Why Pacing Beats Push-and-Crash (and How to Best Manage Your Energy) | The Health Sessions

Why Pacing Beats Push-and-Crash Cycles (And How You Can Best Manage Your Energy)

If you’ve been living with a chronic illness for a while, you’ve probably heard of the Spoon Theory by Christine Miserandino. For someone who’s seriously sick, each day starts with a limited amount of “spoons” of energy. They carefully have to decided how you can best spend each one, knowing that even mondain tasks like taking a shower or making lunch costs you precious spoons.

The Spoon Theory is a helpful analogy of what it’s truly like to live with chronic illness or disability. But how does it work in reality? How do you decide how to spend your spoons? What do you do when you have no spoons left but still half a day ahead of you?

In my experience, there are two broad strategies: pacing and push-and-crash. 

I used to be the queen of push-and-crash cycles. At the time, it really was the only way to get things done: resting up and preparing before an event – going to school, necessary shopping trips, hanging out with family and friends – putting every last drop of effort into getting to and through the event and then… crash. Hard. It meant my symptoms would exacerbate and I couldn’t do much else but rest the next day(s) to recover from that activity.

Read more >Why Pacing Beats Push-and-Crash Cycles (And How You Can Best Manage Your Energy)



Taking An Ice Bath: What You Can Learn From Breathing & Cold Exposure Training | The Health Sessions

Taking An Ice Bath: What You Can Learn From Breathing & Cold Exposure Training

Ronald Aartsen is a practitioner of Japanese acupuncture and other acupuncture styles with classic roots in Rotterdam & Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He also gives workshops teaching Breathing and Cold Exposure after finishing an instructors year in 2014 with Wim Hof, better known as The Ice Man.

 

1. What is Breathing & Cold Exposure training, based on the Wim Hof Method?

It’s a method that consists of 3 components: breathing techniques, cold exposure and mindset/focus.

 

2. Why would anyone voluntarily take an ice bath? What are the benefits of cold exposure?

Excellent question. If you would have told me before 2014 that I (being a big fan of tropical sun and climates) would be sitting in an ice bath, take outdoor swims in the winter or be hiking through snowy landscapes in shorts, I probably would have thought you lost your mind.

But as an acupuncturist and a meditation & qigong enthusiast I am very interested in our self healing abilities and our inner power. So I read about Wim Hof and the research that was going on and decided to step out of my comfort zone and registered for a workshop.

I loved the effect of the breathing techniques and the power I felt in and after the ice bath! Me as an Indo chilling in a tub filled with ice cubes. And I loved the simplicity of it all. You don’t have to train for years and years to be able to do this.

Let me be clear, the components are not new. The East has a long tradition of similar disciplines and people know the benefits for their health. Same goes for Russia and Northern Europe for example. Wim Hof just made it available to larger group and involved science to research the combination of these techniques.

After the one day workshop I immediately registered for the instructors year including a week of training in Poland and walking up a ski slope in shorts to name one element.

I will just name a few results here without getting into the scientific details. Research has shown that cold exposure can lead to a better functioning immune system (and how to voluntarily control it), increase in metabolism and an increase in brown fat. Combined with the breathing and focus techniques it can help to reduce pain, lead to better cirulation and boost your cardiovasclular system and energy. You can find a great overview on the research here.

The Cool Challenge was a project to measure the effects of cold showering. The report can be found here.

Read more >Taking An Ice Bath: What You Can Learn From Breathing & Cold Exposure Training



7 Best Tips To Use Massage Therapy As A Source Of Injury Prevention | The Health Sessions

7 Best Tips to Use Massage Therapy as a Source of Injury Prevention

This is a guest post by Stacey Connor from Foot Massager Advisor

Massage therapy has long been seen as an effective means to assist people who were suffering from some kind of injury, no matter what kind of injury they have. Even those who have had broken bones find that massage therapy can be beneficial in assisting them so that they can have stronger more durable muscles that are able to assist in the strengthening of the bone.

It is clear that massage therapy can have tremendous benefits for those who have already suffered an injury. But you may be unaware of the fact that it can be as equally helpful in preventing injuries from occurring at all. In fact, even if you are a fitness geek, you may find that by visiting a massage therapist on a regular basis you may prevent injuries from ever having a chance to occur.

Here are seven tips you should know about using massage therapy as a source of injury prevention.

Read more >7 Best Tips to Use Massage Therapy as a Source of Injury Prevention



How to Work Your Way Up to Walking 10,000 Steps A Day | The Health Sessions

How to Work Your Way Up to Walking 10,000 Steps A Day

When you’re healthy and fit, you don’t realize how essential it is to be able to move around on foot. Walking is probably just a boring activity you mindlessly do.

It’s not until you become ill or injured that you discover that being able to walk places is key to living a ‘normal life’, even in our sedentary society. Pain, dizzy spells, shaky legs and extreme fatigue can make the simplest moves difficult, from browsing the aisles of the supermarket to getting across the parking lot or going on a day out with friends.

But even many able-bodied people don’t get the recommended 10,000 steps a day in. No matter what your current fitness level is, there are doable ways to gradually increase your walking stamina. 

Read more >How to Work Your Way Up to Walking 10,000 Steps A Day



The 2 Most Important You Need to Ask Yourself to Get Healthier This Year | The Health Sessions

The 2 Most Important Questions You Should Ask Yourself to Get Healthier This Year

So you’ve decided that this will be the year that you’ll gradually get healthier.

You probably have an idea in mind how you’d like things to turn out: running your first race, feeling fabulous in your bikini next summer or exude a Zen-like calm in the midst of chaos. If you have a chronic illness, you may simply dream of having less pain, more energy and being able to pick up your favourite hobby again. But where do you begin to make this happen?

Here are two questions to ask yourself when you start creating your action plan to get healthier.

Read more >The 2 Most Important Questions You Should Ask Yourself to Get Healthier This Year