As a high school teacher, I have the summer off. The end of the school year was especially stressful, and it is my goal to lower my stress this month. Here are some things I’ve done, and it has been wonderful to try them out!
First, I started going to the gym more. I took a PiYo class, some Zumba classes, and I’ve been using the treadmill. PiYo is a combination of Pilates and Yoga, and it didn’t seem too difficult. But the next day…wow! I could hardly sit down because my thighs were so sore! Zumba is always fun, and I’ve posted about that before. The treadmill is always one of my favorites. I do about 20 minutes, and I try to run for half of that.
Second, I started taking vitamins regularly. I always have them sitting around, but I’ve become accustomed to taking them every day now. Also, I started eating breakfast! I have cereal or oatmeal, with almond soy milk and wheatgrass powder. I recommend wheatgrass for the energy it gives, but I do NOT recommend wheatgrass powder…it smells terrible, and it has a very strange texture. Next time, I will either do shots of wheatgrass from a juice store or take wheatgrass tablets. However, I am too stubborn to do it now. I spent the money on the powder, and I’m going to finish it. Luckily, I’m almost halfway done with the bottle.
I also started something I’ve never done before…acupuncture! I was a bit apprehensive, but I was excited about it, because I knew that it might relieve the knots I carry in my shoulders and back when I’m feeling stressed. I looked it up online, and here is a diagram I found:
It looks scary, I know, but I guess the needles are all supposed to follow “meridians,” or lines along the body.
I found an acupuncturist near my home, and at my first session he did a thorough interview. He was especially interested in my activities. He checked my pulse on both wrists, and he looked at my tongue. I thought this was fascinating. He said my tongue had a crack in it, which indicates digestion problems. He said if I have digestion problems, I’m not adequately absorbing all the nutrients in my food. He also said I seemed stressed.
The first thing he did was have me lie face down on a massage table, and he told me he was going to work my “meridians.” He did this by giving me a chiropractic-style massage for about 30 minutes. It was wonderful. Then he had me turn over, and he put five needles in my abdomen (for digestion), and five needles in my forehead (for stress). The needles were tiny, and the only one I could feel was right between my eyebrows. The rest were in less sensitive areas.
He told me to lie still for about 40 minutes, and he put some heat lamps over me. He left the room with the lights dim and soothing music playing. The combination was very relaxing, but he gave me a panic button, “just in case.”
But the really fascinating thing happened the next day. Not only did I digest my food well…we won’t go into that…but the crack in my tongue was almost imperceptible! Unbelievable!
It’s really difficult to take a picture of your own tongue:
I will continue to try acupuncture, and more stress-relief techniques in the future.