1. Meditation: This is my new daily habit that I mentioned in my post on my new routines for 2014. I've been really consistent with this so far and am up to 16 minutes now - hurray! Meditation is a tool that's available to absolutely anyone - after all it's completely free and you don't even need any equipment to get started (yes, I know a gorgeous meditation cushion would be nice, but a chair will do just fine). The documented health benefits of daily meditation seem nearly miraculous - it's so powerful that researchers at Harvard found that after 2 months of daily mediation, the genes of the study participants that help fight inflammation, kill diseased cells and protect the body from cancer all began to switch on (more details here). Pretty incredible stuff! Meditation is also known to boost overall immunity and help calm and focus the mind as well as improve memory. With all those benefits, I'm extremely motivated to stick with my new habit :)
2. Oil pulling: This technique has been growing in popularity the past few years, so you *might* have heard it mentioned somewhere. Basically, this practice involves swishing (or "pulling") oil around in your mouth for about 15 minutes or so, first thing in the morning before you eat (organic coconut or sesame oil are most commonly used). Sounds weird, I know, but it's an ancient Ayurvedic practice purported to have many health benefits. The reason I was drawn to it was that I've struggled with oral health issues (despite fastidious oral hygiene) and I thought I didn't have much to lose by giving it a try. My mouth definitely feels the cleanest it ever has after my daily oil pulling (I follow it up by a salt water rinse, then brush my teeth). I do the oil pulling while I'm in the shower, so it doesn't take any "extra" time in and of itself. You can read more about oil pulling here and here if you want to know more about it!
3. Nettle tincture: I began using my own homemade nettle tincture to help with my seasonal allergies this spring, but when I did more research and discovered its wide-ranging health benefits, I decided to make this herb part of my daily life year-round. I take a dropperful of tincture once a day.
4. Afternoon Herbal tea: Okay, drinking herbal tea isn't all that quirky I guess, although the one I brew up for my "afternoon pickup" is a lot different than most of those you will get prepackaged in a box! I wrote in more detail here about exactly what's in my afternoon cup of tea and why I picked those specific ingredients. I've been adding about ¼ - ½ tsp or so of rosehips to this basic blend for an extra immune boost during cold and flu season. This only takes me a couple of minutes to put together and not only is it packed full of health promoting goodness, it's pretty tasty too. If you don't have access to high quality herbs locally, I highly recommend Mountain Rose Herbs - their prices are great and the quality is fantastic.
5. Acupressure and Energy Medicine: I wrote about this topic almost 3 years ago here on the blog - you can find that post here. While this goes well beyond quirky for some people :) my personal experience is that these techniques can be extremely powerful. I do a modified version of this 5 minute energy routine developed by Donna Eden as part of my morning routine and I may add in some specific acupressure techniques as well, depending on whether I feel I need some further support in either the physical or mental health department :) Acupressure's usually one of the first things I turn to for acute issues like nosebleeds, motion sickness, headaches, earaches, congestion, etc. as well. If you're interested in trying out acupressure, you can find a variety of YouTube videos on this topic here or for more detailed information the book Acupressure's Potent Points is an excellent resource.
While I have found that all of the above practices have enhanced my personal health and well being, as always I encourage you to do your own research before starting any new health regimen, and consulting with your health practitioners if necessary. And yes, that link to Mountain Rose Herbs is an affiliate link :)
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