We are presented with choices every single day. If we understand what will really benefit us, we can make choices that will enhance our health. At a deep level of reality, all living things operate under certain natural laws. Following these laws helps us form a foundation of wellness in our lives. Here are five lifestyle choices the ancients in China tuned into. These tips will help your body and spirit recall its own healing energy.
1. Eating for Healing
Eating for healing is all about following the seasons. When you eat in harmony with the specific time of year, not only do you eat foods that are naturally available locally, you eat in a way that supports the health of your internal Qi. Food is a powerful tool to create wellness. After all, it is something you do three times a day, every day. And remember—hold the ice! TCM understanding and Natural Law teaches that the Stomach “prefers” warm foods and drinks, especially in the morning. Ice-cold drinks, dairy, and raw foods can actually unbalance the function of this key digestive organ.
2. Take a Break
Finding a balance between work and rest is important to your overall health. Start your workday with the following two-minute meditation: Sit at your desk and simply close your eyes. Breathe in and notice your body relaxing. As you breathe out, allow yourself to release any problems, emotions or physical sensations. Continue to breathe in positive energy and release negative energy. Remember to return to a relaxed, calm state via short meditation breaks throughout your day, as needed. These breaks will give your body a special energy recharge that you can’t get from caffeine or sugar. Bringing a green plant into your workspace is another great way to connect with Nature.
3. Move to Build Energy
Your body is about 70 percent water, so soft, slow, water-like forms of movement are the best forms of exercise. Self-healing practices such as Qigong, Taiji and Qidancing increase and balance your Qi. They foster many healing benefits when practiced daily over time. Casual swimming or slowly walking in nature are also great health-builders. And leave the headphones home! When you walk fully present in Nature, your body connects with and receives the healing Qi of the Natural world.
4. Early to Bed
Do you know that you expend nearly twice the energy when awake after midnight than you do during the day? Your body has an internal rhythm, and your energy moves deep into your organs during the night, rejuvenating and healing them. So be sure to get your zzz’s!
5. Don’t Worry, Be Happy
Emotions play a large role in your overall wellness. They are the actions of your mind and the manifestation of your consciousness. Emotions are often the energy behind many physical problems. According to TCM, emotions are a natural part of life, yet they should flow! When you experience an emotion in excess or hold onto an emotion chronically over an extended period of time, this unbalances the energy of your organs and sets the stage for health issues to arise.
One traditional healing exercise is called “Smiling from the Heart.” Face a mirror and smile—a real smile from your heart. That’s it! Your Heart is home to your Shen, or spirit, and your face reflects this aspect of your soul. This practice promotes the flow of Qi and blood throughout your entire body (and it makes you happy). So smile!
Support your heart this summer! Join our upcoming 7-Day Taoist Qigong Journey to Heart Harmony.