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I Know What I Want and I Want It Now!

Just a small trip back to the early 90’s.  As silly as it seems, not much has changed.  Well, maybe the background music but definitely not the sentiment.

We live in a society that wants everything now.  The faster, the better.  We want things yesterday, not in ten minutes.  This includes our food, our entertainment, and even our healing.

We want to be better now!  We want to take a pill, have it all go away (whatever our IT is), and go on with our lives.  Period.

Acupuncture and herbs don’t work that way.  (Sorry to bust your bubbles.)

This is (unfortunately) a scenario that sometimes happens here at the clinic:

People come, wanting to try acupuncture.  They are excited, it is something new; (or maybe they are nervous because it is something new.)  They exclaim they have tried everything else and nothing has worked.  Acupuncture is their last hope.  They are hedging all of their bets on this.

And then it happens: three, five, seven treatments and their “issues” have not resolved yet.  Or maybe there is change but other things are changing, not the issue they came for.

There is frustration, disappointment.  

They ask “How long will this take?  When can I stop coming?”

We encourage; we know it can be a long process.

They are disillusioned, don’t understand; they want it “now”. 

They quit coming, they don’t show up for an appointment, they quit taking their herbs.  They jump to another treatment strategy that is going to be “the one.”  This time something will work, and fast.  It is the best new thing.

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You can’t blame them, we all want instant fixes.  We live in a society that tells us this is justified, no matter what the topic.  We don’t have staying power or follow-through when it gets hard because we are told we don’t need it. 

People expect Oriental Medicine to work like Western medicine.  And it doesn’t.  Oriental Medicine is a whole body approach rather than isolating a symptom or an issue.  While Western medicine narrows down, Oriental Medicine broadens.  Neither are better or worse, they just work differently; you can’t apply the rules of one to the practice of the other.  

It is important to have a clear idea of what to expect when deciding to begin a course of treatment.  Rome was not built in a day and the issue you are seeking help for did not materialize over night.  

This can be deceiving; it may look like a symptom suddenly broke out but what were the energetic factors and conditions that contributed to it being able to appear at all?  How long were these present?  How long has the qi been stagnant and not circulating?  This is the place that Oriental Medicine attempts to address.

This means that results are gradual.  Acute conditions may have relief in a couple of months; chronic conditions may take years.  The process is gentle, energetic, and transformative; and not instant.  

The process involves taking a look at what habits you have that contribute to the condition and changing them; which can mean lots of self-examination.  It also means sticking through when it gets hard.  As with any transformation, you have to stay long enough to see the magic; and there is always that dark moment where we are asked if we want to turn back or if we want to keep going.

The beautiful thing about Oriental Medicine is it focuses on body balancing; simultaneously you are affecting areas and issues you weren’t even working on.  It is fun to see patients who come in for a session saying something that plagued them for years is suddenly gone, something they did not even think was worth mentioning in the intake; something the practitioner did not even know about.  

For those who are patient and have staying power, amazing things can happen.  You just have to hang in there, keep putting one foot in front of the other.

And the thing is, when you keep going, eventually does turn into now.

Detox Your Mind

detox your mind

Whether you realize it or not, one of the most powerful forces in your life is your self-image. A positive, healthy self-image can carry you to heights you’ve never imagined, while a negative self-image will pin you down like a lead weight.

To a large degree your self-image is influenced by the pictures and messages you continually feed into your mind. Positive, uplifting messages help to foster a healthy self image, while stories of doom and despair are sure to bring you down.

Your mind, just like your body, is conditioned by the pattern of your daily habits. If you get into the routine of exercising every day and putting wholesome nutritious food into your body, it is inevitable that your level of health will improve. By the same token, feasting on donuts and soda everyday while taking up permanent residence on the couch is like punching your ticket on the express train out of here.

By treating our minds like our bodies, that is feeding them what makes them healthier and exercising them the right way, we can make a complete shift in our mental make-up.

Detoxing your mind takes practice and discipline, but the payoff is invaluable. The eventual goal should be to always ooze positivity, but start by challenging yourself with a few days to a week of elevating your attitude and build from there. Journal your progress and take note of the changes that you see in yourself and in those around you.

Start by replacing the “junk food” that you force feed into your head with outrageously nutritious material. Focus on feeding nothing but positive, motivating things into your mind. This goes for what you watch, read, listen to, and most importantly, what you think.

Replace the dread and corruption reported on the evening news with a motivational reading, spiritual study, or uplifting music. Break away from gossip and get into the habit of passing out compliments.

If negative thoughts about yourself or someone else enter your mind (and they will) work on eliminating them or putting a positive spin on them. For example, instead of complaining that your water bill is too high, come up with creative ways to lower it or simply be thankful that you have running water at the turn of a knob.

You draw into your life those things that you consistently focus your time and energy on. Become a magnet for happiness and prosperity by continually thinking happy, prosperous thoughts. 

Orthodontics for your Health

One of the biggest myths about acupuncture is that “once you start, you have to go forever.”

First of all, it is entirely up to you how long you choose to continue to get treatments. Of course, like any other healthy habit, the longer you maintain it, the better your quality of life. But just to clear up some confusion, let’s look at the process of a comprehensive schedule of acupuncture care in another light.

Perhaps the most apt analogy for continuing care for the meridian system is reconstructive orthodontics for your teeth. Both disciplines consist of an initial phase of care that usually involves overcoming a weakness, followed by a reconstructive or rehabilitative phase of care, and finally culminating in wellness or maintenance.

The earliest phase of your care usually consists of the highest visit frequency. In cases of chronic imbalances within the meridian system it is common to initially require treatments a few days a week until your bodies energy is properly balanced and restored.

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Using our orthodontic analogy, this would be the point at which the brackets and wires are put on your teeth and you are seen for check-ups every couple weeks. Since there is no wire affixed within your meridian system, your acupuncture visits occur more frequently than orthodontic appointments, and are instead “wired together” by specific exercises, herbal prescriptions, self-care recommendations, etc.

As balance returns to your body, your visit frequency is diminished. This is the phase in which the orthodontist would also begin spacing out his visits and begin to “tweak” the wires to make fine adjustments to your teeth and allow them to settle into their new structural pattern. In both cases, this is a critical phase of care in that it is setting the stage for lifelong wellness or maintenance.

In regard to orthodontics, this is when you would be fitted for a retainer to be worn at least nightly for the rest of your life, or for as long as you wish to maintain healthy teeth.

As for acupuncture, this marks the transition to a schedule of wellness or maintenance care to ensure a lifelong abundance of health and well-being.

The maintenance or wellness phase of care is without a doubt the most important. What is sickness, but a lack of wellness? The whole objective of everything leading up to your wellness care is to get your body back to its natural state of balance. Once there, staying well is simply a matter of sustaining that balance.

Wear your retainer and maintain a life of health and wellness. Or neglect your maintenance and have the braces put back on? The choice is clear.

 

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