Thursday, 10 November 2011

Born to run.... but sometimes need a little help....

This is my last blog and I hope you have enjoyed reading them as much as I have enjoyed writing them.  I thought I would go back to where I started and touch back onto the subject of acupuncture....

I was totally enthralled by the set of programs, Origins of Us.  In one episode, it was described that our bodies haven't changed much in the last 200,000 years. When it was required for us to leave the forests in search of food on the savannah, this was the point our bodies started to stand upright and create a form so we could run for our food and run so we didn't become food!  To help us run, our gluteus maximus fires every time we land our foot to stop us from falling over, our big knees act as a pivot, the swinging of our arms stops our heads from jolting forward and our achilles tendon acts like a shock absorber.  Our bodies are amazing and watching programs like that just highlights it.

These days though we don't necessarily need to run to have dinner but there is still an instinct within us that likes to run, or do other cardio, to burn off excess energy.  Acupuncture can help our bodies stay well in our activities and also provide extra support if we injure ourselves.  The Chinese and Japanese Olympic teams have always had a resident acupuncturist as part of their athlete support, but its only recently this is starting to be integrated into teams from the West.  There has been a lot of research into the effect of acupuncture on sports injuries with very positive results.  Acupuncture is great to use on a fresh sports injury but is so versatile and can work so deeply that it can be used at any stage of the injury.

The trauma of an injury can stop the natural healing process and the area can change to a 'cold' state in Chinese Medicine.  Using acupuncture can warm the area and stimulate qi and blood through the superficial channels of the body, also directing the body to heal in this area.  The needles can stimulate nerves and tissues that will release endorphins, our natural painkillers.  They can also help relax the muscles and tendons and keep the joints mobile.  The approach of a Chinese Medicine acupuncturist is that they will look at the whole picture and also try to help any underlying condition that could be contributing to the possibility of being injured.  Also anyone that participates in competitions, acupuncture can help to dissipate any pre-race tension or nervousness to leave you fully focussed on the competition.

Now we have moved off the savannah and into offices it is good to explore the plethora of therapies at our disposal for us to keep on top of our well-being.  So if you are feeling a bit of a niggle then maybe this weekend is the time to check in with it and see if you can show yourself some TLC.... but also even if you don't have anything bothering you right now it is nice to invest in yourself to keep things at bay.

Just a quick note before I finish, if you were as touched by the film 'Life in a Day' as I was, then the day for us to be filming for 'Britain in a Day' is this Sat 12 Nov (  'Life in a Day' is a beautiful representation of the ups and downs, loves and fears, kindness and cruelty of humanity.  The film captures how weird and wonderful we can be, connecting up the human race and pulling together simple moments in peoples lives filmed on one day last July.

Happy weekends all

Zen Dog

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