Ten years ago I was driving with my mom discussing some ideas in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). My parents raised me in a typical all-American midwestern way and a lot of what I was learning in school was brand new and interesting to us both. As we were driving, I was trying my best to explain some of these ideas and an analogy came to me that I'd never heard or used before, but that instantly made sense to her and felt simple and accurate to me. I can literally tell you the part of the road we were on when I thought of it, because it felt like a eureka moment to me! I've used this analogy and honed it these last ten years and now I want to break it down here in my blog for more people to see and use too. I hope it will change the way you look at your health (and your role in it) too!
The analogy that I began to use that day was this -
Each person's body is like a bank account. The money in each person's account is healthy stuff you need to have a good quality of life (it doesn't matter if you are a TCM practitioner like me and want to call them qi, blood, yin and yang, or you're a Western practitioner and want to call it ATP, blood, hormones, etc.) all the good stuff in your body is the "money."
Since, that eureka day it has been a hard ten years for much of America when it comes to our literal finances. The "Great Recession," has schooled many of us, through first-hand experience, witnessing friends and family struggles and through politics and media coverage) in subjects such as unemployment, underemployment, being underwater on a mortgage, bad lending practices, ponzi schemes and more. This means my bank account analogy has only gotten more nuanced and easier to relate to others.
So, without further ado, let's explore the idea of The Bank Account Analogy and your health.
If you look at a bank statement, the most obvious thing you can glean is whether that particular bank account is struggling or doing okay. If it is struggling you can see how badly it is struggling (is it overdrawn and incurring lots of fees vs. is it down to the final $100 but payday is coming). If it is doing well, you can see how well (is it a million dollar investment portfolio vs. is it a modest checking account with a savings account with an extra $5k set aside). That one single snapshot will give you a pretty decent assessment of how that bank account is doing right now.
When I see a person in my office (or you simply look at your own health) it is easy to do the same. A simple glance at a person's "bank account" will tell us that yup, that person is struggling with their health a bit, or whoa, that person is struggling with their health a LOT, or that person is really doing pretty okay, but still tends to struggle a bit here and there. I don't tend to see people in my office whose accounts are super healthy, because if they are they don't need me, but they are out there and if you are one of them that is an amazing thing and something to be grateful for (but there's still good reason to read on if you want to be empowered to keep it that way)!
What is WAY more important than looking at one bank statement though, is an understanding of WHY that statement says what it does. For example, is the person whose account is running low running low because they just had a big bill they had to pay? Is it low because they only make minimum wage or got laid off 2 months ago? Is it low because they keep making bad investments? Is someone embezzling money? These are EXACTLY the same things I can see (and help YOU see) when I look at a person's bank account and interpret a person's lifestyle choices and history (or you know what to look for in your own). And when you combine the knowledge of what a person's account balance is with WHY it is the way it is. Well, presto! You've not only got an amazing and empowering way to help them see the path out of their current financial troubles, but you've got all sorts of ways they can understand their future health and balance and stay in control of their health (as much as anyone can!)
When I was in school, I saw a quote by one of the founding father's of TCM that said -
A true healer doesn't just treat disease, but teaches society and informs the intentions of humanity!
That moment was another eureka moment for me. I made up my mind that THAT is precisely the type of healer I would be. And so, this series is something you don't need to pay for, that ANYONE can use and that will hopefully teach society and inform the intentions of humanity. (Lofty goals I know). I hope you will hear me out and take charge of your own health in a way that feels amazing and empowering and (once you shift your perspective), super intuitive too!
In the next section of this series, I will talk about Starting Balances, future posts will cover, Income, Spending & Saving Habits, Bad Investments, and Faulty Accounting as they relate to your health.