There are some things in life that I tend to learn the hard way. This last week I was fighting a cold, my husband was in the hospital, and I was scheduled to teach a cooking class in my home for 20-30 people. Several people offered to help out by bringing in meals. Did I accept their offers? NO! Any sensible person would have cancelled the cooking class. Did I? NO! Instead of slowing down, sometimes I spend so much time taking care of others, that I forget to focus on taking care of myself.
We all know how this story ended…
I wound up sick in bed for the entire weekend because I refused to listen to my body. I wasn’t taking care of myself, which finally forced me to take some down time. This forced “time-out” allowed me the opportunity to contemplate the responsibility that I have to take care of myself. If I forget to take care of myself, then I can’t take care of others, right?
In our medicine, we are constantly teaching our patients about balance. We balance the qi in the meridians, we teach our patients how to eat the right foods to balance the energies in their bodies, and we are constantly reminding them that too much stress causes damage to the meridian systems. We know better–but sometimes we don’t listen to our own advice.
I would love to hear how many of you keep yourself balanced. Personally, I don’t have a lot of acupuncturists in my area, so regular acupuncture treatments are not always an option. I recommitted myself this weekend to take better care of myself, especially as the busy holiday season approaches. I owe it not only to myself, but also to my patients. Here are a few of my ideas:
#1: Treat myself
That isn’t always an easy task, but I have come up with a way to regularly give myself a tune-up. Adhesive Tacks are a great resource for self-treatment. Graph yourself and treat your imbalances with tacks. Throughout the day you can push on the tacks to supplement the treatment. A weekly treatment in this manner will likely take care of imbalances before the symptoms even have a chance to manifest.
#2: Get a massage
That’s what I did this weekend. It’s amazing how many toxins release from your body after getting a massage. Luckily I have a massage therapist in my clinic. I made sure to have a set of our Beautiful Meridian Art Prints on the wall in our clinic, and while she is massaging, I let her know which channels are out of balance so that she can focus the massage accordingly.
#3: Take herbs
If you are graphing and treating yourself regularly, you will have a running record of what your imbalances are and it will be easy to analyze which herbal formulas would be best for putting your body into balance. Herbs are a great source for extending your treatment and getting to the root cause of the problem.
#4: Don’t allow your plate to get too full
We teach our patients all the time to recognize when they have too much going on in their lives. Having too much on your plate creates the perfect environment for utter chaos in the body. I decided this weekend that I walk around with too big of a plate. I’m going to carry a smaller one around for awhile.
Obviously, I learned my lesson the hard way this last week. We all need occasional reminders to take better care of ourselves. Maybe your success stories will inspire someone else. Please share what you’ve learned over the years.
Let’s all have a great week!
Kimberly Thompson, L.Ac.
Acupuncture Research Analyst
Miridia Technology Inc.