I had an interesting conversation with a friend the other night about the all-or-nothing attitude that people have when it comes to health. I am as guilty of this as the next person. I can't count how many times Friday has rolled around and I decided that a trip to the gym was unnecessary because, after all, I hadn't gone all week, so why start now? Or, how many times have you waited to start a new routine-be it exercise, diet, meditation, whatever-because it wasn't the perfect situation to do so? You are fully aware that the hour of meditation will chill you out and put you in a better frame of mind, but right now you're just too stressed to get started. You'll wait until next week to start the meditation routine, because next week you have more free time and your in-laws are going back home and blah, blah, blah....it never ends. What people need to realize is that this attitude leads to nothing but self-sabotage. Is spending 5 days at the gym better than going for three days? Of course. But three days is better than one day, and one day is better than nothing. Small changes are better than no changes. And when people learn to accept this, it will be a whole lot easier for them to work on their personal journey to health.
People tend to group themselves into categories, and then make this self-judgement their reality. The problem is, this leads to a lot of giving up because it is human nature to judge yourself against others. You may visit the gym a few times a week, eat reasonably well, and live a life of relative moderation. But then you see your "health-conscious" friends at the gym every single day, those friends who refuse to go out for cocktails or eat any animal products because they don't want to taint their bodies with anything unhealthy. Suddenly, your diet and fitness routine seems sort of half-baked. You may feel and be healthy, but compared to these people you are a sloth who doesn't care about what you put into your body. So you start to see yourself this way, and decide that there is no way you can join that Pilates class, because your core just can't handle it. And you are definitely not fit enough to take that spinning class. You begin to view yourself as an "unfit" person in comparison to those around you, and this starts to become your reality.
So what does this have to do with acupuncture? As my regular readers know, I promote acupuncture as preventative medicine, and I am starting to see more and more patients who come in to use it this way. I also see a lot of patients waiting to begin, because they feel that regular treatments as preventative medicine are only for those who are "healthy." I have friends who want to start coming one they "start getting themselves together." What does this even mean? Once you take the first steps to making changes in your health, you have already started to "get yourself together." Don't waste years waiting for the perfect time to begin taking that journey to balance, because their is never a "perfect" time to begin anything-there is only now.