I’m pretty big on humanity.
The precept that we're not perfect and so of course we strive to be better is thematic in human civilization: it's seen in art and heard in music; it's in the trajectory of human relationships and exemplified in major world religions.
I'd like to go a step further than that, though, or perhaps I just want to be a bit more nuanced:
we are not perfect, of course!
Let's start there. Why in the world would we assume ourselves to be? Seriously. Have we met ourselves? Perfect doesn't come to mind. Beautiful, messy, true - these words describe humans, and they sound pretty dynamic. Health is about the movement of energy and beauty and mess and truth are all alive with it.
Perfect, though? Nah.
Striving for better isn't about becoming perfect; it's because of our imperfection that we are wholly human. Perfect doesn't have anything to do with it because perfect is staid and done with. Perfect doesn't have spirit, and life without spirit is actually a source of pain.
The betterment, then, isn't a quest for shiny perfectness. It's really a seeking of whole humanity.
Be not just good; be good for something.
Here's a fun fact: my best friend and I wear matching bracelets that have BADFHB stamped on them. It stands for Be A Decent Fucking Human Being: because we always need a reminder that life is a practice; because the point of life is to add goodness into the world; because when you're a grown-ass woman why wouldn’t you want a custom bracelet with your bestie??
BECAUSE IT'S A REMINDER THAT LIFE IS ALIVE, LIFE IS A GROWTH SYSTEM, LIFE IS GOODNESS AND DECENCY.
And that, my friends, is what being human is all about.
Acupuncture is good for a lot of things:
making babies, letting you sleep, easing depression, helping with the grip of anxiety, practicing the art of dealing with stress, reducing the pain and debilitation that comes with arthritis, reducing the frequency of migraines, eliminating the signs and symptoms of GERD, stopping sciatica in its tracks... the list goes on. Prevention Magazine has a great infographic that I've added below:
But maybe the biggest thing is this:
Acupuncture makes you more human.
Bottom line. No less. No more.
When aches and pains, psychological and degenerative diseases, or broken and unusable limbs meander into our lives, they rule us. They take over. They have the power to bring us into ourselves and feel out the confines of our bodies, or push us further outside of what has become a prison.
Even without major illness, we (Americans, at least) don't tend to live inside our bodies. The most recent example is the fact that a 3-year-old from Texas was just diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. Three. 3 years old. Metabolic Syndrome. In only three years of life.
Sugar and heart-clogging oils don't just pad our bodies with layers of fat and cushion our internal organs with absurd levels of adipose tissue; they literally disconnect us from ourselves.
In Chinese medicine, the pattern Damp Accumulation can have a zombie-like effect on the brain. And exactly my point, reader: that's the opposite of making you more human! (An example more concrete than zombies is that Alzheimer's and Dementia have roots in poor quality, damp-inducing foods.)
I don't know if food will ever cease to be Big Business, but I do think there's hope. There's a rising backlash against processed foods, people are going green, and there's an overall increase in awareness about consumption and waste.
And now, a recent study talks about how "electro-acupuncture improves the social interaction behavior of rats," which I get means that it makes rats more ratty, but the human implications are there. Take out the brain fog and add in some acupuncture?? Sounds like a match made in hippy heaven.
It's no wonder that acupuncture helps children and adults on the spectrum:
The study found that "electro-acupuncture led to region-specific up-regulation of oxytocin and arginine-vasopressin mRNA levels in the hypothalamus."
Oxytocin and arginine-vasopressin are neuropeptides that are involved in the social behaviors of mammals.
"Low socially interacting rats that underwent repeated electro-acupuncture showed significant improvement of social behavior characterized by spending more time investigating the strange rats in three-chamber sociability test. The improved sociability was accompanied by an up-regulation of mRNA and the peptide levels of oxytocin or arginine-vasopressin in the hypothalamus as well as a significant increase of serum level of arginine-vasopressin."
"It is concluded that activation of these neuropeptide systems may be associated with the pro-social effect caused by electro-acupuncture stimulation."
Acupuncture has a profound effect on the mind. It incites change in the body, in the mind, and in the spirit. I see it in my patients, and this study supports my individual case-study findings: