I used to work at a gym. Checking people in, passing out towels, making small talk. January at the gym was fascinating. Membership instantly quadrupled, as folks catapulted themselves into their New Year’s fitness resolutions. Endless lines formed for the cardio machines. Yogis wrestled for mat space in surprisingly unZen-like fashion. Fat burners and protein powder flew off the shelves and personal trainers packed their schedules.
But by mid February, the “resolutionaries” quietly dissipated. Part of me was relieved to see the crowds thin, but a bigger part was sad, knowing that most of those who had stopped coming had given up the ghost. I don’t think they quit for lack of want, but rather support. When real life began to overshadow their fragile new routines, they didn’t have the backing to encourage them along, offer guidance and ease the discomfort that often accompanies change.
Now, as a care provider, I have the privilege of helping others make changes, both big and small, to improve their wellbeing. Take the standard goal of dropping a few pounds. Most people wanting to lose weight are battling food cravings and low energy. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs work wonders for improving digestion and reducing stress — two key players when battling cravings. And that sluggish, foggy-headed, heavy-limbed feeling that’s been interfering with your hopes of working out? That’s a perfect example of “qi stagnation.”
Our “qi”, or “chi”, is the vital energy flowing through our body. It makes our heart beat and our synapses fire. When our qi gets bogged down and begins to stagnate, we feel it everywhere. We lose our pep, that spring in our step and gleam in our eye. Digestion becomes less efficient, focus and clarity wanes, and we find ourselves sinking into the couch with a bowl of ice cream, instead of hitting the gym.
Acupuncture assists our qi in flowing smoothly again. Prodding it along, until eventually it resumes a balanced, healthy pace, and that foggy feeling begins to lift.
A cleanse is another killer means of boosting your energy, metabolism and spirits. What better way to kick off the New Year, than by detoxing all of the crud you accumulated in 2010. While a cleanse may be intimidating to do on your own, consider having a support team to guide you through the process. With your help, we’ll formulate a plan to ensure that the process suites your lifestyle. We’ll work to minimize detox side effects, such as hunger and low energy, and enhance your body’s cleansing abilities. As a practitioner, few things are more exciting than watching a patient on a cleanse. The effects are visible. Bloating melts away, the skin begins to glow, energy peaks, your eyes dramatically brighten. With a little planning, acupuncture, nutritional support, and cheerleading, you’ll be popping out of bed with newfound energy, and bypassing the coffee and pastries without a second thought.
Long story short, enlisting a support team is the most effective way to ensure that your goals are attained. Share your plans with others, so that you’ll be held accountable for your actions. Plan ahead. When you foresee irritability, withdrawal headaches or sleeplessness in your future, get some acupuncture treatments on the books. When your legs get achy from covering those miles, get a massage.
All in all, there are plenty of ways to spoil yourself and maintain momentum as you make a change for the better. So whether you made an official New Year’s resolution or not, take this time to focus on your wellbeing, realize your body’s potential, and know that you’re not in it alone.
image courtesy lululemon athletica