This article was published in Hedra News December 2015.

Acupuncture for change.

 

Acupuncture is a 2,000 years old natural therapy that uses hair thin needles to treat a variety of conditions.  The needles are precisely placed in the surface of the body to achieve balance and relief.  Acupuncture is just one part of a complete medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).  TCM looks at the body as a whole, considering the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of a person’s well being.  When someone has an ailment TCM finds the root cause of the issue.  It then works with Acupuncture, Herbs, diet and lifestyle, and/or several other associated therapies to complete the patient’s specific health goals.

One common trigger for a person’s ailment is change.  People often find themselves resistant to change.  Change comes in many forms, is inevitable and is around us at all times.  From the changing seasons, to a change in one’s diet, or a change in symptoms, to even a lack of change or stagnation.  Sometimes people endure all kinds of painful or horrible things and keep going on with life, essentially because they have to.  But their bodies adapt and soon they find themselves in a rut.  We use acupuncture to help your body remember that it doesn’t need to endure pain or inflammation or despair.  We provoke your body to change.  TCM views pain as being caused by stagnation of the bodies energy.  To prevent pain you keep moving, and stay flexible physically and mentally to the ever changing environment.  Acupuncture, herbs, meditation and getting back into sync with the seasons can all help.  When the outside environment changes, our bodies can be ready and change with it, or sometimes the season changes leaving your body behind.  If you have health concerns talking with a professional is always best, and here are a few tips to help you follow the changes from autumn to winter:

Prepare for hibernation – Observe what animals do in nature, they collect food and prepare for winter.  We are all familiar with fall being the season of Harvest, and it’s the time for canning and food preparation.  Resting and recovering after a busy summer, and building energy for the coming winter.  Eating seasonal foods are easy to do this time of year, especially those root veggies.

Get plenty of fresh air – Exposing your body to the cool fall air helps your body temperature acclimate to the cooler temperatures to come. In TCM fall is the season relating to the Lungs, now is the time for building the immune system with acupuncture, herbs, foods, and breathing exercises.  Getting plenty of Vitamin D will keep you happy thru it all.

Drink more water – Winter relates to the Water element in TCM, so drinking plenty of warm water thru the winter will help keep your body nourished and prevent that dry winter cough.  Now is not a good time for consuming too much dairy either.  A dry body plus too much dairy is a bad phlegm accumulating combo.  You may also consider taking minerals.

Stop eating cold raw foods – Cold raw foods are harder to digest and will actually steal your warmth and heat from your body and put it into your digestion, leaving you feeling cold.  As it gets colder drink warm teas, coffee (in moderation), broths, soups, steam or blanch your veggies.

Limit sugar intake – Many of the traditional seasonal dishes are rich and sweet.  Some of this is part of preparing for winter, and some of it is comfort food to help make us feel better for going into the dark season. If you’re feeling low (energetically and/or mentally) see above, also try to not overindulge in sweets.  Sugar lowers the immune system, and feeds pesky bad gut bacteria along with candida and yeast.

Next month we will talk about Acupuncture for Immunity.  We’ll cover how TCM can help with one’s immune system, and strengthen your longevity.