Healer Heal Thy Self 5/5 (29)

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…

mother suffering from cold

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.

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Dr. Kimberly Thompson, DACM, L.Ac.

Dr. Kimberly Thompson, DACM, L.Ac. is a US licensed acupuncturist in the state of Idaho and certified in the treatment of acupuncture, Oriental medicine and Chinese herbology by the National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). Kimberly wears multiple hats in the acupuncture community. She owns her private clinic, Meridian Family Acupuncture. She has spent the last 10 years working for Miridia Technology as an acupuncture Research Analyst–where she helps plan, develop, and integrate modern diagnostic and treatment tools for the ever-evolving scientific world of acupuncture. Kimberly is a world-renown teacher, blogger, columnist, and mentor in the acupuncture community.

2 Replies to “Healer Heal Thy Self

  1. Hi Kimberly, while it’s cheap and easy for me to get regular TCM treatment here in China, I have found the simplest and best way to look after myself is with auriculotherapy using the stimplus. I usually treat myself in bed at night and once or twice during the day. It takes time to know where the points are on yourself but it can be done.

    It’s now a habit for me to put the stimplus next to my pillow at night and to take it with me when I go out. A few times I’ve woken in the night and after stimulating a few ear points (in the dark) the next thing I know it’s morning. We all know how big an impact bad sleep can have on health.

    I also graph myself regularly and use stimplus, peizo, teishin or laser to treat the points. Although I was trained in traditional Chinese acupuncture I have not been using needles lately as I find the above treatment tools give good results, especially when the points are the ones recommended by acugraph.

    Apart from this, I of course try to eat well (as per TCM dietary guidelines) and I exercise mostly by walking at a local park that has lots of uphill steps.

    Back in Australia when I was in practice there I would regularly swap treatments with other practitioners who I had gotten to know in my area. This arrangement worked well.

    There are lots of other things I do to help myself, some on a daily basis, others not, such as making fresh vegetable juices, breathing exercises and self-massage techniques.

So, what do you think about it?