We love to make new goals, dream a little, feel the excitement of what we can become! The New Year is a natural and perfect momentary pause to take stock of where we are in our journey in relationships, career, and the subject that affects literally everything about you… HEALTH!
Good health means you can enjoy life! Has your health improved from where you were a year ago? Maybe you find yourself setting the same wishful goals year after year, but when you look back you have lost steam or focus in achieving your well meaning plan. Doing the same thing year after year will deliver the same results unfortunately. Different results will require a different perspective and perhaps looking into how you define what real health encompasses.
“The part can never be well unless the whole is well.” -Plato
As an acupuncturist, I’ve been taught to take in the functioning of the WHOLE system of the person I’m evaluating. I don’t see just the knee pain, just the headache, or just the eczema on someones elbow. Those are the surface manifestations, tip of the iceberg, showing that there is some larger dysfunction going on at the foundational level of a person’s physiology. My goal is for the person’s entire health outlook to improve so that health manifests in every corner of their body and mind. To comprehensively address this goal, certain questions must be asked:
1. What can I ADD to my life or body to achieve ______________?
You may want to add a supplement, a food group, herbal remedies, more exercise, or more sleep! The addition of new elements to your health regimen can be fun, expensive, and make huge differences or none at all. Do your homework and don’t believe everything you read on the Internet! Check with people who have demonstrated wisdom in the past and have been down the path you are traveling! Deficiencies in nutrients can create a host of problems that show up physically and mentally. Your genetics or diet may play a role in this. Supplementing wisely can be a valuable way to address a problem!
2. What should I TAKE AWAY from my life or body to achieve _____________?
This can be even more important than the first question. There may be something, an activity or substance, that is holding you back, hurting you, making your goal difficult if not impossible to achieve because the presence of the offending substance is so strongly negative for you. We can get a bit myopic in examining ourselves and habits. An example could be your morning venti caramel macchiato! “Yes” you say, “I have acid reflux, restless leg syndrome, I’m gaining weight, etc. But I CAN’T go without my morning treat!”. These sacred, unassuming, but destructive patterns, in all their variations, must be recognized and attended to in your goal setting! Then the work of unraveling the hidden rewards and pain tied up in those habits can begin. It’s worth it!
3. Do I need help or advice to be successful in achieving my health goal?
Sometimes a new outside perspective on our problem is what’s needed. When my own health came crashing down about 10 years ago, I had to look for solutions outside of what was in front of me at the time. It took courage to go outside of my comfort zone and contact a naturopathic doctor and enter the world of Traditional Oriental Medicine and Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique (NAET). Even now, I seek out talented professionals who never fail to call my attention to something I need to change but have chosen to ignore because it’s more comfortable to remain in my habits. It may be time for you to venture down a new path to achieve the level of health and functioning you are searching for! Become your own greatest advocate, health detective, and never give up. I’m confident you will find the answers, and wisdom, to achieve your health goals!
Susan Engel L.Ac. is a licensed acupuncturist practicing in Morristown, New Jersey.
Please call for a complimentary consultation 973-454-8594