Acupuncture/Traditional Chinese Medicine

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A few weeks ago, I found a Groupon for acupuncture, the deal was amazing, I was craving novelty/adventure, thought that a few treatments would satisfy this urge without violating the law, and got a few treatments, not expecting once.

Now I’m completely amazed.

In the last three weeks, I have

*lost 12 lbs (caveat: a large portion of this is water, but I don’t seem to miss it, either, and there’s also my recent adherence to a decent vegetarian diet & regular exercise is involved in this, but still.)

*less joint pain

*lost my generally ever-present anxiety and feel like the energy inside my head is different.

*improved circulation

*have achieved this without the use of herbs

* Started to realize exactly how crappy I felt before I started going, now intensely more hopeful about the future.

The diagnostic process in Chinese medicine is a bit different than Western medicine. An acupuncturist looks at your tongue, and takes your pulse from three points in your wrist, and looks at your medical and personal history. I guess there’s an individual level of response to treatment, my accupuncturist tested mine by having me turn my neck to the right¬† (neck stiffness is a thing with me) and pressed a point in my right wrist and the tension in my neck was about 70% gone. Doing this on max aggression level, twice a week so, this should all be pretty interesting.

What is really interesting to me is that the core of this practice is based on balancing your internal energy, and balancing the way your body interacts with itself, and maintaining personal habits that promote well-being. Essentially, this is built on the taoist principle of yin and yang, and too much of either will cause certain types of imbalances and eventually disease, and if one organ system is overly affected, it will throw the other ones out of balance.

There’s also a theory of balancing elements in a person, they use 5 representing earth, water, fire, metal, and earth, and the seasons-late summer is considered its own season.. I’m overly water-y and earthy, apparently, lol, and have long-lasting imbalances/childhood illnesses, so while my primary issues are my stomach and my liver, everything else is out of balance because they’ve been over-working.

Also have a cold, damp consistitution, the early stages of “cold bi”, which is a form of arthritis (again, split into 5 categories), “blood defiency”, so I hope that my health continues to improve. Also being treated to help me quit smoking- not a lot of progress with this yet.

The clinic I go to uses a Japanese style of acupuncture, and they insert needles in my wrists, feet, knees, and ankles more than anywhere else…they do some insertations in points in the back, and the needles they use are tiny and fresh every time. ūüôā

Healing reactions/acupuncture hangovers are kind of a thing here. The first time I work, I ended up with a mild headache about a day and a half, and the 3rd time turned into some kind of massive peeing episode to the extent that my kidneys/lower back were sore for about 2 days afterward. Crazy stuff. There’s some minor stuff too- draining sinuses and increased salivation (they’re opening my “water channel”, I guess).

Also trying some weird hippie crap like alkalinized water, been eating more fresh vegetables vs. frozen, actually eating in the morning (usually have a stomach ache when I wake up, get sick if I eat too early…now I eat half a grapefruit, wait for 15 minutes and then I’m good to go?)

Cut most dairy, besides occasional small bits of cheese, only occasional caffeine, ginger tea is the love of my life, no meat….things are good. Trying to eat more often and early in the day, but that’s so against my nature, so it’s a work in progress. Got myself down to eating cooked vegetables when I get home from work at night.

I don’t know. I like the idea of looking outside of western medicine and it’s super linear cause and effect, I’m reading “Between Heaven and Earth”, right now, on traditional chinese medicine, which explains the differences between the two different approaches-the author is a western medicine doctor, who went to China with a team of other doctors in the 70’s to look into this, so I’d consider her to be a pretty decent source.) Really love how it’s built into a philosophy, really, on living in harmony with self, others, and nature.

Ginger Tea

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Life is filled with small pleasures and locating a new one is a special experience. Ginger is a health promoting herb, it has many benefits including high levels of vitamin C, appetite reduction, prevention of alzheimer’s disease, and improved circulation.

What makes ginger different than other supplements I’ve tried is that the appetite reduction and improved circulation is noticable, and the tea delivers an internal heat upon consumption. I’ve been consuming the tea over the last month, and my stomach feels better, I’m more alert, and I feel much better..this might be borderline too much information, but my bowel movements have been excellent.

When prepared in a tea with honey, it’s also one of the most delicious things things in this world. Try this if you’re interested in the benefits or if you¬†enjoy tea.

Women’s Beginners’ Workouts: The Beginning of the Great Health Adventure

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Are you a woman that’s just starting to work out? Is your price range somewhere around “free fifty”, so you’re not about to go in on a¬†bunch of equipment and/or videos? GREAT, WE’RE IN THE SAME BOAT. Here’s what I learned from looking around on the internet:

  • Youtube has a lot of great, free videos on yoga, tai chi, and aerobics – if you’re willing to dig, you can find some real treasures. I might post up some of the better ones I find at a later date when I go through more of them.¬†POPSUGAR Fitness¬†is a great place to start, though.
  • There are free workout routines out there.
  • I am in the market for an accountability buddy. Get a hold of me if you want.

I’m focusing on calisthenics/body weight exercises. You can do them anywhere, you need little equipment, and it doesn’t involve a whole lot of jumping or things that hurt your joints. (I’m recovering from a broken leg, I am not doing a whole bunch of jumping jacks, thank you very much. Also, I am incapable of a decent squat at this point of my life, at least without crying, swearing, and falling)

Here are links to four good routines:

  • Women’s Health Mag’s Routine. A simple, easy routine.
  • GymJunkie’s Routine:¬†It requires no accessories and looks intense, but doable if you have full use of both your legs. *gives left leg the stinkeye*
  • Popsugar’s routine.¬†A forty minute workout that’s too intense for me at the moment, because I can’t put my full weight on my leg, and I’m out of shape. It looks solid, though so it might be your thing/my thing in the future.
  • Fitwirr’s¬†routine: It’s basic, and I will do a modified version of it on Sunday.

Here’s a list of modifications¬†for those of us with bad knees or whatnot.

Today’s News: I’m Not Dying

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Good news: In the last three months, I (mostly unintentionally) lost 30 lbs without abusing myself.

Bad news: 30 lbs is a drop in the ocean of the excessive amount of me. (Not really)

I gained a lot of weight after I got sober a year ago. Considering my weight has been a trigger for a few different varieties of insane behavior in the past, it was best to just put the whole issue on the back burner for a while. Instead, I focused on sobriety and stability was my main concern, and I was successful.

I feel like I did the right thing. However, there is a few consequences: I’m now the size of a small horse, my blood pressure went up(my blood pressure is still in the normal range, though).

I’ve already set a goal to lose a good chunk of weight this year but discussing weight loss with a doctor and other people makes me more accountable. My anxiety about my health is much better now, and my health isn’t THAT bad, considering everything I’ve done to myself.

I need to see if my insurance will cover a bone density scan. My doctor recommended it, but a lot insurances only cover them in certain instances, and I might not have insurance coverage.