Can I hear a "Hallelujah!"?
I'm talking about the latest news out of the American College of Physicians. They've just updated their guidelines for treatment of back pain, and for the first time, they have stated that the first line of treatment should be non-drug therapy, and drugs such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS) and muscle relaxants should only be considered if first line treatments fail. Here's what they said:
The ACP made the following strong recommendations:
We've all been told to exercise....that exercise is good for us. And it's true - with more muscle mass, we don't tend to gain much weight, we seem to have more energy, and we generally feel better. But what about people who are going through chemotherapy? Should they be on an exercise program, especially when they feel wiped out from chemo?
Well, if you or someone you know is undergoing chemo, then you need to watch this video. It's an eye-opener, and it will give you hope:
I just got done reading a fantastic article in the New Yorker on incremental vs. heroic medicine. The man who wrote it is a surgeon - someone whose life's path has been that of the hero - there to save lives through the miracle of modern medicine. For years he looked at what he did as far superior than, say, an Internal Medicine doc - or any primary care physician, for that matter. After all, he was the creator of miracles, and what did they do? Give shots and prescribe medicines and take blood pressure. No drama there.
But then a friend of his - an Internal Medicine doc - sent him some eye-opening statistics. Seems that the evidence is clear. Those who take care of themselves by regularly solving seemingly small problems have much better outcomes than those who rely on the heroic measures.
Well, for those of us who use so-called "alternative medicine", it's the same thing. What we do is what I'd describe as baby steps.....small adjustments to our eating habits, our exercise routines, and - though it might seem unimportant when you don't have any symptoms - regular adjustments to our energy.
For those of us who practice these routines, we find ourselves more resilient when others are breaking down with colds and the flu. We sleep better. We gain less weight. We feel more energetic. And what does all of that add up to? A much happier life!
What baby steps do you take towards your own self-care? Those seemingly, small things that you've poo-poohed as unimportant? I'd love to hear from you. Scroll down and leave a comment - share your thoughts.
I've been practicing acupuncture and Chinese medicine for over 25 years, and this ancient wisdom never gets old. I love helping people feel better without the need for drugs or surgery.