Yang Shen fa - The Art of Healthy Living
Our greatest glory is not to never fall, but to get up every time we fall
Exercise: The Movement of Life
A vital component of health for life is movement. Our bodies were meant to move. Vigorously during the day; recuperate and detox ay night. Our bodily organs are in perpetual motion; each organ has an inherent movement (motility) independent of the body’s mobility. They follow a pre-set biological time clock called the circadian rhythms. During sleep, the cerebral spinal fluid floods the brain backwashing and ridding it of unwanted plaque. At different times of the day there is an ebb and flow of hormones and neurotransmitters; nutrients flow into cells, toxic metabolites flow out. Whether it is day or night, our heart beats, our blood flows, our lungs inhale life-giving breath, exhale toxic gases; our immune system remaining ever vigilant.
There is also a perpetual movement of information from cell to cell, from brain to cell and cell to brain. 300,000 bits of information are exchanged and processed by every single cell of the hundred trillions of cells that make up our bodies. With sickness, with aging, there is accelerated slowing down of movement leading to sclerosis, stiffness and often premature death.
There is unanimous agreement amongst researchers that regular moderate exercise that also promotes flexibility, the cardiopulmonary efficiency, will dramatically improve health by strengthening the immune system and prolonging life.
Yoga, qi gong, tai qi, exercises that incorporate breathing, flexibility and movement are particularly beneficial, but by no means the only ones. Walking, preferably in nature, cycling, swimming in non-chlorinated pools, the list goes on.
The lymphatic system, an indispensable component of the immune and waste management system of the body, can only be activated through exercise. Lack of movement, lack of flexibility leads to stasis of blood and lymph. With stasis comes chronic inflammation, degeneration of connective tissue, stiffness, pain and the onset of disease. The practitioners at Immumed strongly encourage all our patients to move and move and move…..
The Art of Healthy Living
Yang shen fa
A healthy lifestyle must include a nutritious healthy diet and regular moderate preferably non-violent exercise. Both are vital to exemplary health, wellbeing and longevity. East and West have quite different perspectives regarding food and movement.
Diet – The Western Perspective
Time: nobody has time anymore. People are perpetually pressed for time; deadlines at work, juggling a multitude of activities and responsibilities, glued to their cell phones, computers and e-mails, never far from their anti-depressants, anti-anxiolytics, their sleeping pills, their painkillers, no time to cook, to prepare healthy meals using live foods and becoming increasingly dependent on the denatured, devitalized and processed foods, foods that are quick and convenient to prepare, loaded with additives, conserving agents, sugar, salt with few added nutrients, foods that are increasingly being blamed for the exponential rise in obesity, insulin resistance, type II diabetes and a multitude of chronic, degenerative, and autoimmune disorders.
The process of adding a few nutrients to foods that have been stripped of their nutrients and energetic value has given rise to a sort of nutritional reductionism called nutritionism. Nutritionism is based on the flawed assumption that only scientifically identified nutrients can determine the nutritional value of food, and that the intrinsic value of any food is equal only to the sum of its individually known nutrients.
With an ever-increasing number of patients consulting naturopathic and other natural health practitioners, for a variety of chronic, degenerative and auto-immune health issues, in part due to inadequate nutrition, practitioners have been increasingly forced to rely on nutritional supplements as indispensable components of their therapeutic toolkit, thus, falling into the trap of nutritionism, a much easier therapeutic process than discussing whole food nutrition with often reluctant and skeptical patients. Unfortunately, “food as medicine” has been replaced by “supplements as medicine” by far too many natural practitioners.
Diet – The Oriental Perspective
The emphasis in the East has historically been on food as medicine, food as sustenance, food as social interaction with family and friends; The Oriental idea that food is medicine for the body as well for the spirit can be traced as far back as the Xia Dynasty (2070 BC- 1600 BC). Historical records show that physicians during this period placed an overwhelming emphasis on the therapeutic value of food, even more so than other forms of medicine including herbal medicine.
The earliest systematized written textual reference on food therapy appeared in 625AD with the publication of Sun Simiao “Medical Canon” Prescription Worth a Thousand Gold Nuggets, the BE JI QIAO YIN YAO FANG in which Sun Sumiao devotes an entire chapter containing over 154 entries divided into four sections to fruits, vegetables, grains, and meats, their medicinal properties how they affect the body and the spirit.
Sun Sumiao’s disciple, Meng Shen (621-713) completed the first treatise entirely devoted to food energetics, the SHI LIAO BEN CAO considered for many practitioners of Chinese medicine as the canon of energetic nutrition. Meng Shen saw food as life sustaining and the quality and quantity of energy delivered depended on its freshness, taste, color, where and how the food was grown. A far cry from the industrially configured foods so prominent in our supermarkets.
Even though Immumed practitioners have access to an extensive dispensary of nutraceutical, homeopathic and herbal remedies from major North American suppliers, these are only prescribed as stop-gap measures or as therapeutic catalysts, and are never meant to replace whole living foods.