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The Harmony of Chinese Medicine
He Tong and Chen Song Ling, The Epoch Times
It speaks in a language that is foreign to our ear and conjures up images of peculiar herbal concoctions, but there is a lot more to Chinese medicine than meets the eye. Developed over several thousand years, Chinese medicine is a holistic, individualized approach aimed at preventing, identifying, and treating the root cause of illness, rather than treating the symptoms alone.
Chinese medicine follows the principle of “heaven, human beings, and the universe.” According to its theory, the human body is considered a small universe with an intricate set of systems that connect with each other and the environment.
The best way to maintain health is to nurture the mind and body and have a relaxed, gentle lifestyle. When balance and harmony are achieved in all aspects of life, the human body will be in a state of balance.
Ironically, many people in the modern age reject all things that are “unconventional.” But a system that has existed for thousands of years is still continuing to treat over one quarter of the world’s population. The practice of Chinese medicine can provide us with a fresh insight into many health issues.
A Good Night’s Sleep
The first consideration for a good night’s sleep is to maintain a calm, peaceful mind, and a clear heart. A clear heart requires the absence of thought, while a calm mind depends on having a stable mood. The physical characteristics of the bed are also important. The bed should neither be too hard nor too soft the quilt should neither be too light nor too heavy. The elderly and children should sleep on a bed with a wooden frame. The mattress and quilt should be clean. There are six things to avoid before going to sleep: an unstable mood, drinking alcohol, tea, or coffee, excessive eating, fatigue, physical desire, and noise.
Tips During Autumn
When autumn arrives, one should go to bed early and get up early to be in harmony with the natural dictates of the season. The wind at this time of year is clean, clear, and sharp.
Nature’s creatures retreat inward to consolidate energy and for self-preservation. Accommodating nature in this way can help one avoid detrimental effects to one’s qi (vital energy), which can be brought on by autumn’s bleak and austere qualities. Sleep helps to collect qi in the lungs so going to bed early in autumn gives one’s body what it needs.
The characteristically cool and dry weather of the fall season is conducive to a good night’s sleep. Since one gets less sleep during the heat of summer, it is good to compensate for the loss of sleep when autumn arrives, in accordance with the “way of maintaining and sustaining.”
The benefits of going to bed early include getting extra sleep that helps to “sustain and rejuvenate one’s spirit” and “keep one’s mind at peace.” According to Chinese medicine, during autumn, lung qi dominates one’s body.
Since the qi in the lungs is strong during this season, getting up early and exercising is beneficial to one’s health. Autumn is also the best season for morning exercise as the temperature is moderate and the air is cool and dry, both of which elevate one’s spirit. In addition, the autumn scenery is both dramatic and lovely.
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