Today’s menu: You don’t really wanna eat that, do you?

Yesterday was an one of those “interesting” days, for myself and apparently a few others too. I remember reading something in my monthly horoscope about a full moon happening on the 10th and how effects can linger. Did anything of note happen on Thursday? I can’t even remember what I did that day. Anyway, you don’t need a reason to have an off day. Since monthly and yearly horoscopes always group your life into fun little categories, why don’t I break it down in that format?

MONEY/WORK: Money’s great (finally). But money comes at a price – in some vague way that actually makes sense to me right now. The way I procure money is pretty great too. I’ve climbed enough rungs on the ladder to secure a hope of retiring and a position that’s fascinating. What I didn’t expect was to feel so lost and powerless in a new role. I’m not convinced I’ll ever finish the file I’m slaving over at work. I wasn’t shown how to do most things pertaining to my job, didn’t have access to all the required systems and got landed with a convoluted assignment requiring painstaking analysis (with no training on the applications that would help me make sense of it). Not the sort of thing you usually give someone one month into a job. I suspect my overseer has very little idea of how impossible a file it is. At this point though, I’m elbow-deep in it so there’s no point in quitting now. That wouldn’t speak well to my ability to meet a challenge and take ownership. Thankfully, I don’t work under the sort of management that’s ruthless enough to push me into raging waters just to see if I can swim. But once I do finish it (if), I’m going to slap that thick pile of papers on someone’s desk… and hope they take the time to read it.

HEALTH: I had an appointment with a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner and acupuncturist yesterday. She was rather blunt and is very HANDS ON. She seemed to think that all white people eat soup (drinking your food rather than actually having to chew it is apparently not good for you). I don’t know how many times I flashed her when I was lying down in my gown (it’s the design!) getting punctured – accurately, so it would seem. It literally felt like electricity was coursing through my body and even though in a few spots the needle hurt going in, a lot of the sensations I felt were strange at worst and pleasant at best. At least it felt like something was happening. I was in a better mood and physical state after the treatment but you never know with these alternative modalities… I could wake up the next day with a grotesquely swollen body part or excruciating muscle spasms. Despite some lack of cultural sensitivity on her part, I figured I was on her turf, asking her for her professional services and there would be some things I wouldn’t agree with or like – such as her advice to stay far, far away from Bikram yoga.

Wait, WHAT?!? According to the TCM philosophy, sweating is your body’s way of cooling down because extreme heat throws it out of balance. If you force your body through that process to that degree, you foolishly lose precious electrolytes. I’d assume in this context the body is understood to be designed to regulate temperature and absorb nutrients on its own when it’s maintained properly. She also claimed that there’s a link between hot yoga and female hormonal imbalance. It struck me as strange that Indian and Chinese approaches would differ on something like that. But then the asana practice we Westerners popularly refer to as yoga has been around for thousands of years. The idea of performing those poses in a heated environment, however, was introduced here by a dude in relatively recent history: Bikram Chowdhury. I’ve done a lot of reading on hot yoga, specifically the sequence practiced in Bikram classes, and was convinced it was one of the absolute healthiest routines you could ever commit to. But here was this person whose discipline and advice I respect and intend to follow telling me to stop doing it! Even though I also happen to love that inexplicably sweet torture! When do you ever fall in love with something that’s good for you?

Apparently, I’m also not supposed to consume dairy at all, as well as anything spicy or sour. And coffee’s out (too bad I already had one this morning!). All this, in addition to already barely hanging on to a pseudo-gluten-free diet. Do I really need to discover more foods I can’t eat? It’s looking like pretty soon all I’ll be eating is oatmeal, almonds, leafy Chinese greens (of course) and maybe quinoa (I slipped that last one in). I don’t drink nearly as many fluids as I should, so downing 8 glasses of warm water per day (3 upon waking) is going to suck – but it’ll suck even more if I don’t remain in constant proximity to a restroom.

The positive: I have an excuse to do nothing. She told me to get lots of sleep (I’m trying, sort of!) and to rest as much as I can. Nice.

So. The whole point of this exercise is to stop aggravating my body with things that feed the imbalance and stop letting my mind get in the way of my body’s healing process. I don’t expect my rheumatoid arthritis to disappear. And maybe once things calm down I can go back to Bikram yoga. It’s interesting that anybody who’s ever helped me make a breakthrough has been unconventional in some way. And once you decide to step up and do something good for yourself, somehow you can always find the courage to follow through even if it means letting go of preconceptions and learning when and how to say yes (or no) to yourself.

LOVE/ROMANCE: You know, I’m not ashamed to say that romance ranks low on my list of priorities right now. I’m currently in a very important relationship with someone who I think does the best job of understanding and taking care of me than anyone: me. If I can just manage to stay out of my own way, I’m sure I can contort my diet and lifestyle into a slightly more uncomfortable space. Bok choy, here I come!

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2 Comments

Filed under Eastern Philosophy, Health & Environment, Humour

2 responses to “Today’s menu: You don’t really wanna eat that, do you?

  1. Neat to hear a patient’s perspective of a first-time acupuncture treatment! Sounds like you had a great, educational and informative visit! And I 100% believe you can reverse your RA… not just with acupuncture, but more importantly by taking her food recommendations! 🙂 I know it sounds tough, but would I know I’d rather be pain-free by sacrificing meat and dairy… rather than full of cow’s milk and agony! Great post!

  2. Thank you for reading and for the optimism. It helps. 🙂

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