Chinese Medicine is a preventative medicine and can be powerful when used in this way. It functions to maintain balance in the body by encouraging the flow of Qi and blood in the channels and reducing stress. My teachers always said “Western Medicine is great for Emergency situations where as Eastern Medicine is great at preventing disease and getting to the root cause of the issue.” Our current medical care system focuses on acute or diagnostic care. Due to this, we have become used to this standard approach to our health and have either lost sight or have never been aware of the approach which Traditional Chinese Medicine takes towards our healthcare. It seems as though many people are utilizing Chinese Medicine just as they utilize Western Medicine. They wait until something is bothering them to be seen by a Chinese Medicine Practitioner. Countless times I have heard patients say they haven’t been in because they have been feeling fine or they have never tried acupuncture before because there was nothing wrong with them. Just as I was writing this a former patient emailed me to let me know that all is well with him and that he would be in touch when he breaks something. Unless you are a monk living in the serenity and crisp clean air of the mountains, your body is constantly under stress. Some of us think of stress as only being mental but it is also physical. Poor eating habits, toxins in the air and water and the pressure of daily life create stress for us on a daily basis. For this reason, self care needs to be a top priority for each and everyone of us. We need to shift our thinking to caring for our bodies as we care for our car. If you don’t get in for routine maintenance issues are inevitably going to arise and a total breakdown will eventually ensue. Surely our bodies deserve better than our cars. With proper nutrition, stress relief practices such as meditation, yoga and maintenance acupuncture to encourage balance and free flow of qi and blood, we are giving our bodies all they need to maintain good health. A favorite quote of mine comes from the author of Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life, Dr. Claudia Welch. “Its much easier to maintain good health than to regain good health.” Don’t wait for something to go wrong or for a poor diagnosis to come back to make changes and stay on top of your health. Make it an integral part of your life on a regular basis in every aspect. By doing this, it spreads to those around you and you become part of a movement to create a population of healthy individuals thus changing the direction we are currently moving in. Your health is in your hands.