Why Lifestyle Guidance Is Important
Our aim at the Sean Barkes Clinic is to help you be as healthy as you can be; we want you to recover from any particular health problem you have as quickly as possible and to remain free of that problem in future. Or at the very least, in the case of a chronic illness which is difficult to cure, we want to help you minimise the effect of that illness on every aspect of your life. Our treatment, be it acupuncture, massage, cupping or anything else, is obviously important in this, but just as important are the things you can do.
Our understanding of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) helps us to understand how various aspects of your lifestyle may be impacting upon your health. Whilst these days we hear quite a lot about what we should or should not be eating, for example, this advice is very general, whereas in reality advice and guidance needs to be tailored to the individual. This is what we do. We aim to help you maximise your health, which of course will also save you money in the long run as you won’t need to come and see us so often! Also it will, perhaps, mean that you do not need to see your GP so much, and are less likely to become dependant on pharmaceutical medications, which, effective as they may often be, usually come with unwanted side effects. Not only all that, but you have the satisfaction of being able to take responsibility for your health, rather than handing over that responsibility to someone else, whether that be us, the NHS or whoever.
As an illustration of how our lifestyle affects our health, read Vimalaprabha’s blog entitled “Treating people, not diseases“
What Kind of Guidance Do We Provide?
This depends on the individual, but examples of the sort of things we cover include:
If you come for treatment, we begin with a detailed consultation which helps us to understand your health issues from the holistic perspective of TCM. This means that we can often immediately see what kinds of food will help promote your health, and which may be exacerbating, or even causing, your problems. We can then discuss with you how you might be able to change your diet so as to support our treatment. Its worth reiterating that this depends very much on the individual: what might be a healthy diet for one person might be a very unhealthy diet for another. Of course it is not just about what you eat, but how and when you eat. TCM has a sophisticated understanding of the centrality of the digestive system to health and how we can respect that in the way we eat.
Movement is vital to the human body (and the human mind.) We aim to help you find the best kind of exercise to help you move forward. This might range from spending 10 minutes a day on specific exercises to help recover from a particular injury, to taking up Qi Gong or T’ai Chi. Whether you are an Olympic athlete or a ninety-year old confined to a wheelchair, there will be something you can do.
Many health problems today are due to the often frantic and unremitting pace of modern life. Everybody needs some time to relax and take it easy. We aim to help you find the best way of doing that for you, whether that is taking up Qi Gong, using a relaxation CD, or doing a bit of knitting!
We recognise that you know a lot more about yourself and your life than we do, and we are not about just handing out inappropriate advice that cannot realistically be followed. Instead we work with you, sharing our understanding of what you may need, so that together we can come up with real, sustainable changes you can make in your life. Again, these can be just small things or they can be big! Either way our interest is in helping you to see how such changes will help you, so that you are motivated to make them.
The Sean Barkes Clinic does not claim to cure any conventional medical disease states. Traditional Chinese Medicine seeks to re-establish and maintain the harmonious function of the human body-mind using tried and tested principles that have been discovered and matured over millennia. A Western medical diagnosis provides very little by way of insight in informing a Chinese Medical diagnosis. Patients usually recognise their own condition in terms of the medical disease category that they have been given by their GP or other conventional medical practitioner. The research presented here is merely an indication of the potential to draw parallels between Traditional Chinese Medicine and Modern Western Medicine.