What does it mean to call life, a paradox? I’ll get right to it. The black and white, absolute truth that we’re sold on by those who find comfort in extremes is so often not the case. Truths are often grey and aplenty. Truth is often found on all sides of an issue and most will not or are not capable of doing the work to find the real truth. I encourage you to take a long look at how you have arrived at “the truths” in your life. Do you believe in God? Do you strongly believe in a set of tenets setout by a particular sect, denomination or religion? Do you vote for one political Party? How strongly do you react to those who don’t share your beliefs? Think about the stress and tension you feel. Where does it come from? Be honest, what changes your breathing pattern, alters your sleep and/or affects your appetite/digestion? What do you worry or think about, excessively? Doing this exercise will often lead to the roots of our chronic issues…and also provide a better understanding of who we are and what our life is about.
We live in a time where polarizations are more and more prevalent. There is more depression and more anxiety. There is more disconnection and more desire to reach for it. There is more insecurity and a greater concern to feel secure, and so forth. This move toward extremes has caused a disruption in the normal flow of life; the movement through the bell curve. The good of the bell curve is it kept the majority feeling comfortable in a place of moderation. The bad is the resultant complacency of “going with the crowd.” Sometimes, extremes make us question ourselves. In Natural Medicine, we sometimes use extremes to bring back into balance what has swung too far one way. When we get the Patient there, we teach moderation to keep the balance.
Americans tend to fall for fads and easy fixes. We have become a pill culture. Instead of adopting the slow, sure way, we often go for the quick solution. Instead of identifying causes, we put Band-Aids on symptoms. To keep pace with the theme of this article, it is important to acknowledge that treating symptoms is ok, just not in place of treating the causes. This is the key reason I chose to leave Western or Allopathic Medicine and became an Acupuncturist and Natural Health Practitioner. I found that the focus was on identifying and treating the roots. There was an additional importance in assisting the body in doing what it was meant to do; thrive, heal, survive, etc. It is about optimizing function, expelling the excess and tonifying the deficient. It makes sense to me, and when I see the lights go on over the heads of the thousands of Patients I have helped, it feels so gratifying.
The diagnostic tools, be they simple, well-honed sensory-driven or machine, science or bio-chemically based also made more sense to me, eventually. I used the word science here because some of what we do is based in science and/or has been proven through double-blind studies. In fact, I bet most of you don’t know that there are thousands of studies from around the World that have proven the efficacy of acupuncture and other tools of Chinese and Natural Medicine. They just aren’t studies or facts that help the big business that is Western Medicine or Big Pharma.
Before you get defensive and take this as an attack on Western Medicine, dial it back because it is nothing of the sort. I was raised in that system and come from a family of Allopathic Practitioners and employed in the field of science. It is where I excelled in school, too. I just wanted to help people with chronic health issues and here is the bottom line: Putting people on drugs that control symptoms and/or force a part of the body to do something, but don’t treat the underlying cause of the disease, is not the form of care that is best for those Patients. The reason is simple: They take a med that may initially quell symptoms, but leads to other imbalances or side-effects. In turn, those are treated with more medications and the cycle of drug dependency begins.
Western Medicine is of key importance when dealing with a strong infection or when there are life-threatening situations. If you suffer serious physical trauma, a Dr. or hospital setting is going to, most likely, save your life. The lesson here is, use the right tool for the right job. You don’t call a Plumber when you have an electrical problem.
My desire is to see people do the basics better. I want people to find moderation, balance, health and happiness. More and more people are finding balance through Natural Medicine because they realize the truth, on some level. They realize that they can shirk exercise/movement, diet/nutrition, facing their emotional stressors, breathing properly, and so on, for so long before they have to pay the price.
The tools I use are designed to remove obstacles to healing and restore function in the body. The nutritional supplements I use are the best in the World; checked by 3rd party businesses to insure their quality. They are also developed by top-line R&D departments run by research bio-chemists who genuinely care about health! My top company has their own organic farm and patented processing that means that you are getting concentrated whole food supplementation of your diet. Conventional farming takes the good organisms and reduces the nutrients in the foods you are buying from the grocery store, now. Along with processed and sugar-laden foods, most people are under-nourished. If you aren’t willing to get nutrients from a whole foods diet, you better get them from somewhere. I offer a reasonable way to do so, and there are millions of people who’ve figured it out and are living disease-free and feeling their best.
This may seem divergent from life being paradoxical. It is not and here is why: The truth that so many believe is that we have it all in our Country. We can eat anything we want, whenever we want and when we’re sick, we have the best system of medicine in the World to fix us. Although there is a truth to these statements, there are also lies. We are the sickest Country in the World with a failing medical system due to greed and being over-burdened. It is time to make whole-sale changes to our system, our communities, and most importantly, to ourselves.
Paul Gerst L.Ac. is a licensed Acupuncturist and Natural Health Practitioner of over 20 years practicing in Medway, MA at The Balanced Path Wellness Center. If you are interested in getting your life back on track, be it from chronic health issues, addiction, poor decision-making or maybe you’re finally ready to do what it takes to get well, then contact us here or call 774-283-2726 for Acupuncture and Natural Healthcare.