Health checkup: Listen to your body

Liz Roseman

Liz Roseman, founder of Sustainable Health Acupuncture, speaks with Xpress about unplugging, the importance of sleep and Chinese medicine.

What are some techniques you use for maintaining your mental health?

Something that I have learned over the years is that yin activities like downtime, stillness, unplugging, getting out in nature and doing nothing are just as important as more yang activities (which our society is very skewed toward) and very much support my mental health.  I feel so much better when I don’t turn my phone on right away in the morning. I start each day with a walking meditation with my dog. I also take breaks from social media and I am a fan of putting my phone in airplane mode for extended periods of time, including for an hour or more before bed. I also find it important to regulate the ratio of time spent with friends (which is great for my mental health!) with time for only myself (also great for mental health!).  Another important tip is that if I am feeling mentally/emotionally not 100%, I allow myself to feel it and also remind myself that I will likely feel better after a good night or two of sleep.

What is your favorite way to approach your own physical health?

I am very much a person who lives in her body and enjoys being physical. I lift weights five times a week, walk 2-5 miles daily, do yoga three or more days per week, eat real foods (including lots of really good dark chocolate!) and drink lots of filtered water. I aim for 8-plus hours of sleep per day.

That being said, if I wake up and don’t feel up to something, like going to the gym, I listen to my body — I would say that this is the key.

What is one book, podcast, documentary or article related to mental or physical health that you’d recommend, and why?

The Alchemy of Inner Work: A Guide for Turning Illness and Suffering Into True Health and Well-Being by Lorie Dechar and Benjamin Fox is my go-to book for caring for the self and the inner landscape. It is extremely accessible and practical. It’s the perfect book for where we are now as a collective — at a crossroads where the old way of being isn’t working. The book goes into many different types of seeing the outer and inner world, including (but not limited to) Chinese medicine and depth psychology. And the second half of the book is a “how-to” manual to help the reader be able to access their own inner wisdom and to actualize the self, with actual practices to help ground into our own inner knowing.


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