Happy National Iowa Day

Happy National Iowa Day! The Hawkeye State. The 29th state to join the United States.
.
.
IMG_7890
.
While many people just think of it as a fly-over state where we make our own clothes, tip cows, and watch corn grow (yes, when I was at a dance competition in Las Vegas some lovely ladies from California actually asked us those questions), Iowa truly has so many amazing qualities and gifts to offer.
.
IMG_7888
.
According to the U.S. News & World Report in 2019, Des Moines, Iowa is the 5th best place to live in America… in America! People, Des Moines is awesome. Des Moines has the feel of a big, little city giving you the best of both worlds. It’s small enough you get around the metro area in about 20-25 minutes but big enough to host a Kate Spade Outlet… Need I say more?
.
.
0009_ Water Works
.
The country side may be flat throughout the central area with some rolling hills and gorgeous plateaus/ rock formations/ valleys (according to The University of Iowa’s Geological Survey this area is referred to as the Paleozoic Plateau) in the northeast side of the state. Growing up we’d travel through Dubuque a couple times a year to get to my grandparent’s house and it was always just so beautiful to drive through. The seasons we experience are dramatic, but that makes it all the more wonderful. I live for the transition of the seasons, there’s nothing like waking up to the sound of birds with the smell of spring in the air after months of a harsh, cold winter. But then I feel the same about the crisp cool air and the changing leaves in the fall. And I don’t care if you hate the snow or cold, there’s something magical when you walk outside for the first time after a snow storm. It’s so quiet and peaceful, even in the middle of a city. The blanket of snow silences the world and it always takes my breath away… and not just because it’s cold.
.
IMG_7891
.
For other Mid-Westerners who may be mislead, the true saying is “Iowa Nice.” We may not smile to every person we run into but we do hold the door open and are kind and polite. While a degree of passive aggressiveness is also an expected undertone. It’s all about balance after all. And that’s all I’ll say about that. ūüôā
.
.
0011_ Iowa State Fair at Night - Ferris Wheel
.
And I can’t not mention the Iowa State Fair. We didn’t go much growing up but since college I’ve gone mostly every year and there’s just something about it. I mostly go for the people watching, the animals, and the variety of food. It’s a staple for most Iowans in August.
.
.
IMG_7889
.
I’m a born and raised Iowan but I do have perspective- living in Bloomington, MN for three years and traveling a good amount around the states and even one extended stay in China. While all areas of the world have their unique gems to offer, I’m thankful to live in Iowa.
.
.
0010_ Iowa Football During Game
.
I would love to hear the things you love about Iowa!
.
.
* Photo credit: Amanda Sengbusch

Long Time, No Post

IMG_7825
Hey friends! Man, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. Please insert all of your favorite cliche sayings about time flying by, being busy, etc. etc. ūüôā
.
But as a Licensed Acupuncturist I’m learning to appreciate all seasons of life and for the last few years, I felt compelled to draw inward and take time for more internal reflection, meditation, and growing. Now I’m ready to buckle down and start providing you with all my tips and tricks, expertise and recommendations for living your best life.
.
As always, take what resonates with you and leave what doesn’t. What works for one person may not work the same for the next person. Life is all about trial and error and in that we find true growth.
.
Happy 2020!
Link

Why I Exercise

164900_448966368526769_80359460_n

This article,¬†Why Exercise and Endorphins Make You Happy, has¬†great information and explains the benefits of exercise. My main motivation to exercise and move includes how I feel afterwards. I may not “work out” every day, more like 3-4 times a week, but if I don’t exercise, I have to at least stretch for 10 minutes or so- otherwise I just feel so tight and constricted- I blame my liver qi stagnation!

My days are usually off to a great start if I jump out of bed and get a good work out in… not gonna lie, most days it’s an, “ok… I can do this,” and a roll out of bed. But I know once I’m up and going I’ll be so glad I did!

While¬†Mayo Clinic¬†explains some benefits of exercising:¬†controlling weight, disease prevention, improving mood and energy, and promoting better sleep, it’s also motivating¬†to have a little more detail of what’s going on in your body simply¬†by moving each day!

Read the article: Why Exercise and Endorphins Make You Happy to find out what YOU are doing for yourself every time you exercise!

Photo Credit: Jenna Niggeler- during our trip to Beijing, China, in 2013!

Link

Ways to Incorporate Acupuncture Into Your Life

Happy Tuesday everyone! This AcuTake article consists of 15 fabulous ways to incorporate acupuncture into your daily life- written for 2015 but just as true for 2016!

Give it a read. I challenge you to pick 3 options to give a try for the remainder of January.

While all of these suggestions are so great, two things I can’t stress enough to my patients are # 6 and #9.

Let me know how you plan to incorporate acupuncture into your daily routine!

Lifestyle Adjustments for Winter

Winter is the season of the kidney. According to the¬†Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine, by Maoshing Ni, this is when “all things in nature wither, hide, return home, and enter a resting period, yin dominates yang.”

IMG_0078

This is visible in the trees and plants and even the animals. It’s natural for us to be more quiet and reserved during the winter. In the fall I shared some tips for adjusting your lifestyle according to the seasons so here are more tips to help make winter a little more¬†tolerable.

Some recommendations from the Yellow Emperor are:

“Retire early, get up with the sunrise”

Is anyone else¬†struggling to adjust to¬†it getting dark at 5:00 p.m.!? It seems to be more difficult this year, so I find it helpful to go to bed a little early and attempt to sleep in a little extra…¬†Obviously this is not always easy/possible but it’s good to be mindful of the change.

“Stay warm, avoid the cold, keep pores closed, avoid sweating”

Eat warm foods¬†and¬†drink warm drinks¬†to help warm your body. ¬†Be sure to layer up and keep your skin covered –¬†your skin is your largest organ and can be very susceptible to the wind and cold, wind and cold are very common causes of¬†EPIs. When your skin pores are open, your chances of getting sick (from an EPI) are increased.

“Conservation and storage philosophy”

Just like the bears hibernate, it is helpful to conserve your resources and energy. The winter corresponds to yin, as opposed to yang. Yin is internal and more hidden. In order to have enough yin, it is helpful to rest.

During the winter I like to stay in, cuddle up by the fire, and drink warm tea. What about you?

Happy Holidays!

IMG_1023

I hope all you wonderful people are having a fabulous holiday season! I know I am. I’m still enjoying all the delicious Christmas cookies my mom baked and our decorations are definitely still up! I just love this time of year. Yes, even with the snow… it is Iowa after all. ūüôā

I want to thank you for all of your support while I embark on this whole, new-to-me, blog thing. It’s been a great experience and I’m so excited to grow and learn about all things being well and balanced with you.

With the New Year coming up, the talk of resolutions is also upon us.¬†I enjoy making resolutions. Unlike the typical resolutions you may think of, I write my resolutions as goals, which I then keep visible throughout the entire year. Usually my “resolutions/goals” include what I want to learn, read, or do the next year. Just remember to keep your goals¬†SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.

What do you hope to learn, read, and/or do in 2016?

What do you want to learn from Being Well and Balanced?

Also, while you’re getting ready for your New Year’s Eve celebrations and looking at pictures from all the Christmas parties,¬†just remember what good ol’ Abraham Lincoln said:

“There are no bad pictures, that’s just how your face looks sometimes.”

Happy New Year!

Using a Jade Roller as a Part of Your Daily Routine

jade-rollers

I just love my jade roller!  I use it daily on my face in the morning and at night if I remember, to help reduce redness, puffiness and wrinkles.

I use the larger end for my forehead, cheeks and chin area, and the smaller end to roll over my eyes. When using the jade roller, remember to roll up and away from the center of your face to enhance the lifting affect and increase blood and oxygen flow to the area.

Jade is naturally cooling in temperature, so no matter where you store it or how often you use it, it’s always cool to the touch – which feels so great if you tend to be a little warmer in temperature, like myself.

I found my jade roller on Amazon¬†–¬†when you are picking one for yourself, be sure to look for one with a larger and smaller roller (as pictured above). This will help you reach all areas of the face easily. And don’t forget, with the holidays coming up this would make the PERFECT gift for the natural beauties in your life!