Feeling Alone? Feel the love – Isolation to Community

Feeling Alone? Feel the love – Isolation to Community

For months now I have been sharing my Chi Gong practice as an offering for the planet, that we may all be happy and we may all be well. It began a couple of days before St Patricks Day, just before Ireland went into full lockdown. My Shiatsu Clinic had closed and I wanted to find a way to stay in touch with my clients, offering support, connection and keep a structure for myself within my day. I have practiced morning Chi Gong for years as a way to maintain physical, emotional and mental wellness in preparation for my Shiatsu Clinic and the many clients I see throughout the day. During Lockdown, more and more people joined in, and we became a community with up to two hundred of us practicing together daily. The sharing of the practice has opened up new ways of thinking for me and new ways of being during the recent changes and global shifts.


Chi (Qi) Gong is a practice of exercises, breathing techniques and mental focus to bring balance and health and harmony to our internal body systems, achieving physical and mental wellbeing. It is at the foundation of Traditional Chinese and has been around for at least 5,000 years. Most of its movements are easy to learn with gentle, graceful movements and without the need for a mat, special equipment of a high level of fitness.

 

Don’t underestimate the impact this quiet practice can have. Coming to stillness after a series of flowing movements I can feel my heart beating and my blood flowing. I am reminded that my body works as a team. Without instruction my lungs draw in air, my stomach breaks down food and my heart pumps the blood containing oxygen and nutrients to the far extremities of my body. My internal systems are constantly operating morning, noon and night, making sure that I am as healthy as I can be. Part of the practice is to include a wish, that as well as ourselves, all beings be happy and all beings be well. Any benefit that I may gain from the practice I give away for the intention that everyone may be safe happy and well.


As a core to the practice I have found it tear-jerkingly beautiful to remember that just like my body, that works ceaselessly for my benefit, my fellow human beings work ceaselessly for my benefit also. Someone somewhere is meditating, practicing Chi Gong, singing a song, picking fruit, making coffee cups, writing blogs, phoning friends, gardening, listening, cooking, making a Netflix film, writing a computer program, planting potatoes all with the intention of adding to the world and life’s rich tapestry. Even though some of the additions may not be inline with our own actions, everyone is working to add to the Yin Yang of life, with its likes and dislikes, it’s riches and it’s poverty, it’s love and it’s fear. We are all part of the club – what will you add?


There is no getting it perfect, no getting it right, every day we practice together, some day’s are stiffer than others, some days there is more pain, some days the mind is quiet and somedays it is a jumping monkey but what we are doing has a benefit for ourselves and in turn for others. When I choose to turn up at 8.30 every weekday morning and take part in the Chi Gong, my body feels good. If I take responsibility for making my mental and physical health a priority in my day this benefits not only me but my family and my clients. The way I interact with others I meet in the supermarket or online is different because I have had compassion and kindness for myself during my morning Chi Gong Practice. My well-being radiates out to others and has an effect on the world around me.

 

Self-care is not selfish. It is our responsibility to find ways to feel good. In this way we become empowered, we develop an inner resilience that supports us when times are bad and we know that all this shall pass. We are our own best friend and feelings of loneliness do not overwhelm us. Finding things we love in the world and amplifying them is healthy. It means we are in deep connection with our own body and soul. Sometimes when things are tough it can be difficult to feel this but remember you are never alone. Somebody somewhere is wishing that you are happy and that you are well, whether that is a Tibetan monk in a monastery on a mountain or members of the Chi Flow with Jo Club at 8.30 every weekday morning from various living rooms from Ireland to Australia. We are wishing that you are happy and that you are well, that I am happy and that I am well and that all beings everywhere are happy, safe and well


If you would like to wish all beings be well and join the Community for Chi Gong every weekday morning visit Chi Flow with Jo – we would love to have you.

 

 


Danger, Danger – Sugar for the over 40’s

Danger, Danger – Sugar for the over 40’s

“In men, the risk of heart disease increases after age 45. In women, the risk increases after age 55. In people who have diabetes, the risk of heart disease increases after age 40.” * US Department of Health and Human Services
You don’t have to have insulin intolerance or diabetes to put your heart at risk. The more refined sugar we eat over the age of 40 the more likely we are to develop heart disease, high blood pressure, and a greater risk of stroke.
The spleen/pancreas is responsible for insulin production that enables the absorption of glucose sugars into the cells of the body.  Too much sugar means either the spleen cannot produce enough insulin (diabetes type 1) or the body becomes insulin resistant (diabetes type 2) Glucose that is unprocessed by insulin remains in the bloodstream damaging arteries causing high blood pressure and heart disease.
For example, the heart likes bitter flavour foods such as lettuce, chicory, and herbs such as basil, thyme, and oregano.  Whereas the liver likes sour foods such as lemons and limes.
The flavour for a healthy spleen/pancreas is sweet, however, too much of a good thing can weaken these organs.
The 5element system of Chinese Medicine would recommend eating whole grains such as brown rice, millet and quinoa and starchy vegetables such as carrots, butternut squash, sweet potato, parsnips which have a naturally sweet flavour, to keep the spleen and sugar levels healthy.
These foods are complex carbohydrates that take time to release their sugars rather than refined carbohydrates such as white bread, cake, pastries and pasta that give quick sugar hits but are missing the fibre and minerals of whole-grains.  Healthy food doesn’t have to mean boring food, find recipes that are full of delicious, sexy scrumptiousness – if you consciously love your food, you love yourself.

One tip from Chinese Medicine is to CHEW CHEW CHEW your food.

  • In this way sugars are released into the mouth, broken down by the teeth and saliva, sending signals to the brain that this is sweet, tasty, comforting food.
  • So chew your food and improve digestion.  Reduce the cravings for sugars by not eating your food on the run. Slow it down and taste every mouthful.
  • Often we use refined carbohydrates and sugary foods such as chocolate, chips, cake and biscuits to soothe a frazzled system.  They are comfort foods giving us a quick hit of love and self-care, but in the long term using food to meet and emotional needs is unhealthy.
  • A chocolate bar can never really love us.  If we find healthy alternatives to refined sweet foods such as sweet potato falafel, millet muffins, or Pear & Cinnamon tea, that taste really good we are more likely to make a change to a nourishing, wholesome, healthy life. This is especially important as we progress through life and our bodies repair and regeneration take a little longer.
  • So be sugar smart, keep your blood sugars healthy, blood pressure down, and your heart pumping strongly.

  • IN THE EVER-EVOLVING PURSUIT OF LIVING LONGER AND HEALTHIER, we know diet plays a pivotal role. In recent years, scientists have also focused on the potential of intermittent fasting — a diet that hinges on when you eat, not what you eat.

    There is Growing evidence, to suggest intermittent fasting can improve metabolic function, stave off certain diseases, and may even extend lifespan.-

  • Beginning January 2023 running until the end of February 2023 – why not try Intermittent Fasting Chinese Medicine style together with all the members of Chi Flow with Jo. If you have found dieting difficult in the past, why not try this easy to follow method, with the amazing support of the group.  At only €2 per day you have nothing to loose apart from your waistline.

 

 

 

Why not sign up for the Intermittent Fasting over 40 mini ebook and receive a Free Qi Gong Class at the end of the month

Fasting 40's ebook