What Can Acupuncture Teach Us About Gratitude?
By Sara Calabro
Acupuncture is a great teacher on gratitude.
The driving idea behind acupuncture is that we already have everything we need to be well. In contrast to biomedicine, which is premised on the notion of external intervention, acupuncture takes what’s already there and rearranges it into something positive.
Acupuncture doesn’t add or subtract anything. Rather, it prompts or reminds the body to do what it knows how to do.
An acupuncture perspective teaches us to appreciate what we have rather than what we are lacking. This inspires gratitude, which can have profound implications, especially this time of year.
Acupuncture Is the Cure for Black Friday
One of the most troubling phenomena of our time—about to be kicked into overdrive this Friday—is our ever-growing pile of “stuff.”
SUVs, flat-screen TVs, DVDs, clothes, more clothes, clothes for our dogs, hats, shoes, bags, iPhones, iPods, iPads, kitchen appliances, bathroom appliances, power tools, toys, video games… The list goes on and on.
Bombarded by advertising and peer pressure, we become convinced that we need these things. And then we need another.
This epidemic of stuff creates an ongoing cycle that perpetuates feelings of dissatisfaction, since nothing is ever enough, and warps our perspective on how to care for ourselves.
Unfortunately, mainstream healthcare might be the worst offender of all.
MRIs, CT scans, and lab tests are ordered before laying a hand on the patient. Antibiotics and antidepressants are prescribed without so much as a second thought. Doctors are trained to solve problems by adding more stuff, in large part because stuff is what insurance companies pay for.
We don’t make it easy for them either. We’ve come to expect tests and prescriptions, so when a doctor says “no,” we’re not always willing to accept it. We want answers and we want them now. And so the cycle continues. Bring. On. More. Stuff.
Acupuncture, through its gratitude-inspiring theoretical orientation, can help us reverse this trend of unbridled excess. It helps us reframe our desires so that we can better understand our motivations and have greater gratitude for what is.
So if this Thursday you find yourself reflecting on the things you’re thankful for, give some props to acupuncture and share with others why you’re mentioning it. It might help everyone hang on a little longer and tighter to their reflections of thanks.
Happy Thanksgiving from AcuTake.
Photo by Sara Calabro
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