HomeSectionsHealth & FitnessCalm your body and mind to really enjoy the holiday season

Calm your body and mind to really enjoy the holiday season

By Anthony Dissen, M.A., R.D.N.

We are in the throes of the holiday season, and while it’s a happy and festive time, it can also be overwhelming — too much to do, far too little time.

As an integrative health professional, I encourage my students to revel in the hustle and bustle but — no matter what — take the time to simply be peaceful. For some, this is a new concept. But the physical and emotional rewards can enhance the enjoyment of the season by introducing a calmer and more joyful frame of mind.

As part of CentraState Health’s Live Life Well team, the collective approach to wellness is based on the premise that no matter what health challenges you face, at whatever age, there are simple tools you can integrate into your life that will, simply, make the quality of your life better.

I specialize in helping people empower themselves through the practices of yoga, meditation and Qigong, an increasingly popular ancient Chinese system of postures, exercises, and breathing techniques. These tools can be essential in helping manage life’s challenges — relationships, weight, chronic illness, depression and workplace issues. These three holistic health practices can also help lessen the onset of chronic diseases, decrease pain and reduce stress.

Yoga – A self-empowerment tool

Developed in India thousands of years ago, yoga has become a common form of exercise in the U.S.The purpose of yoga is to create personal strength, awareness of the moment and peace in both the mind and body. While physical outcomes can resemble more traditional fitness efforts, yoga also includes a meditation and breathing component. Many of my students have told me their yoga is more effective in combating pain and depression than medication, alcohol or food.

Meditation – finding the peace hidden within you

From a clinical perspective, meditation brings the brainwave pattern into a relaxed state that promotes physical and emotional healing. While some initial instruction can be helpful, you don’t need to attend a class to meditate. For optimal results, regular practice is necessary, even for just a few minutes a day. Once introduced to your regular routine, meditation can quickly become an activity you look forward to engaging in every day.

Qigong – simple repetitive moments

Qigong (pronounced chee-gong) is a close cousin to the better-known tai chi and uses a series of easy, repetitive movements to help improve balance, making it particularly useful for seniors.

One of my students living with multiple sclerosis was struggling with an unsteady gait and ongoing tremors. But after practicing Qigong for just eight weeks, her tremor frequency was reduced and she reported feeling more balanced and steady when walking and performing everyday activities.

Live life well starting today

(not Jan. 1)

The integrative health solutions I’ve discussed here are like seeds — when you cultivate them regularly, you will be rewarded with the benefits of growth and blossoming. Consider trying these three practices to put you in charge of your health and well-being right now — in the throes of the holiday season — and reap the benefits for years to come.

CentraState Health’s Live Life Well program introduces a new way to improve health and well-being, regardless of your age or medical issues.The philosophy behind this innovative initiative is to offer participants simple and effective methods to be as healthy as possible in all aspects of life — mind, body and spirit.

An outstanding team of certified health and wellness experts will give you the individual tools you need to feel great and achieve long-term, transformative results. Are you ready to Live Life Well? Start by visiting livelifewellnj.com or calling 732.308.0570.

Anthony Dissen, M.A., RDN, is a registered dietitian and integrative health educator focusing on community wellness and plant-based nutrition. He is a holistic health instructor for CentraState Health’s Live Life Well program in Freehold. Learn more about Anthony’s integrative health philosophy by visiting livelifewellnj.com/meet-your-team-anthony.

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