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In a previous article I specified that people over blame themselves for issues regarding their health with things that are not even within their control.

In this article I want to go the opposite route and talk about personal responsibility and health. The simple fact remains that your health is your greatest asset, or can become your greatest liability.

Here’s what I’m thinking about. I am thinking that a lot of people are blaming everyone for their own health and outsourcing responsibility. Are there bad doctors? Certainly. Are there too many drug-peddlers? No doubt. But I can also say with some history of treatments behind it that patients expect a whole lot out of their doctors, chiropractors, therapists, masseuses, and acupuncturists, but are rarely willing to do the work themselves to make the changes necessary to achieve health.

Think about it this way: would you join a gym to lose weight and get more muscle, and then refuse to exercise when told how? Would you go to your physical therapist and not do the exercises?

Then why come to any other therapist of any modality and put up a hard line defensive posture?

This stagnates Qi and conditions you to become attached to a disease state. Furthermore, it places a lot of responsibility and guild onto well-intentioned people who just want to help you.

As an acupuncturist I have a lot of patients who complain about Western Medicine – and rightly so in some instances – but few seem very thankful for what that medicine is very good at: saving lives. Surgery and drugs are excellent means of saving lives, especially in a pinch. Is there a lifestyle of drugs and drug addiction in American Medicine? Absolutely. But by no means does that mean that doctors are not trying to help patients. And furthermore, the bottom line is that therapy/intervention is the patients’ responsibilities, not the doctor’s. You own your health and your disease. Sometimes it comes on unexpectedly, and for that, don’t feel any guilt for. Or perhaps you’re just “built that way.”

But while, for instance, diabetes can be a bit preordained, it is far and above the fault of lifestyle-diet in the modern world.

So I would just ask that patients be… well, patient. Understand that you AND the doctor/therapist are humans, and we all have feelings, needs, etc… too. One population of people who do so much for others and not enough for themselves is definitely nurses and health practitioners. Let’s all try to be a little more compassionate and a little more global as regards our health and others’ needs; especially when finding fault, having judgment or expectations.

Thank you,
Shifu Careaga

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