The Importance of Self-care

Part of my profession is to teach, actually preach, about the benefits of self-care: “To take good… better care of your children, parents, husband, wife, one has to take care of oneself.” It’s wisdom and common sense all should follow.

Well, common sense is not always common. I learned the hard way how much I need to adhere to that wisdom. Travelling during the holidays with my octogenarian parents, husband, and teen/tween children sent my stress level to new holiday heights and gave me an almost immobile neck. On the first day, my neck got a little stiff. On the second day, my neck would zing every time I turned my head. On the third day, I was wincing and groaning with neck pain.

As an acupuncturist, I try not to needle myself or self-diagnose unless I am desperate. I was desperate. After I got an adjustment from my chiropractor, I still had muscle pain down both sides of my neck. I could not let this pain go on. I palpated my neck, found the knot, inserted the needle… Ahhhh!

Why didn’t I do this on the first day when my neck was just stiff? I thought it would go away. Sound familiar?

My new year’s resolution is to take care of myself to better care for my family and patients so that this does not happen again. I won’t let the holiday busyness, excitement and stress take over my need for acupuncture, exercise, healthy eating, massage, meditation…essentially the wisdom of self-care. (January 2018)

Mary Nickel, L.Ac.