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Being alive is its own reward

Being alive is its own reward

After a hard day’s work, I just need to veg out to TV.  I need that glass of wine.  I need a chocolate bar after a stressful day.    It’s an unfortunate human habit that we often treat ourselves with things that just make us feel worse in the long-run.  There’s not necessarily anything wrong with watching a TV show or having wine or chocolate.  It’s the need part that causes the damage in most cases.  I remember one of my acupuncture mentors advising a patient of his that using wine to create an atmosphere of relaxation was short-circuiting her own natural abilities to do this for herself.  He told her to find a way to create that peaceful mood first and then enjoy a glass of wine – not as a need or a reward or an escape, but just to enjoy it.

The negative effect of addictive cravings is especially clear for drugs.  In the long-term they take away the very capacity to engender what they deliver in the short-term.  Pot for example – it promises spacious, creative thinking, a mellow mood.  In the long-term it damages the liver, which according to Chinese medical theory, is responsible for vision, goal-setting, and the smooth flow of emotions.  When our liver qi isn’t flowing we tend to be uptight, inflexible and confused.

It’s true for less criminal drugs as well.  Sugar promises quick satisfaction and comfort.  I want what I want when I want it – instant gratification.  Too many sweets damage the spleen, which leads to feeling ungrounded and needy, weakened digestion and a host of other health issues.

Anything that we grasp for on automatic has the potential to knock us off our center.  We can see these urges and choose not to respond to them.  It’s not always easy and it takes practice, for sure.  But imagine living a life that you didn’t need to reward yourself for getting through?

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The Nuin Center
5655 Bryant St
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
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Tue 10-7
Wed 10-7
Thu 10-7
Mon, Fri, Sat hours twice a month
Closed Sun
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Returning patients can schedule online with the button below. New patients please call to schedule. (FYI I have about a 6-8 week waitlist.)
Phone: 412.927.4768