No matter how many treatments you get from your acupuncturist or your massage therapist, the truth is that most of the time you’re out in the world living your life. That’s wonderful – you don’t want you to spend all of your time in treatment!
But, the world isn’t always kind to our bodies and minds. Your non-ergonomic desk at work, the poor air quality from the latest West coast fire, the quick fast food lunch you ate because you forgot your packed one, your sedentary day because of a big project at work, the stressful conversation with your daughter or your boss – all of these have consequences that must be considered.
The more you can bring your lifestyle in alignment with best practices, the less damage is done between treatments, and eventually, the fewer treatments you need to feel your best. That is always our goal at Watershed Wellness – to help you live your best so you don’t need us so much!
Food, nutrition & eating
Food can be wonderful medicine! Preparing and consuming food, sharing it with others, these are among some of the greatest pleasures we have in life. And, yes, of course, it is also true that some foods and methods of preparing food can be detrimental to the body, especially when overdone.
Chinese medicine uses the same theories it uses in diagnosis and treatment to think about food and nutrition. There’s an entire system of “Chinese dietetics” that prescribes specific foods, or recommends avoiding them, for particular conditions or body constitutions. Your practitioner may give you nutritional advice in accordance with these theories. Depending on their training, they may also give you information about food allergies or particular specialized diets that they believe will help you feel better in your body.
Our goal is never to be extreme or unrealistic in our dietary advice. There is no perfect diet, and the majority of diet fads promoted in the media are unbalanced and unsustainable. We’re happy to talk to you about these diets and even help you approach them in the most healthful way possible, but our ultimate goal is always to help you find a nutritional approach that is balanced, resonates with Chinese medicine theory, and is sustainable for you over the long term.
It’s important for you to know that at Watershed Wellness, we are supporters of the Health at Every Size movement. This means that we don’t judge people based on their body sizes and we believe that people of all sizes can live healthy lives. Fat doesn’t mean unhealthy, contrary to common belief! Because of this stance, we do not do “weight loss” acupuncture, nor will we ever refer to your weight as being a “problem.” Instead, we will always seek to help you be your best self, at any size!
We are also acutely aware of how too much focus on food and eating can become an obsessive distraction from a healthy lifestyle. Various types of eating disorders, including orthexia, are far too common, particularly in young women. If you have history of an eating disorder, please do disclose that with us, and we will tailor our advice to be sure that we don’t aggravate those circumstances. Regardless of your status with regards to eating disorders, at WW we always seek to talk about food and eating in a balanced way, and only when it will definitely be of benefit to you in achieving your wellness goals.
Other lifestyle factors
“Lifestyle” is a broader term. Here it refers to all those life choices and circumstances that impact your health, but are not strictly related to diet. This may refer to how you get movement in your life – exercise, time outside in nature, and so on. This may refer to elements of your personal environment such as air and water quality, ergonomics and sensory stimulus. Discussion of these factors can sometimes be part of the process of acupuncture treatment.