Seeking Balance Amidst the Chaos: Make Your 2019 Wholesome

As we settle into the year 2019 and our initial New Years Resolutions start to become a little more routine to us, now feels like a suitable time to reflect on our intentions for the upcoming months to ensure that we gain maximum results from our hard work. ‘Tis the season to be plagued with quick health fixes that will magically catapult us towards our own ideals, or that big new diet that will help us immediately shed weight and miraculously perfect each of our organ’s functionalities. This article doesn’t promise either of those things. Instead, its aim is to offer a few pointers that should help you in achieving a happier, more balanced 2019.

Taking care of your brain. Our brains are important. Very important. They are the gatekeepers to our personalities, our unique approach to life, and all of our memories. We are processing an exorbitant amount of information each day through the use of social media and the internet, and are flooding ourselves with stress-inducing information each time we make the mistake of checking the news. Let’s face it: the world is a complex, messy place, and we are exposed to the uglier parts of humanity every time we go online. We know that today’s world is having a huge impact on our mental health, and with half of all mental illness beginning by aged 14, it starts early.

Meditation. Meditative techniques have been used by humans for thousands of years, and is a powerful tool to help us develop a heightened awareness of our thoughts and actions. Through this awareness we are better able to understand how and why we react to situations, and encourage positive changes within ourselves. Taking as little as 5 minutes each day to meditate can provide valuable results to the individual. The Insight Timer is an excellent resource for those starting out.

Switching off. As much as we loathe to admit it, we have an unhealthy relationship with technology. Our devices have become an extra limb to us; an appendage that we reach for, on average, every 12 minutes. Designating tech free spaces in the home or digital detox times throughout the day go a long way towards looking after our mental wellbeing.

Checking in. Taking the time to catch up with friends and family is therapeutic for both parties. Arranging a coffee date or picking up the phone to see what a loved one is up to, sharing in their highs and lows, or even discussing a terrible movie you have both seen recently, satiates our need for authentic human interaction. We are a social species, and are of immense value to one another. If there is someone you haven’t spoken to in a while, take 2019 as an opportunity to reconnect with them and see how they are doing.  

Taking care of your diet. Nourishing yourself with foods that are packed with the appropriate nutrients and vitamins is essential to maintaining a healthy body. The world of nutrition can be a daunting place, so it is important to navigate it in a balanced, non-addictive way, asking for help from a professional nutritionist when needed. Here are a couple of positive changes you can make that will give you a healthier relationship with food.

Whole foods, plant-based. There is a diverse range of evidence available that shows a well planned plant-based diet to be highly beneficial for our health. A whole foods plant-based diet encourages the consumption of grains, nuts and fruit, and avoids animal products, processed foods, artificial fats and sugars. If this type of diet is very different to the one you currently follow, allow the space for transition and learning; take the time to discover what works best for your body and lifestyle. A good place to start is with Forks Over Knives.

Eat the rainbow. No one likes a beige plate. While there are a variety of reasons behind the colour differences in food, eating a diverse range of tones and colourations ensures that your nutrient consumption also varies. Foods with a red, purple or blue tone tend to offer antioxidative benefits. Orange and yellow tones commonly contain vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, folic acid and bromelain. Green tones are rich in vitamin A and calcium.

Taking care of your heart. Aerobic exercise is the best way to improve your cardiovascular health. Workouts not only increase brain function and improve mood; they boost the immune system and protect the heart. Frequent aerobic exercise will help to lower blood pressure and strengthen the muscles – especially the heart. Cardio workouts can take on many forms, including running, swimming, cycling, team sports and brisk walks. Depending on where you live, taking your workout outside in nature offers the added benefit of fresh air while enjoying the local wildlife.

Taking care of your muscles. Don’t underestimate the awesome power of stretching each day. It is not only an important action for runners and athletes; stretching protects our mobility and independence as we get older. Daily stretching exercises improves flexibility and strengthens the muscles, and reduces the risk of injury when performing other tasks. Many of us lead sedentary professional lives, sitting at desks or in the car for much of the day. Over time, our muscles tighten which can limit our movement and make certain actions painful. Frequent stretching ensures we stay limber for longer. Here is a link one of the many 5-minute stretching routines that can be found online.

Taking care of your environment. Around this time after the festive season finds many of us horrified at the sheer amount of stuff we have. The dreaded aftermath of receiving items that we really don’t need – especially if we have children. Our society is becoming more conscientious of how much waste we create, and the devastating impact our throwaway mentality is having on the environment. This year, why not take steps to change your own habits and outlook by taking greater action to safeguard the planet.

Gift experiences, not things. Physical items may be nice, but experiences mean cherished memories and new knowledge. Gifting loved ones subscriptions or memberships can provide exciting adventures to undertake and new discoveries to make. Planning a meal out or excursion somewhere offers a shared experience and valuable time spent together. Donating to an animal shelter or another charity in someone else’s name shows you care and gives your money to organisations that are in desperate need of funding.

Reducing over recycling. Opting for bamboo or metal straws over plastic ones, using canvas bags in place of single-use plastics, and carrying a reusable coffee cup in your bag are all positive steps – but they are a mere part of the bigger picture. We can do so much more for the environment. Shopping at a zero waste shop or bulk store that allows you to bring your own containers is an excellent way to reduce your reliance on packaged goods. Shopping at farmers markets ensures you support local businesses, and eating a seasonal diet reduces your demand for food that has a higher carbon footprint due to its need to travel long distances.

Here are a few pointers for any individual aspiring to minimise how much waste they create:  

  • Bring a reusable water bottle, coffee cup and a bamboo/metal straw with you wherever you go
  • Take enough canvas shopping bags and produce bags with you when heading to the store
  • Opt for shampoo & conditioner bars over bottled hair products
  • Put on or take off a couple of layers before resorting to heating or air-conditioning
  • Minimise food waste in the home
  • Say no thanks to free samples
  • Recycle as much as you can

The late great Maya Angelou once wrote, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” This 2019, be patient in your intentions, show compassion towards yourself and others, and keep learning. But, most importantly, be kind, and have a wholesome 2019.

5 Ways Mindful Living Can Empower Your Career

Is stress leaving you feeling stagnant in your career? If so, it’s time to become mindful in your work life. Here are 5 unique ways mindful living can recharge your career goals.

What is mindful living?

80% of the American workforce says they’re incredibly stressed out on the job, while 51% of Europeans say they also experience work-related anxiety. In addition, many people say that their anxiety levels have prevented them from advancing in their careers. Mindful living can help you to overcome this sense of anxiety, and ensure that you keep climbing up the ladder of success. Within this article, we detail four of the many ways mindfulness can help you to be your best self in the boardroom – and beyond.

Better focus

When you’re stressed out and thinking about all the things you have to get done during the work day, it can be almost impossible to complete even a single task. Instead, your mind frantically jumps from one responsibility to another, and you often make mistakes and confuse projects. Mindfulness replaces the distraction-driven idea of “multitasking” with the idea of hyper-focusing on one project at a time. It helps you to become more methodical in your approach to work, meaning you’ll actually be able to cross things off your to-do list instead of having them hang over your head the next day.

Less anxiety

Mindfulness in the workplace can do wonders to lower your anxiety levels and, as a result, boost your productivity. Anxiety doesn’t just cost you productivity, it fuels the vicious cycle of staying late at the office and staying up late worrying about incomplete tasks. It can also have serious health consequences. Anxiety increases your risk of heart disease, depression, and can cause your blood pressure to go through the roof. When you’re not feeling your best, you certainly won’t be able to do your best work. Mindful living can help to ease this anxiety, helping you to put your best ideas on the table.

Approachability

Whether you’re in a leadership position or an entry-level one, no one wants to communicate with a person who seems ready to blow a gasket at any moment. Mindful living helps to make you become more approachable to your coworkers and more relatable to your clients. It does this by boosting your emotional intelligence. You’ll be able to better read the emotions of those around you, emphasising with how they are feeling, and adapting your sales pitch – or tone of voice – accordingly.

Thinking creatively

Tapping into your creative abilities can help you to generate fresh ideas that will benefit the whole company — and will definitely get you noticed by those holding higher positions. Once you start living mindfully, you will notice that the frantic thoughts that once plagued your mind have been replaced by possible solutions to workplace problems. And with a clear head, you’ll be able to evaluate the situation from multiple perspectives. Especially if you need to diffuse a tense situation with a client, or come up with a way to get the upper hand on your competition, this sense of creative focus is incredibly valuable.

Jumpstarting your mindful living journey

loving kindness - Thanyapura Health & Sports ResortMindful living can seriously boost your power in the office. And whilst we recognise its importance, the truth is that it can be tough to stay mindful when you’re stuck in the same hectic, competitive workplace environment day in, day out. To ensure that you continue to reap the benefits of living a mindful life, sometimes you need to hit the reset button and get away for a little while. Today, many destination wellness centers offer mindfulness coaching in combination with other health and wellness practices. Whether you’re based in Europe, North America, or anywhere else in the world, we can all benefit from getting away from time to time. Spending a week or so at one of these retreats is a wonderful way to jumpstart your journey. They help to ensure that the effects and techniques you’ve learned continue to serve you once you’re back in the real world – and back at your desk.

6 Effective Treatments For Lower Back Pain Relief

6 Effective Treatments For Lower Back Pain Relief

phuket chiropractorIf you have bent the wrong way whilst carrying something heavy, been crouched over your work desk all day, or have simply fallen asleep in an uncomfortable position, you will certainly have experienced lower back pain. It is a horrible pain and difficult to ignore. Many people will immediately go to see a doctor, but research has found that these people are more prone to complications than those who try out a few simple tricks. Here are some that you can try to alleviate lower back pain.

Get Enough Restorative Sleep

Lower back pain makes it hard for you to fall asleep, but a lack of sleep can also worsen your symptoms. It is reported that many insomniacs have lower back pain. Together, lower back pain and insomnia can be detrimental to your health and wellbeing. Try some yoga poses to relax and strengthen your mind, which will help you sleep and aid in reducing the pain.

Regular Full-body Exercise

Contrary to traditional beliefs, lying down to prevent lower back pain will not alleviate it. Your body is meant to move, so be active. Sitting at your desk for too long and staying in a stationary position for extended periods of time will worsen your lower back pain. Stand up from your desk at regular intervals, take a stroll outside during your free time in the afternoon, jog each day, or do yoga.

Soothe The Pain With Temperature Treatment

After an injury, apply an ice pack on your back for 20 minutes. Remove the ice pack for a while, and then put it back on for another 20 minutes. Do these regular 20-minute sessions with an ice pack for two days. The cold prevents inflammation and lessens the pain. After two days, replace the ice pack with a heating pad. Heat makes blood rush to the affected area and helps to lessen the pain. Alternatives to heating pads are hot showers and warm baths.

Focus On Your Feet

The condition of your lower back depends on the condition of your feet. Four-inch heels and improper styles of walking can cause lower back pain. Walk in a straight line and wear shoes with low heels. Be mindful of the shoes you buy. Purchase training or speciality shoes like those found in directory of weight loss clinics, as they are built to be good to your feet no matter what you are doing.

Stretch Your Hamstrings Twice Daily

Your hamstrings are located at the back of your thighs. When they become too tight, they put stress on your lower back. Stretching out your hamstrings keeps them from becoming tight and prevents lower back pain. Be warned, though. Crunches are reported to cause lower back pain. Yoga is a kinder alternative as it contains a lot of relaxing stretches that are good for many parts of your body – and your mind.

 Develop Skills For Your Brain To Ignore Pain Signals

When the body sends pain signals to the brain, the brain automatically connects them with emotions. Doctors will tell you that experiencing pain is not bad for the human body as it is a communication tool. It is the feeling that is associated with pain signals that makes the pain feel worse, and you start to think that the misery will never end. When you experience pain, remind yourself that it is there for a reason and will eventually subside.

Do things that make you happy. Entertain yourself, or spend time with someone you love. Positivity is a powerful distraction. Good vibes can also help your body heal faster, as it bypasses the negative emotions associated with pain. Simple steps like watching an inspiring movie or listening to beautiful music can really help.

Abdominal Massage: How It Alleviates Negative Emotions and Stress

An abdominal massage releases energy flow.  Energy flow is blocked when there’s an accumulation of stress, worries and negative emotions.  It can impair physical and emotional conditions.  An abdominal massage is a therapeutic approach which recycles and transforms negative energies obstructing internal organs.  It energises, strengths, and detoxifies the body.

An energy blockage manifests itself when negative emotions are bottled up inside the body.  They seep in and disrupt internal organs’ regular function.  Emotional toxins build up in the abdominal area and treat it as a place of “body garbage dump.”  Ignoring this in the long term or being unaware such a condition exists leads to visceral imbalance.

Energy blockage operates on a cycle of overloading garbage dump and unhealthy energies around internal visceral organs.  Visceral organs are those in within the chest: the heart, lungs, liver, pancreas and intestines.

If you’re feeling irritated or sick, an abdominal massage might help release this energy blockage.  The benefits of the massage include:

  • Improves digestion such as constipation, bloating, indigestion, and IBS
  • Remove knots and cramp in the abdomen
  • Stimulation of flow of lymphatic system
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • It’s emotionally detoxifying, helping to release negative emotional tension
  • Restores the vital force and energy
  • Brings the whole system into a balance

What to Expect During Abdominal Massage

The gentle massage works your abdominal area by applying pressure along the navel to open wind gates as well as circular movements on the whole abdomen.  You’ll feel some tension during the treatment or discomfort caused by slow energy flow in related organs.

The colon can be twisted into knots if the guest is feeling large amounts of stress and are in a constant state of bad moods.  The therapist works the entire abs area to unlock the knots – which supports the detoxifying and strengthening internal organs such as the kidney, liver, gallbladder and small and large intestines.

Guests feel lighter after the session, helping them to relax more.  Soreness and tenderness may occur during the session but disappears after a day and drinking large glasses of water.

Office Syndrome and Effective Solutions

In today’s modern world, our lifestyle has become more and more influenced by the way we work; we receive a lot of stress and have to rush to stick to our deadlines. Think about it; have you ever felt:

·         Numb in your fingers and your leg;

·         Difficulty to focus, even on simple tasks;

·         Less motivated to complete a project;

·         Muscular cramps in your abdomen or even headaches while at the office?

Pierre Gagnon, Thanyapura’s expert Mind Trainer is here to explain how it works and how to deal with it.

 

Observe the Reality

“Office Syndrome can be a mix of burnout and depression. From a mind training perspective, people live in the world of perception, they don’t see the reality anymore. Someone with burnout very often will not realise that they go to work expecting beforehand to see a boring work, boring people, negative place, and thinking that they go there because they have to make money to pay their bills. Eventually, there’s a point where people who become more mindful have a tendency to live less in the world of expectation.”

The brain doesn’t see what the eyes see, the brain sees what you expect. When you surround yourself with negative expectations, life can become very difficult, especially at work. From that perspective, if you decide to do an exercise for at least a few times a day to come out of this rule of expectation, you just observe the reality for what it is. The reality is simple. It is what you feel inside your body, what you see, what you hear, what you smell, what you taste, and what you touch.

 

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Exercise your Brain

An interesting exercise is to force the brain to look into positivity when you leave work and feel down. Recovering your work doesn’t take hours, it may take just a few minutes to see everything that has happened and you will notice that most of your day was positive. The challenging point is that naturally, the brain is not there to make you happy. The brain couldn’t care less whether you are happy or not. It wants you to survive so, it always brings you back to the negativity to what hasn’t worked during the day because the negativity tends to affect you in a dangerous way.

“We can change that by forcing the brain to pay more attention to what’s positive. For me, the office syndrome has a lot to do with the natural negative bias of the brain when we pay attention to what doesn’t work and forget about what works. You can change that by realising that most of your day was fine.”

 

When Mind Talks to Body

Your body and mind constantly talk to each other. Clinical medicine is excellent; it fixes the disease you have. However, it doesn’t tell you why you got the disease in the first place. Whatever your thoughts are, especially if you bring yourself into the world of negativity, not realising that your day was beautiful and keep thinking about what happened negatively, all your cells in your body will be affected.Screen Shot 2559-09-16 at 16.53.27

The viscera is almost considered as a second brain these days so when you have a negative thought, it will affect this part; a good example is when people get stressed, they have problem with their heart, gas in the stomach, IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome) or other problems.

Once you realise that the mind and the body communicate with each other, you will try to enter a world that is more positive. Being positive is not difficult. Being mindful is being positive by itself because most of us are surrounded by a positive environment. It’s just that we develop the habit of bringing back to the negativity.

The Buddha talked a lot about the fact that what we assume and what we perceive is permanent and we believe that it’s true. It’s not true; it means you have created a world of expectation that doesn’t necessarily correspond to your reality. Try making the exercise 4-5 times during the day approximately 3 minutes each time to let go of your perception and expectation, and just come back to your body.

 

Physiotherapy for Physical Pain

Screen Shot 2559-09-16 at 17.37.37Apart from mind sickness, unhealthy work can cause physical maladies as mentioned above; symptoms in
viscera such as gastritis, GERD (Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease) as well as other diseases like high blood pressure, migraine, hypertension, insomnia, tunnel syndrome and physical pain such as a backache, shoulder ache, neck ache, and trigger fingers are common.

When it comes to physical pain, a proper treatment and rehab is the only answer. Physiotherapist, Kittichai Kaewsinsawatat Thanyapura’s Wellness Centre, explains:

“Working for long hours in the same position, sitting in the wrong position, using computer for too long, typing with no support for your wrist, typing for too long can always result in diseases.”

“Physiotherapy is the answer to heal physical pain. It’s a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialty that remediates impairments and promotes mobility, function, and quality of life through examination, diagnosis, prognosis, and physical intervention.”

 

Therapy That Fits Your Pain

At the Wellness Centre, a full range of physiotherapy awaits to ease your pain. However, Kittichai said the treatment is very personalised.

“People have different stories. Just like any other disease from any other causes, we have to ask questions and diagnose people case by case to see which treatment and which method can be the most beneficial for them.”

The interesting point of physiotherapy is that it is not only useful for helping in healing injury but also forms an essential part of preventing it.

 

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The service at the Wellness features a list of treatments that will be customised to fit your needs including:

·         therapeutic ultrasound – increase blood flow

·         electrical stimulation treatment – strengthen weakened muscles

·         transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation treatment – stimulate nerves

·         cryotherapy or cold compression – sprains and strains treatment

·         heat therapy or hot compression – increase oxygen distribution

·         deep tissue massage – relieve chronic diseases

·         trigger point release tension – relieve muscular tissue

For more information about these therapies, or for a complete overview of Thanyapura’s traditional and alternative medicine, contact our Wellness Center today!

Tips

Below is a model of the Office Ergonomic Workstation Setup which you can apply at your own desk.

ergonomic-desk-outline

Photo: www.safecomputingtips.com