Great Taste… And so Much More!
One of the best things you can do for your body is to feed it real, wholesome, nutritious foods.  If you can find locally grown organic products, even better.  The benefits of going organic include less pesticide contamination, higher nutrient content, no genetic modifications, no irradiation, more humane treatment of animals and respect for the land, and better taste.  Of all these health benefits, the only subjective one is taste.
So let’s say you are looking over some produce and you are deciding whether to go organic or stick with the conventional version.  If your primary concern is the health of you and your family, then it’s a no-brainer; go with the organic.  If, however, your decision is based solely on taste, it’s a toss up, as some report a distinct advantage to organic while others claim no taste difference between organic and conventional.
Here’s the point.  If you are making your purchasing decisions based entirely on taste, you are risking missing out on all the other healthy benefits of choosing organic.
When it comes to acupuncture and the health of your body, pain relief is like the organic taste test.
While most people are prompted to pursue acupuncture care as the result of pain or other symptoms, those who limit it to simple pain relief are cheating themselves of so much more.
The real impact of acupuncture lies in its ability to help the body heal and regulate itself.  We know that energy flows in the meridian system, and that imbalances and blockages of energy in the meridian system lead to various symptoms and signs.
Whether imbalances are felt or not, the end result is the same: loss of the normal flow of the body’s energy and compromised health.
Roughly 15-20% of the time these imbalances result in pain.  Most of the time, however, they cause no symptoms and go undetected.  So if the majority of people who are out of balance with blocked energy flow base their decision to choose acupuncture solely on the way they feel, then they will most likely delay care, and their health will continue to decline. Organic is not just about taste, and acupuncture certainly isn’t only about pain relief.

While feeling great is desirable, the full scope of acupuncture’s benefits can only be realized beyond the initial relief phase of care.  Once you are feeling better, be sure to utilize acupuncture for ongoing health and wellness.  Pain relief, like great taste, is just the tip of the iceberg! 

Take Aim At A New Life

It is estimated that approximately 3% of the population has a set of concrete, written goals.  If the full impact of goal setting were realized, and more importantly the results it produces, we would undoubtedly see more people engaging in it.
In a follow-up study of one prominent university’s graduating class, the 3% of graduates with written goals outperformed the other 97% combined!

If you are new to goal setting, here are some tips to get you going.  This is by no means a comprehensive course on goals, but should at least serve as a good starting point.

Goals are most effective when they are written down, and although goal setting usually begins as simple lists like to-do lists, a journal dedicated specifically to your goals is a great asset.  Not only does it keep the goals in front of you, but it serves as a record of your accomplishments.  Drawing on past success is extremely motivating, especially as your goals get larger and more audacious.
In addition to a journal, it is also a good idea to utilize index cards and post-it notes that can be placed anywhere you are sure to see them throughout the day.  Some suggestions are the bathroom mirror, the refrigerator, your dashboard, your computer, etc.  The idea is to keep your goals in the forefront of your mind and prevent them from getting swept away by the monotony of the day.

When writing goals you must be as specific as possible.  The more clear and crisp the image, the more likely you are to achieve it.  If you wanted to lose weight, for example, simply stating, “I would like to lose some weight” is too vague a statement to have any meaningful impact.  Instead, a goal would sound something more like, “I will lose 25 pounds and reach my goal weight of 119 pounds by August 31.”  You can see that this goal is measurable in both weight and in time.  Come August 31, you have either met your goal or you haven’t.

Review your goals at least 3 times a day, preferably first thing in the morning, the last thing before bed, and then somewhere mid-day.  Don’t worry too much initially about how you will accomplish your goal.  When you get proficient at setting goals and continually reviewing them, your mind will come up with the “hows”.

Start with small goals that are relatively easy to accomplish and build momentum to bigger and bolder goals.  If you don’t hit a goal by its deadline, don’t worry.  Just rework the goal, set a new date, and recommit to getting it done.

Start today.  As you begin checking off goals in the coming weeks your life will begin to take on new depth and greater meaning.

Essential Healthy Habits

To live a healthy life at the most basic level, we all know that there are certain habits that must be maintained on a consistent basis. 
Want healthy teeth?  Brush a few times daily, floss at least once a day, and visit your dentist for regular check-ups. 
Healthy bodily hygiene requires that you shower or bathe daily.
Living at a healthy bodyweight results from consistently eating the right types of foods, and regularly engaging in some form of exercise.
Most importantly, living your life at your absolute healthiest, with 100% energy flow and maximum expression of life requires clearing the body of meridian imbalances and then maintaining those changes through consistent wellness treatments.
These are truths that cannot be denied.  When you quit performing any of these proactive habits, its corresponding aspect of health begins to decline.
So let’s say you did give up these habits.  What would happen to your state of health as it relates to that activity?
Quit brushing and flossing and you risk losing your teeth.  As undesirable as this would be, you can still live without a mouthful of teeth.  Sure it’s more difficult, but you would survive. 
Give up bathing and, while your circle of friends would quickly diminish, you would be in no imminent threat of losing your life.
Stop exercising or eating well and soon your neglect will be written all over your expanding body.
Start powering down or inhibiting the meridian system, however, and your quality of life plummets right along with it.  Shut the meridian system down completely, and you will be very unhealthy.
This is not to imply that if you give up your acupuncture treatments that disease is imminent, but it does speak volumes toward the importance of keeping the power of the meridian system flowing freely at all times.
Life revolves around the meridan system and when there become imbalances, or blockages, the energy that runs the body is diminished.

As important as it is to correct meridian imbalances and restore normal function to the meridian system, it is just as critical to maintain those changes.  A lifetime of preventative, wellness acupuncture care is one of the healthiest habits that you can engage in.

Egg Carton

What's in Your Carton?

If you’re like most people, before buying eggs at the grocery store you open the carton to check for broken shells.  You’re probably not too surprised when you come across a cracked egg or two and you simply continue your search, rendering the previous carton useless.  As you proceed, you notice that some cartons contain 1 broken egg, others contain 2, and still others have 3 or more.  Finally you find what you came for, a carton with a perfect dozen eggs inside.
Why must you go through the process of opening each carton?  Because you can’t tell anything about the contents by simply looking at the outside packaging.  Every carton looks identical from the outside, yet they can be very different on the inside.  To randomly choose any carton without knowing what’s inside would be a foolish and unnecessary risk.
The body is like our egg carton. It is often so good at compensating for imbalances, that what might look healthy and in balance from the outside can actually be masking underlying problems or symptoms.  If left undetected, these imbalances can lead to chronic sickness, degeneration, and disease.
When it comes to our health, we’ve been taught that what you see and feel is what you get.  If things look okay on the outside and you don’t have any symptoms, you must be healthy, right?  We’ve come to learn that this is not the case.  Many diseases and disorders such as cancer and heart disease have no symptoms or warning signs until the sickness is well into the advanced stage.   Imbalances are no different. 
Meridian imbalances are known as “silent problems”.  They often go undetected because many times they are painless and reveal few outward signs or symptoms, yet all the while they are affecting your life-sustaining meridian system. 
If there are enough cracked eggs in a carton, and they are left inside long enough, eventually they will begin to soak through and reveal themselves.  Similarly, uncorrected imbalances will eventually show themselves as symptoms.
The only way to know for certain whether or not you have meridian imbalances is to either wait for your carton to soak through, or to open the carton and look inside with a acupuncture examination.  

If you wouldn’t take a chance on a $3.00 carton of eggs, you certainly shouldn’t risk your most precious and priceless commodity:  YOUR HEALTH!

Be Different. It's Good for You.

It’s funny how some things come to be accepted as normal just because the larger flock is engaging in them.  If you are fortunate enough to have an open mind and think for yourself, all of a sudden you are the one who is considered odd, or alternative, or irresponsible.
When did it become normal for millions of American kids to be on the mind altering drug Ritalin?  What happened to the human body that all of a sudden we supposedly need flu shots and immunizations to stay healthy?  How is it that medicine is a leading cause of death in this country yet we continue to consume it in absurd amounts?
When you talk about acupuncture for total body health and wellness you are a freak.  If your “medicine cabinet” isn’t overflowing with cough syrups and pain-killers you’re odd.  If you choose not to immunize your kids you’re doing them a disservice.
Who are the ones that are really off base here?  Common or mainstream does not necessarily mean normal or right or the best thing for you, and it’s up to you to make informed decisions about your health instead of leaving your fate in someone else’s hands.
If you’re thinking for yourself and you happen to be in alignment with the masses, then so be it.  But don’t be influenced by the flock to accept their mentality just because “everybody else is doing it”. 
When you swim against the current of conventional thinking people look at you funny.  Rather than taking offense to those sideways glances, take them as a sign that you are on the right track.

It’s been said that as soon as you start thinking like the crowd you’ll be swept up in it.  Be strong enough to stand up for what you believe, for what makes sense to you, and for what you know in your heart to be right.  You owe it to yourself.

Devil in Disguise

Painkillers are being abused like never before.  The media likes to sensationalize the use of prescription pain meds being sold in dark alleys by neighborhood thugs and resident riff-raff.
But what about the gentleman who just purchased the drugs legally from his local pharmacy, as prescribed by his doctor.  Is he in any less danger than the guy who obtains his through the black market?
You can argue that in the short-term he is, since he is taking the drugs as prescribed and in the proper dosage.  But how about over the long haul?
When you are injured, signals are sent from the injury site to the brain to register pain.  Pain is useful in that it alerts us to some form of tissue damage or bodily crisis.  The logical course of action would be to address the situation and correct the underlying root cause. 
If you set a heavy box down on your foot, you create pain.  Remove the box, and the pain goes away.  Some things just make too much sense.
Instead, we are in effect encouraged by doctors to strap the box on, walk around with it for a lifetime, and guzzle painkillers to make up for the difference.  It sounds silly when described this way, but it is no less crazy than swallowing pain meds every day while living with chronic pain.
So what’s the big problem with taking painkillers?
First, as with any medication, painkillers come with a whole slew of side effects.  Any drug, especially when used chronically, takes a toll on the body, particularly the liver and kidneys.
Beyond that, pain medications override your body’s internal warning system.  What would normally be a signal to back off or slow down in order to avoid risking farther injury, is no longer present.  So the chances of exacerbating an injury are elevated when taking painkillers.
In addition, pain meds are not corrective.  When pain and symptoms arise due to meridian system imbalances, the only correction is an acupuncture treatment.  When artificially masking the symptoms with painkillers, the underlying cause is left to fester and become worse.  Not only do these types of medicines not fix anything, they can actually contribute to making the problem worse.  In essence, they do nothing more than help your body deteriorate more comfortably.

So to be at your best, ditch the painkillers and get acupuncture, which brings health with no side effects!

Detox Your Mind

Whether you realize it or not, one of the most powerful forces in your life is your self-image.  A positive, healthy self-image can carry you to heights you’ve never imagined, while a negative self-image will pin you down like a lead weight.
To a large degree your self-image is influenced by the pictures and messages you continually feed into your mind.  Positive, uplifting messages help to foster a healthy self image, while stories of doom and despair are sure to bring you down.
Your mind, just like your body, is conditioned by the pattern of your daily habits.  If you get into the routine of exercising every day and putting wholesome nutritious food into your body, it is inevitable that your level of health will improve.  By the same token, feasting on donuts and soda everyday while taking up permanent residence on the couch is like punching your ticket on the express train out of here.
By treating our minds like our bodies, that is feeding them what makes them healthier and exercising them the right way, we can make a complete shift in our mental make-up.
Detoxing your mind takes practice and discipline, but the payoff is invaluable.  The eventual goal should be to always ooze positivity, but start by challenging yourself with a few days to a week of elevating your attitude and build from there.  Journal your progress and take note of the changes that you see in yourself and in those around you.
Start by replacing the “junk food” that you force feed into your head with outrageously nutritious material.  Focus on feeding nothing but positive, motivating things into your mind.  This goes for what you watch, read, listen to, and most importantly, what you think.
Replace the dread and corruption reported on the evening news with a motivational reading, spiritual study, or uplifting music.  Break away from gossip and get into the habit of passing out compliments.
If negative thoughts about yourself or someone else enter your mind (and they will) work on eliminating them or putting a positive spin on them.  For example, instead of complaining that your water bill is too high, come up with creative ways to lower it or simply be thankful that you have running water at the turn of a knob.

You draw into your life those things that you consistently focus your time and energy on.  Become a magnet for happiness and prosperity by continually thinking happy, prosperous thoughts.