Essential #3: Palm Reflexology
Stress is toxic for both your body and mind; managing your stress level is essential to good health. Dr. Weil recommends a reflexology technique based on Chinese medicine. This 5,000-year-old theory applies pressure to specific points on your body, activating channels or “meridians” which help to release tension and promote the free flow of blood and energy. This type of therapy has been used for centuries to provide pain relief, improve circulation, and alleviate muscle tension.
For relaxation, Dr. Weil recommends palm reflexology. The next time you feel stressed, try the following simple technique: Using the thumb and index finger of your right hand, rub the fleshy areas between the thumb and index finger on your left hand. Then, starting at the base of each finger, squeeze and roll upwards towards the fingertip, gently pulling outwards as you go. Next, take your thumb and firmly massage small circles all over the palm of your hand. Repeat the process on your other hand. When you’re finished, clench your fists and hold them for 10 seconds, then extend your hand and spread your fingers for 10 seconds. Shake out your hands gently and finish by taking four deep, slow breaths.
Bonus Tip: 4-7-8 Breathing Technique
Another way to tame your tension is to employ the 4-7-8 breathing technique. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose for a mental count of four seconds. Hold your breath for a count of seven, and then exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight. This simple breathing exercise is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system!
Essential #4: The Rules of Raw
Dr. Weil believes that food is medicine, so the raw food movement is something he’s carefully examined. His verdict? He doesn’t recommend eating only raw foods – for two major reasons.
First, you lose much of the best flavor, texture and appearance of your foods if you’re only eating them raw. Secondly, some of the vitamins and minerals are less available to the body in raw vegetables than when they’re cooked.