Subtle Course Corrections

by Jeanine Adinaro on February 10, 2011

in General Health

Is changing course abruptly really effective?

Any of you who have ever met me probably know that my personality isn’t what most people would describe as subtle. And yet, I am a huge fan of subtle. I think the most substantial effects happen in reaction to subtle stimulus. Ironic, isn’t it?

I came across a blog entry questioning Is There a Secret to Health? The author suggests, and I believe correctly so, that yes, there is. But it’s not to be found in a bottle sold on late night TV for $19.95. Nor is it found by becoming a contestant on reality “diet” TV. Rather it is in listening to our own inner voices about what makes us feel better and what makes us feel worse and making small corrections accordingly.

I got to thinking about my own initial experience with acupuncture so many, many years ago. I was in my mid-twenties and my general health was pretty much a train wreck. I found no help from the various doctors I saw. Eventually I asked a friend of mine, a yoga instructor, if she had any suggestions. Actually, what I said was, “Alice, you know a lot about woo-woo crap medicine. Is there anything that might help me out here?” She sent me to her acupuncturist, Rachel.

It may have just been her personality, or it may be her many years of clinical experience, but upon beginning my treatment, she did not beat me over the head with a list of radical life-style changes that I had to implement immediately that probably would have included things like sleeping more than 4 hours a night, not drinking so much alcohol that my liver was in a permanent state of over-drive and occasionally eating something that was not boiled for 20 minutes in oil. Had she done this, I would not have listened at all, made no changes whatsoever and probably not continued to get treatment from her.

Instead Rachael used to say things to me like, “Jeanine, next time you are sitting down to dinner, try ordering hot water with lemon to drink.” As it turns out hot water with lemon is great for all sorts of reasons, not the least of which is that if I tried to order it along with a┬ámartini, the waiter will look at me like I had lost all my marbles, so I would only end up ordering the hot water with lemon. See how subtle that trick was?

One day Rachel shared with me a Daoist saying that has stuck with me ever since- “There is good there is bad but the only evil is in trying to force change.” Ooooooh.

Photo by ~Shanth

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