The long term power of tiny little choices
Chinese medicine is more than acupuncture and herbs. It is in the lifestyle choices you make everyday. It is in the simple health tales that parents and grandparents passed down to their children that we are lucky enough to have access to. Chinese medicine invites you to live as part of nature, as part of the seasons and that is not quite as cryptic as it sounds! For us in the West, it just takes an adjustment of thought.
Here, generally speaking, we subscribe to the sick-well paradigm. One gets sick and visits the doctor to get better. Makes sense.
But what if we visited the doctor to avoid getting sick? A classical Chinese medicine text that is over 2000 years old tells us that the master doctor will heal illness before it is evident… I don’t know about you, but to me this sentence could sound a little snake oil merchant-like, but hear me out. If you have a predisposition for something (colds, ear infections, thrush), often you’ll know what you need to do to avoid them. What about if there is a familial predisposition for a certain disease? If it is of the liver, perhaps you would be careful with sugar or alcohol and ensure you check your bloods to avoid going down that path. Well, yeah!
Chinese medicine practitioners are taught to uncover certain patterns within the body that could lead to an imbalance that could then lead to disease. Let me borrow from nature to explain this. Geographically, we have an understanding that cities in a certain place are at risk of specific weather patterns. If it’s in a valley, there might be floods. If it’s near a volcano, there might be ash. If it’s on a fault line, there might be earthquakes. These things are taken into consideration and things are put in place to protect the city/town. A Chinese medicine practitioner’s job is to understand what your geographical pattern is and what that might lead to and then create a plan to avoid it.
The only two certainties are death and taxes.
To that rather morose saying I’d like to add that there are choices we can make to support ourselves everyday, in whatever environment we find ourselves in. From what we eat for breakfast and HOW we eat it to what we do for work or HOW we approach our jobs.
I’m laboring the HOW in these instances, because I would like to make a point that, clinically speaking, I often hear people say they feel stuck in their circumstances. And while that can be completely true in some cases, I would suggest that certainly for us here in Melbourne, that happens less often than we would think! If we are in a situation that cannot be changed OR that will take a wee bit longer to shift, then we have infinitesimal (very small) daily choices that we can make to support our grander choices or goals
- How are you sitting right now?
- Your posture
- The position of your legs – does it hurt your knee?
- Are your shoulders slumped forward as you look at your phone right now (and you’ve always got sore shoulders or headaches)?
- Have you drunk enough water today (or too much??)
- Are you quenching your thirst with coffee or sugary drinks?
- Do you drink water when thirsty? Do you feel thirst at all?
- Honestly – are you eating enough nourishing foods?
- Does your tummy feel bloated or sore on a regular basis
- Are you bowel movements everyday? Are they satisfying?
- If there is any digestive discomfort, have you looked to your diet – this is your first step
- Do you ever get hungry? Or do you eat when you’re not hungry?
- If you have a stressful lifestyle, do you have tools in place to mitigate (reduce) the stress
- Often people are most resistant to this point
- There is always something that you can be doing 1% better/differently
- 2 minutes of meditation
- Walk around the block
- 1 coffee a day is enough my tired, stressed out friend. Please have a water instead – you’re probably dehydrated
- This is a tough one – how much packaged food are you eating?
- Chips, sweets, bread, cereal, rice cakes
- It’s not just the “obviously” bad foods, but any that are overly processed. Think about eating foods from the outsides of the supermarket (veg, fruit, meat, eggs, unprocessed grains)
This blog and the above dot points are to get you thinking friends. It’s not always about the big, grand choices that we make (or want to make), but the tiny daily routine choices that we make each day. They are the important choices, because they add up.
For more specific help with lifestyle choices that best suit you, book in with one of us at Mornington Chinese Medicine. I would invite you to come in with an open mind, both to a different method of medicine, but also to what tiny shifts you are able to make to your lifestyle. If you are feeling resistant to change, investigate within yourself why that is.
I will say this until I am blue in the face – what got you here, won’t get you there. If you’re wanting to improve your health OR think about your future health, you may need to make some changes, which PERSONALLY I think is fun and exciting! Imagine – we live our long lives, and follow the same old habits over and over – why not shift it up a bit?
Caz Butler works on a Wednesday from 9am-2pm and a Thursday and Friday from 2pm to 8pm.
138 Tanti Avenue, Mornington, VIC
03 5973 6886