acupuncture, emotional health, exercise, food, health, herbal medicine, massage, mental health, motivational, nature, Traditional Chinese Medicine

Make next year the start of your healthy ageing program, no matter how old you are.

tai chiLike it or not, we’re all ageing.  But what is most important is how we age.  We want quality of life as we grow older so that we can keep up with our hobbies, sporting interests, working commitments, social life and family. The reality is however, we are living longer but our older years are spent in poor health.  It is up to us as individuals to be the exception to the rule.

In practice, patients often seek help when the symptoms they have begin to negatively impact on the things they like to do. Most of us can tolerate pain or slight inconvenience but having the things we love out of our reach, well no one wants to let that happen.  And so it is then that we are most motivated (by desperation) to make the changes needed to return to good health.

My advice: don’t wait for your health to get that bad!  Seek help as soon as things feel ‘out of balance’.

The Harvard School of Public Health has just reported on a study highlighting the “need for greater attention to non-fatal consequences that limit people’s physical and mental function, including mental health conditions and musculoskeletal disorders.”

So, if you are looking for a new year’s resolution, why not use next year as the beginning of your lifetime of good health. It doesn’t matter whether you are 15 or 95 years old, it’s never too early, or late, to start your health-promoting lifestyle:

  • Reduce your chronic disease risk factors (E.g. stress, obesity, substance abuse, processed/fatty/sugary foods and exposure to environmental toxins).
  • Increase what makes you feel well (E.g. laughter, meditation, exercise,  7-8 hours sleep, wholesome home-cooked meals, learning new skills, spending time in nature and nurturing connections with positive, like-minded people).  Here are some ideas.
  • See a practitioner early in the year (as early as you can while this thought is at the forefront of your mind) to get you on track, set goals and make a plan you can stick to. Perhaps some acupuncture, massage and herbs can kick-start your new year of good living (and help you tackle any of the tricky stumbling blocks that you’ve had in the past)?

This isn’t a new idea at all.  The concept of healthy ageing and longevity has been ingrained in Traditional Chinese Medicine for around 2000 years – and here’s how they did it.

Let’s make 2013 our most radiant year yet which will set us on a path of healthful ageing for our lifetime to come.

For further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Sarah George (Acupuncture).  Sarah is a practitioner of acupuncture (AHPRA registered), massage therapy and natural health at her Broadbeach clinic and is the Chinese Medicine Senior Lecturer at the Endeavour College of Natural Health Gold Coast campus.

acupuncture, emotional health, fertility, mental health

What do you do when no one understands your fertility challenges (or other health conditions)?

I thought it was just meOne of the many books next to my bed at the moment is Brene Brown‘s I thought it was just me (but it isn’t): telling the truth about perfectionism, inadequacy and power.

It’s a summary of  ideas that Brene found through a series of interviews with a large cohort of women focusing on what causes shame and how to be resilient to it.  When pregnancies don’t happen easily or don’t go to plan many men and women experience shame. As an acupuncturist with a strong interest in fertility and pregnancy support, I hear about this phenomenon from my patients on a regular basis.  I hear about their reactions to the plethora of unsolicited advice that is freely given by friends, family and total strangers. The advice often only makes them feel worse.

Fertility is not the only area where this unsolicited advice flows freely.  A friend of mine experienced the same thing with a skin condition she had on her face.  People with cancer and autoimmune diseases are often subjected with horror stories about their disease from people who ‘mean well’.  Anyone with a mental health condition could probably relate to similar experiences.  If it isn’t a horror story being shared, it is often a controversial drug protocol from a current affairs program or their cousin’s hairdresser’s pool cleaner’s nail technician’s home remedy.

A link to www.infertilityeducation.org is given in the chapter on speaking shame.  It includes a brochure titled what infertility feels like which was created for people with fertility challenges to give to friends and family to better express how they feel about their situation in the hope of creating more supportive relationships through open communication.  This idea could be applied to any situation in which you feel misunderstood.  It doesn’t have to be that you give the physical brochure out but just reading the content could give you some inspiration to structure your ideas to better communicate with the well wishers around you.  After all, most of them do want to help, they just don’t know how.  On the flip side, this sentiment also helps us to develop compassion in our relationships with the other people around us who are also facing life’s challenges, and that can only be a good thing.

To book an appointment at the clinic or further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Sarah George (Acupuncture).  Sarah is a practitioner of acupuncture (AHPRA registered), massage therapy and natural health.

emotional health, exercise, health, mental health, motivational

Rekindling the flame

This post was written as a motivational speech by someone very close to me who suffers from several health problems.  She was happy to share it.  It’s one of those things that’s good to read now, and then put in a safe place, so it can be read again, when inspiration is needed.

Rekindling the Flame

When things get tough and you feel burnt out – mentally, physically and spiritually, how do you rekindle your flame and find the inspiration keep meeting life’s challenges?

For some, it comes from the beauty and peace of nature.  For others, it’s the company of family and friends or even pets.  Yet others, seek the wise words of our gurus or the magic of music.  All of these can teach us wonderful things, but sometimes, it’s something completely unexpected that makes the biggest  impact.

Let me tell you, how it happened for me.

I’d been ill for a long time with debilitating arthritis and going downhill, no matter what I did.  One night, I was home alone – feeling dejected –  but I was glad to be alone because I didn’t have to pretend to be upbeat.  I could just vegetate in front of the televison ’til 8 0’clock and then go off to bed.

I was willing to watch just about anything – except football, so, guess what came on?  Aussie Rules Football.  That was the last straw!  I hated sport on television, and football in particular.  I never watch it and I’ll confess, the closest I’ve ever come to playing any sport was to chase a piece of chocolate cake around a plate with a fork!

If I’d had enough energy to get up and change the channel I would have but I didn’t.  So, I just sat there thinking, “I might be stuck here but they can’t make me watch.  I’ll just shut my eyes.”  Try it sometime – it’s harder that you think. In fact, it’s impossible, so I opened my eyes again.  Open eyes have a mind of their own.  Mine focused on a footballer running across the screen. He had all the grace and power of a god. I wondered, “How can his body do that, when all mine could do was creak?” I watched on in amazement, as another player leapt effortlessly into the air to catch a ball flying over his head. “How could he do that?” I wanted answers, so now, I was watching with real interest as yet another player prepared to kick a goal through distant goal posts. “Impossible!” I thought, but the ball soared high in the air and then straight through those posts.  A mighty cheer rose up from the crowd and a mighty cheer rose up from every cell in my body. They were  alive and they wanted me to know it. “Wow, Wow, Wow!” they screamed and in that moment, I knew that life energy was still there. It just needed rekindling. That was the beginning of a wonderful recovery.

Melb MCG Lions

Since then, I have come to realise that inspiration is all around us, if we are willing to see it, and even if we are not, the message is repeated over and over, in a hundred different ways, until we do. It’s a bit like the saying “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

Everything begins with the readiness of the student and there are messages everywhere constantly readying us for our next step. For example, it’s easy to see that good nurture will make things grow, but if you want to see tough, watch a weed grow in a crack in the path.  Sometimes, you’ll need the tenacity of that weed and at other times you can be footloose and fancy free like the fluffy, floating seeds of a dandelion.  Sometimes, you’ll be the early bird that catches the worm and sometimes – you’ll be the worm –  so take care.

Knowing when to go with the flow and when to stand your ground is important  but sometimes, it’s more important to do nothing.  Take the time to rest, lick your wounds and wait for clarity – but don’t wait too long or you’ll cut yourself off from the very things that can sustain you, when you need them most, because, from time to time, we all face serious challenges.

Mine was health. Yours may be something else – it doesn’t matter what. What does matter is to remember that help is out there and often in the strangest places. So, whether it’s to keep your inspirational flame burning brightly or to rekindle it when you’re just about burnt out, look around – somewhere there’ll be a message, just for you.

– Erica, Shailer Park QLD

To book an appointment at the clinic or further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Sarah George (Acupuncture).  Sarah is a practitioner of acupuncture (AHPRA registered), massage therapy and natural health.