Adopting A Healthier Morning Ritual For Better Health

Sunday, 23 Feb 2014, 8:49:00 AM

Dr. Mao Shing Ni

Dr. Mao Shing Ni
Courtesy Photo
Dr. Mao Shing Ni

The way you begin your day sets the tone for the rest of the day. Over time, it sets the tone for your long-term health. Here are a few morning rituals that will start your day on the right foot for years to come.

A Morning Massage To Ease Awake

Many people wake up in the morning by jumping out of bed and plunging right into their activity-filled day. This jolt taxes the system and creates strain on weak artery walls. Additionally, the body experiences a sudden and dramatic increase in blood pressure, temperature, and heart rate compared to its sleep state.

When this is taken into account, it is no wonder that strokes and heart attacks commonly occur between 6 am and noon.

It is much more beneficial to your long-term health to wake up gradually with soft music, stretches, and self-massage before getting involved in your busy day.

A morning ritual has been passed down by the Chinese Taoists that softens the transition between sleep and awakening in a gently stimulating way:

• Begin massaging your sensory organs – your eyes, nose, lips, and ears – as soon as you wake up.

• Gently tap and brush your scalp with your fingertips.

• Then massage the rest of your body with a stroking action from your neck down to your shoulders, elbows, hands, chest and abdomen, hips, knees, and all the way down to your feet.

• Stroke your lower back with your palms. Inhale deeply into your nose and exhale through your mouth three times; this pushes out toxins.

• Then take three deep inhalations, filling your cells with vital oxygen.

Whole Oats For A Blockbuster Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it gives you the energy you need to function during your daily activities. Instead of your usual cold cereal, try substituting a warm bowl of whole oats. Your body will thank you for years to come.

Whole oats balance the body’s blood sugar levels by slowing the absorption of carbohydrates, and they also prevent colon cancer by binding toxic minerals and acids. Rich in antioxidants, whole oats keep cholesterol from sticking to artery walls.

The outer coating of oats contains a high concentration of soluble fibers, which help trap cholesterol and move it quickly through the intestines.

The saponins in oats increase production of natural “killer cells,” which play a critical role in the body’s supervision of the immune system.

These benefits are reserved for whole oats only; the oats that many people eat in refined form will not share the same lifelong health rewards because they contain very little of the precious bran that contains beta-glucan and saponins. So stick with unrefined whole oats.

Add to whole oats a good mixture of berries in season - especially blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries.

As another option, try apples or mandarin orange. For a sweetened taste, add raisins, honey, or date pieces. Simply add soymilk or almond milk, and you have a blockbuster breakfast!

May you live long, live strong, and live happy!

Dr. Mao Shing Ni, best known as Dr. Mao is a bestselling author, doctor of Oriental Medicine, and board certified anti-aging expert. He has recently appeared on “The Ricki Lake Show,” “Dr. Oz,” and contributes to Yahoo Health and The Huffington Post. Dr. Mao practices acupuncture, nutrition, and Chinese medicine with his associates at the Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica, Newport Beach, and Pasadena. Dr. Mao and his brother, Dr. Daoshing Ni, founded the Tao of Wellness more than 25 years ago in addition to founding Yo San University in Marina del Rey. To make an appointment for evaluation and treatment call 310.917.2200 or you can email Dr. Mao at To subscribe to his tip-filled newsletter, visit

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