Are you Living, or Just Alive?

Life is described as many things by different people, but one thing it can never be defined as is stagnant.

Life is always changing, evolving, increasing, or decreasing in capacity. It is in a constant state of flux.  While you are sitting there seemingly doing nothing, your body is always on the job building and repairing tissue, creating new cells, growing hair and nails, digesting food, etc.  The degree to which your body is able to do these things depends primarily upon the health and vibrancy of your meridian system. There are certainly other factors that come into play such as proper nutrition, level of exercise and adequate rest, but even their potency is diminished when shackled by a weakened supply of energy flowing through the meridian system.  Life is supported by the meridian system and emanates outward into all of your cells, muscles, nerves, organs and tissues.  All other variables being equal, the body is at its healthiest when there is a steady and free flow of energy within the meridian system.  When the meriLiving or Dyingdian system is blocked, or out of balance, your quality of life diminishes.  Think of it as a hose that is pinched and not able to supply the adequate amount of water to a growing plant. Eventually the plant will  die from lack of water.

It is not necessarily safe to assume that you are at your healthiest, or to put it another way, at your most alive, simply because you are living, breathing, and exhibiting no obvious pain or symptoms.  While your level of health may seem completely stable on the outside, in actuality it can be fluctuating under the surface.  A cavity quickly becomes a very painful toothache when the nerve is exposed, but the process leading up that point can take months, or even years.  Nobody would argue that all the while the tooth was unhealthy under the surface even in the absence of symptoms.  To ensure that your body remains at its healthiest, it is essential to maintain a balanced, optimally functioning meridian system and to continually supply your body with the power that it needs to thrive. To merely be symptom-free is not enough.  While many people associate acupuncture with pain relief, the true essence of an acupuncture treatment is to support the normal and balanced flow of energy within the body.

Hungry Thoughts

Someone pointed out that I often say, “I shouldn’t be hungry!”

Hunger

Which, if you think about it, is a very ludicrous thing to say.  

This statement points out that I believe that one day I will get to the point where I will no longer feel hunger or need to feed myself.  

And I will get to that point someday: when I die.

But for now, I need to eat and I need to eat more than once every couple of weeks because I am not a snake.  

And you may be thinking, of course you need to eat, this is silly.  But many people have these same kinds of thoughts about taking herbs:  

  • I just need to take this herbal formula once, right?
  • I took the herbs the practitioner gave me but nothing happened.  It must not have worked.
  • The practitioner gave me herbs and I took them for a couple of days but I got bored, could not remember, did not like the taste, etc and I quit taking them.  
  • Awhile ago I took an herbal formula; I should never have to take an herbal formula again, should I?

Chinese-Herbs-for-Weight-Loss

Herbs are food.  If you need food to live everyday of your life, it would stand to reason that you could use herbs everyday of your life as well, especially if the quality of life that you are experiencing is not what you want.  Herbs are superfoods, packed densely with quality nutrients.  When so much food is becoming denatured and void of nutrition, it is important to get it from high quality sources.  

I tend to be the kind of person that prefers to eat different things, not the same thing everyday.  Different kinds of food provide my body different compounds that it needs.  Just the same, different herbs give us different minerals and benefit different acupuncture meridians; so different formulas could be needed as the body’s needs shift and change.  

The only way to determine which herbal formula is good for your body at this moment is to notice what is happening and let your practitioner know what you are experiencing.  Your practitioner will be able to take your pulses and adjust your formula to give you herbs that will benefit your body where it is right now.  

Herbs only work if you take them, just like good food only nourishes us if we eat it.  We can think about leafy greens all we want but until we put them in our mouth, we are not getting their nutrients.  A practitioner may give us herbs but if we are not taking them they might benefit the container they are in but won’t do us a bit of good.  

Herbs, as a general rule, do not stay in the body for long periods of time.  If you are not taking your herbs in the recommended dosage and schedule that the practitioner has laid out for you, chances are you won’t notice them doing anything because they have not been able to reach the level in the body that is necessary to effect change.  

Herbal formulas may need to be taken for longer than the original amount given.  Practitioners tend to give small amounts in the beginning, maybe a weeks worth, to see how an herbal formula works for you.  It is important to check back in the time frame that a practitioner determines so that they can monitor how things are going.  A formula may be too strong or you may be experiencing issues that could be better served by another formula.  

Herbs can be a wonderful compliment to many different wellness and longevity plans.  But wait: do you hear that sound?  Yup, that is the sound of my stomach growling.  I need to go give it some grub with a side of herbs; because I do plan to live a long time!

 

Great Taste – and So Much More!

One of the best things you can do for your body is to feed it real, wholesome, nutritious foods. If you can find locally grown organic products, even better. The benefits of going organic include less pesticide contamination, higher nutrient content, no genetic modifications, no irradiation, more humane treatment of animals and respect for the land, and better taste. Of all these health benefits, the only subjective one is taste.

So let’s say you are looking over some produce and you are deciding whether to go organic or stick with the conventional version. If your primary concern is the health of you and your family, then it’s a no-brainer; go with the organic. If, however, your decision is based solely on taste, it’s a toss up, as some report a distinct advantage to organic while others claim no taste difference between organic and conventional.

Here’s the point. If you are making your purchasing decisions based entirely on taste, you are risking missing out on all the other healthy benefits of choosing organic.

Local organic food

When it comes to acupuncture and the health of your body, pain relief is like the organic taste test.

While most people are prompted to pursue acupuncture care as the result of pain or other symptoms, those who limit it to simple pain relief are cheating themselves of so much more.

The real impact of acupuncture lies in its ability to help the body heal and regulate itself. We know that energy flows in the meridian system, and that imbalances and blockages of energy in the meridian system lead to various symptoms and signs.

Whether imbalances are felt or not, the end result is the same: loss of the normal flow of the body’s energy and compromised health.

Roughly 15-20% of the time these imbalances result in pain. Most of the time, however, they cause no symptoms and go undetected. So if the majority of people who are out of balance with blocked energy flow base their decision to choose acupuncture solely on the way they feel, then they will most likely delay care, and their health will continue to decline. Organic is not just about taste, and acupuncture certainly isn’t only about pain relief.

While feeling great is desirable, the full scope of acupuncture’s benefits can only be realized beyond the initial relief phase of care. Once you are feeling better, be sure to utilize acupuncture for ongoing health and wellness. Pain relief, like great taste, is just the tip of the iceberg!