One of the core tenants of Asian Medicine is that disease prevention is the superior form of medicine. The theories and practices of this prevention are called Yang Sheng or Nourishing Life. Yang Sheng has ancient roots and encompasses many aspects of self-cultivation including, Tai Qi, Qi Gong, Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Gua Sha, herbs, food therapy, harmonizing with the season and cycles, meditation and yogic practices to name a few. Many of the practices we promote and recommend at Glow fall in line with this type of cultivation. The ideas are not limited to Chinese Medicine alone and can be found in many traditional cultures around the world. Naturopathic medicine has the idea of the “vis” or life force. One of the ways that medicine works is to stimulate the vis through diet, home practices, cultivation, herbs and physical medicine such as hydrotherapy, infrared therapy and heat therapies.
In Traditional Asian Medicine the earth is seen as a holistic, harmonious entity. All living beings are viewed in relation to each other and the surrounding environment. The ancients attempted to explain these relationships with models such as the yin yang and five element theories. Man is a part of his environment and also a reflection of it. It is all connected. Changes in the external environment, including season and weather, directly and indirectly influence the body. It is important to respond to these changes appropriately to avoid illness and maximize longevity.
One aspect of cultivating Yang Sheng is Seasonal Eating. By harmonizing with the season and eating accordingly, you are cultivating health and longevity. After our genes, our digestion is considered the source of our qi and blood. It represents the aspect of our health we can control. Through our digestion we can nurture and support the functions of the rest of our body and by extension, how we show up in the world.
The diagram aboce illustrates how the digestion is central to the healthy functioning of the healthy human. It “governs the center.” The earth element impacts all the other elements and aspects of the body.
It represents movement and transformation. It is the energy of harvest and storage as well as “mother” energy.
He Diagram 河圖