The employee that is working long hours, going above and beyond with hopes that someday they will make it to the executive (pro) level. The employees that take time away from their own lives, families, and other dreams to perform to the level that gets them noticed. Doing whatever they can to ensure they will flourish and be able to maintain the same level of success and productivity once they make it to the executive level.
A 61-year-old man is in my office with his wife. They seem like a very kind, established, well-off couple. I smile and introduce myself to them and ask (already knowing the answer as I read his intake before he came in) how can I help you? The wife has a fire and fear in her eyes as she turned to her husband and waits his answer.
He responds "I eat clean, I ran 3-6 mile a couples times every week, went to my yearly checkups, I am not on and medication and now I have Parkinson's!" They both began to cry! I fight back my own tears.
This patient was a high-level executive for 30+ years. He and his wife gave EVERYTHING for the job, the company, and the income with the expectation it all paying off when they could enjoy a wonderful retirement. The reality is that she will be his caregiver for the duration of their retirement. He will not be running in the yard chasing his grandchildren, and they will never get the retirement they sacrificed his health for.
The stress, 3-4 hours of low quality sleep, waking up with a busy mind, and constant "get it done" mindset is linked to dopamine deficiency. Dopamine deficiency is one of the leading contributing factors to the susceptibility of neurodegeneration. Neurodegeneration is Parkinson's.
He and his wife 100% feel that his “job” is the main reason for his Parkinson's.
We hear about how elite and pro-sports athletes utilize many different kinds of therapies to support their health and maintain peak performance, so what about the corporate athlete?
I have seen in my clinical practice a rapid change in the health of the “corporate athletes” and their ability to maintain their physical and mental health. I see my patients sacrificing their time, sleep, energy, family vacations, and their health for an increase in income, PTO, or stock options only to not be able to enjoy the rewards they are chasing.
We watch, cheer for, and LOVE our sports teams. We idolize professional sport athletes, wear their jersey, drink the same drinks, and even will push our children to play the same sport. However, we do not model the same wellness routine as these athletes.
WHAT is going on? Now do not get me wrong, I understand why people chase the money! I do not understand why we do not protect our deepest, most important return on investment – our health. Our performance at work depends on our cognitive capacity, our sense of purpose, and our ability to detach and let go. Just like a pro-athlete mentally prepares for a game, understands what their purpose is for the team, and then lets go of the last game so as not to affect the next game.
Where do Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture fit in?
If my patient would have known then what he knows now, he would have supported his health differently. He knew his sleep was not good, he was running on adrenaline and not healthy energy, he knew the stress of his work impacted his health. However, he did not know what to do to, who to ask, or where to go for help.
Here is where the beautiful aspect of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture comes in to play.
In Chinese Medicine, acupuncture needles stimulate certain mechanisms in our body to promote healing and homeostasis in our body. Acupuncture points are informational points located along the meridian system that are associated with all functions of your body. Acupuncture treatments can help to heal pain, improve your sleep and digestion, and lower your blood pressure all in the same treatment.
The Corporate athlete must find tools, therapies, and TIME to integrate ways to sustain a high level of performance without jeopardizing their future – their retirement.
At EastWest Acupuncture we bridge the gap between Eastern and Western Medicine for the benefit of the patients. We are here to help and act as a resource to improve your health.