How are you doing? Many of our patients are pivoting between feeling anxious, frustrated, outraged. We are too. We share all of it because we’re living it with you. Parents, faced with having to send children to school, are terrified. Navigating the logistics of work and parenting while keeping children safe feels agonizing. In fact, the logistics even the simplest activity safely is daunting. What choice is there? We must adapt as best we can.
When I meet with the practitioners at Six Fishes, many of our conversations center on supporting our community; body mind and spirit.
We wish we had magic wands and have life be normal. We can’t change this external reality except by masking and distancing. And voting. We’ve been exploring all the ways we can be helpful. You know what? We have a large toolbox filled with a range of ways to help.
So, while we can’t change the external reality, we have something to offer that’s critical right now: Resilience. We can help you, and your loved ones stay strong and healthy.
I have been awed by some of the folks I treat. Some have fully embraced the pandemic as an opportunity for exemplary self-care. But, as the months go on, many find their motivation waning.
Mostly, I want to share with you what you can easily do on your own. Lots of this you already know. But, if you’re like many of my patients, right about now you need a nudge. A prompt. A reminder; and a tiny bit of hand-holding to get back on track. For the most part, nothing needs to be done perfectly. Good enough is good enough right now.
For Your Body:
Be Sensible and Maintain Healthy Self-Care:
- Sleep well and enough for your body. Having trouble sleeping, as so many are right now? Call us for spirit soothing herbs and acupuncture. Do your best to be active ( see below). Your body needs an opportunity to blow off tension so you can relax come evening.
- Eat reasonably and not too much. You all know what this means. Make it simple- avoid sugar and all processed food. Add some fruit and veggies. Have protein with breakfast to help feel focused all day.
- Avoid excessive alcohol. Alcohol and substance abuse have increased during the pandemic. Many have relapsed after years of sobriety. Reach out to friends, a therapist or find a meeting. And remember acupuncture uses time tested, evidence based methods to ease withdrawal
- Get regular exercise; This doesn’t have to be fancy. Make a commitment to moving your body 30 minutes daily. It isn’t hard to find online classes. Even on Instagram. I work out to video’s on YouTube. There’s a wide enough range that you are sure to find something you can enjoy. Throw on your mask and go outside! Can you get to the woods away from people? Being near trees will help.
We have a range of herbs and supplements to keep you well and healthy. Make sure to read our list of recommended supplements to support your immunity. If we don’t have them in the office, you can easily order them from Full Script, and you’ll always receive 15% off.
But beyond that, people are complicated. You are complex. Navigating this with you is one of our deepest privileges. Your health might best be served with a custom herb formula. And come for acupuncture. It’s unmatched for alleviating stress.
For Your Spirit;
5. Mediate and Breath. Breath and then breath more. We love and practice 4-7-8 breathing technique: Inhale through your nose for 4 counts. Hold for the count of 7. Exhale through your mouth for 8 counts. If you can’t hold your breath that long, just do your best. Exhaling for twice as long as you inhale relaxes the sympathetic nervous system. When we are stressed, we go into overdrive and reaction. We are surviving. This is often referred to as fight or flight. Which is a good thing in the short run. But it’s not sustainable. We need to nourish the parasympathetic nervous system- or the rest and digest part of us.
Even if you think you “can’t” meditate, then do the breathing exercise above. Or, Download and use one of the many mediation apps available. I’m fond of Head Space, but there are several others in the app store.
There are many strategies that we explore to nourish, calm and support you through this. Nicole briefly covered a few of them on Instagram last week. We’ll teach you simple and profound breathing techniques. Herbs, supplements, CBD, and acupuncture. More than that- every treatment is integrated. Physical pain is emotional pain. And, as Bec so poignantly said in her Instagram Live following the Black Lives Matter riots: rest is resistance. Rest to stay strong. Rest to keep fighting for what’s right. Acupuncture soothes your energy so you can rest.
We’re not only thinking of grownups and parents, but we’re also thinking about your kids. Children and teens are also feeling trapped and overwhelmed. And they’ve given up so much; Seeing Friends, sports, graduations, proms, meaningful learning, and social interaction. We’re seeing young children (mostly on telehealth) with anxiety, insomnia, irritability, and depression. Often, it’s somatized. Bellyaches, headaches.
Faced with going to school is daunting. But we can help. Many of the same strategies we use on you are transferrable to them. And some are unique to children. They aren’t just mini-adults. We’re here to support your children’s wellness and immunity
About Cara Frank, L.OM.
Cara Frank, L.OM., was raised in a health food store in Brooklyn, NY. When she was 8, she cartwheeled 5 miles from Greenwich Village through Soho and Chinatown and across the Brooklyn Bridge. For nearly 40 years, she has had the same crazy passion for Chinese medicine. At 17, she had her first acupuncture treatment. At 20, she enrolled in acupuncture school. In 1998 she went to China to study where she fell deeply in love with Chinese herbs. Since then, she has devoted her life to studying and teaching the topic.
Cara is the founder of Six Fishes Healing Arts in Philadelphia, where she maintains a busy acupuncture practice and acts as the head fish of warm and lively office. She is also the president of China Herb Company. You can read her full bio or schedule an appointment.