I know you’re busy. I get it. You may make time to roll out your yoga mat or grab your green smoothie at Whole Foods. You might even get a massage from time to time. But how’s your body feeling, like on the inside?
Iyengar, we have a problem.
You see, many yoga peeps these days have bought into a certain way of thinking. Often, we think more is better, hotter is healthier, and stretchy yoga pants make it all good. But the ugly truth is, that we are not well.
Many of us are tired. We’re run down. Maybe we’re depressed, anxious, or both. There’s something wrong, something missing.
Traditional wisdom has some answers.
Traditional Chinese Medicine is a 5,000-year-old science inspired by Taoist theory and ideology. It’s where your acupuncturist goes when she starts talking about liver stagnation and spleen deficiency.
On the surface, this mysterious medicinal system seems elusive and somewhat magical, but at its core are the secrets to help heal our modern ailments. The sweet thing is that just a little bit of ancient knowledge goes a long way toward wellness.
Here’s a quickie, no-nonsense rundown of the many ways Chinese Medicine will transform your life and flip your perspective.
1. Balance is in the everyday details.
Let’s get some Yin for you Yang yogis! And I’m not just talking about Yin yoga here. What the ancient Taoists knew was that balance boils down to every facet of our lives.
So although it may be helpful to practice Yin or Restorative yoga to counter a hectic day, you might also want to take a look at what you’re eating, how you’re sleeping, what your skin looks like, and what your dominant emotional state is.
Every fine detail gives us a clue to whether we’re on the right track or teetering on the edge of wellness.
Sum It Up: Ask yourself: what area of your life is in balance? And where do you have some real work to do?
2. You are more than a sum of your parts.
There’s a reason why hip openers make grown men cry and why backbends can lift a sullen spirit. Every body is a landscape, and within that landscape there are highways of energy called meridians.
Acupuncturists back in the day spent a ton of time mapping out these meridians. When these highways get jammed up, we experience pain and illness.
Sum It Up: Meridians make us whole and serve as our path to wellness. Begin to notice the subtle sensations in your own body and feel where you might be experiencing some blockages. Hint: it’s those areas we tend to shy away from or ignore that need the most attention!
3. Trust that your body can heal itself.
We’re so used to self-medicating that sometimes we forget we’re even doing it. From alcohol and cigarettes, to greasy food and television, our day-to-day is filled with ways to numb out. And we can never feel better when we run away from our own fears and insecurities.
Deep healing starts with the here and now. It starts with the belief that this body (and this life) is good enough.
Sum It Up: Begin to rewrite your story. True healing comes from the inside, so have a little trust in your own body’s wisdom.
4. Embrace your uniqueness, because it’s your strength.
Although every yogi may be created equal, there are distinct differences between us. Those differences we can understand through the five elements (i.e. fire, earth, metal, water, and wood).
Each person has a constitutional element that they are born into. A person’s element may dictate their body type, emotional tendency, social behavior, etc. And each element gives us a clue to what your natural talents and skills may be.
Sum It Up: It’s okay to be yourself! There are certain things that you can do better than anyone else. So pay attention to what you love doing and do more of it.
That’s some straight-up earth wisdom.
Steeped within ancient wisdom are the secrets to modern, everyday wellness. Traditional Chinese Medicine gives us a fresh perspective and asks us to up the ante on our own health and happiness.
Have you ever tried acupuncture or treatment via Traditional Chinese Medicine? Share your experiences with me in the comments!