At Cascade Acupuncture Center we focus on increasing the health of our clients by increasing the Level of Function in the Body.
This is simply a concept and not based on any studies.
Throughout our lives all of us experience physical, emotional and chemical stressors. The cumulative effects of these stressors and potential hereditary factors build on each other and contribute to health concerns.
Common physical stressors are falls and injuries, accidents and traumas, lack of exercise, too much sitting, repetitive movements and poor sleep.
Emotional stressors could be connected with relationships, family, work, school, finances, overloaded schedule, poor health or daily life challenges such as a malfunctioning car, phone or computer.
Common chemical stressors are poor diet, environmental chemicals, alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, side effects of medications and allergies (food and environmental).
As we go through life and experience these stressors, we sometimes lose function and then regain it back, because our bodies know how to heal themselves. However, at other times we do not regain our prior level of function and have an overall incremental loss of function over time.
Sometimes one small event, like bending down while gardening, can cause significant pain, seemingly too painful to be caused just by bending down that day. It’s like the straw that broke the camel’s back. The body’s level of function is so low at that time, that the body is unable to regain its prior level of function. In some cases the pain persists and people learn to ignore it, hope it goes away or take pain killers to avoid dealing with it. Often their pain threshold changes and they can tolerate more pain easier, leading to less drive to seek medical attention.
Many times we can help clients feel much better with a few regular Acupuncture treatments and possibly Chinese Herbs. The client feels better and at times doesn’t return for more treatments, maybe there are time constraints or financial concerns. Then they return when the symptoms reoccur, then drop out of care and so on.
I call this the Relief Care Cycle – it actually costs more in the long run. I compare it with a roof with a hole and putting a bucket under it to catch the rain, ignoring the hole, which is getting worse.
A much better plan is to invest into what I call Your Body’s Health Account. This account pays wonderful dividends that can help increase your quality and quantity of life – how well and how long you live.
This approach uses conservative modalities, meaning they are not invasive and they all support the body’s ability to heal itself in its own way: Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs, Massage, Chiropractic, Physical Therapy and other modalities.
I also suggest seeing a Primary Care Provider and Specialists for routine screenings, diagnostic procedures and follow up.
Additionally I recommend good lifestyle with a healthy diet, exercise, rest, stress management and more.
All of these suggestions are an investment in Your Body’s Health Account and have the common goal to raise your level of function. Acupuncture treatments, similar to Physical Therapy treatments, build on each other over time. It took the body longer than a few days to get into an imbalanced state of health and it takes time, frequent treatments and good lifestyle to regain the level of function which was lost over time. This is the Corrective Care Phase.
I compare this with a child with braces, they wear them for a few years and once they are removed, they wear a retainer. If they don’t wear their retainer, the teeth start to shift back.
Once the Corrective Care is complete we suggest continuing with a Maintenance Care phase, which is typically monthly treatments. Maintenance Care compares to the retainer in our braces example. Just like we have our oil changed in our cars regularly, we can maintain our bodies to help ensure high level of function through on-going maintenance actions.
The Level of Function of the Body cannot be measured with any test. However, there are a few key areas that I believe provide strong indications of this:
- Strength of the immune system
- Overall sense of well-being, happiness
- Ability to bounce back after physical, emotional or chemical health challenges
For example, if two people with high and low levels of function are exposed to the same cold virus it would possibly affect them very differently:
One might have symptoms for three days and be totally healed in a week, the other might have symptoms for two weeks, miss one week of work and be totally healed in one month.
I hope this article inspired you to have a check in with yourself about Your Body’s Health Account and possible areas of improvement.