Keeping Us Well
One thing that struck me during my visits to Japan was the way that everyday people went to the acupuncturist when there was nothing "wrong"; meaning when there was no health problem to speak of. There seemed to be two types of people who got their acupuncture or herbal formulas faithfully -- those who either wanted to preserve and enhance the healthy vitality that they already had, or those who had been diagnosed with a serious condition for which Western medicine offered only management but no cure. People would make their appointments in advance and show up for them like clockwork. It was pretty gratifying to observe that people had enough belief in non-invasive methods to keep themselves going as comfortably and energetically as they possibly could. We were actually told in acupuncture school that in ancient times, the focus of health care was on the doctor's ability to keep the patients well, and much less on the ability to offer a fix once things went wrong.
Naturally, I would like to see Americans take on a similar approach to preventative medical care. So many of us use urgent care and the emergency room to tackle issues once they can no longer be ignored, when in some cases what we're being seen for would never get that serious if we would only do the things in daily life to allow ourselves to have stronger immunity and better overall health. Thankfully these emergency structures are in place for when we need them, but just think of the money we would save as a society if our people were healthier and didn't feel we had to use crisis-centered medical services as much as we do now.
Unfortunately, it seems as though our health as a society is getting worse in many ways. We are so busy and stressed. We rely on processed foods and we don't cook from scratch like we used to. Our envionments are full of pollution. We're becoming obese as a group, including our children. The best ways to defend against the insults to our bodies and minds, though we can't expect to be 100% diligent, is to become conscious of what we can alter and do something about those things. For example, we can set aside some time to meditate and exercise -- best in the mornimg if possible -- as well as preparing a home-cooked meal at least one day a week. We can make healthier choices when dining out and read labels at the grocery store. We can participate in social activities that sustain us, especially with other people whose company we enjoy. And we can get regular bodywork such as acupuncture, massage, and chiropractic and regular check-ups with our physicians. Not so many things to do, right?
If you or someone you know can benefit from the preventative approach to fortify and maintain your existing health, please contact the office for further details about how regular acupuncture can help.
Kerri Winston, Ph.D., L.Ac., is a licensed acupuncturist with a practice in Atlanta, Georgia's Buckhead area. If you are interested in learning more about how acupuncture can help you or your loved ones, please call 404-949-0550 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.