Staying healthy means something different for everybody. For most, it means getting proper rest, eating a balanced healthy diet and exercising regularly. Here are some secrets many acupuncturists incorporate into their regimen.
Most people wear scarves during the fall and winter months, but acupuncturists will wear scarves almost year round to protect their necks from drafts. In traditional Chinese medicine, the back of the neck is where cold pathogens are thought to enter the body. Even sitting in an air-conditioned building all day during warm months of the year can cause people to get sick.
Green tea is known to be very healthy in comparison to its other tea cousins. Acupuncturists have known this for quite some time, and most drink it to boost immunity as well as increase the amount of antioxidants in their bodies. Antioxidants fight off free radicals, which age the body and can lead to disease.
Ingesting herbs for their numerous health benefits has been a practice for thousands of years. Some of the favorites for acupuncturists include licorice root (gan cao), Chinese wolfberry (gou qi zi), cinnamon twigs (gui zhi), ginseng root (ren shen) and mugwort leaves (ai ye).
Licorice root (gan cao) boosts the spleen-meridian energy, which helps with digestion and muscle tissue condition.
Chinese wolfberry (gou qi zi) increases liver, lung and kidney meridian energies. This herb can help with sore back and leg muscles, as well as eye-muscle strain.
Cinnamon twigs (gui zhi) are a warming herb that boost heart-meridian energy. It is used frequently to help fight off colds.
Ginseng root (ren shen) also increases spleen-meridian energy, which helps with digestion and improves immune responses.
Mugwort leaves (ai ye) are another warming herb that targets the spleen, liver and kidney energetic meridians. Acupuncturists use ai ye to stop pain and disperse cold that is attacking the body. This herb, however, is usually ground up and burned over certain acupuncture points instead of taken internally.
When our body core becomes cold, it can wreak havoc on all of our internal organs and this can then drain our energy and cause illness. One secret weapon used to keep the body core heated is something called a harimake. Harimakes are Japanese in origin, very simple and very effective. Harimakes are usually made from flannel or soft wool. They are wide bands of cloth that cover the abdomen from just above the waist to about six inches below the waist and they are worn under your clothes. Harimakes are used to conserve body warmth and energy, thus protecting your body from stress, exhaustion and illness.
These are just a few of the health secrets acupuncturists use. Even more important than these, though, is getting proper sleep, eating well, avoiding excess stress and getting regular acupuncture treatments. Even acupuncturists get regular treatments, because we know we can’t help you if we don’t take care of ourselves first.