Ever had one of those days or weeks where you just can’t pull yourself out of bed in the morning? Or perhaps you just can’t say “No!” to the dessert tray. Regardless of the activity, willpower is what keeps some people disciplined. But it doesn’t make you a bad person if you have dessert with every meal, buy more shoes than you really need or take longer to get going in the morning. It just means your willpower isn’t strong. And just like any other habit, that can be changed.
Willpower is like a muscle. It can be trained. Willpower also uses energy and is limited, just like muscles. Exerting self-control uses energy and over time, this energy can become depleted, making it easier to have the dessert, buy the shoes or sleep in past your alarm. So if you’re somebody who has difficulty with willpower, what can you do?
Believe it or not, regular acupuncture treatments can increase your willpower. Acupuncture is just one subset of an ancient medical system known as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). But it is by far, the most commonly known and used. In TCM, the word for will is zhi. In TCM, Zhi is associated with the kidneys. So if the energy of your kidneys is strong, the will is also strong, this is how acupuncture can help increase willpower. The needles used in acupuncture treatments actually stimulate the energy of the kidneys, thus increasing willpower.
There are two sides of the coin for every organ in TCM, the yin and the yang. With regards to the kidneys and willpower, the yin is the substance that provides the drive, while also accepting the circumstances we’re given. And the yang aspect of will power is our expression of ourselves in terms of goals, vision, ambition and aspiration. When both yin and yang are in balance, will power is strong. However, fear frequently gets in the way of this balance and tends to override our purpose and goals. Why? Because fear is the mind’s way of keeping us safe and protecting us from harm. But anybody who has ever overcome adversity, can tell you fear probably never entered their mind or they did it regardless. All because of the willpower to attain their goals.
The reason TCM works so well at addressing and correcting problems with willpower is because it addresses the body holistically. TCM looks at everything: the body, mind, environment and the emotions. This allows for treatments to be customized to the needs of the patient instead of a one size fits all approach. Customized treatments allow for better outcomes.
Rebecca M H Kitzerow is a Licensed Acupuncturist practicing in La Center, Washington. With over a decade of experience she has won 10 Nattie consumer choice awards from Natural Awakenings Magazine since 2014.