By Brian Lau, Acupuncturist at Live Well Medicine
picture from picssr.com
“Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build, and nobody wants to do the maintenance.”
— Kurt Vonnegut
In high school, I was amazed when I saw this friend of mine return from summer vacation. In his downtime during his summer months off, he bulked up and restructured his body with a very effective routine of exercise, and quite frankly, he looked very different physically. He started calling it his “summer swimwear body” and his “beach body.” The effects of the workout allowed him to feel good physically, as well as emotionally since looking that physically fit bulked up his confidence as well.
The effects of his hard work faded with time as he came up with a number of reasons to not eat well, not do more exercise than just running to class, and, with less time than it took him to bulk up and restructure, he got, as he called it, into his “pudgy form” again. As a direct result, he spent the remainder of the school year with much lower confidence and seemed more irritable and hot-headed as well. He then repeated this trend the next 2 years. After the first year of this trend, I asked him why he didn’t just keep up with his exercise routine or alter it to allow him to maintain his healthier physique. He gave me his standard reasons, but eventually admitted he found maintenance just too hard to keep up with, and simply said, “It’s just easier.”
Often at office visits, I bring up the need for maintenance treatments – or what I’ve come to call “tune-ups” – once we hit the desired goal with the acupuncture treatments. Many will, and have, asked “Why do I need to continue with acupuncture if I am already feeling well?” The answer to this question is: it’s just really all about maintenance. Maintaining health isn’t something you just stop doing — it is an ongoing process. Following Kurt Vonnegut’s quote, once you build your good health, you need to do the maintenance. Unfortunately, many — but not all — fall short in being open to this fact.
How You Are Like a Car
Acupuncture can be a building process. We often build and move Qi in many of our treatments and once that is accomplished it does require “tune-ups.” If we were to build a car that ran beautifully and worked efficiently, it would inevitably require maintenance or else it would just break down. Oil changes, tire changes, steering alignments, and tune ups-are required as the wear and tear of life do eventually affect even the most well-made machines. They all can break down and eventually run down. How different is that from the machine of your body that you use (and some abuse) daily?
Acupuncture can be a restructuring process, too. We often have to realign the channels that the Qi of your body runs through via our treatments to allow you to function correctly and free of pain. Often people do the same with crooked teeth by going through the difficult process of placing braces on them. With time and dedication, twisted and crooked teeth can be corrected and straightened. They can look beautiful after all that time and work has been done. These however also require maintenance through diligent and consistent use of retainers and check-ups to keep them working and looking great. If maintenance doesn’t occur, you end up with the same problem with your teeth, and they will shift back to where they were before. How different is that from the channels that run through your body?
Let us help you come up with a maintenance program that can help you maintain or restructure your body. We enjoy helping people maintain good health. So, if you are ready to get on the track of good health, give us a call! We’d be happy to set you up with a treatment schedule that will not only help you get better, but also stay better!