Other People's Ideas
I am on Facebook, like most of our population, it seems. I have been thinking for a while that I should delete my account, but I do use Facebook for business, so I am stuck. To combat my desire not to be on Facebook, I regulate strictly the time I spend, the amount I post and who I follow.
I do love my fellow community acupunks though, they post a lot of things that make me think. The most prolific by far is Jean-Paul from Stillpoint Community Acupuncture in Victoria. He posts (or at least his punks and staff) post multiple times per day. The other day he posted the following picture, and rather than posting it on Facebook without commenting, I wanted to post this here and have a (rather one-sided) conversation about it.
I love it that they took the time to create this. You can see their logo beside the acupuncture part of it, this looks like a pamphlet that they give out to their patients. I just have one problem with it. Ok, a couple.
Have I eaten in the last 3 hours?
I really do not like this idea. The idea we need to eat all the time is ludicrous. Think about this for a second, if we needed to eat that often, when would we sleep? We go for stretches of 6-8 hours of not eating every night. I have been doing a lot of reading and research into diet and health, and I really think that we got this advice really wrong when it comes to the number of meals we eat. Ask your grandmother, should you have a snack! Mine would have said, "No, you will ruin your dinner." Probably some good advice there.
Please remember, your digestion is done in part by hormone regulation. One of the big hormones is insulin, and for our bodies to respond to it appropriately, like other hormones, it must be in the blood chemistry in a cyclical fashion. This means, it needs to be pumped out, then used, and then not be present for a while. If it is always in large amounts in the blood, your body will start to ignore it (desensitization). What your body does next is to pump more out (I won't be ignored!) and the cycle gets perpetuated. To reverse the cycle is simple. Don't eat. You can have water, tea, or coffee (without sweetener/sugar), but not food or candy. Eat 3 times a day. Don't snack. If you are running out of energy if you haven't eaten in 3 hours, you are already in trouble. Most of us carry around lots of glycogen in our muscles and liver, and fat (which is fuel for the body when you aren't eating) . You could probably go for a few days without eating, but you can only use fat if insulin is in very low levels in your blood. So if you have been in this cycle for a while, and insulin never gets really low, your body becomes inefficient when you do try and not eat. The answer isn't to eat, it is to do the opposite.
To bring this back to Chinese Medicine, eat three meals a day that are made of whole foods that you know the ingredients that make up the food. Don't snack between meals, drink some tea, Simple.
What Is My Posture Like?
Please, do not pull your shoulders back. Just let them hang where they hang. If they are forward, you need to strengthen the muscles of your back, or stretch the muscles of your chest. Most likely, both. Now go do that!
The only thing I would add, is Am I Over-Scheduled? Mostly because I am famous for that. The answer is to not take on so much. Most people have a schedule of some sort, whether it is based on work, giving care to others (like a child's school schedule, or a partner's medical treatments) or volunteering. The problem comes when schedule collide, work and volunteering (from a personal example). Schedules become additive and then we are scheduled with no time free. How can a person manage to do all these other things if there is no free time to do them? The immediate response is to schedule them in, to make them a priority. This, in my opinion, leads to burn out. So take on less, and make the time for the other things on this list.
Of course, this is my opinion, your mileage may vary... Be well.