Men’s attitudes towards health and health services are different to those of women which is why occasions like Movember have been created. Looking at the clients I have treated in clinic this year only a little over a quarter of them were men. So I would like to call upon the women of the world to really inspire the men in your life (partners, fathers, brothers, cousins, friends) to take action for their own personal health and well being and see how much better they will feel and how much more they will be able to accomplish.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the leading underlying cause of death for Australian males is ischaemic heart disease (including angina, heart attacks and blocked arteries of the heart), followed by trachea and lung cancer then Stroke. Prostate cancer was the fifth leading cause of death and affected more men than breast cancer affected women.
Many factors can raise or lower a person’s risk of ill health. Lifestyle behaviours such as tobacco smoking, risky alcohol consumption, along with obesity, are three of the more prominent chronic health risks in modern Australian society. Such risk factors not only impact on people’s health but affect their ability to participate in other aspects of life such as family and community activities. Men aged 15 years or over were more likely than women to have each of these risk factors.
A healthy lifestyle includes reducing or quitting smoking, drinking alcohol in moderation, increasing physical activity and eating healthy food.
Exercise, as we all know, has many health benefits. Men aged 18 years or over were more likely than women to have a level of exercise that met the National Physical Activity guidelines (exercise at a moderate level (including brisk walking) for most days of the week for at least 30 minutes or more on each day). Well done men!
Only a small proportion of people (men and women) aged 15 years or over met the recommended guidelines for vegetable and fruit consumption (approximately 2 ½ cups of cooked vegetables or 5 cups of salad vegetables and approximately 300 gm of fresh fruit or 100 gm of dried fruit per day). The rate among men was lower than for women. Tut tut to all of you.
Given all of these statistics, what can Chinese medicine do for you and the men in your life?
When you look into the causes of Heart disease, stroke and cancer you will see time and again factors such as smoking, alcohol, diabetes mellitus, high cholesterol and high blood pressure mentioned. If you dig deeper, however, to try to understand the true underlying causes then you might want to ask what is driving people to smoke and drink to excess? What is driving up people’s blood pressure and cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels? More often than not the answer is stress. Stress often drives people to smoke or drink to excess or to comfort eat. Stress makes us irritable, affects our sleep, our digestion and our immunity. All of this then creates an acidic environment within the body which can lead to inflammation which constricts the blood vessels, thickens the blood, and triggers cells to multiply in order to repair the damage.
Research published in Experimental Biology and Medicine (Royal Society of Medicine Press) concludes that acupuncture prevents the harmful production of chemicals created by stress. So receiving regular Acupuncture treatments and taking herbs when appropriate can help to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer by relieving stress.
Everyone is different, however, I initially recommend weekly treatments for 4-6 weeks to bring your body, mind and spirit back into balance and address specific conditions. Once your primary concerns have been addressed many of my clients have found that regular monthly treatments are a wonderful investment in their general health and wellbeing as they may experience more restful sleep, improved digestion, better immunity, reduced stress and enhanced emotional wellbeing.
Acupuncture really is beneficial both from a preventative medicine perspective and for the treatment of many conditions. So book in for a treatment today and relax, relieve pain and re-energise.
Your feedback and questions are always welcome so please leave a comment below.
For further information on Chinese Medicine contact Tania Grasseschi (Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs, Qigong and Wholefood counselling). Tania is an AHPRA registered practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine located in Botany and Katoomba, NSW and is a lecturer at the Endeavour College of Natural Health Sydney campus.