I love exploring the art of living, discovering ways to infuse daily life with soulfulness, expanding how I do things, see things, and make meaning of things, contemplating our individual and collective potential in today’s world and seeking practices that support our own and each other’s evolution.
For me, attending to our health is Step 1. We all know ‘our health is our wealth’ and yet, in my clinical life as an Acupuncturist and Chinese Medicine practitioner, I see how challenging it can be for so many people to feel truly healthy, physically, mentally and emotionally. Finding ways to alleviate the suffering that diminished health can bring has been my life’s calling.
My quest over the past 35 years has taken me to across North America, Europe, Asia and China where I have been blessed to study with some extraordinary teachers and healers and I endeavour to weave all these threads into the tapestry of my clinical practice.
I am equally enthralled by the immense wisdom of ancient cultures and medical traditions as with the often-stunning advances in modern science and society and so honouring, bridging and integrating both these domains of knowledge, understanding and skill is personally and professionally important to me.
The past 18 months, human health has literally and metaphorically been under the microscope. And in the climate of fear, uncertainty, anxiety, and confusion it can be hard to discern what is the solid ground we can confidently stand on in terms of how to move forwards with our individual and collective health. The pandemic rumbles on, morphing into variants and unleashing immeasurable consequences on all our lives, like an existential tsunami with multi-faceted devastation still rippling the world over. And yet, every crisis bears its gifts.
So, what are the pearls we can fashion from this global grit? These too I feel, are numerous and widespread, from a healthy re-evaluation of how we’ve been collectively hurtling along on an unsustainable crash course as a species on this planet through to re-inventing new and perhaps more balanced ways of living, working and being, as priorities have necessarily adjusted.
Perhaps one of the real silver linings is that this experience has brought into sharp relief that none of us can take our health for granted. While Covid 19 was initially regarded as being somewhat ageist, a problematic stance at best in terms of encouraging social responsibility towards our older folk, it would now seem that this virus is simply health-ist, with far more gravity and threat for those with pre-existing health issues and/or excess weight.
Futhermore, this pandemic has shown us how our medical services are not only delivered by untenably overworked and underpaid angels, but that in the face of such a medical crisis, all other health needs are necessarily side-lined. With medical services not as readily available for our more chronic ails, the onus falls to us to take more extreme responsibility for our health and to do so as a matter of good practice, and basic lifestyle, far in advance of experiencing health issues.
I have a vision of a day, when it is the ‘new normal’ for people to realise just how much they can positively effect and even amplify their level of health and wellbeing through nutrition alone, and that if issues still arise, that robust natural medicine services are available as primary care. I harbour a hope that over time, we can reduce the burden on our hospitals and medics by accepting that we ourselves influence our health so much through what we consume. And since scientists predict that variants of Covid are likely to be a thing of the future, I encourage you to take this opportunity of the lull before the next storm, to dive into your nutritional life, into learning how to run your metabolism efficiently and effectively through what you eat and raise the bar for yourself in terms of just how healthy and symptom free you can feel.
The problem is that many of us can get away with eating unhelpful or even non-functional junk and convenience foods and our bodies simply gets on with coping with it. There is a huge awareness gap between the foods we eat today, and the long-term effects of those foods, so that we typically fail to make the link between the way we’re eating now and the resulting health issues that develop gradually over time as our body’s best efforts to mitigate the effects become weaker. I would like to suggest that there is almost no health issue that cannot be improved and benefitted by removing burdensome foods and increasing the foods we are evolutionarily designed to eat and are biologically capable of processing. So much of our modern diet is loaded with ingredients that our bodies find confusing, harmful and ultimately toxic, even if we don’t realise this is the case until it’s too late and we have developed symptoms and illnesses. And yet our quality of life, our productivity, our wellbeing, our psycho-emotional stability is completely and inextricably intertwined with our levels of health. Call me old-fashioned, but it seems a no-brainer to live each day with as much rude health, energetic capacity and good-natured equilibrium as possible!
To that end, I am delighted to be pioneering WildFit, a powerful 90-day transformational programme in Ireland, created by the powerhouse, Eric Edmeades. WildFit dovetails behavioural science and psychology with nutritional education to help you re-set your body and in doing so, re-set your life. For further information on how to join this upcoming programme starting on July 12th please do contact me.
Over the next few issues of West Cork People, I will be exploring topical health and wellness issues through the lens of Chinese Medicine, nutritional wisdom and Irish herblore. Do come and join me each month for this holistic health series.