It’s fascinating to look at the human body and recognize that we truly have an amazing design. We are comprised of systems that have built in alarms, self-regulating mechanisms, and (metaphorical) timers constantly regulating actions and reactions. Running the show is an innate intelligence that knows exactly what the body needs and when it needs it, too. Like any other well-built machine, or bodies have needs too. For example, the need for decent fuel, rest and repair and an occasional replacement part here and there.
Just like in Math as 1+2=3, in Chemistry Oxygen (1) + Hydrogen (2) = Water (H2O). In the right environment everything runs perfectly but when the environment is changed, we start to notice some unwanted signs and symptoms showing up. Too much of this or too little of that can leave our systems stressed and unable to perform optimally. So is there a reset button somewhere? Well, sort of. There is a great general formula that I like to prescribe: Eat, Sleep and Exercise. These three components are a great way to get back on track to where the system is surviving. “But I don’t want to simply survive”, you say? Great! Let’s get out and thrive! If you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired then it is time for a tune up! What do you want? OXYGEN! What do you need? OXYGEN! What do you love? (Say it with me, people) OXYGEN! With this formula in mind, let’s take a look at each part. Starting with eating. If the goal is to get oxygen, does it make more sense to have a (we-don’t-know-how- old) prepackaged, sealed with preservative container of fruit or something recently picked off of the tree or vine? Can you believe that there are people who live on PowerBars and Powder Protein Shakes alone? As nutrient dense as these may be, they are not necessarily nutritious nor are there ingredients bioavailable. This means, able to be processed immediately by our bodies. Believe it or not, a good portion of those “nutrients” end up going in one end and out of the other relatively unchanged. Fresh fruits and vegetables, on the other hand, ripe and ready to go, provide an abundance of nutritious materials from which our bodies can immediately benefit.
Next, sleeping is paramount to our bodies repair process. If you can’t sleep then you can’t heal. Imagine we spend all day breaking down tissue at multiple levels. When our system shifts gears at night, that’s when the magic happens. We get up the next day and do it again. If you didn’t have a chance to refuel or regenerate, your body isn’t likely to perform as well. There is a general consensus that between 6.5 and 8.5 hours should suffice for the average adult.
Exercise is a very personal matter. What makes sense is to have the strength and flexibility to support your lifestyle. If you are an Olympic Athlete, your task requires a bit more than a tollbooth worker. None-the-less, there are some minimum requirements for the ol’ ticker to work and a few others that keep the other pipes clean too. There is a lot you can get to from some simple stretching and breathing exercises that will make an enormous difference in your day-to-day health physically and mentally. You can take back control of your chemistry by simply breathing in to areas that have become less than healthy. While you’re at it, add some good, clean water, fresh fruits and veggies and a good night’s sleep. So we’ve got the Biology and Chemistry covered. Next we’ll talk Physics!
There are a few general ideas when it comes to one’s thoughts on “health”. Some refer to how they feel physically; others say it is a condition that is good or bad. Usually people go straight to their own, personal health and grade it relative to when they feel their best. Webster defines health as, “the condition of being sound in body, mind or spirit and freedom from physical disease or pain”. All of these ideas are correct in my book. However you choose to look at it, I feel it is important to have some flexibility in there. That is not to say, have the ability to reach your toes as much as an awareness that things change. Like when parents have a perfect infant who sleeps through the night and never cries, most pediatricians will tell them not to get used to it because it will change; on the other hand, when parents complain that they have a colicky baby, the same pediatricians will remind them not to get used to it because it, too, will change. The idea that we are ever changing is an important consideration. Our little factories have billions of changes happening at any given moment, on a cellular level, dozens on an organ level and even a few that we can witness on the outside, right before our eyes! Our health is truly a state of being. Being is a verb, an action word. Unlike a fixed position, being, like health, is dynamic.
Another important idea to consider with regard to health is that EVERY cell in the body needs oxygen. Providing an oxygen rich environment will allow the body to heal. This, of course, does not happen by itself. We need to breath, of course, and we need to move. Many major complaints of aches and pains can be remedied by simply stretching and taking a deep breath. Although it is common to hold ones breath, especially through an uncomfortable stretch, relaxing and breathing into that tightness with movement brings life giving, oxygen-rich blood to an area that may be lacking the proper flow. This is how the healing happens. I often retell a story from when I was visiting the zoo years ago. I passed an aviary where a bird was constantly flapping a single wing. A few things occurred to me as I watched this creature in wonder. Finally I asked a worker what the bird was doing and he explained that the bird had broken its wing. Suddenly, it dawned on me! Every time that bird flapped, fresh blood and oxygen brought what the bird’s body needed to heal the hurt tissue. By the same token, the circulatory system removed the damage and the birds body self-corrected and healed. Another simple example of how nature’s design is brilliant. So, considering your dynamic health now, in whatever state you are being, (or country for that matter) let it be an oxygen- rich and mobile one.
Is it possible to restore your health? NRT, or Nutritional Response Testing, is a way of analyzing the body’s organs and function by testing associated reflexes. If a doctor were to tap your knee, the normal response would be a kick. If there was no kick, or if there was too much of a kick, that would indicate a challenge that needs to be addressed. Similarly, a patient’s response to NRT helps us to determine where there may be a dysfunction in the body.
Through an analysis of specific reflexes, we determine what stressors may be interfering with your body’s ability to function normally. In addition, we can determine the nutrients you need to supplement your diet in order to attain better health. Using nutrient rich supplements made from concentrated, whole food formulas, we aim to get your systems up and running and on your way to better health. There may be some other recommendations made to your diet, eating habits and routines in order to have the best result possible.
In many cases, a medical doctor will discover a problem, make a diagnosis and choose to use drugs to suppress the symptom or surgery to remove it. We need to understand that the symptoms you feel are not the problem, they are the RESULT. When the body’s systems don’t communicate properly, it may lead to a condition that may show itself as pain, a change in tissue or any number of other possible ailments. Come in and learn how to get on the road to achieving your best health. Make an appointment for Nutritional Response Testing today!
Hey Brothers and Sisters, can you feel it? Sure you can! It’s part of our design to have Emotional Experiences. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the best built-in safety mechanisms we have. Listening to those feelings is another story all together. Although it seems as though sometimes we are at the mercy of our feelings, the way that our brain is designed, feelings are actually the result of a thought. Our feelings are simply learned reactions to how we perceive our environment. For example, if you think something is threatening, you may retreat or you may retaliate.
One of the many beauties of Chinese Medicine is how they group things together. The Emotions, Five Elements and correlating Intestines are:
Joy -Fire – Heart/ Small Intestine
Worry – Earth – Spleen/Stomach
Grief – Metal – Lungs/ Large Intestine
Fear -Water – Kidney/ Bladder
Anger- Wood – Liver/ Gall Bladder
Under the umbrella of each emotion, so to speak, there are various degrees of each sentiment. For example, Anger is relative to resentment, disgust and audacity. Now if we were to measure each of these particular emotions, you can imagine that each would have a particular frequency. Peace, truth and love, for example would be higher vibration emotions, as where sadness, pity and loneliness would have a lower vibration. Similarly, if we could measure each organ as it is functioning in its optimal, healthy state, there would be a particular frequency to be measured; that same organ measured while a person is experiencing a particular emotional state would, then measure differently. The lungs, for example, while some one is in a state of grief would measure differently than when a person is happy.
This is to say that these energy waves or frequencies or vibes are very natural indicators of what is going one. As we process our environment, thoughts, and feeling we experience physiological changes. It is normal for our bodies to change in accordance with our feelings. What we know now is that some of the health issues people have are directly related to their feelings. We see people stuck in particular patterns expressing similar conditions. Asthma associated with grief, for example or Gallstones in an angry person are to common examples.
We are meant to have feelings. Again, it is part of our design. The trick is, we are meant to have them, have them for all they’re worth, and let them go. Learning from each experience and feeling is valuable as we are better prepared for a lifetime of lessons. So go ahead, feel the vibes…just don’t do it for too long, and have a nice day.
They say the number one stress in our life is gravity. It has an affect on our bodies from the day we are born; pulling our skin, contouring our curves and compressing the spine. The good news is that there’s an antidote… The Forward Hang.
After a few hours of being horizontal, the morning is a great opportunity to take that space that was decompressed all night long and use it to your advantage.
Simply stand tall and spread your feet to be about hips width apart and fold your arms. Begin by dropping your chin, start to roll down and forward. Like the links of a chain, allow each of your vertebrae to roll open as you slowly bend toward the floor.
I recommend letting your breath be the gage. Take a nice, deep inhale and slowly roll forward.
Remember to stay soft in the knees. Locking them can lead to falling forward. Again, let your breath be the meter letting you know when to pause and continue. If it becomes so uncomfortable that you find yourself holding your breath, back off a little. You can always roll back up and begin again.
Think of this as an opportunity to oxygenate your spine, which is also known as your central nervous system. The better the communication is between the spine and the body, the better your whole body will function.
When you get as far down as you can comfortably. Relax for a few moments. Try to remain for 5 deep breaths, both inhaling and exhaling. Then you can begin to roll back up.
Again, roll up like the links of a chain, letting each vertebrae stretch and shift into alignment letting your head be the last thing that comes up. Give your shoulders a roll and take another deep breath.
There are times when we wake up uncomfortable. When we are in pain, we tend to get into a guarding position. This has most of our action for the day coming from this misaligned position. When you get centered first, up and down the stairs, in and out of the car and other daily actions come from a more anatomically correct position. So keep the lines of communication open, especially between your body and your nervous system. And remember to smile; stretching is fun!
We all know pain. By this point, most of us have hit our funny bone or stubbed a toe. Pain is a relative thing. For those who have passed a Kidney Stone, you understand that this pain can be quite different than getting a paper cut. That said, we need to look at how we gage our pain. In Chinese Medicine, we look at pain as stagnation. If you kink a hose, nothing gets through, right? We get build up on one side and there is a lack on the other side. Would you believe that pain can be the result of resistance? Imagine you have a stiff neck. You may be reluctant to turn your neck in an effort to avoid the pain, (resisting the pain). Over time, we begin to compensate for that pain by over using other muscles that we may not normally use. In this example, raising your shoulders to protect your neck, which leads to more tension. This often develops into a secondary pain, which can become so aggravated that we forgot about the first one. Do you see a pattern here? The point is, when something hurts, we need to take pause and breathe. Sit with it for a moment, relax and then address the source of the pain. Our resistance to the pain, or even the experience itself, can be a major contributing factor to the problem. Back to the neck pain example; how much more effort does it take to walk around with your shoulders pulled up to your ears guarding your neck, than to simply hold your neck still? LOTS! This can wear a person out, and usually does. Again, pain is stagnation. The good news is if you can feel it, you can heal it! We are designed with a self-regulating system that will strive for balance every time. So stop resisting! Go with the flow, that is, breathe and open to the healing. Your body knows what to do.
By Staysea Sumner L.Ac
What if we got to know ourselves a little better? If we understood a few basics, we would see that we are not so complicated. Busy, yes…complicated, no. The fact is that we truly have a fabulous design as far as our bodies are concerned. We have systems within systems that are set up to self regulate and balance out most conditions. Let’s give a little credit to just how much our bodies really tolerate; especially given the unruly lifestyles that we conduct on a daily basis.
As one looks at nature, it is easy to see balance; day and night, hot and cold, light and dark. When it comes to health, our lifestyles don’t tend to offer much balance. We seem to go and go and go and crash. And then we get up and do it again. Or at least for a little while until something really breaks down. Then, it’s an emergency and we have to make some choices.
There are two popular ways of looking at wellness these days. One is through the Western Model where wellness is understood as the lack of disease, (there’s the wicked). The other is a healthy, thriving person where both mind and body are taken into account, (there’s the awesome). These very different approaches to health can each be effective in its own way but is limited to its particular set of tools, so to speak. Western Medicine is broadly known as emergency medicine; for things like broken bones and stitches to aggressive, malignant tumor removal. Eastern Medicine, and philosophy) takes into account the ideas of being strong, virile and living a long time. With those principles in mind, the approach to wellness becomes an interactive process.
It is quite normal to live a comfortable and productive 100 years. Why is there this misconception that pain is part of aging or that getting old equals dementia? It appears that the majority of people in this country are affected by such conditions and it appears to have become acceptable but, I assure you, it is definitely NOT normal. What we are witnessing is that lack of balance leading to the breakdown of the body. We need discipline to include what it takes to recharge and nourish ourselves so that we can be truly healthy. In the olden days, it was just standard. You were up when there was light and asleep when it was dark. There’s little sense comparing, as it is not likely that we will get back to that routine, but we can recognize our needs and begin to make some simple changes. Our design includes that circadian rhythm (awake in the day and asleep at night), and we need to be sure to maintain a balance with a few, quality controls in mind.
The bottom line is that to survive, we need to eat, sleep and exercise. If you mess with any of these there’s likely to be trouble. What is eating? With 3 out of 5 Americans being considered obese there is clearly some confusion. . The challenge has become us versus the media as people are apt to listen to, and follow what the Jones are eating. Sleep, on the other hand, not as complex although there does come the issue of quality versus quantity. Generally speaking 6.5-8.5 hours of solid sleep is a decent standard for most people. Exercise is another elusive concept and very individual. What one really needs is to be strong and flexible enough to maintain their lifestyle; especially in an effort to avoid injury and just as importantly to keep the inner systems in check.
There is an idea in Chinese culture that says “People who make money using their life before age 40 will have to exchange that money for their life after age 40″. Yet another wicked ideal, in which we live on that wheel. It’s time to snap out of it people! We know better! No one is suggesting that the changes happen over night but help is here! Make some time to evaluate your health. Or better yet, go see your acupuncturist for some insight and assistance. Rome wasn’t built in a day, my friends, but you’d be surprised what a difference a day can make in your health. It’s wicked awesome!
Acupuncture eases pain in the limbs because it releases a natural molecule called adenosine, say neuroscientists…