04 AM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

    The month of December reminds us that it is important to not only be able to give, but also to receive. Giving requires the act of letting go, while receiving invites us to open ourselves up and let something in.  
    In Deepak Chopra’s book, “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success” he explains the Law of Giving and Receiving as the constant flow and exchange of universal energy. In order to amplify or increase anything you desire, you must give it to others. Chopra further suggests that you must think energetically about what you want to experience. For example, to achieve greater peace and love in your life, expand your own experience by sharing feelings of peace and love with others.  

    There are three necessary steps to fully achieve your desired experience: 1.) to give constantly 2.) to learn how to receive and 3.) to be grateful and appreciate all that you have.  
    The energetics of giving and receiving fully apply to how we give and receive nourishment for our bodies as well. Going into the new year I invite you to expand the way you give and receive food for your health. Give to yourself by expanding the routine foods you eat. Receive by practicing gratitude and mindfulness at mealtimes. 
    Diversifying your diet with a variety of fruits and vegetables is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Research suggests that biodiversity correlates with stability. Biodiversity of plants in your diet promotes a healthy microbiome, which is extremely important for your overall health and well functioning immune system.  

    Diet diversity is associated with lower risk of developing food intolerances and allergies. Further, greater variety of daily fruits and vegetables is associated with lower risk of physical inflammation and provides plentiful antioxidants to combat oxidative stress (analogous to rust) in your body. Oxidative stress is involved in multiple chronic conditions and diseases.  
    You can increase the nutrition that you get from food with mindful eating practices. Grounding yourself with breathing and chewing your food thoroughly greatly affect how you absorb and assimilate the nutrients from  your food.  

    For the new year, I would like to introduce the 50-foods, 7- day variety challenge. Can you diversify your diet by eating 50 plant-based foods in seven days?  
    It’s easier than it sounds. First, all plant-based foods count. If you drink a smoothie with spinach (vegetable) coconut water (liquid) mango (fruit) pea protein powder (whole grain) beets (vegetable) this counts as five ingredients! Another example is to stir-fry four different vegetables with ginger and garlic which equals six plants. And finally, my personal favorite strategy for this is to switch to a different variety of the same food. Go from a Granny Smith apple to a Gala apple, to eat two different kinds of fruit. Give it a try!

    Natural Integrative Healthcare is a distinct primary health care profession, emphasizing prevention, treatment, and optimal health through the use of therapeutic methods and substances that encourage individuals’ inherent self-healing process.  Learn more at naturalintegrativehealthcare.com
  • December 29, 2021 8:35 AM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

    December is biggest month of giving and receiving.  Often when we think of giving and receiving we imagine contributing our favorite dish at a family gathering or a colorfully wrapped present from a loved one.  But giving and receiving encompass more than just physical things like food and gifts.  We are constantly giving and receiving from the people and the world around us.  Every day we are letting in the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the emotions and thoughts of those around us.  In reverse we are breathing out carbon dioxide, eliminating food wastes, and sending out positive or negative energy though our own emotions and thoughts.

    Most people have seen the Chinese black and white Tai Ji symbol which represents the interplay of yin and yang - opposing forces that interconnect and balance each other.  In the image the black represents yin/receiving, and the white represents yang/giving.  There is a black dot in the whitest area and a white dot in the blackest area. The colors flow into each other and never completely separate from each other.  This dynamic flow is said to be present everywhere in the universe, including the world around us and within ourselves.

    One instance in nature where this cycle can be seen is in the continual flow of seasons from winter (yin) to summer (yang) to winter (yin) again. In our bodies the cycle of sleeping (yin) to awakening (yang) then back to sleeping (yin) is an example of how this balance is integral to our well being.  We all know how tired and worn out we feel if something throws us out of balance and we don’t get enough sleep.

    This cycle can be seen in numerous other parts of our lives, including in the case of giving and receiving. Like in the example above, to maintain optimal health, we must also maintain a balance of giving and receiving in our lives.  Do you often feel drained this time of year? The winter season is an important  time of year to nourish our energy reserves.  Yet often this is one of the busiest times of year.  We can feel we are giving too much of our time and energy without recharging with quiet and contemplation. If you are feeling this way, it’s important to reflect on areas where your life is out of balance. Then you can figure out what you can give or receive to create harmony.

    A nice exercise this time of year is to go through your closets and pull out things you no longer wear.  Sort through your children’s toys and get rid of the ones they don’t use anymore.  Often creating physical space can help your brain feel less cluttered as well and can give you more emotional and mental bandwidth.  

    Take some time to reflect on the ideas you hold about yourself.  Ask if yourself if this still applies to your present day life.  Be honest with yourself.  We often get stuck in past patterns of belief that no longer are serving us and are outdated.

    Re-evaluate your relationships.  Are you holding on to acquaintances or friends that feel draining to you? Is there anyone you need to release from your life to make room for something else? Are you involved in a group or activity that doesn’t feel like it’s adding to your life anymore?  Spend time with people and activities that nourish you.  Invite some friends over to just to laugh and have fun. Join a group and do what makes you feel energized.  Surround yourself with positive energy as much as possible to build up your inner resources.

    Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  If someone offers to give you a hand accept it. If you try to do everything yourself, you can get overwhelmed, feel frustrated, depressed, and/or anxious.  Take time for yourself to recharge.  Take a luxurious bath.  Walk in nature. Have some quiet time to meditate and reflect.  By recharging your battery you will have more to give to others.

    By learning to give and receive in harmony you will be able to live more deeply and have balance on all levels.  It may seem hard at first, but with practice it will become as easier. Bringing awareness is the first step. Soon you will find yourself feeling relaxed and at ease more frequently.

    Acupuncture Alexandria offers acupuncture and herbal medicine, specializing in women's health, pain management, emotional health, and preventative medicine. Learn more at  acupuncturealexandria.com

  • December 23, 2021 10:14 PM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

    The winter months have their challenges.  The days are short and dark.  For most of us in the Western hemisphere it's winter and it's cold. While it's great to hunker down in front of a fire, with a good book and a glass of wine, our bodies still need movement. 

    Movement is crucial to keeping our bodies and minds healthy. Movement supports the strength of our heart, muscles, bones and joints. It boosts our mood because endorphins and dopamine are released.  Every part of our being benefits from movement.

    Last winter at Chrysalis Chiropractic we started a Move More 28 Day Challenge. It began as a way to keep ourselves accountable for getting outside and keeping track of our miles walking and biking. The result? My husband ended up signing up for the Triple Bypass in Colorado - a 120 mile bike ride with over 10,000 feet of elevation!  Originally this was not his goal and your goal doesn't have to be so extreme either. My goal was to walk outside every day for 2-5 miles.  I found I loved being outside, in the fresh air, on my own listening to health and wellness podcasts.

    This winter I challenge you to set an easy goal for moving your body.  Track it in a notebook, Fit Bit, post it each day as a journal entry on social media or any other app that keeps track of miles. Use whatever works and makes it easy for you to do.

    Want a paper log? Click to receive your FREE 28 Day Challenge Log (PDF)If you choose to journal on social media, post photos of you before, after or during your workout or post a photo of your miles. Tag us on Instagram @chrysalischiropractic or Facebook @chrysalischiropracticofalexandria and use the #movemore!

    Now let's bring it on and keep moving in the new year!

     At Chrysalis Chiropractic, patients have the opportunity to choose chiropractic or nutrition (or both!) to help restore and maintain health using natural solutions.  Learn more at chrysalischiropractic.com 

  • December 07, 2021 10:56 PM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

    How often do we consider the power of receptivity and positive thinking as curative  tools? How can we use receptivity and positive thinking as instruments for self healing?  

    The task of writing about receptivity is particularly timely for me because I recently  participated in several sacred medicinal sweat lodge ceremonies with the Shamans at  www.ancestralknowledge.co. Receiving the medicine and allowing it to work in the  way it was intended in order to heal is at the forefront of all these ceremonies.  Receiving the medicine and surrendering to its wisdom is a spiritual process meant to  humble us, shift our consciousness, allow us to forgive, encourage us to let go of  negativity and come back to our heart, returning us to love.  

    What is the Altar of the Medicine Sweat Lodge?  

    Shamans teach us to receive all the gifts life offers us - the joys and the sorrows - the  important lessons life offers us even in the darkest of times. I’ve had the honor of  participating in many indigenous sacred ceremonies over the last fifteen years. These  ceremonies have become the most important part of my inner work and healing.  Each time is different. When I am open to receive whatever the medicine brings to me and when I trust that I’ll receive exactly what I need, I always receive incredible  insights, growth and wisdom.  

    Receiving the Gift In Times of Trial  

    This year I was asked to be a contributing author to a book called Sacred Death by Hemali Vora. In my chapter, I explain how even in one most difficult times of my life  there was a great gift for me to receive.  

    "…As I walked away from my aunt in the physical for the last  time, I felt complete. My life would never be the same, and  certainly not for my cousins. But she died as she lived, with those around her she loved the most and who loved her most. She wouldn't have had it any other way. I was present to how grateful I was to have experienced a mother’s true,  endearing and unconditional love. Her boundless generosity  of self and limitless love still astounds me to this day, so many  years later.” 
     Melissa McGlone, Sacred Death Chapter 20 

    Receptivity = Positive Emotions = Greater Happiness = Better Health 

    Twenty-three years ago, when I was diagnosed with the “worst case of endometriosis  the doctor had ever seen,” receptivity and positive thinking both became a significant  part of my own spiritual journey. The doctors were convinced I’d never have children  and they proposed a hysterectomy.  

    I made the hard decision to break from convention and try a more holistic approach  with the hope that I could heal and conceive. Part of that approach was healing on an  emotional level from deep-rooted traumas which had contributed to dis-ease in my  body. I also would need to cleanse and purify my body using the Ann Wigmore  Living Foods Lifestyle.  

    As part of my ninety-day healing journey I made a visualization board which became a  powerful and transformative outlet. I explain this in my soon to be published book  about practical ways to approach healing, wellness and self-care: 

    …”I would add to my board the wonderful  cards and letters family and friends wrote to me over that summer for inspiration. Paul, the  father of my future children, had given me a  gorgeous picture of a little girl with curly brown ringlets and the biggest, most beautiful blue eyes you’d ever seen, decked out in Christmas finery. I think it was an ad for a diamond jewelry company as she was holding a string of jewels. It was a  representation of “our little girl.” Come to find out indeed that little girl would manifest, with beautiful brown eyes and ringlets of spun golden brown hair.” 
    -- Melissa McGlone, Drinking Blueberries, Chapter 9 

    I used the power of positive thinking to empower myself by truly believing that I  could get pregnant and to open myself to receive the gift of pregnancy. I began  buying baby clothes from The Purple Goose in Del Ray, Alexandria, VA even while  doctors were insisting that I was infertile. I imagined my life as a pregnant mama as if  it had already happened.  

    Whatever the magic formula was (there were many ingredients), I’m convinced  receptivity and positive thinking greatly contributed to me having two children in the  end. Here are my kids, the ones the doctors said would never be, all grown up and off  to college this year.

    Melissa McGlone grew up in Alexandria, Virginia and she and her children still call  Virginia home. After a debilitating bout with endometriosis, her personal healing  journey inspired her to share her success to motherhood by training in the healing art  of colon hydrotherapy. It has become her life’s work to help others heal, and finds it  an honor to assist people with a wide variety of ailments as they journey on their  health path. Sharing her story by writing about it became a mission to align with not  only women as they embark on motherhood, but to help others with whatever health  challenges they face. She has been practicing colon hydrotherapy for 20 years,  primarily at www.vitalbodymind.com. Recently she has added fertility coaching  formally to her consulting services at www.goddessmotherhealing.com, with a detox  product in the works to be out by year’s end.  

  • December 01, 2021 10:39 AM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

        The link between oral health and mental health is hard to ignore. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey showed that almost two-thirds of people with depression reported having a toothache in the last year. It also indicated that half of all people with depression rated their teeth condition as fair or poor. A scientific review of related studies found a strong link between periodontal (gum) disease and mood conditions like stress, anxiety, depression and loneliness.

        The most obvious explanation for the link comes from the behavioral effects of stress, depression and anxiety. People with these conditions sometimes lose focus on oral health habits, which can lead to significant dental issues. Depression, for example, can cause people to brush and floss at irregular intervals, skip dentist visits, have unhealthy diets and self-medicate with smoking.

        Biologically, depression and anxiety cause several factors that impact oral health. The stress they create manifests itself in the body as a hormone called cortisol. As cortisol levels increase, the immune system gets weaker. This can leave you vulnerable to mouth conditions like gum inflammation (gingivitis) and gum disease (periodontitis). In addition, medications prescribed for depression and anxiety can cause dry mouth. This lack of saliva can mean that food debris, plaque and bacteria aren’t getting rinsed from teeth easily, which can make it more likely for cavities to form.

        Anxiety, in particular, tends to be associated with several oral health issues. If you have anxiety, you're more susceptible to canker sores, dry mouth and teeth grinding (bruxism). As with depression, these issues may be attributed to a lack of oral care or as side effects of anxiety medication.

        Luckily, when depression or anxiety take a toll on oral health, there are ways to fight back. The simplest step you can take to maintain your oral health is to brush twice a day and floss daily. Keeping up these basic oral health habits goes a long way to keeping your mouth in tip-top shape. 

        To schedule a dental appointment, visit https://dentalexcellenceva.com/ today!

    Dental Excellence is proud to offer advanced, custom smile design techniques, expert and caring advice, and preventive care plans with a whole health and naturalistic approach.  Dental Excellence utilizes state-of-the-art equipment, provides the latest in dental procedures and upholds the strictest sterilization techniques. Their mission is to educate patients about all possible oral healthcare options and to help them when choosing a treatment plan that is most suitable for them.   Learn more at dentalexcellenceva.com

  • November 24, 2021 8:26 AM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

    Clients often ask me how they can add more joy and health into their personal lives when everything around them seems fragile and uncertain. In order to feel joy, you have to be open to it. Joy is only possible when we are fully present with a grateful perspective. In fact, numerous studies show that the practice of gratitude can give us an instant mood boost.

    Alternatively, if you are focusing on what is lacking, it’s hard to appreciate the gifts of daily life. We often get caught up ruminating on what we don’t have instead of savoring our present blessings.  What you focus on grows, so I advise my clients to zero in on things that nourish their souls, inspire them and lead them to a perspective of gratitude.

    In my gratitude seminars, a question I often ask the audience is: “What can you do today that is both joyful and healthy for your life?” Clients often report things like spending more quality time with their kids, or calling a friend they feel safe with and not judged.  These experiences brings them a great sense of joy and gratitude. In addition, spending more time in nature or going for a long walk with their pet also can shift their perspective towards the positive. 

    I invite you today to consider what you can do to add more joy and health to your daily life. The answer can be really simple and doable.

    A simple way to foster more gratitude is to be on the lookout for great things that come your way throughout your day no matter how small the gesture. Write down at least three positive things that occurred in your day in a gratitude journal. Studies show that if you keep a daily gratitude journal for at least a week you are likely to experience a mood boost for up to a month. In addition, if you continue this practice for a month or more, the positive effects of a gratitude journal may continue to be seen for up to six months after. According to researchers, the positive mood boost appears to compound.

    In my practice, clients often know what they need to do, but feel overwhelmed wondering how to make big changes that are necessary to improve their life and health. Small steps can make a profound difference. It is through self-awareness that you can start to improve your enjoyment of life. Starting a gratitude journal and practicing reflective journaling can help you come into awareness about the positive things that happen to you throughout your day. Furthermore, if you are struggling to digest difficult feelings, the act of writing the events on paper can help you synthesize the information and get it out of your system.

    Tips to keeping a Gratitude Journal:

    1. Keep it simple – if this is your first-time journaling, all you need is a pen and a notebook to keep all of your thoughts in one place. If you are feeling ambitious, you can buy a journal or notebook.
    2. Write the date, the time, and location – adding the date, time and location often adds context to your thoughts. Reflective journaling is a safe place where you can record your life in a progressive time span, and then look back at each chapter and reflect.
    3. Writing down your gratitude doesn’t have to be fussy – journaling your gratitude can be simply jotting down three bullet points that happened to you today. It can start with something as seemingly small as “I am grateful that the barista at Starbucks smiled at me and gave me the perfect cup of coffee.”
    4. The 4 R’s of reflective journaling – Reflective journaling is a sacred space to record your thoughts. It is also an opportunity for you to relax, release, reflect and renew. Reflective journaling can help you recharge from stressors with a grateful attitude towards life.

    In this Thanksgiving month, when you convene with your families and friends to share your thanks for life and each other, one soothing ritual you may want to incorporate into your daily routine is quiet time to reflect on the blessings of the day. By writing down three things that lifted your spirits and gave you hope, you foster a perspective of savoring the present moment.  

    Being open to joy and taking the time to appreciate the tiny miracles that happen throughout your day, you can not only boost your mood, but lower your stress levels. Effective stress management can helps reduce inflammation in your body and actually protects against chronic disease. The opposite of disease is ease. By building on your gratitude, you are also strengthening your emotional and physical resilience. 

    Whether you find yourself appreciating the scent of a magnolia tree or the sun setting over a river, being able to fully drink in the present moment and record these blessings daily, sets your world lens to one of wonder and awe. When in doubt, write it out. You won’t regret it. 

    For More Inspirational Tips and Information

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    Mai Health Now is committed to teaching people how to focus on their health first so they can be happier, healthier, and more productive. To book a program, presentation or personal session, or to learn more go to http://www.maihealthnow.com

    Use promo code MaiHealth10 for 10 % off health counseling packages!

    Mai Health Now is committed to teaching people how to focus on their health so they can be happier, healthier, and more productive.  Learn more at maihealthnow.com

About The Wellness District Blog

The Wellness District is a dynamic group of health, wellness, and fitness professionals offering a comprehensive and broad range of services to the Del Ray community and beyond.

In addition to day-to-day collaborations for best patient care, the group works tirelessly to educate the public on health issues and promote wellness, hosting wellness workshops and events throughout the year, plus this blog, delivered to your inbox every #WellnessWednesday!  

Click here to subscribe!

Meet The Team!

Click here to read about the incredible local wellness providers that regularly contribute to the  blog.

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