Our health isn’t something that happens separate from the rest of our lives. Everything we do, eat, drink, feel, and think affects the way our bodies function. We all know this on a basic level but all too often we dismiss the larger implications of this when it comes to our diets and how much exercise we get. It is vital that we take an active role in our own health or suffer the consequences. One of my favorite quotes is this;
“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in care of the human frame, diet, and the cause and prevention of disease.” ~ Thomas Edison.
Another, which is anonymous, is harsher but nonetheless true;
“Those who can’t find time for exercise will be forced to find time for disability.”
We might not like these words of wisdom because they squarely place the responsibility for our lives on our own shoulders. Wouldn’t it be so much easier to just go to the doctor and have them give you a pill or something? Indeed it would be but the long term results of not being your body’s caretaker will show themselves eventually. We must all do the best we can to eat right, exercise regularly, and be mindful of our emotional states so that we can respect what they are telling us. Any time you have pain and suffering, whether physical or mental/emotional, it is merely your body and spirits’ way of bringing your attention to an area that needs help. Your body speaks to you and you must honor it by listening.
What part does Acupuncture play in preventative healthcare? I’ve written about the various illness that can be treated by Chinese Medicine, but its usefulness does not stop, or I should say begin, there. In school, we were taught that when treating patients, you must first look at their lifestyles. Before any treatment occurs, people are encouraged to examine the way they are living and see if any changes need to be made. If we were to take better care of ourselves a majority of our health problems would resolve themselves. Acupuncture is ideally used preventatively. If you are doing what is good for yourself then using Acupuncture to maintain good health is a wise choice. Whether coming for stress reducing treatments or just to recharge yourself, having your Qi harmonized every 3 to 6 months will help you stay on track with your own health care. I always tell patients that once the initial problem is under control it is a good idea to come back every few months to make sure that you stay healthy. This way you prevent your body systems from returning to old patterns that lead to discomfort in the first place. It isn’t easy and we’re all humans who don’t follow the rules from time to time, but your health is more in your own hands than you realize. Make sure you treat yourself well!