Natural Living: Fall is in the air
Growing up we had a pretty big yard. It was great for running around barefoot, but heaven forbid we didn’t mow the grass regularly or when we did finally get to it our work would certainly be cut out for us. The strategy we should use when dealing with our health is very similar to that of maintaining our lawn. It requires constant attention, a bit of routine maintenance, and life is whole lot easier when we deal with problems immediately as they arise.
Western medicine likes to view the body as a machine with its individual parts working in unison to generate life, the traditional Chinese analogy is more similar to that of an agricultural field in which we grow a crop. When something goes wrong we seldom notice it until the problem has begun to influence another part of the system and, therefore, dealing with only that part of the system will surely help alleviate the symptoms for some time but the body will inevitably return to its state of disharmony and the symptoms will return. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) we try to find the root cause of the problem in order to help the patient find their energetic balance and return the body to its true healthful state.
When we listen to our bodies and catch symptoms or an imbalance early, like a sore throat, fatigue or neck ache, acupuncture combined with herbs in many cases can stop a virus or bacteria in it’s tracks, saving you from misery of being sick and missed days at work, parties or with family as well as getting others sick. Ideally we, as patients, want to deal with these issues quickly, as soon as they begin to rear their ugly heads. Much like the luscious green lawn, dealing with the problem before it becomes one is always the simplest and easiest course of treatment. There are also many tools that one can use for preventative measures, such as more Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Echinacea, assuring at least 7 1/2 hours of restful sleep, managing stress and finding healthy outlets. Assuring healthy nutrition is a vital one. There are many foods that are considered “damp” in Chinese Medicine, some of which are dairy, sugar, white flour products, eggs, bananas and most processed foods. These foods will only aggravate the symptoms of a cold or flu and they can make your immune system more vulnerable. This time of the year, when kids go back to school, temperatures drop and perhaps we are a little more hurried, it is important to utilize these tools to keep our immune systems strong.
So, when you’re just beginning to feel that tickle in your throat that you know will soon become a scratch, or even a burn, please don’t hesitate to get yourself in to the office. There are multiple herbal formulas we can use to help keep the grass short especially this time of year or if you simply want to help boost your immune system TCM is great for that.
As the summer heat gives way to the cool breezes of fall and the bathing suits get pushed to the bottom of the drawer by the sweatshirts, remember to pay particular attention to all those things your body is trying to tell you, it’s usually right.