Flip on the television and you’ll see a lot of home improvement shows. People are ripping down their old paneling and installing new, clean drywall. They’re chipping away at peeling, vinyl flooring and putting down shiny ceramic tile. They’re renovating their basements and raising their attic roofs and increasing their home’s curb appeal. That’s home improvement.
It’s the same thing, but replace the old, pine paneling with an addictive personality, while the new drywall is a twelve step program. Substitute the cracked vinyl flooring for high blood pressure, and the colorful ceramic is a new exercise regimen. Swap out the leaky basement for self-esteem, and the attic roof for depression, and curb appeal for obesity. Instead of a plumber, turn to an acupuncturist. Instead of an electrician, seek a therapist.
We can see the cracks, the damage, the aging, and the flaws in ourselves as easily as we can in a house. Self-improvement focuses on ways to get the most out of our lives, so we’re healthy and able to enjoy all the days we have left. We focus on ourselves – we identify our own problems, we research and experiment with solutions, and when we’re successful, we share with others what has worked for us.
Self-help books have their own section in the book store and the library, specifically designed to help us diagnose what ails us and seek alternate solutions.
It’s exactly these alternate solutions that have so many people hoping that they can take charge of their own physical and mental health. Most of us have gotten from a doctor exactly what we need, medically – we turn to something deeper for the rest. For true and deep spiritual health and happiness, we usually need more than our yearly physical and our prescribed medication.
Alternative therapies range from “breath therapy,” which is a form of hypnosis that can regress patients into past lives; to the tried-and-true yoga classes for physical strength and mental clarity and peace; to acupuncture, an Eastern practice pre-dating written history, which mends ailments by stimulating strategic and highly specific parts of the body.
More specifically, and interestingly microcosmic of self-improvement itself, it’s not the acupuncture which does the mending. It’s your own body that does the mending, needled into awareness by the probing, hair-thin… well, needles. Some acupuncture practitioners believe that the immune system wakes up and heals itself, while others believe that the needling helps to bring a natural flow of energy back into balance.
It’s kind of a “potato-potahto” argument. The body is healing and becoming re-energized and rejuvenated. Patients have even claimed that acupuncture has worked in place of plastic surgery to tighten their facial skin for a more youthful appearance. Other patients have found relief from chronic pain, depression, and infertility.
In addition to alternate therapies, alternates to medications can sometimes be effective. Natural supplements, like essential oils, herbal extracts and decoctions, and aromatherapy have proven effective for health, mood, and cognitive function. Aromatherapy is used to treat anxiety, memory problems, hair loss and eczema.
About the Author
Article courtesy of the Acupuncture Center of Baltimore, an upcoming leader in Maryland Acupuncture.