Combining Acupuncture treatment with Mindfulness meditation
Combining Acupuncture treatment with Mindfulness Meditation is the single most effective way to treat most of the modern day stress related illnesses and conditions. This treatment harmonises the bodies energies to the mind energies, allowing a complete healing.
The accumulative energetic effect is not the simple addition of two approaches, but a squaring or tripling of the effectiveness of the treatment. One multiplies the effect of the other.
The results are simply amazing.
The patient has a ‘usual’ treatment of Five Element Acupuncture yet whilst the needles are in place we practice mindfulness.
This can be one of many of the mindfulness practices:
I prefer to start with the ‘Counting the Breath’ meditation www.calm-mind.co.uk.
In the Counting the Breath Meditation I lead the patient through the practice of focusing their mind on their breath, the in-breath then the out-breath whilst counting the breath.
Breathing in 1-------Breathing out 1: Breathing in 2--------Breathing out 2: and so on up to 9 and then back to 1
Why should I do this? What possible therapeutic effect would this have.
In my 28yrs of experience of treating with acupuncture I have come to realise that 98% of all conditions presented ultimately are derived from the conscious and unconscious perception of the patient.
That is not to say that the presenting condition does not exist…of course it does…. But the question we have to ask is “where did it come from in the first place?…what was and maybe is the causative factor driving the imbalance which has resulted in the presenting condition?” And once this is identified how can we reduce, reverse and optimise this situation?
Mindfulness answers this fundamental question.
Many physical imbalances in the body are a direct result of chronic long term, unnecessary and excessive stimulation of the endocrinal / hormonal symptoms.
Where do these hormonal secretions come from?
A simple glance at how the brain works and the interactivity between generalised areas of the brain, namely, the Pre-frontal cortex, and the limbic system including the Hippocampus and the Amygdala answers the question admirably.
When you think about the past and the future and then make a judgment call, you stimulate the release of the appropriate hormone into the blood flow to activate the desired effect. Be it hunger, fear, cold, happiness, or any of the multitude of emotional responses and activations which we have.
These responses are perfectly natural and appropriate for the wellbeing and the smooth flow of the life cycle of the body.
So Where is the Problem?
Excessive rumination. We are thinking and making judgments far more often than before. We are all more educated and have more expectations than ever. Not to forget the overload of incessant information coming into our brain from the medias and internets. It is considered that if you rea a Sunday paper from cover to cover that you will take in more information in that one reading than your ancestors in the 15 Century did in the whole year, our minds are literally in hyper drive.
Your mind and body were designed to function gently together in the ‘real’ world. Where the threats and dangers were real. Today most threats and dangers are thought based intellectual projections and ‘hanging onto’ past experiences. They are not real life threatening situations like tigers or charging woolly mammoths, but instead they a thought constructed ‘paper conceptual tigers’.
The seat of the emotions, the Limbic area of the brain, can not and does not have any filter system to discern the information created in the Frontal Neo Cortex it can not tell between between a thought tiger and a real tiger. (That is why TV and movies work so well!) the body and its reactions can not differentiate between the two. Meaning that the thought of a problem/ threat is as much a catalyst to create a hormonal release into the body mind system as a ‘real’ actual threat.
And as we are becoming more intellectual, using the prefrontal cortex more than ever before we are swamping ourselves with virtual, make believe threats which turn into an internal hyperactive hormonal soup coursing through the body most of the time. The result is that the body is in an almost constant state of critical alert and hypertension. All this through thinking too much about what might happen and what happened in the past!
If this happened occasionally then we could cope but consider your age then deduct your early childhood (7 yrs) and time in that becomes the years which you have been living with the red danger light on… no wonder the NHS is overwhelmed with all these illnesses, the body can no longer cope with the stress
To learn to truly relax, both the mind and the body.
First we have to bring the mind back to the present moment, 100%, and not using your judgmental ability to assess or evaluate the situation. Do this by learning to just focus on the five senses.
What you can hear
What you can feel
What you can see
What you can touch
What you can taste
When you do this through resting your cognitive and conscious focus into and onto what is actually happening in and around you at this moment in time.
The tool for focusing on the present
I use the ‘Focusing your mind on the Breath’ as my tool of preference. Why? Well the breath is always available, and is always in the present moment. When I focus on my in-breath with 100% attention… then I am in the present moment. When I focus on my out-breath with 100% attention … then I am in the present moment. When I am in the present moment then I am not thinking about the past or the future, as I am focused and thinking about the present moment, when this is happening then I am not catalysing a hormonal cascade through out the body. The mid brain, the Limbic system takes a break from the fear, anxiety and worry created from the thoughts generated in your pre-frontal cortex.
Aaahhh…………. I then can truly relax and rebalance. Mind and body.
When I truly relax and rebalance I make more space. More space in my mind more, space in my body.
With the more space the tension drops away and I relax, the body allows the chi/ energy, the blood the vitality to permeate through out the body healing and revitalising those parts which need natural and caring attention.
We begin the journey back to full health and wellbeing.
The journey is not fast, not easy and not free. The price you need to pay is that of time , effort and practice.
Mindfulness is a skill and a skill takes time to learn and perfect.Times of stress and ill health can be seen as a positive opportunity to reassess our lives, a call to inner growth and change and the need to find ways to go beyond the bounds of old, worn out familiar patterns and habits that prevent us from being well and happy.
Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way;
On purpose, In the present moment,
and non - judgmentally.
The body mind connection
We all respond or react to stress differently. What may seem an enjoyable challenge for one person, can be deeply distressing for another. We all have different resources in strength, character, physiology and perception and in order to deal with stress and the challenges that life presents, we try to find ways to adapt.
Often we react to a stressful situation in a habitual or emotional way that can be damaging to our health, such as fear, anger or blame, or avoidance through food or drugs. Mindfulness helps us to see the ‘bigger picture’ and empowers us to respond in ways that are kinder to ourselves and others and better for our health.
Mindfulness helps you to calm the mind and clear away inner tension.
When you view life from a less tense and more spacious perspective, you are able to respond to the challenges and stresses encountered, in a way that is healthier, rather than reacting with fear and emotional and physical strain.
Developing a stress free life
Avoiding stressful events is not always possible, but by learning the tools to change the way that you react to stress is much more effective. With most causes of symptoms of stress it is not the problem necessarily that needs fixing, more importantly it is your reaction to stress and how that makes you feel.
Mindfulness helps to bring
- Less judgment and more kindness to ourselves and others
- Self acceptance and self worth
- Calmness and increased clarity and mental focus
- Relief from stress and anxiety
- Increased energy and vitality
Mindfulness helps to focus the mind, body and helps you to see more clearly, what arises such as thoughts, emotions, mental or physical sensations
Being present in each moment and observing naturally what ever arises without feeling that it has to be fixed in some way, without judgment, aversion or attachment helps you to trust and accept more fully, each moment with increased self acceptance and kindness, opening a new perspective when faced with a stressful situation.
Mindfulness supports health.
The overall effect of mindfulness is supportive to the effect of acupuncture treatment, also for the body/mind continuum to create and maintain a stable level of balanced health. The mind relaxes, tension dissolves and the body relaxes, this allows the Qi (subtle energy) to flow more freely. The circulation and flow of vital energy throughout the body aids the natural transformation processes and functions within the body bringing increased balance and homeostasis and promotes a renewed sense of well-being and relaxation.
Acupuncture and mindfulness help to restore balance naturally and supports your personal path to better health and happiness.
Relief of symptoms of stress with Acupuncture.
Maintaining inner balance with Mindfulness.