IMG_3831 dolcezza flowersI’m listening to TED Radio Hour “Do We Need Humans?” after a long, enjoyable day at Fenton Street Market in Silver Spring. For the past 6 hours, I’ve been talking to and treating people interested in the benefits of acupuncture. Yet driving home I’m reminded of the bedrock of wellness and that it has little to do with the increasingly high tech nature of our healthcare system, or the holistic, natural medicine I dispense. Acupuncture helps indeed, yet before you step into any practitioner’s office, your wellness starts with covering the basics. If you have forgotten, here are some simple, low-tech, and no cost (high reward) reminders to keep yourself well.

1. Drink water. Not the brown colored variety or the fizzy one with caramel coloring. Water, filtered from your tap. Buy a Brita water filter and pitcher, and drink. Sip (no gulps!) until over the course of the day your pee runs a pale yellow color. Start gradually. You can do it! One benefit is that water carries out toxins which we take in every single day through the air, food, beverages, and all those daily chemicals you perhaps put on your body.

2. Move your body. You don’t have to join a gym (and if you do, I recommend only 30 minutes each time). And I’m not talking about “cardio”. Move your body to keep everything greased – tendons, ligaments, muscles. It also helps keep your mind free-flowing. If you do weight-bearing movement, it keeps your bones strong. You will feel better. Especially if it’s something you like – a walk, a bike ride. It’s beautiful outside your home or office. If it’s not, go somewhere inspiring that helps you feel relaxed. This leads me to the next one.

3. Go outside. Be in nature. Walk in the direction of a stand of trees, your or your neighbor’s flowerbeds. It doesn’t matter. Just get your butt outside. Even for five minutes.

4. Food. We hear this all the time. We mostly hear the standard western speak about low carbs and fat. Enough of that nonsense because we aren’t making a dent in the rise in obesity, nor in what I call the malnutrition of our populous from eating high dosages of processed foods. I recommend what Michael Pollan writes, (channeled by Mark Bittman) “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants”.

5. Relationships. Mother. Father. Sister. Partner. How are they? Good question, you say. I haven’t spoken to my sister in a few months. Ding ding. Check in with your beloveds and gauge if you have any hidden judgments that keep you from connecting. This is a block to living fully. Yet, you can love life even with those who are estranged. Sometimes distance is absolutely necessary. What I’m talking about though is the argument that got swept under the rug with your sister who borrowed a sweater and never returned it. Or the disagreement with your partner on what’s important to you. I encourage you to be courageous and mend those fences you’re turning your back on. You know who I’m talking about.

6. Rest/Sleep. Rest is defined (by me) as reflective sitting or being horizontal without your electronic gizmo in hand or in your line of sight. You need downtime in your day. Put some yin in your yang. Sleep as much as your body dictates. Is there an ideal amount? Yes. Until you’re rested.