How to Maintain Your Health

Are you a one hit wonder?

how to maintain your healthWe all love a quick fix…and discovering how to maintain your health takes education and commitment:

One shot at the doctors office…

One silver bullet pill to make all the pain go away…

One winning lottery ticket…

One magic relationship that solves everything…

Learning how to maintain your health takes practice. As modern people, we often want it now, right now, while in our souls we know that healing takes time. When we plant a seed, we can’t expect that seed to germinate overnight. We can’t expect a small tree to be a giant oak in a day.

Perhaps it is time to wake up and smell the flowers, to stop and take the long view, the ecological approach to health.

To attain lasting healing and freedom from pain of all sorts: physical, emotional and mental, we must practice a way of life that starts by understanding the true value of health.

People often say that health is true wealth…but think about it…can you imagine anything more important than your health?

You could have all the money in the world, and not be able to enjoy a cent of it without your health.

You may want to travel the world, how much better will travel be without constant pain?

Over last 20 years I have worked with patients, I have developed a set of health principles that I consider the most important actions for maintaining and creating true health.

Health is something we have to practice, it is work…it is maintenance.

No serious gardener expects to grow things well without tending the garden…

So too, if we want good health…we have to maintain it…

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are practices that evolved to maintain and maximize a person’s health.

Once we use acupuncture and Chinese medicine to restore a person to a pain free state by treating the root and branch of the problem, we maintain a person’s health by treating them periodically even when they are well.

We treat a person when they are well with acupuncture so that a problem does not come back…we work with you to maintain a stress free and pain free state.

Is it time to commit to your health?

Is it time to learn how to maintain your health, rather than just keep fixing problems?

Is it time to remove stress and to clear the obstacles that block your own ability to heal?

If so…here are what I consider to be the most important principles for a healthy life:

How to Maintain Your Health

James Whittle’s 7 principles of total wellness:

1. Practicing Fun, Joy and Love: (saying “I don’t do stress”). This principle I like to call “life design.” How many of us could use more fun, more lightening up and more love and joy in our lives? Strive to live with a full and open heart every day, and let the past go immediately. We can choose to learn to be more and more optimistic and positive and then live our lives from a place of happiness…for some people this is an uphill climb, but obviously it is so worth it. Acupuncture treats a person at the level of their spirit, helping  a person open to their innate joy.

2. Being in Nature: (includes short periods of sunbathing) The mind calming and stress reducing impact of being in nature is so powerful. The scents and aromas of a dense forest will do wonders for your health and peace of mind. Additionally, research shows that putting your skin in direct contact with the earth is beneficial for the flow of ions through the system. The Japanese call it “forest bathing” which is inspiring and poetic. So take off those shoes in the yard once and a while and breathe!

3. Breathing and Meditation: The simple practice of taking 4 or 5 deep breaths every hour really helps eliminate toxins from the system and helps oxygenate the body and blood. Deep breathing also reduces stress and induces the relaxation response. Breathing correctly is the central principle of tai chi, qigong, and yoga and can truly change your life. Further, breathing deeply can be done anywhere…in the car, in the line at the grocery store etc. I heard a qigong expert once say that if we all did deep breathing in all the lines we wait in, we could all be qigong experts in a short time.

4. Adequate Rest: Overwork and lack of proper rest is one of the most common causes of stress and disease. We need to think of overwork as a major cause of stress. Rest and the proper use of rest needs to be a key part of any health care plan. I recommend a short nap if a person is able to build this into their schedule. But even if we are not able to make time to nap, we should set aside a certain amount of time every hour to stop what we are doing, rest our eyes and practice deep breathing. Sometimes even taking 2 minutes of conscious relaxation time can really help. Sleep is critical to human health. I created The Chinese Medicine Sleep Solution, so click here to see my 9 Keys for Deeper Sleep.

5. Moderate Exercise: sometimes less is more. I always suggest people find a form of activity that they really enjoy and stick with that. Walking and swimming are great. Weight lifting and building lean muscle mass is also really helpful.

6. Balanced Nutrition and Regular Elimination: This could also be at the top of the list because nutrition is so central to human health and well being. If your digestion is causing problems, we can help you restore it without drugs. Digestion is a complex event requiring not only proper food, but requiring eating foods at the right times. The timing of meals is really important. Also, how you absorb food and eliminate it is critical to health and energy levels.

7. Good Water: your water must be free of contaminates, toxins, even chlorine. You must also hydrate well: I recommend half of your body weight in ounces per day. It is also extremely important not to drink liquids with meals. Drink at least an hour before meals so that the water has time to exit the stomach before you eat. Also, wait at least 2 hours after meals to drink water so that the food has had time to exit the stomach.

About The Author

James Whittle M.S., L.Ac. is an acupuncturist and a practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). He has visited China more than 8 times to work in hospitals and conduct research. James has also consulted for the BBC on an acupuncture documentary and appeared on NBC news. In 2016, NBC called James “an expert in Chinese medicine.” He is the founder and owner of the Blue Ridge Clinic in Asheville, North Carolina, founded in 2003. A graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill with honors, he completed his masters in acupuncture at Bastyr University in 2001. He is licensed to practice acupuncture in North Carolina and holds license #238. You can reach James at (828) 254-4405.