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Good Sleep for a Leaner and Healthier Body by Balancing Yin/Yang with Qi Gong

July 1, 2018

by Eli Cohen, Energy Healing Coach & Medical Qi Gong Instructor

www.qiwitheli.com / info@qiwitheli.com

Eli Cohen is a Medical Qi Gong Instructor (ancient Chinese Medicine movement and meditation practices) and Energy Healing Coach. He lives and teaches in the San Francisco Bay Area -- has taught hundreds of classes, led many workshops and helped many individuals heal from chronic health conditions, one-on-one. He’s also worked with organizations like Google and the City of San Francisco to teach employees about stress management and how to use quick, accessible and powerful Qi Gong practices to de-stress.

Healthy sleep, getting a good night’s rest and its impact on your overall health is something that we all know well. If you think about the last night where you had only a few hours’ sleep, or poor quality of sleep you know exactly what I’m talking about -- the sluggishness the next day, the brain fog, etc… The impacts are far and wide.

Lack of sleep is a global issue in our society, which is very Yang in nature. The promotion of go-go-go, hard work, travel, and doing things; we fill our days with action. We have so many things on our to-do list that we’re left burnt out at the end of the day. Feeling ‘burnt out’ literally means too much fire -- too much Yang (Fire Energy) and not enough Yin (Water Energy).

From a Study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine [2010]: “...dieters were put on different sleep schedules. When their bodies received adequate rest, half of the weight they lost was from fat. However when they cut back on sleep, the amount of fat lost was cut in half—even though they were on the same diet…[o]verall, those on a sleep-deprived diet experienced a 55 percent reduction in fat loss compared to their well-rested counterparts.”

University of Chicago researchers found that when you are sleep deprived -- less than 6 hours of sleep per night a few days in a row -- your blood fatty acid levels increase, you become insulin resistant (pre-diabetes) and your overall hormonal balance skews. You crave higher calorie foods, more fats circulate in your blood and the body pumps out more insulin...a vicious cycle. Eventually lipids are stored in the wrong places, leading to diseases like diabetes or fatty liver disease.

Sleep deprivation also decreases protein synthesis in the body and decreases the production of Human Growth Hormone, making it very difficult to maintain muscle mass, let alone gain. Along with all of this comes an increase in the production of the stress hormone cortisol, which will make you more agitated, less focused and less patient.

All this from not regularly getting a good night’s rest!! Luckily there are some very effective paths using Qi Gong and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to ensure you get your zzzzz’s and stay healthy and vibrant.

In TCM we have two types of energy -- Yang and Yin. We Westerners usually think about having, “energy,” as being active and visibly excited (Yang in TCM). Yang Energy is active and externally manifested -- like fire or like kids running around a playground. Yin Energy is passive, internally manifested -- like water. Some examples of Yin Energy are listening, contemplating, or walking peacefully in nature. Yang is like jogging, talking and being more active. Yin is more internal, quiet, and deeper than externally-manifested Yang.

Although the inability to have a good night’s sleep has many different origins for different people, it is always related to not having enough Yin energy in your system. From my experience working with many clients over the years, restoring the Yin/Yang balance will restore your sleep patterns almost immediately.

It is important to mention that extensive, repeated research shows 6-8 hours of sleep is best for humans, which should be your goal. This enables a good amount of what scientists call slow-wave sleep, which is when the body heals and regenerates. Slow-wave sleep is optimal when cortisol levels (stress hormones) are low, which shows how impactful your emotional state is on your sleep.

In TCM, a lack of sleep depletes the Yin energy of your kidneys -- the organ that governs your endocrine system and your hormones. Similar to the Western Science study from above, hormonal imbalance is what causes weight gain, cravings for high carb foods, muscle mass loss and inability to lose weight.

Depleting your Kidney Yin Energy also affects the heart (Fire Element). Research published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found also found that lack of sleep affects the health of your heart … and is one of the reasons for heart failure.

Below are some simple tips to help you prepare for sleep, however to really restore Yin/Yang balance and to restore a healthy sleep pattern for good, I consult people one-on-one and prescribe individualized, easy-to-learn practices and lifestyle choices that brings your mind and body into balance to ensure a good night’s rest. For a taste of some of the practices I teach, check out my Qi Gong for Healthy Sleep video.

Tip 1 - The first and most important step towards healthy sleep is giving yourself 6-8 hours every night, which may mean a lifestyle change or re-prioritization especially if you’re working late hours close to your bedtime. Set boundaries for yourself and avoid too much mental stimulation within 2 hours of bedtime, so as to not raise Yang in your body.

Tip 2 - Don’t do things that are emotionally agitating before bed -- like having an argument or watching a horror or violent film. In TCM Emotional stress is Yang, lighting the fire and increasing inflammation in the body and taxing the kidneys.

Tip 3 - Eat the last meal of the day during daylight hours, which is important to ensure your body isn’t spending all of its energy digesting food during the critical first few slow-wave sleep hours.

Tip 4 - Turn down the lights and avoiding exposure to bright light a few hours before bed will allow your sleep hormones to kick in, preparing you for Good Zzzz’s.

Three Keys for Forming a New Habit

June 9, 2018

by Eli Cohen, Energy Healing Coach & Medical Qi Gong Instructor

www.qiwitheli.com / info@qiwitheli.com

Eli Cohen is a Medical Qi Gong Instructor (ancient Chinese Medicine movement and meditation practices) and Energy Healing Coach. He lives and teaches in the San Francisco Bay Area -- has taught hundreds of classes, led many workshops and helped many individuals heal from chronic health conditions, one-on-one. He’s also worked with organizations like Google and the City of San Francisco to teach employees about stress management and how to use quick, accessible and powerful Qi Gong practices to de-stress.

Spring 2018 Introduction

March 20, 2018

by Eli Cohen, Energy Healing Coach & Medical Qi Gong Instructor

www.qiwitheli.com / info@qiwitheli.com

Eli Cohen is a Medical Qi Gong Instructor (ancient Chinese Medicine movement and meditation practices) and Energy Healing Coach. He lives and teaches in the San Francisco Bay Area -- has taught hundreds of classes, led many workshops and helped many individuals heal from chronic health conditions, one-on-one. He’s also worked with organizations like Google and the City of San Francisco to teach employees about stress management and how to use quick, accessible and powerful Qi Gong practices to de-stress.

Four Keys to Change with Qi Gong

March 20, 2018

by Eli Cohen, Energy Healing Coach & Medical Qi Gong Instructor

www.qiwitheli.com / info@qiwitheli.com

Eli Cohen is a Medical Qi Gong Instructor (ancient Chinese Medicine movement and meditation practices) and Energy Healing Coach. He lives and teaches in the San Francisco Bay Area -- has taught hundreds of classes, led many workshops and helped many individuals heal from chronic health conditions, one-on-one. He’s also worked with organizations like Google and the City of San Francisco to teach employees about stress management and how to use quick, accessible and powerful Qi Gong practices to de-stress.

Resources

This video is a beautiful example of the connection between our heart's intention and our thoughts' impact on matter -- in this case water. If you think about our body's 70% water composition, you'll quickly understand the connection between intention and our bodies.

Forest bathing—basically just being in the presence of trees—became part of a national public health program in Japan in 1982 when the forestry ministry coined the phrase shinrin-yoku and promoted topiary as therapy.

From 2004 to 2012, Japanese officials spent about $4 million dollarsstudying the physiological and psychological effects of forest bathing, designating 48 therapy trails based on the results. Qing Li, a professor at Nippon Medical School in Tokyo, measured the activity of human natural killer (NK) cells in the immune system before and after exposure to the woods. These cells provide rapid responses to viral-infected cells and respond to tumor formation, and are associated with immune system health and cancer prevention. In a 2009 study Li’s subjects showed significant increases in NK cell activity in the week after a forest visit, and positive effects lasted a month following each weekend in the woods.