Aligning your Lifestyle with your Health Goals
- Posted on: Aug 29 2017
When I first started treating patients in the Acupuncture clinic in Columbia, Maryland a friend of mine sent her husband in for treatment. When I asked him how I could support him with Acupuncture this is what he replied. “I want to be able to eat Big Macs and ice cream Sundays and have the Acupuncture lose weight for me and lower my cholesterol.”
I appreciated his honesty. Can’t we all relate? We want to do whatever we want and still feel healthy. Many of us want to deny the inevitable and obvious connection of our lifestyle and our health, happiness, and well-being. Sure, you can keep everything the same in terms of your lifestyle and come for Acupuncture and you’ll likely still benefit. But what happens when you align your lifestyle with your goals for better health?
One way Acupuncture helps us heal is by directing your body’s energy to the areas that need it most. When I stimulate points on the Stomach and Spleen channel, for example, we can increase blood flow to the Stomach and Spleen which, in turn, improves your digestion.
Cellular activity increases in the areas we stimulate with treatment. If we needed to support your Liver or Kidneys I could stimulate points to do so. Basically, Acupuncture can focus your body’s energy on specific areas that need attention. That’s all well and good but where is this energy coming from? It comes from the food you eat and the sleep you get. It is fueled by the air you breathe, and the right kind of movement or appropriate exercise as well as positive mental outlook.
Think of the difference between a well rested, well nourished you coming in for treatment and a tired, overworked, depleted, slightly hungover or caffeinated you walking in for treatment. Which version has more available resources for healing? Going back to the example above where my friend’s husband wanted to deny the connection between his lifestyle and his health. How does better sleep impact weight loss? A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that people ate an average of nearly 300 fewer calories per day when they were well-rested. People who are lacking in sleep produce more Grehlin, a hormone that tells us we’re hungry. People who are properly rested produce more Leptin, the hormone that tells us we are satiated.
Healing often comes down to the basic common sense lifestyle choices. Better sleep can improve weight loss. Positive mood can decrease pain and inflammation. Making changes can be overwhelming. I meet you where you’re at whether you’re a beginner with lifestyle choices or a wellness junkie. Most of us are somewhere in between. I ask my clients about their lifestyle patterns because over time, little changes here and there add up to a happier, healthier, more balanced you. Rather than asking someone to quit drinking coffee or drink a ton of water, we might agree to add in one extra cup of water, or reduce a cup of coffee for the week.
Any version of yourself can benefit from Acupuncture. The process can be subtle and builds momentum over time. A little at a time is a great way to make sustainable change rather than overwhelm you with high pressure lifestyle changes. The most important thing is that you get started. We’d love to support you along the way!
Posted in: Fitness, Health & Wellness