It’s not your fault!
I’ve discovered something so big recently that I just have to write about it. What I realized is that as a whole, there is often blame and shame from ourselves, family and friends, as well as some practitioners for our health situation. I can hear some of you right now saying, “Well, it is my fault I’ve gained 20 pounds,” or “It is my fault that I don’t go to the gym and I’m out of shape.” Or maybe you are looking at your significant other and thinking, “It is too their fault for being overweight and out of shape.” And while it is absolutely true that we must take responsibility for our health and well being, responsibility is very different than shame and blame. And there’s hope! Acupuncture helps a healthy lifestyle.
How it used to be
I’ve been in practice for 20 years, and the one thing that is increasingly significant to me is that people come to me with more and more serious health concerns. Twenty years ago, people would come in and have some muscle pain, and they might tell me they were stressed. I would do my needling magic, from the basis of methodology and science of course, they would feel much better, and life would be grand again.
Compared to how it is now
Fast forward twenty years and a lot of “stuff” has happened. We’ve gone through a very tense recession; technology has increased the speed at which information travels, which in turn makes us have so much more input to process; it makes us have to learn many more new things at a faster rate. Our cars have changed, our appliances talk to us, our phones are our computers. It is A LOT to process. And it causes our bodies an unbelievable amount of stress that we simply don’t acknowledge. As I have been heard to say, ”We can no longer manage the world we have created.”
Results of Stress
What are the results I am seeing from all that stress? Patients are having health crisis and issues, not because of poor health habits, rotten luck or genetic disposition, but because they are stressed about work, bad relationships, finances, caring for elderly parents, are lonely, or profoundly depressed. I have seen it manifest in my patients in having; increased pain levels so they cannot move like they once did, high levels of anxiety affecting sleep, trigeminal neuralgia, crushing fatigue and weariness, high blood pressure, inflammation that in turn is activating auto-immune responses that Western medicine simply wants to throw pharmaceuticals at.
Bottom line, your stress is controlling your health rather than you creating your health.
Whose fault is it?
So back to, it is my fault I’ve gained 20 pounds or I don’t work out. On one hand, ok, I get your point, but what I’ve learned is; when our bodies are so overtaxed by stress, even if you reduce your calories, you may not lose weight. Holding weight can be a physiological response to fear stress. It follows suit with exercising. If your body is already overtaxed and is holding on for dear life, (so to speak) than exercising (depending on the type) actually can do as much harm as good.
I personally do not feel stress is the absolute cause of disease. But I absolutely see stress as an impediment to healing. When our bodies need to heal, they have to feel safe. And when we are stressed out, our healing process is going to be slow or non-existent. I’ve started working with my patients with a different focus and asking different questions about their health. For most of my patients I am teaching an easy and very effective relaxation technique to start to calm the body, so that healing can take place.
This is not intended to relieve you of all responsibility. It is your responsibility to want to feel well and take steps so that you can lose those extra pounds, or so that you can relax allowing your body to heal.
What I am most interested in is how together we can do some Radical Self- Healing!
I use Multiple tools to work with stress:
I am doing free consults to see if we are a good match to work together around your specific issue. Call RiverWest Acupuncture at our office for your consult: 503-246-0103. If you are already my patient and see me on a regular basis, talk to me the next time you are in. So if you are serious about this, call me now.
By the way the two new questions I ask:
1. “What do you think might lie at the root of you illness?”
2. “What does your body need in order to heal?”
The responses have been fascinating.
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