Four Letter Word

Fear. It has dominated most parts of my life. There have been many things I have done that I did not want to but was afraid to say no; there have been many things I have not done because I was afraid of doing them. In both directions, my life has been ruled by fear.

This applies to my wellness, too. I have done and not done things simply due to fear. ‘I need to have this test done because of scary stories about people who did not; I need to not eat that food because it will clog my arteries.’ Fear, fear, fear.Fear

Sometimes tests do need to be run; sometimes food really does clog my arteries. However, these decisions need to be based on something other than fear. When I act out of fear all I get is more fear; suddenly I am in a spiral that cannot be checked. Suddenly my health is no longer there because it has disappeared in a giant puff of fear.

Fear is such an ingrained response for me, I don’t even see it coming. I often think that I am operating on other principles; it is easy for me to fool myself. It is easy because our culture is bred on fear. We learn that fear is the natural response and what we should be feeling. “You are not afraid? What is wrong with you?”

Fear stops so much momentum in my life. It stops my very breath; when I am afraid I am not breathing. Life is based on breath and when I am holding my breath my life goes on hold: all motion stops. The funny thing is, motion helps me combat fear. When I am proactively taking steps on an issue there is always less fear than when I am cowering in a corner. Even if the steps are small, they are motion. 

Acupuncture works well with my fear. Each week that I come there is motion: the energetic motion created by the insertion of the needles and the physical motion of me showing up for an appointment. There is also the motion of me committing to a course of treatment and seeing it through.

The treatment itself works with my fear. Each time needles are inserted I learn another lesson about my body’s physical responses. I learn that responses I thought were negative and fearful are not necessarily. I learn how my body interacts in the world, a language I am very disconnected from.

Acupuncture asks me to be present in the moment and open to what is going on, another antidote for the fear nibbling at the sides of my brain. Any time I am severely caught in a fear reaction I am usually not present.  When I am caught in this reaction I am not engaging in life.  I am closing my door to all experiences, not just the scary ones.  

Acupuncture helps me to loosen the grip on the negativity that eats my brain. Fear and negativity are buddies. Acupuncture slowly replaces that negativity with positive truth; this is not the same as a sugar coated reality. Acupuncture does not allow me to circumnavigate my situation but it shows me how positivity exists even in hard places.

Acupuncture teaches me to be grateful for what is, the greatest remedy to fear. It teaches me to appreciate the journey; it allows me to move past that four letter word.


What’s In Your Carton?

If you’re like most people, before buying eggs at the grocery store you open the carton to check for broken shells. You’re probably not too surprised when you come across a cracked egg or two and you simply continue your search, rendering the previous carton useless. As you proceed, you notice that some cartons contain 1 broken egg, others contain 2, and still others have 3 or more. Finally you find what you came for, a carton with a perfect dozen eggs inside.

Why must you go through the process of opening each carton? Because you can’t tell anything about the contents by simply looking at the outside packaging. Every carton looks identical from the outside, yet theyeggscan be very different on the inside. To randomly choose any carton without knowing what’s inside would be a foolish and unnecessary risk.

The body is like our egg carton. It is often so good at compensating for imbalances, that what might look healthy and in balance from the outside can actually be masking underlying problems or symptoms. If left undetected, these imbalances can lead to chronic sickness, degeneration, and disease.

When it comes to our health, we’ve been taught that what you see and feel is what you get. If things look okay on the outside and you don’t have any symptoms, you must be healthy, right? We’ve come to learn that this is not the case. Many diseases and disorders such as cancer and heart disease have no symptoms or warning signs until the sickness is well into the advanced stage. Imbalances are no different.

Meridian imbalances are known as “silent problems”. They often go undetected because many times they are painless and reveal few outward signs or symptoms, yet all the while they are affecting your life-sustaining meridian system.

If there are enough cracked eggs in a carton, and they are left inside long enough, eventually they will begin to soak through and reveal themselves. Similarly, uncorrected imbalances will eventually show themselves as symptoms.

The only way to know for certain whether or not you have meridian imbalances is to either wait for your carton to soak through, or to open the carton and look inside with a acupuncture examination.

If you wouldn’t take a chance on a $3.00 carton of eggs, you certainly shouldn’t risk your most precious and priceless commodity: YOUR HEALTH!

Are You on a Slow Simmer?

There’s an old metaphor about a frog in boiling water. If you drop a frog in a pot of boiling water, he will immediately jump out because of the sudden, drastic change in temperature. If, however, you put a frog in a pot of tepid water and slowly bring it to a boil, the temperature change will be so subtle that the frog will never know what hit him as he boils to death.

Frog simmering

People are very similar to the frog when it comes to identifying underlying health problems and seeking help. Based on the perceived severity of the problem, you are either driven to action, or more prone to let the problem continue as a mere annoyance.

Those who have suffered a major trauma such as an auto accident, work injury, or slip and fall are like a frog dropped in boiling water. Because they have undergone such sudden and massive physical change they seek immediate action in correcting the damage done and look to professional help without delay. Bear in mind that these are the same people who would normally overlook more minor aches and pains without a second thought.

Why does one act so quickly in a situation like this? The injury happens so suddenly and swings them so far from their comfort zone that they will do whatever it takes to bring things back to normalcy as quickly as possible. After all, a knock in your engine is something that you would typically let go for awhile, but a sudden cloud of smoke billowing from under the hood would likely spur you to immediate action.

The majority of people, however, are like a frog in tepid water, on a slow simmer until eventually being brought to a boil. Most imbalances develop over time, and because they are often very subtle, and many times painless, the danger of their impact on our bodies goes unnoticed.

Over time, however, these imbalances are no less devastating to us than boiling water is to the frog. A slow drip in your attic might not seem like a big deal, but its cumulative effects can eventually send your ceiling crashing down.

Until we get into the habit of being proactive when it comes to our health, these “simmering” imbalances will always be a threat. Neutralizing that threat requires that we shift our thinking away from pain-based, symptom-relief care and more toward a system built around prevention and wellness.

If you know someone who has not been examined for imbalances yet, regardless of whether or not they are exhibiting any symptoms, send them in for a acupuncture evaluation. Let’s get them the help they need before their pot comes to a boil!