My Top Self-Care Picks in Vancouver

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Health is not merely the absence of disease, it is an evolving state of mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical wellbeing. When properly cared for, each component of health will nourish and strengthen the other areas, creating a sense of balance, and wellbeing. But just as easily, if one area is neglected, it will negatively impact the others, creating disease.

Take a moment to reflect upon how your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health is. When is the last time you were physically active? When was the last time you took a real break from work or school? When was the last time you shared your feelings with anyone, or did something that makes your heart sing? 

Self-care is provided "for you, by you". It's about listening to what type of self-care your body needs and making time for practices that cultivate wellness within each aspect of your health to create totality.

Below are a few of my favourite self-care practices to help keep you grounded in good health. For help establishing your health plan, please book a naturopathic consultation with me.*

Top Physical Practices

  • Sweat It Out - tried and true, it doesn't matter how you get active, just move your body. 
  • Acupuncture - this my favourite treatment to help balance stress, mood, skin, hormones, sleep, digestion... the list goes on.*
  • IV Nutrient Therapy - a therapeutic level of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants to improve your bodies metabolic capacity, refuel and replenish your nutrient status, and support your ability to heal and prevent future illness.*

Top Mental Practices

  • Sleep - naps aren't just for babies. A quick 20 minutes of shut-eye can drastically improve your mental capacity. If you can't get a nap in during the day then make sure you get a minimum of 7 hours of quality sleep. If getting to sleep or staying asleep is an issue for you... get yourself to your naturopathic doctor to fix it. STAT.*
  • Float Therapy- Floating is a practice where you lay in a float tank filled with warm water that has dissolved epsom salts in it. The magnesium in the epsom salt relaxes your blood pressure and eases muscle tension. The tank is also light-proof and sound-proof. With minimal sensory input, this is a great environment to reset your entire nervous system. Check out Float House https://floathouse.ca/ to experience it yourself. 
  • Turn Your Phone Off - periodic detox from the screen, social media and the instant gratification is absolutely necessary. You will survive, it's only 1 day. 

Top Emotional Practices

  • Cranio-Sacral Therapy - a very gentle, yet effective, form of treatment that focuses on the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. The practitioner works along the entire length of the spinal cord, from the head to the pelvis, to bring the entire body into alignment by aiming to decrease the functioning of the sympathetic (fight-or-flight) system and increasing the parasympathetic (rest-and-digest) system. I highly recommend Candace Kakowchyk at  www.theiv.ca for cranio-sacral sessions.
  • Reflexology - an ancient natural therapy that helps restore balance in the body by using pressure-point massage techniques. I find this treatment especially beneficial to calm the mind, and ground when you're feeling overwhelmed. I go to Footworks Relaxology http://www.footworksrelaxology.com/ . 
  • Counselling - talk therapy is essential to gaining clarity and resolution when it comes to matters weighing on the heart. Counselling can happen in a casual setting, over coffee or wine with a friend or in a more therapeutic setting by booking a session with a trained therapist*

Top Spiritual Practices

  • Yin Yoga - a slow paced practice that uses long, deep stretching to enhance joint mobility & flexibility and soften fascial adhesions. Here you will find connection - to yourself and those around you and serenity, as you surrender to the present moment. My go-to studio in Vancouver is Y-Yoga https://www.yyoga.ca/ .
  • Barefoot Walking. Eccentric? Maybe. But what better way to ground yourself, than to literally ground your energetic connection to the earth. Barefoot walking is gentle, great for your posture, and nourishing - it gives us space to simply be.
  • Spend Time Creating - doing something you find creatively fulfilling. Creation is the most nourishing practice to our soul...sing, play guitar, draw, build, cook, write. 
  • Help Someone Else - volunteer your attention to something or someone that holds significance to you. This might simply mean listening to a friend share their feelings, or it might mean donating your resources (time, financial, focus) to a group you identify with (hospice, downtown east-side, women's shelter etc.)  

*To book a naturopathic consultation, counselling session, acupuncture or IV treatment with me, please visit my clinic website tandemclinic.com or call 604-670-0590.

In Health,

Dr. Alaina