Three Tips For a Strong, Rested Mind
BY CHRIS SHELTON
As a practitioner of the ancient healing art of Qigong and Traditional Chinese Medicine, I treat people with conditions ranging from chronic pain to dementia.
When a person comes to see me with a sadly common and heart-breaking affliction like Alzheimer’s, there are three steps we take immediately so the person who is suffering can slow down the disease’s most negative effects, while increasing the brain’s ability to heal the mind, body and spirit.
Qigong: Gentle Movement, Breathing and Visualization
No matter a client’s mobility and/or cognitive challenges caused by chronic disease, Qigong delivers profound results proven to alleviate physical pain and increase memory retention. For thousands of years, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has advocated and prescribed Qigong as both preventive and acute medicine.
One of Qigong’s most powerful practices is the Micro Cosmic Orbit Meditation, which can be practiced irrespective of physical mobility. As you practice, use your mind-focus to breathe up the center of the spine and back of head on the inhale. On the exhale, breathe down the midline of your face, chest and abdomen. Then repeat for five to 30 minutes.
Whether you do this meditation standing, sitting or laying down, you are stimulating the Central Nervous System (CNS) while simultaneously accessing inner calm and slowing the effects of time and disease.
Sleep: Getting Your ZZZ’s Helps Fight Disease
We all know the importance of a good night’s sleep. But very few of us are getting enough sleep, especially if you’re suffering from chronic pain or being forced to overnight stays in the hospital. When I meet new clients facing cognitive challenges, I always inquire about their sleeping habits and the quality of their sleep.
New findings are concluding that regular sleep disturbances (e.g., bathroom breaks, heavy snoring, insomnia) are correlated to cognitive impairments and dementia. One study showed that elderly men who have less oxygen circulating in their blood during sleep show significant brain atrophy, which commonly proceeds the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
If your nighttime habits include heavy snoring, frequent wake-ups and tired mornings, get tested for sleep apnea, a common but treatable sleep disorder.
Meditating for as little as 10 minutes before going to bed can improve your sleep. The White Pearl Meditation is a guided meditation designed to help you fall asleep, stay asleep and wake up refreshed.
Brain Belly: What You Eat Affects Your Brain
Clients facing significant health challenges, particularly those facing memory loss, are usually hesitant to admit their “bad” food habits. Most of us – including me – have fallen prey to the tasty appeal of greasy, fatty food.
Junk food isn’t good for our belly or our brain.
The clients who succeed the most when supercharging their health and slowing the effects of aging and dis-ease are people who add tiny changes to their daily routine. Incorporate some of these simple steps into your life to boost brain power now and later.
- Avoid drinking beverages with ice
- Drink four ounces of warm water, one tablespoon of coconut oil with freshly-squeezed lemon juice first thing in the morning
- Avoid dessert and late-night eating
ABOUT CHRIS SHELTON
Whether working with superheroes as a clinical director for the Special Olympics’ “Strong Minds” program or chasing after his favorite herd of turtles (one wife, four kids, one grandbaby, three fur balls), Chris attributes his joyful life to his love of people, learning, and the healing effects of Qigong. He is founder of Morning Crane Healing Arts Center in San Jose and Los Angeles.
More Stories from Our Caregiving Community
Former governor of Wisconsin Marty Shreiber spent 20 years caring for his wife, Elaine, after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease (AD). In My Two Elaines: Learning, Coping, and Surviving as an Alzheimer’s Caregiver, Marty writes candidly about his journey...
The Day Abuelo Got Lost: Memory Loss of a Loved Grandfather is a poignant story about how a young boy tries to understand why life is changing as his grandfather, his abuelo, develops Alzheimer's. Read an excerpt from The Day Abuelo Got Lost below. ...
‘Six Steps to Managing Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia’ Book Excerpt by Andrew Budson and Maureen K. O’Connor
The new book, Six Steps to Managing Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia: A Guide for Families by Andrew Budson is a comprehensive guide to understanding how to interact with those who have this disease. In the excerpt below you will find some helpful takeaways, learn...