lao-tzu-quote1Why is it that when you have a stressful encounter – like a car accident – that your heart can race afterward for hours?  Why does weight gain creep up steadily over the years?  

Your nervous system reacts to stimuli in your life and starts creating patterns.  

From early infancy, your body is recording patterns and making assumptions about how things are supposed to be.  This makes me happy; this makes me mad; this makes me energetic; etc.  

Our complex monkey brains have adapted to unpleasantness through drug use.  We are all drug users.  Caffeine / alcohol / marijuana / NSAIDs / other various prescriptions / etc.  Even sugar is a drug.  Even bread!  Unless you are truly living off of the land – killing squirrels in your backyard and digging up roots to eat for dinner – you are using drugs.  

Cleansing is a time to truly go “drug-free.”  The true purpose of a cleanse is not to starve yourself and make yourself skinny (although – admit it – you were hoping it would!).  The purpose of cleansing is to align your breath and your body and mind.  Give your neurotransmitters a break from the usual pattern.  Create a new pattern.  

skinnyWe tend to eat the same foods every day.  It’s mostly just habit.  Weight loss won’t occur until you change the habits.  Anxiety won’t go away until you change the stimuli.  Only by creating a new pattern – a new way of feeling – will there be permanent changes in your body.  

People think about starting a workout regimen to get in shape, then drop out because they “don’t see any results.”  This is so short-sighted!  Our bodies are so resistant to change!  Only by committing to the new habit will positive changes show up.  And this process may take over a year.  

Unfortunately, most people won’t commit to change until the problem until they:

  1. acknowledge there is a problem
  2. acknowledge that the problem is ruining their life
  3. hope for the future is only through change

Many people try acupuncture for the first time because they are curious.  They come in for a treatment or two and then they’re gone.  “I tried it!  It’s awesome!”  But then the next time they get a sinus infection, the pattern – the modus operandi – is to go back to their MD and get drugs.  It’s what we have been trained from infancy to do!  Even many acupuncturists are brain-washed to take Advil for a headache / Tums for acid stomach / etc.  It’s hard to change the pattern.  

I am a fan of “mini-cleanses.”  Even in the course of one day, I may consciously take 3 or 4 hours to just drink water and breathe deeply.  Get a massage.  Do some walking or yoga.  Go for a swim or sit outside and sweat.  

It’s a chance to reprogram.

What is your body telling you?  

Take a deep breath into your belly.  Relax your gut.  

We tend to tighten our bellies all day long.  We are trying to look slimmer, but at a detriment to our lower backs and our digestive system.  Tightening your belly (“sucking in”) shuts down circulation to your middle “burner.”  In Chinese medicine this is your digestive and emotional center.  Your middle chakra (*chakras are NOT related to Chinese medicine BTW) is your power-house.  Don’t tighten, but relax and breathe in and expand.  

Take the time to relax your belly and breathe, drink some water, and clear your head.  Have an acupuncture treatment!  

The only way to change emotions, or weight, or any health concern, is to first OWN it.  Acknowledge that it is yours.  

I think a lot of people trying to lose weight are trying to run away from the weight.  “This isn’t me!!!  Get it off of me!!!”  This will never work.  Again, sit with yourself.  Breathe deep into your (perhaps big) belly.  Let it be there and fully present.  “Hello, (big) belly.  What’s up?  What is your need?  How are you helping me?  What are you trying to tell me?”