Contributed by Debra D.


Years ago a friend gave me a series of acupuncture sessions to help me with insomnia. I found that this technique worked for me. Each night I would fall asleep quickly and sleep soundly through the night. As much as I wanted to continue this therapy, I never did due to money issues. So my insomnia continues to be a complaint and it is really debilitating.

Over the holidays, my friend told me about her New Year Resolution to change the way she thinks and talks about money. Instead of saying, I can’t afford that, she says, I choose to put my money elsewhere. This got me thinking that maybe I needed to look at how I chose to spend my money instead of saying I couldn’t afford acupuncture. What I noticed right away was that I had no problem spending money on other things that were mostly non-essentials. I did not put my health first and that might be one of the reasons I wouldn’t spend money on a therapy (like acupuncture) that had made a difference in my sleep patterns and overall well-being.

So, I decided to take a look at the things that I did put first or count as priorities. My inventory identified the following items: clothes, beauty products, the latest technological gadget. I didn’t seem to have any trouble finding money for these! Then I considered just how much I got from these “priorities.” I found that as much as I enjoyed buying and owning these items, the pleasure I felt was fleeting. Next I considered what I stood to gain by making my health, as it related to getting a better night’s sleep, a priority. I came up with some meaningful advantages including waking up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated; being able to focus more clearly on work and other activities; feeling better about myself. Just going through this process had me see the value of putting some of the money I readily spent on the latest gadget or beauty product to regular visits to an acupuncturist.

I checked with friends and asked for recommendations and found a referral whose rates were reasonable. I have included regular acupuncture treatments as part of my health routine. Even though I am scheduled to have my first treatment next week, I already feel better because I have put my health first.

What are your health goals for 2013? We invite you to write your comments in the box below.