Before we focus on details of how to improve and maintain one’s health, let’s take a quick look at what are the most damaging things we should keep an eye on. As you’ll possibly expect they are (in this order): stress, poor sleep, poor diet and lack of physical activity.
1. Stress is a killer, as most western doctors would attest despite lack of scientific proof. But as common sense tells us, stress creates tightening of muscles and this must compromise the flow of blood (and/or body’s energy, if there is such a thing). Once the flow is limited, the organs and tissues that depend on that flow will not be served and naturally they will stop doing (all of) their job(s). Stress is temporary relieved by vigorous exercise but the real way to deal with it is spiritual work – something our culture doesn’t even have a conversation for. At least: not yet.
2. Poor sleep creates devastating effects on our bodies as it limits or even removes body’s repair time. In this world, every living thing sleeps yet we steal from our sleep hours to stay up too late or get up earlier then we should. There is a sleep disrespect in modern culture that focuses and celebrates Yang (i.e. “look at that guy in our office – he never stops!”) as if there was anything in nature that never stops – this is simply impossible.
3. Poor diet takes away body’s vitality while filling it with toxins. We have to blame modern corporations for this situation as they successfully tied hands of politicians, educators and media. Because of this we are bombarded with misinformation or lack of truth about what we are eating in the first place. Top that with deep confusion about “what is healthy” to eat and modern people buy whatever is served. Crazy diets, artificial foods, extreme tastes that makes it impossible for the body to recognize ingredients and digest them properly.
4. Lack of physical activity is a very recent phenomena. People rarely exercised a hundred years ago and before then, exercise was something done only by the rich. Everyone else walked, carried water or wood for the kitchen, worked in a field or in a factory. Their body’s need for proper circulation and oxygenation we’re automatically served every day. Modern people weaken their cardiovascular systems because they don’t move enough. But more so, their tissues do not get the oxygen needed for most processes that take part in the body. Simply put, our lungs have to “pump” more oxygen then they do when we are sedetary. So, in absence of even the minimal physical work effort, our health requires some amount of daily aerobic exercise. Most of us get none.
Let’s look at each one of these four in separate posts…