If you are like most people, you probably tend to measure your level of health by whether
or not you are sick. In other words, if you are sick or have obvious symptoms, you
consider yourself unhealthy. Once you have rid yourself of an illness and you are
symptom free, your pendulum swings back toward healthy again. This is the model of
health that most of us were raised on. The media creates images of the family physician
on house call, rushing to the ailing patient’s bedside, black bag in tow and magic elixir at
the ready. It’s larger than life. It’s nostalgic. And it’s flawed.
First of all, contrary to what you may have been taught, symptoms are not meant to be
used as a barometer of health. When a roast burns in the oven, you don’t smell the
smoke until after the meat has been charred. In other words, the illness occurred first,
creating damage before the symptoms even showed up. There are billions of dollars
spent every year in this country on drugs or products designed to take away our
symptoms, implying that this is the equivalent of being healthy. In actuality, this is like
using a fan to divert the smoke out of the kitchen window while the roast continues to be
reduced to charcoal. Sure you might feel better, but your health remains in shambles.
Secondly, while the way you feel might change from day to day, your underlying level of
health, albeit changing itself, is considerably more stable. So it is erroneous to think that
you can go from healthy to unhealthy and back again in a few days time, based simply on
the symptoms expressed by your body.
Finally, it is unrealistic to describe health as black and white, sick or not sick. According
to this logic, as soon as the scales barely tip to the symptom free side you are as healthy
as you can be. What an immense letdown life would be if reaching the pinnacle of health
meant barely treading above the waters of sickness!
So what does it mean to be healthy? Health is a state of optimum physical functioning,
spiritual enlightenment, social well being, and mental aptitude. True health is so much
more than settling for mediocrity. It’s not about living life just barely above the doldrums,
or hoping against hope that you won’t get sick or that you’ll finally feel better.
Understand that your body was designed to be healthy and in balance. This is your
natural state. If you are struggling with your health, you have most likely, throughout the
course of living, allowed your body to get out of balance. Taking medicine to treat a
symptom will never create balance within the body. Acupuncture works with the body to
return it to its natural state of balance so that it can heal from the inside out. Don’t divert
the smoke, put out the fire!