Is what’s good, good for you?


I have been using acupuncture to treat my depression and other physical pains for a while now, it took me a while to find the one acupuncturist I really liked and felt comfortable with. O, was unlike any other medical practitioners I have met – she was meticulously thorough in her examination, and asked many questions about my history and habits all the way back to childhood. Recently, I discovered through her, that milk and swimming was detrimental to my health.

I was shocked. For all through childhood, every book, parent, teacher, TV commercial, sports lesson, biology class, doctor, etc all emphasized the high nutrition value of milk, and the comprehensive mode of exercise for the body through swimming.

So how could these two things be bad for me?

However, through my conversation with O, I realized that indeed there were warning signs, which my parents, I, teachers, and everybody else ignored—or rather, were ignorant of.

My Mother would recount stories of how I threw up all my milk as an infant and cried each time I had to drink milk. As a young child, I was forced to drink warm milk from formula and I would gag each time I smelled the milk warming up in the saucepan. Even now as an adult, I hesitate eating cereal as breakfast because I did not like the taste of milk or the diary products that go with the cereal.

Swimming was no better. My Mother thought it would be good exercise and from the age of 9, I was given swimming training – not simply lessons, but training where I had to swim thousands of laps at the grunt and mercy of a swimming trainer. There would be no rest in the 90 minutes, paddling with the board, swimming with weights, sprint swimming… every single lesson I loathed. One time I even hid in the changing room for the hour to avoid class. By the time I was in high school, I avoided every single swimming lesson at school with lame excuses of eye infection (well, I did have eye problems for a few years wearing contact lenses, so it was not an outright lie…)

We did not know. Scientific research and professionals told us milk and swimming was healthy. I am in no position to dispute years of research, or discount the good intentions my Mother had putting me through the torture. Milk and swimming were unbearable for me only, and my mere reactions could not negate facts of science. I do not doubt the high content of calcium and nutrition in milk at all.

Yet, my body did not require milk. It repulsed the liquid when it went into my stomach. My body did not like swimming either, and each time I had to do it, my body squirmed in reflex.

Now, 20 years later, I found out that milk harmed my organs more than it would build them; given the body constitution I had from the acupunctural perspective. Swimming all these years closed my body pores as a result, and eventually I could not sweat normally, accumulating unwanted heat and toxins in my body, and thereby depleting my organs of its energy and preventing them from cleansing themselves through proper blood flow and sweat.

The body knows, not simply through symptoms of illness, but in everyday life, if we would only let the body speak and listen.

Similarly, when my body could not cope with the stress from environment, work, expectations, and myself, it shut down and plunged into depression.

Depression is a warning signal to me that something – or somethings – in my life needs to change.

As my acupuncturist says, if you body wants to eat something, eat it, the body must need it somehow.

Whether you believe in Chinese medicine and acpuncture or not, there is truth is listening to all the small signs the body gives us.

The flip side of today’s story is: not what everyone tells you is good, is good for you – especially in treating depression. You must find the way that works the best for you!

What is your body telling you today? 

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16 Responses

  1. M says:

    What I got from this was that we should stop believing that certain things are universally good. Every person’s body is different and just because something is good for somebody else it doesn’t mean it should be forced on us.
    I’m sorry you had to go through that but I’m glad you realized certain things were bad for you.

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi M

      Yeh, we are all dfferent and sometimes we get lost amidst people’s advice to us! It’s important to be in tune with our own bodies and minds. Hope you are doig better than me in this regard


  2. 黑狗 says:

    嗯。。。让人有不同的思考 “)

    • nochnoch says:


      • Black dog says:


  3. New-Comer says:

    I just recently found your blog and find it inspiring and comforting to know that there are others with feelings similar to mine and who is working through them. I especially like your post “10 Things Not to Say to a Depressed Person”. I relate to that so well.
    Thank you for starting this blog. It’s brought me moments of comfort.


  4. Nigel Chua says:

    You know what Nochie – I find that everyone’s body is unique and reacts differently to different stuff. Milk that does you harm will help someone whose body is made to benefit from milk.

    Perhaps the trick is to take on an exploratory approach to experiencing things, be it food, sports, work – whatever. Test and see if it helps, and if it does, pursue. If it doesn’t – don’t.

    Of course, we must also bear in mind common sense – it’s totally unsound to jump off a ledge without safety harness or to step in front of a freeway.

    Test everything. =)

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  9. thai says:

    ahhh…..makes sense to me that everyone is different and everyone work in different ways. why is it so hard for some to make sense of that? (just because medical science test this or test that…. sigh)

    funny this article reminds me of something i saw on the news today regarding “wen” hair care product, which it claims to safely cleans and beautify your hair vs. regular shampoo. Now there is a law suit against the “Wen” hair care product due to people using it are experieincing hair loss….. not sure what to believe, but just some food for thoughts…

    you have to try it and let your body tells you i guess…

about Noch Noch

Enoch Li, (pen name: Noch Noch) was born and raised in Hong Kong and Australia. She has also studied / worked / lived in the US, France, UK, Japan, The Netherlands, China, and has travelled to more than 40 countries. She loves travelling and her curiosity in foreign cultures and languages has led her to enjoy her life as an international executive in the banking & finance industry. However, she was forced to take time off work in 2010 due to her illnesses and after spending time in recovery, cooking, practising Chinese calligraphy, reading and writing – in short, learning to take care of herself and letting out the residual work stress, she has transitioned into a Social Entrepreneur and founded BEARAPY to help corporates make workplaces mentally healthy, and support executives to become more resilient.