I wanted to talk about a nice trend I've started to see in patients this year, and it has to do with the transition from sick care to self care. Now what exactly do I mean by that? For an brief introduction, read my post on When To Try Acupuncture. But for now let's start with some definitions to help clear things up -
Sick Care: Seeking treatment or changing lifestyle to treat symptoms to find relief and stop the disease process.
Self Care: Seeking treatment or changing lifestyle before symptoms occur, making sure the body never starts the disease process.
This year I have seen a huge shift in patients coming in earlier and more regularly for treatments, and it's been tremendously helpful for their long term health. Instead of waiting for that little bit of neck tension to become a full blown headache or muscle spasm, people have been coming in to get it knocked out right away. Or when they start to feel a little run down or stressed out they come in for a treatment to boost their energy or chill them out. Why is this important? Because the longer you've been dealing with something, the longer it takes to get it taken care of. Think about how quickly you can lose muscle strength when you stop going to gym regularly, or how quickly your stamina goes down when you stop going for long walks or runs. You have to build up over time, and the same is true for your overall health.
Make this change for yourself comes down to one key thing: understanding when your body is starting to tell you it's getting run down. The top three signs that I see in patients coming in that let you body is starting to get out of balance are:
Recognizing these early warning signs it what will help you turn sick care into self care. Figuring out what self care is best for you is the next step. Of course I'm partial to acupuncture, as are most of my patients, but that is by no means the only form of self care. Massages are great for it, and if you can convince your family or friends to do it, some nice massages at home can be a game changer! Taking time to talk a nice long walk in nature can relieve a huge amount of stress and give your body a basic reset that it needs. Your know what your body loves and what makes it feel good, just try to listen more if you aren't sure. Stay healthy, friends!
Bret Kyle Rogers, L.Ac.
Texas based acupuncturist, qigong teacher, and herbalist demystifying Chinese medicine.