How to be healthy in 2021 with traditional Chinese medicine
Tune in to yourself and the cycles of your world to best harmonize with the conditions that move you.
Traditional Chinese Medicine, with its long history, has many ways to stay healthy in these uncertain times.
An important concept in Traditional Chinese Medicine is awareness – awareness of your surroundings as well as your inner world. One form of this internal awareness is harmonization with our own body. Our bodies speak a language that we have largely forgotten. Our body communicates through pain, a feeling of energy or fatigue, or a bad feeling in the pit of the stomach. Becoming sensitive to our body and what it is trying to tell us will help us a lot to know when something is wrong. This knowledge will give us the opportunity to make a difference and give our bodies what we need to keep them healthy.
Another element of our inner world is our emotions. Emotions can fade into the background as our busy minds go about the business of the day. But just as listening to our physical feelings can tell us if something needs attention, listening to our emotions can make us aware of other issues.
How? ‘Or’ What?
One of the ways we can tune in is to take the time each day to check in and listen. How are you? How are you doing emotionally? Does something hurt? how is your sleep? Did you eat today? This simple act may seem small, but it can have a big impact. Once you start making it part of your daily routine, you’ll start to feel small things and be able to make adjustments before they turn into big things that can potentially make you sick. You remember how to listen, and your body will love you for it.
This simple act can be transformative as it helps you recognize the cause and effect of certain aspects of your life. You will notice how your body reacts to certain foods, how your mood can change over time, or how exercise can lift your spirits. This self-awareness can give you the motivation you need to make healthy changes and do things that make you feel more alive.
Listening to the environment is an extension of listening to oneself. Have you ever noticed how great it feels to walk in a forest? It’s reconnecting you with the natural world, a connection that people have had for thousands of years. That connection has been severed in many ways as we have come to spend more and more time indoors and work in jobs disconnected from the cycle of the seasons and the outside world.
Traditional Chinese medicine teaches us the beauty and practicality of living in harmony with the seasons.
As the seasons fluctuate throughout the year, our diets and behaviors should be more in tune with our natural environment.
In Winter, the energies slow down and go inward. Reheating soups and stews using root vegetables cooked for long periods of time to increase their warming properties is the best way to preserve our yang or fiery energies in this ultimate yin time.
Spring energies begin to rise to the surface and spread outward, like new plants growing out of the ground, hungry for sunlight. Green foods that cleanse the liver are best eaten in the spring to “cleanse” the system of anything that has built up over the winter.
Summer represents the outward expression of energy and relates to growth, expansion and abundance. Summer is the time to get up early and go to bed later to take advantage of longer days and plenty of sunshine.
And publication date This is when the energies start moving inward again and we find ourselves going to bed a little earlier. It’s time to finish projects, clean our closets, and deal with old emotions that are taking up space. The energy of the fall teaches us the beauty of letting go.
What can I do?
Become aware of the seasons and change your behavior and diet accordingly. This, in addition to helping you stay healthy, will also help you reconnect with the natural rhythms that we have evolved to follow.
You don’t need to make big changes; subtle changes can help us move smoothly from season to season. For example, while the Western world has a tradition of setting a New Year’s resolution in the height of winter, Chinese tradition teaches that it is much better to start a new habit in the spring when the expansive energies of the season are on you. encourage spending new energy.
Adjusting to yourself and to the season can help you become more aware of how you are connected to the natural world and its major cycles. It is an idea that you can apply in your daily life.
Emma is an acupuncturist who has been practicing since 2006. She has a consulting room called Booming consultancy and runs a website called Living Chinese Medicine where she writes on how to use the principles of Chinese medicine to lead a healthy lifestyle in the modern world. She is a lover of martial arts, the natural world and a good cup of tea. To find out more visit @ThriveConsulting.