Treat The Life, Treat The Body
There are a host of physical symptoms that relate to being ‘healthy’ but what about the rest of your life?
Can you be considered healthy if you are angry all the time?
If you spend your time married to someone you don’t like?
If you work in a job you hate?
In my office, these are all indicators of health. Self care is a big movement now and I am grateful for the awareness that it brings to people every day. I think, though, a better name for it would be: life care. Taking care of your life in a way that allows you to enjoy physical health and emotional / mental wellbeing is definitely something to strive for.
It is often said that the most important wealth is health and while I agree with that statement, I know plenty of physically healthy people that don’t enjoy or appreciate their lives.
I know I talk a lot about how much I love Chinese Medicine and I swear I love it for good reason. I love it so much because of it’s inability to separate your life from your health. I also love it because it can focus on helping you from different angles.
Chinese medicine can use the body to treat the life OR your life to treat your body. Usually, we like to do both at the same time for the best results.
I’ll give you an example. A few years ago, I had a patient who came in complaining of migraines. She was out for the count on a regular basis. During our first appointment, she mentioned having a mother who also had migraines. Now, it’s normal here to think “Oh, genetics” but, that’s not what I thought. She continued by saying that her mother was always having some ailment or another and wasn’t really available to her. Following that, she revealed the jackpot. She said: “I don’t want my daughter to feel the way about me that I did about my mother.”
This is important for two reasons.
Reason 1: This fear of recreating her feelings from childhood in her daughter were contributing to her migraines. Part of her therapy, in addition to acupuncture, was working through all the ways she was already different from her mother. I asked her to consider that just being aware enough to not want to recreate those feelings in her family now was probably something made her different.
Reason 2: I knew, at that very moment, that she had an incredibly strong motivating factor to improve her state of health. This relationship with her daughter was so important to her. It was visible in her eyes and obvious in her voice as she spoke. We added some ways for her to up her quality time with her daughter in her life as part of her treatments.
This was a few years ago now and we are still in contact. I asked her permission to share this story because it’s so powerful. She no longer has migraines and in fact only had them for another month or two after we started working. This is yet another case of a patient who was able to get amazing results by combining acupuncture and lifestyle changes in just a few short visits.
Do you have a recurring ailment?
What does it prevent you from experiencing in your life?
If you are able to answer these two questions honestly and with self compassion, you can use the answers to help you make lifestyle adjustments that will in turn, make you more physically healthy.