harmony

In the Orient, all philosophies are traditionally based on the fundamental realization that all things and processes are inter-connected. Oriental wise men and women have long recognized the inter-connectedness of the various parts of the body. The human body, mind and spirit are experienced as one complete whole, within itself, with the environment and with the universe.

The notion of the unity of the body and psyche is fundamental to the Oriental healing arts. Changes in one's physical condition will result in changes to one's thinking and in one's intuitive and emotional processes. Likewise, the mind directly and indirectly influences gross and subtle changes in one's physical nature and in the actions one takes. Virtually all aspects of health are rooted in the harmonious integration of the body and the psyche.

The Oriental health-maintenance and health-promotion arts take full advantage of this oneness of body and psyche to help each person to develop a state of health, well-being and spiritual awareness the person is ready and able to achieve. Tonic herbs, for example, are used to bring about changes in one's physical condition and are also routinely used to influence the conscious and subconscious mind, the emotions and the human spirit.

No form of health care is complete unless it recognizes and utilizes this principle of the unity of physical and psychic energies. Only now is the principle of holistic healing becoming more understood in the West; in the East it has been practised for many centuries.

The goal of Chinese healing, whether with treatments such as acupuncture, tea or other foods or herbs, is to a harmony of body, mind and spirit leading to a new level of well-being, health and happiness and forming the foundation of a creative, successful life, as well as of spiritual discovery, growth and, possibly, eventual mastery and enlightenment.

 

adaptability

Human beings are intimately connected with their environment. Any change in the environment influences us both physically and psychically. How we handle such changes, how we adapt to the changes, how we adapt to the changes in our environment and to the stresses of life, will be the determining factors in our health and well-being.

Conversely, as we change, the environment around us will be influenced and will reflect our changes. The greatness of Oriental natural philosophy lies, to a great degree, in its subtlety and breadth of vision with regard to the connection between human beings and their environment. The Chinese healer recognizes such environmental influences as the seasonal change, wind, heat, cold, aridity, humidity and so on, as fundamental causative factors in one's health as well as one's disease.

A person's ability to adapt to the ever-changing variables of life determines that person's health, well-being and happiness. Adaptability requires energy. The greater the stresses of life and the more dynamic the changes in one's life, the greater the requirement for adaptive energy. The Chinese healer will seek to provide treatments which enhance the body-mind's capacity to adapt optimally, accurately and, with endurance, to changes in the environment, and thus to overcome or minimise the stresses of life.

By replenishing the energy of the cells, tissues and systems that regulate our adaptability, we find ourselves capable of experiencing life at its fullest. We find ourselves with increased physical, mental and emotional endurance. We find ourselves easily handling stresses that would exhaust others. We find ourselves to be resilient on every level. This adaptability allows us to lead a rich, broad, adventurous life.

 

a balanced entity

Developed more than 3,000 years ago by great sages and scholars, the great principle of Yin and Yang is a fundamental concept in Chinese philosophy and in the Oriental health care system.

Yin and Yang are the two "opposing" components of one integrated whole. These two opposing forces are totally inter-dependent and interacting constantly to maintain the normality and integrity of the bigger whole. While each component may tends to dominate the other, no total dominance is permanent. No matter how dominating one side appears, eventually the other will take its turn as the dominant force. This interplay of opposing forces establishes the basis of all existence and all changes.

The principle of Yin and Yang describes the innately dynamic, cyclical, bipolar, pulsing, rhythmic nature of everything in the universe. It is a very simple concept to grasp, although many people find it foreign and difficult at first. Intuitively, we know this to be true.

The universe expands and contracts. Light and sound move in waves that are pulsing. The earth turns on its axis resulting in a multitude of rhythmic manifestations. Human sleeping/waking cycles, seasonal changes and the millions of microscopic cycles that support these daily and seasonal changes are the result of the larger macroscopic cycles in our solar system, galaxy and super-galactic systems.

Within our bodies, our hearts beat, our lungs inhale and exhale, our glands secrete hormones, and our bowels and bladders excrete waste rhythmically. Our eyes each dilate for several minutes at a time, rhythmically. Indeed, virtually every human function follows rhythmic patterns. These rhythms are all described and explained by the forces of Yin and Yang.

What are these forces called Yin and Yang? Yin is defined as that part of a cycle or process in which energy is being accumulated, assimilated and stored for later use. Yang is defined as that part of a cycle or process in which energy is being expended in order to create a manifest reaction.

Yin is often associated with rest, receptivity and quietude, while Yang is associated with action, creativity and movement. But yin should not be thought of as the absence of Yang. Nor should it be automatically associated with weakness. Yin is, in fact, the very substance of life, and it is absolutely essential to all functioning.

Yang on the other hand is the functional, active aspect of any process and is also essential of life. Yin and Yang are relative concepts, and they always exist together. Yin provides sustenance for the Yang and the Yang protects the Yin. They are different aspects of the same thing or process.

The relationship of Yin and Yang is never static. Though the two forces are acting in harmony with one another, they are also always competing with one another for dominance. First one dominates, then the other in its appropriate time. Under normal circumstances, the interaction of the two forces will remain within well-defined limits.

Neither Yin nor Yang will normally go to such an extreme that its opposing force cannot recover. However, if for some reason Yin or Yang exceed the limits normally inherent in the system, the self-regulatory mechanism breaks down and crisis ensues, perhaps leading to the breakdown of the entity. In human physiology, such as a breakdown is synonymous with illness or even death.

Health is dependent on the maintenance of the correct balance of Yin and Yang forces in the body and psyche. Neither Yin nor Yang should increase or decrease beyond normal limits. It is believed that the regular consumption of high quality teas can help the body and mind maintain its self-regulatory capacity, assuring optimum functioning and radiant health.

 

 
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