If you Google “wellness,” you’ll find images like this:

The reality is that wellness, especially when we’re first deciding to seek it out, rarely feels or looks like that.  It can get pretty ugly! 

Detoxing reactions.

Addictive behaviors we don’t want to give up. 

Trial and error. 

Healing happens when you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired.  It’s not pretty.  Sometimes there’s tears or yelling, or both.  You may have to disagree with family members who have different opinions of what you should do with your health. 

There’s almost always some trial and error. 

If you want to feel different, you have to be willing to experience discomfort and doing something different. 

It’s like the opposite of “comfort food.” 

Plus, even as things heal, there are ups and downs that are bound to happen.  It’s life.   

A big frustration for natural health practitioners are patients who want this immediately:

Patient:  “I’m not better yet, I want a refund!”

Me:  “It’s been 2 weeks of treatment and you’ve had the pain for 10 years.”

Patient:  “I’m just going to take some (pain medication) my doctor gave me.”

先苦后甜 ” Bitter first, Sweet later ” ~ A Chinese Proverb. 

What does this mean?  A bitter practice could be waking up an hour earlier to exercise; choosing the broccoli instead of the mac-n-cheese as your side dish; or having an acupuncture treatment on Friday afternoon instead of joining your friends for happy hour after work.  Bitter practice leads to a sweet life. 

Sweet as in, you feel good. 

In the realm of herbal remedies and physical medicine like acupuncture, massage, and cupping, we’re gently trying to nudge your body in a healthier direction.  At first, depending on the person and the condition of the dis-ease, we can expect some pushing back. 


Resistance comes from your mind / your partner / your insurance company / your body.  But ultimately you’re in charge of how you handle it.  Focus on your values.  What do you really want to achieve/do?  Do it.  Put it on your daily planner and make it happen.  Attack-attack-attack.  (also read:  The War of Art by Steven Pressfield)

It’s like uncovering layers of an onion. 

We start with the first layer, covered in dirt and a little crusty, then we go to the next layer which is still a little firm, until we finally get to the tender, juicy insides.  It takes some time. 

We can’t predict what it’s going to feel like.  To get to the other side, you have to go through it.