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?