I am excited to launch a new series called "Ask an expert". In this blog series I will share with you top tips from experts in their field to help you get a better night sleep and feel calmer as you go about your day.
Today's interview is with Dr Marina Christov.
Dr Marina is traditional Chinese Medicine doctor with more than 20 years experience. She provides patients in Melbourne with a holistic approach to health and wellbeing as well as creating her own wellness products to enhance rejuvenation and for their specific healing benefits.
- What are some of the signs/symptoms one might experience if their levels of stress are getting out of hand?
In general, if stress is out of control, one will feel wired but exhausted.. This manifests as someone who finds it difficult to relax, a person who cannot switch their mind off, feels anxious and scattered and is easily irritated. They frequently feel overwhelmed and have strong cravings for sugar or salt and caffeine. They would typically need wine to wind down.
Along with sleep issues, they may also have gastrointestinal discomfort ( such as bloating, constipation, and frequent bowel movements),frequent headaches, PMS, neck and shoulder tension and of course sleep problems. If prolonged, these symptoms can turn into more chronic conditions.
- What are your top tips for helping relieve stress?
To handle stress better, one must have a daily anti-stress protocol. This is usually a strong morning routine that sets up for the day and an evening routine that helps the body discharge the accumulated negative energy and stress from the body and mind.
Quick Morning routine:
- Get up 30 minutes earlier.
- 3 minutes of deep breathing/ meditation outdoors.
- 10 minutes of stretching or exercise, to your favourite music while the detox tea is brewing.
- Body brushing followed by a quick ( cold) shower with our “Awaken invigorate aromatherapy scrub”. (It could be any other product that uplifts)
There are so many wonderful herbal supplements and dietary recommendations that can assist with stress, however one must consult an experienced practitioner that can customise a protocol specific for the needs of the individual.
- Calming tea
- Switch off all electronics at least 90 minutes before bedtime.
- Warm shower or Bath with our Magnesium soak.
- Skin ritual ( gua sha with some lovely face oil)
- Magnesium oil massage on the soles of the feet.
- Gratitude Journal or some light reading.
- What are your top tips for getting a good night's sleep?
Besides following the evening routine, one should aim to go to bed at the same time every night.
To enable thorough detoxification, according to the Chinese Medicine body clock, we need to be asleep by 11 pm the latest.
The bedroom should be cool, with no TV or electronics.
One should pay particular attention to the look and feel of the bedroom.
Clutter disturbs us subconsciously as well as noise, electromagnetic pollution and strong colours.
Simple, soft and soothing colours coupled with beautiful sleep accessories, like silk pillows, make the ritual of sleep extra special. Deep breathing exercises are also really calming and a wonderful way to let go of the day.
There is a quote, from a Chinese Medicine master from the 3RD Century, that inspires me, and helps me attain depth when I am doing my breathing exercises.
“ The perfected breathe all the way to their heels, unlike ordinary folk who only breathe as far as their throats”.
- How do you relax after a stressful or hard day?
Cleansing bath rituals are a must for me, as I tend to absorb the energy of others.
I also enjoy receiving a massage or other kind of therapy from a caring professional, spending quality time with my family and friends, and strolling barefoot in the gardens or on the beach.