Better sleep includes getting enough sleep at night and waking gently in the morning. That’s what alarm clocks and cell phone alarms are for. Use them to remind you to begin to calm down in the evening and to gently wake you in the morning.
Sleep Encouraging Techniques for you
As you journey down the path toward a better night’s sleep, don’t think of your bedroom as just a bedroom. Think of it as your sleep sanctuary.
Some people report they get to sleep easier if they use a diffuser with a lavender essential oil. You may want to try this. Lavender is one of the most popular and calming essential oils out there but not everyone likes it.
If you like lavender, you can use it knowing that studies find lavender essential oil improves your mood, decreases the heart rate, lowers the skin temperature and blood pressure a bit.
A bonus here is that lavender is not one of the most expensive essential oils. So, this may be an economical solution for you.
Do you have any plants in your bedroom? If not, you may want to add one or two. They purify the air as they reduce mold, filter toxins, release oxygen at night. And, plants are fun to look at.
Lower Lighting is Important for a Good Night’s Rest.
As you prepare for sleep each night, lower the lights in your sleep sanctuary. Bright lights just before getting into bed can trick you into wakefulness. You need light as you get ready for bed, but you just don’t need so much.
When You are Ready to go to Sleep, Turn out the Lights.
Then, when you get into your bed, set your intention. My intention is always for a deep, healing, relaxing sleep so that I will wake up refreshed in the morning when it is time to get up.
Follow your intention with a short breathing exercise .
Begin this sleep breathing by getting comfortable in your bed. Take a deep breath and hold it for an extra moment. When you release this breath, focus on releasing all tension and worries. Blow them far away. With the next breath, let go of any discomfort your body is holding. With every exhale, focus on the word “relax”.
Breathe in peace…breathe out relax.
Hold your breath for a moment and then repeat: Breathe in peace…breathe out relax.
Now, breathe in peace…breathe out relax.
Finally, enjoy your final peace breath and then breathe out relax.
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Do you sometimes have trouble getting through the afternoon? Maybe it’s time to invest in a healthy lunch.
A healthy lunch doesn’t have to be just an extension of an already over packed morning. A healthy lunch should be a respite from the confusion and stress of the morning leading up to the lunch hour.
TAKE A WALK – Whether you work in an office, factory, retail outlet, or home, walking is a good way to make your lunch a bit more enjoyable and healthy. Your lhealthy lunch walk doesn’t have to be long. Nor is it a substitute for food. It is a chance to change your environment and move your muscles for a few minutes.
TAKE A POWER NAP – Five or ten minutes devoted to putting one’s feet up and closing one’s eyes can change your life. No kidding. A few minutes sleeping in the middle of the day makes a lot of difference in the remainder of my day. And, it can make the same difference in yours.
MAKE YOUR LUNCH HEALTHY. Healthy, clean food can make a world of difference in how you function in the afternoon. Basically, that means you eat foods that are food. Boycott chemical laden lunches which are low in nutrition and high in calories and toxic additives.
GET AWAY FROM YOUR DESK. No matter how stressful things are, physically remove yourself from your desk for at least fifteen minutes. Take a walk. Chat with a couple of working colleagues. Make a personal call or two. Your goal is to take yourself away from the desk physically, mentally, emotionally for a few moments.
DO YOU RUN ERRANDS? Walk them if you can. The exercise you get on your lunch break will refresh you physically, mentally, and emotionally.
ARE YOU ON A DIET? Start a lunch group where you eat with other colleagues who are also interested in weight management, health, and nutrition. You can enjoy the group socially as well as support each other as you lose weight.
YOUR HEALTHY LUNCH BEGINS WITH A HEALTHY BREAKFAST. It’s much harder to eat a healthy lunch if you’ve skipped breakfast and are hungry and craving high-fat, high calorie, high carb foods. A good breakfast which includes whole grains and lean proteins will serve you well throughout the morning.
INCLUDE A HEALTHY SOUP. A healthy soup will include the protein and fiber you’ll need to get through the afternoon. The ideal soup will be broth based and will make you feel full while not wasting calories.
LEAVE YOUR BUILDING. GET OUTSIDE. Whether you are running errands, power walking, or visiting with friends, make sure you walk outside your building for a few minutes. Take a few deep breaths. Be outside. Is it raining? Snowing? Broiling hot? Whatever is happening outside your building, spend a couple of minutes experiencing this day. Enjoy a couple of minutes of this escape to recharge!
No matter how stressful your day, consider how best to use your lunch time.
Go for it!
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What is healthy, anyway? We’re all concerned about our health on some level. We try to eat better, exercise more, sleep more. There are many components to good health, but, at it’s basic level, what is healthy, anyway?
For starters, a leaner body is healthy. But, losing weight and keeping it lost can seem like chasing the Fountain of Youth.
And, of course, there is the old story about Ponce de Leon finding it. The Fountain of Youth headquarters is in St. Augustine, Florida. You can go there and visit it in a park setting. But, you don’t need to travel all the way to St. Augustine to visit the Fountain of Youth. Branches are right in your own community, maybe even in your neighborhood. Every fitness center around is a branch of the fountain of youth. All you have to do is join up and use a fitness center. The sidewalk in front of your home or office is also a branch of the fountain of youth. All you have to do is get out there and walk briskly for thirty minutes or so every day.
Using your fitness center regularly or walking briskly for a half hour each day will decrease your risk of developing diabetes. This will keep you on the path toward good health. And, while you exercise to protect yourself against diabetes, skipping sugary soft drinks and juices will help. And, if you have diabetes, find out from your health care professional how much exercise you need every day to strengthen your body as you work with this disease.
Trips to a fitness center and/or the healthy walks will help you develop a healthier heart and will help you reduce your risk of heart disease.
What is healthy? Visiting your local fitness center or walking helps you feel, look, and act better. It will also reduce your cholesterol levels. Add some dietary tips when you want to be healthy and you’re thinking of cholesterol. Use olive oil more often when you substitute it for less healthy oils, for example.
A brisk daily walk will strengthen your bones. You can also garden. Actually, the more things you can think of that will get you off your seat and on your feet, the better. And, while you’re getting off your seat, try walking a little faster on the sidewalk and running a little faster on the treadmill. A more intense workout will help you feel better.
What is healthy? Lowering your stress level is one way to improve your health. Hug your pet. And, if you don’t have a pet, can you hug a neighbor’s pet? Can you go to your local pound and walk a dog there? If you go to your pound and walk a dog briskly for a half hour, you’ll be doing two beneficial things at once!
And, what about your memory? Blueberries help. So do crosswords, scrabble, your local newspaper.
And, finally, what is healthy? Connection is healthy. Humans like to be connected to one another. This can mean different things to different people. Taking a class in something will help. Meeting the other people at the fitness center will strengthen your connection to your community. There are a million ways to get connected. A church, synagogue, or temple is there waiting for you. The important thing is to share yourself.
So, here are a few ways to help you define what is healthy for yourself. Find something you like and share yourself.
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The second edition of this book is on the way! Thanks to all of you who are using this book.
Still can’t sleep? It’s turning out to be a cold winter in Woodstock this year. But, still not as cold as one would think. The snow melts between the storms.
All these temperature ups and downs invite insomnia in some people. As many articles as I’ve written about sleep, there are always more tips waiting to find space on the blog post.
Still can’t sleep? Have you changed your pillow? If you find yourself awake at night and slugging it out with your pillow, it’s time to go to a store and find one that’s just right for you. There are so many kinds of pillows out there now that a person can get confused. Don’t give up. Think about the kind of pillow you need. You’ll find it!
Sip some mild tea as you relax yourself before going to bed. Give yourself an hour to slow down your systems, calm your brain and nerves.
Still can’t sleep? Try to eat your last meal of the day about three hours before you go to bed. If you are afraid you’ll be hungry, eat a banana before you go to bed.
Wear ski socks when you go to bed. Studies show that people sleep better if their feet are warm.
Have you moved your office out of your bedroom? If not, now is a good time.
What about your curtains? Heavier curtains block light and encourage sleep.
Finally, if you have read all these blog posts about sleep, and none of the tips seem to work for you…it might be time to try a sleep center and take a sleep test.
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I’ll be posting more regularly now that the reflexology book is going into it’s second edition and the hunger book is nearing the end. You’ll be reading about their availability soon!
For a person struggling to sleep, it sometimes feels as if a good night’s sleep will never happen. Well, I don’t believe that. I’ve had too many client partners journey down the path to good sleep habits.
- Regular reflexology sessions really help. Begin with three reflexology sessions a week. After the first week, cut back to two sessions a week. Try to get two sessions a week for two months. Then, cut back to one session a week and continue with this weekly schedule until better sleep habits begin to be a part of your life. Then, you can cut back to a session every other week for awhile. Regular reflexology sessions definitely encourage sleep, glorious sleep.
- Self Reiki offers a better night’s sleep. Whenever you wake up in the night and think you’ll never be able to go back to sleep, spend a few minutes offering yourself a Reiki session.
- Write a sleep meditation for yourself which you can use when you are awake at night. Recite this meditation to yourself when you can’t sleep. Edit it over time until you feel you have it just right. In this meditation, you want to tell your muscles to relax so you can sleep. Tell your body that you are surrounded by a relaxing light that will encourage and support your sleep for the remainder of the night.
- If you feel hungry when you wake up in the middle of the night, fix a small snack for yourself. You don’t want to have an entire meal, or even a large snack, but a small serving of yogurt or a cup of a relaxing tea can coax you back to sleep.
- Try not to let yourself be overcome by worry. Sometimes urgent worry can keep you from returning to sleep when you wake in the middle of the night. Realize that the worry will seem smaller in the light of day.
- Do not let your thoughts control your night and your ability to sleep. After all, they are just thoughts. Let them slip away into the night.
- If you feel you cannot return to sleep, get out of bed and read for a few minutes. Then, maybe you will feel more like sleep when you return to bed.
- Gentle yoga before bed helps.
- Finally, give yourself permission to rest and to sleep.
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I can blog posts until the end of time and never overestimate the benefits of a good night’s sleep. A healthy night’s rest is one of the most important things a person can do to maintain a youthful appearance and lifestyle.
- Sleep Improves your Memory. As you sleep, your brain organizes your memories for you.
2. Adopt a Sleep Schedule. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day. As you work on your sleep schedule, allow yourself eight hours sleep in every 24-hour period. This can be a real help because your body will soon prepare itself to sleep in the evenings when it’s time to go to bed. Your circadian schedule will really help you out here.
3. Make your bedroom dark at night. It’s easier to sleep in a darkened room. The darker you can keep your bedroom at night, the better.
4. Check your meds. There are many meds which can interfere with your normal sleep. Check the meds you’re taking. Change out any meds and/or foods and beverages which might be the culprits.
5. Nothing is more likely to induce sleep than being in the dark. Night time is when we produce melatonin.
There are things we can do to encourage sleepiness. When night approaches, keep your lights down low and avoid overhead lighting. Use dimmer switches on lights and lamps.
While you are enjoying a calming evening in a darkened room, this is a good time to enjoy softened and restful music. Or, this is a good time to do some gentle yoga stretches. Or, this is a time to do some calming breathing. Finally, this is a good time to enjoy the cool stillness of the night air, the stars in the sky, a moonlit night.
But, whatever you do, include darkness as part of your nightly routine.
6. High Blood Pressure? Sleep helps lower blood pressure and elevated stress hormones. Get treatment.
7. Valerian has a reputation for improving sleep quality. Taken properly, this may work for you.
8. Anxiety, Depression, and Tension are three common causes of insomnia. If you think you suffer from one of these, get treatment. Treating your anxiety, depression, or tension may well take care of your insomnia issues.
As you try out these different tips, remember that getting from insomnia to a good night’s sleep is a journey. You’ll find things that work and things that don’t work. And, none of it will work or not work 100% of the time.
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Thanks for reading the book.
Commit to making your health a priority. This means believing you are a valuable being who deserves brilliant health and well-being.” – Inna Segal
When your health is a priority, it becomes a part of your everyday life. You become conscious of how healthy your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual bodies are on a daily basis. When you realize that something is not right, you work to bring about homeostasis…not just ignore the condition.
When good health is a priority, you listen to the messages your body sends.
And, of course, to do this, you need a “plan, Stan.” The reason for this is simple: with a plan, a goal for your overall health improvement, your chances for success are better than they are without a plan.
When you focus on your overall health, the different pieces begin to fit together. They make more sense. The food you eat goes with the exercise you get goes with the information your body gives to you daily goes with the supplements you take goes with the importance of homeostasis.
“It wasn’t about getting a certain body size. It was about my health.” – Judy Molnar
Healing, a healthier lifestyle, is not about the perfect body. Seeking perfection is a setup for failure. The goal here is a healthy body, mind, emotion, spirit, that works.
If that gorgeous body appears and you end up with your photo on a magazine cover,
so much the better. But that’s not the goal.
Begin moving your body. Movement counteracts feelings of stagnation, depression, overweight.
There are many ways to move: walking, yoga, swimming, dancing, tai chi. Begin with something you are comfortable with. Walking is cheap, easy, and requires only shoes. Yoga is a good choice also. In yoga, you are working with yourself as you develop skills. There is no failure factor in either walking or yoga. Whatever you do, try to practice it regularly.
The Fountain of Youth does exist. A branch of it is probably in your neighbor at a nearby fitness center. Join. Visit it three times a week. Get to know the other people there. Enjoy yourself. This is the playground you fondly remember from elementary school.
Regular movement increases your energy, detoxes your body, sharpens your thinking, and helps you feel better about yourself.
Reflexologists, you will do much good for your self and your client partners if you will share these two principles with them.
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“A Healer’s Handbook” is now available! You can purchase it at Amazon and through my website http://www.thurmangreco.com.
- Begin your cleanse by spending a few days eating fresh fruit, salads, sprouts, nuts, and seeds and avoid all processed foods. Maintain a raw food diet for about three days before you actually focus on the juice part of the cleanse.
- Make sure the water you drink is the cleanest you can find. A big decision here is whether you prefer ultrapurified water or spring water. This choice is a personal one. I’m happy with either one. When I’m doing a cleanse, I prefer ultrapurified water. When I am at home and just drinking water on a daily basis, I prefer spring water. I like spring water because I live in the Hudson Valley of New York State where I have access to superior water. I know what spring the water comes from, even. In some cases I’ve actually visited a spring and personally seen it. I never drink water shipped in from another continent, country, state, or even another part of New York State. That being said, I would probably make different decisions about the water I drink if I lived in another part of the country. Certainly, if I lived in a foreign country, I would do different things.
- When having a cleanse, be sure to rest several times during the day. Include some guided meditations that you’ve chosen especially for this cleanse occasion.
- Set aside time for reflexology sessions and chakra healing sessions. Begin each day with a Reiki therapy session if you can.
- End your cleanse by eating easy-to-digest water, plump fruits and leafy green salads. Avoid processed foods for as long as you possibly can. This is crucial to the success of a cleanse.
Reflexologists, now is a good time of the year to conduct a cleanse as a group with several of your fellow practitioners and client partners. Include a nutritionist in the group to help supervise the cleanse.
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This book can be purchased through Amazon or through my website. Enjoy!
Improving your health means doing lots of different things over time to feel, think, look, and act better. Cleanses are popular change-of-season ways to offload toxins collected in the body over the past weeks and months. They work well in conjunction with reflexology sessions which offer a mild cleanse as well.
Water is one of the best cleanses out there. A one-day water cleanse is easy, fast, cheap, and effective.
Begin your cleanse day with a large glass of water. Add a slice of lemon if you want. Then, throughout the day, drink a glass of water. You want to drink at least one large glass of clean water every half hour.
But, of course, the cleanse doesn’t have to be water. Raw, organic, juices of all kinds make good cleanses. A juice cleanse is best if the foods used are organic, fresh, cold pressed, and raw. When the juice meets these qualifications, the most nutrition is available.
Avoid processed, pasteurized, juices if you possibly can and try not to use anything with a shelf life of over two days.
One of the easiest, fastest, cheapest, most effective ways to improve your general health is with cleanses. In my book “A Healer’s Handbook” I write about intestinal, liver, and lymphatic cleanses. But, there are other cleanses out there.
A reflexology session offers a cleanse. Your regular clients receive a mild cleanse regularly as part of their visit.
When you offer reflexology to client partners who are cleansing, please focus on the intestinal tract, the lymphatic system, and focus on the liver.
Remind them of this bonus as you offer them a drink of water at the end of the session.
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“A Healer’s Handbook” is available on Amazon, Nook, and http://www.thurmangreco.com
One of the really nice things about being a Reflexologist is that 25 sessions per week is considered to be a full time career.
Even with less than a full time client-partner load, it’s easy to lose sight of yourself and your personal needs as you look after your client partners and their needs.
You can prevent this from happening if you pamper yourself regularly and make sure your own needs for time and space are met.
A reflexologist who protects a bit of personal time and space is a much better healer to his/her client partners. Your life is just as important as those of your client-partners, family, friends. Actually, an argument can be made that you are most important because all these people depend on you.
We all enter the healing arts wanting to be the best practitioner we can be. Taking time for yourself is part of that mix. Don’t feel guilty about this. You need rejuvenation and energizing as much as other practitioners, and at least as much as your client-partners.
Begin by claiming one of those 25 weekly sessions for yourself. Make a weekly appointment with another practitioner and receive a session. This might be a good opportunity to get to know other practitioners by visiting a different professional every week.
Throughout the week, there are other things you can do to maintain your rejuvenation and energy.
- Script a healing journal.
- Pamper yourself with relaxing baths. Use candles, salts, essential oils.
- Read a book.
- Take a few moments to enjoy a cool fruit smoothie and a magazine.
- Exercise regularly.
- Pursue a hobby.
- Get yourself out in nature to enjoy the sounds, sights, textures, and smells without technology.
Finally, don’t take everything on your own shoulders all the time.
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My book “A Healer’s Handbook” is now available through Amazon or my website http://www.thurmangreco.com.
Thanks, Thurman Greco