Movement & Rest

Later this month, I will be traveling to San Diego for the annual Functional Medicine conference. This year, the entire conference will be focused on sleep, restoration, fitness and movement, each such critical components of living a healthy and balanced life.

It has and has long been my belief that optimal health comes form being in balance, in body, mind and spirit, and in fact, all of our work at the Five Stones Healing Arts and Wellness Center is based on this belief. So focusing on rest and movement, the yin and the yang of our activities, makes perfect sense.

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There is no amount of prescriptions or supplements that can make up for being chronically exhausted and not allowing the body adequate time to rest and restore. Likewise, no prescription of a product can offer the benefits of an appropriate exercise prescription. And by exercise, I don’t mean that you have to become a “gym rat” and see exercise as yet one more chore to mark off your list. Chances are, if you think about it, there are activities that you actually enjoy, or used to enjoy. And if you are physically able, perhaps you can find a way to re-incorporate some of these activities in your current life. Could you take a daily walk? Do you enjoy taking a hike? Was a Yoga practice in your life before? Did you used to love to play volleyball or tennis? Or perhaps you used to swim and could find a place to swim again now that we are approaching summer.

What is important is to find something that you enjoy and that you can and will do; perhaps including a friend. Our bodies are meant to move, and there is plenty of research to show us the adverse side effects of sitting all day, as so many of us do between our commutes and our jobs. And once you start some movement practice, chances are that you will find that the movement feels good and makes you feel better overall. We know that it will affect your physical health and help return you to balance.

Sleep

Just as important as movement is rest. Not many of us actually get the recommended 8 hours a night of sleep, and chronic exhaustion is increasingly common, both in adults and kids. Quite simply, our bodies need rest, (as do our minds and spirits). The body does a great deal of its “work” while we sleep, from detoxification to healing and repair work. Being exhausted is depleting, and the effects are likely to catch up with us over time.

So while in San Diego, I will be hearing about some of the latest research and best practices in the fields of movement and rest, and I will report back interesting things that I learn. We should all try harder to incorporate appropriate movement and rest into our lives for optimal balance in body, mind and spirit.

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