12 Months of Wellness | Month 7 – Hydration

12 Months of Wellness - Month 7 Hydration


It’s summer and one of the best ways to stay healthy is to stay hydrated. This month we invite you to stay hydrated by setting the intention to take in more water all day long. Our bodies are made up of up to 60% water. Every cell in our body needs water to function properly. It provides us with the essentials to keep us feeling great.

Water lubricates our joints so we can stay active and pain free, it produces saliva which aids in proper digestion, it flushes our system of waste and toxins to keep us feeling healthy and helps to control our metabolism to maintain proper weight.

Summer weather is heating up, and it’s even more important to stay hydrated. Spending time in the heat and being more active increase our chances of dehydration.

Common symptoms of dehydration include headache, muscle cramps, dry mouth, dry skin, dizzy spells, sleepiness and problems with concentration. These signs usually show up when we have been dehydrated for some time. To avoid dehydration symptoms and keep your body in top shape, take in lots of water throughout the day.

Creative ways to stay hydrated this summer

Drinking water isn’t the only way to stay hydrated. Here are some delicious, healthy, fun ways to make sure you are balanced and in peak performance:

  • Keep a water bottle with you at all times. It’s a good rule of thumb to drink half your bodyweight in ounces. (bodyweight 130 lbs = 65 ounces of water per day)
  • Drink lemon water every morning. The health benefits include reducing inflammation in the body, helping to flush out toxins and boosting your immune system.
  • Add watermelon, water and ice to a blender for a refreshing drink.
  • Fill a glass pitcher of infused water by adding fruits and vegetables and keep it cool in the refrigerator. Cucumber and strawberries make for a delicious subtle flavor.
  • Commit to drinking water in between meals, instead of snacking, to curb your appetite.
  • Add more raw, whole foods to your diet. Fruits and vegetables include a high amount of water per serving.
  • Make a game out of drinking water and track how much you drink every day. Download a water tracking app for your smartphone to make keeping track super easy.

Use this months downloadable worksheet to set your intentions for how you will stay hydrated and see how much better you feel.

Here are my intentions so you can see how simple this can be:

12 Months of Wellness - Month 7 Hydration


DOWNLOAD MONTH 7 – Hydration

Napping … Is it Good for You?

Giving in to a daytime catnap might have been frowned upon in the past, but now new research has put to bed previous nap naysayers. Studies show that a little daytime shuteye can actually provide health benefits.

According to a past issue of the Harvard Health Letter, catching a daytime nap is a good way to catch up on the sleep you lose at night, sleep that may become more difficult as you age due to natural age-related decline in the quality of your nighttime sleep.

Getting Over the Mid-afternoon Slump

A case of the drowsies may seem to hit the same time every afternoon and does so for several reasons. The first is a biological element. Your biological clock, located in the hypothalamus of your brain, is regulated and impacted by many physiological processes such as body temperature, blood pressure and secretion of digestive juices.

The circadian rhythm, also referred to as the “internal body clock,” is naturally set to induce feelings of wakefulness during the day that gradually slow down and turn to sleepiness at nighttime. Oftentimes, it’s common to experience feelings of mid-afternoon sleepiness as a part of the circadian schedule.

Waking hours is the other factor to daytime sleepiness. For example, if you work a night shift and find yourself having difficulty falling asleep the next night it could be due to a disruption in your circadian rhythm, resulting from your 16 hours of wakefulness beginning earlier and ending earlier — causing you to feel drowsy in the late afternoon or early evening hours.

Power Naps at Work can Increase Productivity

Just taking a six-minute nap can help with information retention and memorization. In addition, research has shown that a nap improves:

  • Learning
  • Memory
  • Creative thinking
  • Problem solving

According to Inc.com, companies like Apple, Google, Uber, Huffington Post and Zappos have jumped on the nap “wagon” and consider napping a strategic company move, even going so far as to designate nap rooms for their employees.

Another recent study showed the benefits a planned 40-minute nap had on improving the alertness and performance of air traffic controllers working the night shift. Currently, research is in the works to improve the sleep policies of fire departments as well.

Some experts, however, still continue to believe that daytime naps may steal hours from nighttime sleep. They recommend if you do take daytime naps to take them in the mid-afternoon and limit them to 30 minutes.

Other Countries Embrace Benefits of Daytime Siestas

Taking a nap after lunch in other countries like Portugal, Spain, many Latin American countries, the Philippines, China, Italy, India, the Middle East and North Africa is commonplace and encouraged.  Some countries like Argentina take naps very seriously and have a reserved time of the day for siestas that is considered a sacred time. And it’s not unusual for an employee in Japan to take a nap in a “napping room” or at their “desk pillow” during office hours.

Another study conducted in Greece showed the more people napped, the lower their risk of dying from heart disease and stroke.

Specific study findings touting the benefits of napping include:

  • People who napped regularly during the day for at least 30 minutes three times a week or more had a 37 percent lower risk of coronary mortality than those who did not sleep during the day
  • The strongest link between lower coronary mortality and napping during the day was found among working men
  • Even people who napped occasionally had a 12 percent lower coronary mortality compared to those people who did not nap at all

Top Napping Tips

If you are looking for the best way to take a nap, here are some tips to get the most out of your daytime naps:

  • Set a timer or alarm for 30 minutes: This is the ideal amount of time for your body to reenergize and relax. A nap any longer than 30 minutes will put you in a deeper sleep cycle, causing feelings of grogginess and making it harder to focus and concentrate once you awake.
  • Create an ideal nap area: Be sure that the room is dark, free of distractions and at a comfortable temperature. You can use eye shades and relaxing music to help you fall asleep faster.
  • Schedule your nap time: Don’t wait until you’re ready to topple over from exhaustion, or worse get behind the wheel to drive home, before you take your nap. If you start taking naps at the same time and for the same duration each day, your body will have an easier time adjusting.
  • Drop any guilty feelings: Instead of thinking of yourself as lazy, think of how much more productive and alert you will be after napping.

American Sleep Habits

The reasons for sleep deprivation among Americans run the gamut from kids, work, stress, and even addictions to the Internet. According to a survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1 out of 10 people admitted to not getting enough sleep in the past 30 days, and the part of the country feeling the most sleep-deprived are those on the east coast.

Other findings from the survey clarified who is and who isn’t getting enough sleep:

  • Hispanics slept better than whites or blacks
  • Men slept better than women
  • A whopping 25.8 percent of people who were unable to work said they had not gotten a single night’s good rest in the previous month
  • 13.9 percent of unemployed people also said they hadn’t gotten a good night’s sleep in the past month, compared to 9.9 percent of people with jobs and 11.1 percent of students and homemakers

And by state the Westerners are sleeping more soundly than those on the East Coast:

  • 19.3 percent of West Virginians ranked the highest in sleep deprivation reporting no nights of adequate rest for the past 30 days

They were followed by:

  • Tennessee: 14.8 percent have been sleep deprived for the past month
  • Kentucky: 14.4 percent
  • Oklahoma: 14.3 percent
  • Californians: 8 percent
  • North Dakotans: 7.4 percent
  • 12 of the 14 best-sleeping states were west of the Mississippi

Authors of the survey attribute the struggles in the Southeastern U.S. with getting a good night’s sleep to having a higher rate of obesity, hypertension and other chronic diseases.

© Health Realizations Institute

Honoring Father’s Day 2017!

This month we celebrate all of the Father’s and Grandfather’s in our lives. 

I personally I not a big fan of “hallmark” holidays, but I have to admit that if we didn’t have Mother’s and Father’s day… we probably would not stop to take a moment to thank these wonderful people that have shaped so much of our lives.

Today, and this month I honor my Father.  My father passed little over 2 years ago.  This was the poem that we included in his memorial brochure.

Our father kept a garden 
A garden of the heart
He planted all good things
That gave our lives a start

He turned us to the sunshine
And encouraged us to dream
The seeds of what we’ll be

We are our father’s garden
We are his legacy

It is so true that Fathers lay the foundation for our future.  My father came to the United States with nothing, slowly built a life in American.  He worked tirelessly to put his 3 daughters through college.  He raised us with a strong sense of self and work ethic, all the while loving us unconditionally.  While my father was stern and strict, he was also generous, kind and compassionate.   If he was wrong about something, he had the courage to admit he was wrong and apologize.   I am so lucky that I got to spend over 40 years with my father.  While I wish he was with us today, I know that he is in a better place and he continues to live on within me, my sisters and all of his beautiful grandchildren. 

Father’s Day is Sunday, June 18th.

In Health,


12 Months of Wellness | Month 6 – Movement

12 Months of Wellness - Movement

This month we are encouraging you to move your body every chance you get. It’s summer and the perfect time of year to introduce more physical activity to your routine. There’s more reason than ever to move your body. Studies are now showing that Americans are literally sitting themselves to death. We sit in long commutes to work, we sit behind a desk for eight or more hours per day, then when we get home and sit in front of the TV to relax. Sadly our modern lifestyles require less movement in our day and that means our overall health is at stake.

Sitting for long periods has been linked to type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and blood sugar, obesity, unhealthy cholesterol levels and has even shown to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. It has also been reported that going to the gym a couple times per day doesn’t counter the effects of sitting.

The solution is more movement overall. Ideally create a plan to move your body for at least a few minutes every hour. Here are some ways to add movement to your day:

  • talk a walk on your lunch break
  • purchase or create a stand up desk
  • do a set of stairs every hour on the hour
  • have random dance breaks in your office and encourage your coworkers to join in
  • after work incorporate swimming, hiking, biking, running, and walking as a way to decompress from the day
  • get up and stretch during tv commercials

The benefits of moving your body throughout the day are numerous. When we sit our bodies natural process to break down sugars and fats halts. The simple act of standing turns that process back on and is so important to keep us healthy. When we add more exercise to our day we burn more calories and that’s great for our waistline. Movement also encourages a healthier mental state.

Use this months downloadable worksheet to keep yourself happy and healthy and do what you can to get up and move your body throughout the day.

Here are my intentions so you can see how simple this can be:





10 Habits of Being a Happy Mother

I will admit it. I am a self-help junkie. I love reading personal development books and now that I am a mother that still hasn’t changed. I just finished reading the book, The 10 Habits of Healthy Mothers, by Meg Meeker. It served as a reminder of how to live a rich, peaceful and simple life. The habits I have heard before, it is even more important that I remind myself to stay focused on what is important in life and to live in the present moment.

Here are the 10 habits:
1) Understand your value as a Mother and/or an individual
2) Maintain a strong support system
3) Value and practice faith
4) Say no to competition
5) Create a healthy relationship with money
6) Make time for solitude
7) Give and get love in healthy ways
8) Live more simply
9) Let go of fear
10) Cultivate hope

Remember life is too short to waste it on worrying, gossip and stressing out. One of the most important things that I have learned in my lifetime is to not compare myself to others. This is extremely hard! Especially in a culture that is constantly making comparisons and marketing that makes us feel inadequate with what we have. Cultivate the feeling of gratitude each day of your life, and be grateful for all the little things we experience and have on a daily basis.

Happy Mother’s Day!

12 Months of Wellness | Month 5 – Breath & Chiropractic


Welcome to month five of our 12 Months of Wellness. We are so thrilled that you are taking these monthly steps to improve your overall wellness. If you are just now being introduced to our 12 Months of Wellness you can find the full series here.

Our breath is so much more than just an automatic response to keep us oxygenated and alive. Our breath is the simplest tool we have to calm our physical, emotional and mental states. Next time you’re running late, feeling stressed at work or anxious about an upcoming event tune into your body. You’re likely to notice that your heart is racing and your breathing is short and high in your chest. This is because you are in a heightened stress response and your body is on high alert.

The quickest way to relax your nervous system is through conscious breathing practices. This can be as simple as focusing on your breath and consciously taking several slow, deep breaths, fully filling your lungs.

The 4-7-8 Relaxation Breath, recommended by Dr. Andrew Weil, is a technique to help you relax, quiet your mind and even fall asleep easily. This practice is simple, doesn’t take much time and it’s free, so try it next time you need to calm you nerves.

The 4-7-8 Relaxation Breath technique:

  1. Exhale all of your breath through your mouth.
  2. Inhale through your nose to the count of 4.
  3. Hold your breath to the count of 7.
  4. Exhale audibly through your mouth for the count of 8.
  5. Repeat this several times and notice how it helps you relax.

Breath and Chiropractic

You may wonder what the connection is between breath and chiropractic. Well, both actually have a direct effect on the health and function of the nervous system and can affect our ability to heal, as well as feel balanced and calm.

Often times, our breath can even be a gauge for our spinal wellness. When our spine is out of balance, we may experience a shortness of breath caused by a stress response. A misaligned vertebrae at the base of our skull can create pressure on our brain causing the release of stress hormones, putting us in a flight or flight response. Chiropractic adjustments relieve pressure and help to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, our natural state of relaxation.

Use this months downloadable worksheet to tune into your breath and set intentions to address any issues you may be experiencing.

Here are my intentions so you can see how simple this can be:





If you commit to a regular conscious breathing practice and still find yourself anxious and out of sorts it may be time to visit a Chiropractor. Click here to read more on Chiropractic Care.


Gratitude is a muscle… don’t forget to exercise it

I don’t know if it is the way our brains are wired, but for some reason it is so hard to appreciate something until you lose it.  When things become part of our daily routine, we take these things for granted.  Things as simple as, running water that comes to our home in a limitless supply, electricity, the internet, cell phones etc.  It isn’t until we lose things or people that we come to appreciate them.  

For me, I am always trying to be grateful for my health.  Many times, people treat their cars better than they treat their bodies.   When we feel good and have energy we take our health for granted.  It isn’t until we encounter some type of health crisis that we wake up to the fact that having good health and energy is the ultimate gift in life.

When you don’t feel good, and are struggling to get through the day, your quality of life really suffers.  When you are in constant pain, I know you can wonder is life worth living.  Today, I am here to remind you, that your body is a temple.   It gives you the strength to not only survive the day, but to thrive.  It gives you the motivation to work hard and enjoy life.   Remember, that nothing is worth sacrificing your health for.  If you are overstressed, overworked and not taking care of yourself, take a moment to reflect on what your life would  feel like if you were to create more spaciousness.  If you created time for you, to eat healthy, to exercise, to have down time just doing nothing, sounds amazing right?

I know many of us work to enjoy our life, eating out, going to concerts, filling our home with new furniture, buying new clothes etc. etc.  Could you imagine living a more simple life, with a smaller home or even being in an apartment?  The tradeoff would be greater financial and time margin to focus on yourself, not having to do things that are costly.  Instead it is about reading books, taking long walks or hikes, learning new recipes and cooking more at home.  Spending time with friends and enjoying good company over a cup of tea.  Click here to read more on living a simple and uncomplicated life. 

Here is to your health!  Celebrate it every day!


The Secret to Successful Athletic Training – Stretching and Sports Massage

Movement-1000Whether you are a professional or amateur athlete, or simply a weekend warrior – when you train (i.e. run, bike, lift weights, swim, etc) you are putting stress on your muscles in order to build strength, stamina, and endurance for your particular sport. This process of building up and breaking down muscles causes them to become tight and short, which restricts circulation and creates muscular imbalances. All of these conditions are a normal byproduct of training but all need to be nurtured in order to enhance performance and prevent injury.

Cause and Effect of Conditions

  • Tight muscles – Muscles move our bones by the connective tissue (fascia) that envelopes and connects them to our bones via tendons. Chronically tight muscles can put excessive stress on our tendons which can lead to tendinitis, and in some cases tendon pulls and tears which can put an athlete out for weeks if not months.
  • Restricted circulation – Muscles are made of microscopic fibers surrounded by tiny capillaries that nourish the muscle with blood. If they become too tight the blood flow is greatly decreased, cutting off the supply of oxygen and glycogen to the muscle. Without proper fuel, the muscle(s) simply can’t perform properly.
  • Muscular imbalances – There are two types of muscles – slow twitch (postural) and fast twitch (movers). The former metabolizes fuel for long sustained efforts, and when stressed tends to shorten. Fast twitch muscle fibers utilize higher amounts of oxygen than slow twitch fibers to produce quick bursts of energy and tend to weaken under stress. This juxtaposition causes an imbalance in opposing muscle groups and an inefficiency in the way the body works. It is very important to restore balance by lengthening short/tight muscles and re-energize weakened ones in order to maximize their capacity.

Simple Solution

Massage treatment

Massage treatment

In order to compete and/or perform at your very best, all athletes (from amateurs to professionals) have to address the issues above. The good news is there are two incredibly simple solutions – stretching and massage.

Stretching is an often overlooked, yet essential component of training, especially in new and amateur athletes. They tend to be focused on the “no pain, no gain” aspect and want to push their bodies to the limit. This IS part of training and the other part is recovering and taking care of themselves, which includes spending almost as much time stretching and lengthening your muscles as you do strengthening them.

Sports massage should also play an important role in all training plans. You invest hours of time and energy, and copious amounts of money on gear, coaches, travel and more. Massage is part of this investment. It is like having an insurance policy that your body will operate well so you can have an optimal performance. Some people think of massage as a very passive and pampering type of activity. Sports massage is far from this stereotype for the client is actively participating in the session.  During a sport massage session the client is ask to engage specific muscle groups  to activate our bodies natural reflexes and responses to  achieve  a deeper therapeutic stretch.    Also movement and resistant by the client is used to enhance the effectiveness of traditional massage strokes to achieve an optimal result.

Both stretching and massage help bring your muscles back to a state where they can operate most efficiently from a physiological and structural standpoint. When they are lengthened and pliable, blood flows freely and they are able to work effectively and efficiently.

And most importantly, your massage can enhance your body awareness, alerting you to potential problem areas, before they turn into real issues that would affect your ability to train and compete.

Don’t forget about the diaphragm

The diaphragm is the muscle that we engaged every time we breathe and like any other muscle it is susceptible to dysfunction.  If it is not operating efficiently, your body is running on low octane rather than high octane fuel. Getting regular massage work on this area can enhance your lung capacity!

For more information about recovering from an injury with a massage call The Wellness Center Today! 303-357-9355


Transformation is found in the slow and steady… the power of fasting and cleansing

I am on day 4 of the Isagenix 11 day cleanse.  Today, was our second fasting day.  A fasting day is a day that we only consume liquids and minimal snacks.   I have done this cleanse many times, each time it has been hard, but in the end always worth the struggle and work.  This time around, I am feeling very zen and calm.   I don’t have any strong emotions towards eating certain foods, and no main cravings are rearing their nasty heads. 

As I sip my cleanse for life (liquid Isagenix cleansing agent), my senses feel more awakened.  When I smell food I feel my stomach growl, but I am able to easily say “no.”  Typically cleansing and fasting is a mental game, it is game of letting go of impulsivity and ultimately control over what we put in our bodies. We live in a culture of abundance and instant gratification… where typically we can get any kind of food we want 24/7.  Fasting is not only a physical purging, but a mental purging of those foods we have become addicted to… the ones that are the hardest to let go of.  Cleansing and fasting is about losing weight and improving your health,.  There is another side benefit that comes with restriction and discipline.   It helps you become a stronger person, it gives you more “grit” to weather the storms of everyday life.   It also builds your confidence level, once you complete a cleanse or fast, others challenges don’t seem as daunting.  We are stronger than we think!

I have definitely come a long way… when I did my first Isagenix cleanse 10 plus years ago, I was detoxing off of sugar and candy, and believe me I feel off the ban wagon and cheated, but you just keep going, if you fall off just be kind to yourself and start again.  That is the best thing we can do for ourselves, don’t dwell on the things you did wrong… instead focus on getting back on track.  Over the past 10 years after many cleanses and learning to eat more healthy… my taste buds have changed drastically.  I no longer eat a lot of candy or consume a lot of sugar.  In many ways this cleanse has been the easiest for me since I didn’t need to change my diet drastically or cut back on anything addictive.  Once again… I have been cleansing for 10 plus years.  If you are cleansing for the first time, please be gentle with yourself.  We have to honor where we are in our own process and life.

Personal transformation is a process that is slow and steady.  Anything worth doing, whether it is saving money, losing weight, getting healthy, building a business, growing friendships and marriages, the process is slow and steady.   There is something in our humanness that rebels against slow, mundane and steady.  Instead we want fast, exciting and instant.   Ultimate joy is found through the discipline of slow and steady.

Today, I celebrate the discipline found through cleansing and fasting.  When things seem hard in life and you want to take the easy road… remember you will reap amazing benefits if you remember to take things slow and steady.  In the process be kind and gentle with yourself, do your best at that moment.  Things will only get better and easier.

To your health!

Sharon Hwang

5 benefits of Fasting and Cleansing:

1)      Changes the function of cells, genes and hormones.   The body induces cellular repair processes, flushing out wastes in your system.

2)      Lose weight and belly fat.  When you fast, insulin levels drop significantly, this facilitates fat burning.

3)      You can reduce insulin resistance, lowering your risk of Type 2 Diabetes.  Fasting has been shown to have major benefits for insulin resistance.

4)      Fasting can reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the body, improving your overall immune system.  Oxidative stress accelerates the aging process and increases inflammation.

5)      Fasting brings great awareness, helps you break your addiction to eating certain food and helps people feel more connected to life and brings a more clear sense of awareness in your surroundings.


12 Months of Wellness | Month 4 – Sleep & Acupuncture


Welcome to month four of our 12 Months of Wellness. We want to congratulate you if you’ve made it this far. If you are just now being introduced to our 12 Months of Wellness you can find the entire series here.

This month we are helping you understand the connection between sleep, stress and overall well-being. We invite you to check in with your sleep patterns and make some minor changes to your day if you find yourself ever having trouble sleeping.

Most adults have experienced insomnia or sleeplessness at one time in their lives. An estimated 30%-50% of the general population are affected by insomnia, and 10% have chronic insomnia. The concern is if you don’t address short term sleeplessness it may develop into chronic insomnia.

Some signs of insomnia and sleeplessness:

  • You lay in bed for hours, feeling tired but unable to fall asleep
  • You toss and turn when you sleep at night
  • You have a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep
  • You feel lethargic and groggy after you wake up

In our fast-paced lifestyles, stress can often cause us to give up sleep in order to catch up on work or other responsibilities. This can cause us problems when trying to fall asleep and many of us reach for over the counter or prescription sleep aids which only put a band-aid on the problem, rather than address the root of the cause.

Many of the causes of short-term sleeplessness and insomnia are similar and they include:

  • Changes in work schedule
  • Jet lag
  • Excessive or unpleasant noise
  • Uncomfortable room temperature (too hot or too cold)
  • Stressful situations in life (exam preparation, loss of a loved one, unemployment, divorce, or separation)
  • Presence of an acute medical or surgical illness or hospitalization
  • Withdrawal from drug, alcohol, sedative, or stimulant medications
  • Insomnia related to high altitude (mountains)
  • Long hours at a computer screen

Tips to help you sleep better:

  • Keep a consistent sleeping schedule
  • Keep your room completely dark and quiet
  • Maintain the temperature of your room not hotter than 70 degrees
  • Find ways to reduce your stress levels like warm baths and meditation
  • Receive Acupuncture treatments
  • Eliminate the use of back lit screens several hours before bed

How Acupuncture can help to improve your sleep:

Acupuncture is effective in treating stress induced sleep issues by balancing the endocrine/hormone regulated activities. Chronic stress causes our stress hormones to become hyperactive, this in turn suppresses our feedback hormone. Acupuncture helps to regulate the endocrine system by needling acu-points selected for the insomnia and our bodies adjust the feedback system and normal sleeping are patterns restored.

Sleep problems due to medication and some other physiological causes span from circadian rhythm disorders, sleep-wake imbalance, to a variety of medical conditions are more complex to treat. If you need a day off work then check out this article to get a sick note. This will take a longer period of time to treat the underlying conditions and causes of the sleep issues.

You do not have to put up with sleepless nights. Simple changes in your daily habits like getting to bed at the same time every night and turning off the computer and tv screen well before bed can resolve short-term sleeplessness and restore your much needed rest. Use this months downloadable worksheet to assess your sleeping patterns and set intentions to get a better night’s sleep.

Here are my intentions so you can see how simple this can be:





Dr. Tsai is our on-site Acupuncturist and she can help you with any sleeping issues you may be experiencing. Remember short term sleep problems can develop into chronic insomnia, schedule a session today. Click here to learn more about Dr. Tsai.

Click here for more information on sleep and insomnia.


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