Asian Healing Systems: Chinese and Ayurveda
The body is a part of the natural world and reflects how the world functions, as is the case for all organic systems. The basic elements and organ systems are in dynamic relationship, so if one increases in prominence in the system, another will decrease—and vice versa—adversely affecting performance and health. When left out of balance, mild health conditions can develop into illnesses and disease over time. The most effective approach to restoring balance is to unburden the body and transform the underlying conditions that govern the whole system rather than only managing or suppressing symptoms.
Herbal and botanical preparations have played a key role in healing and promoting health for millennia. The most sophisticated herbal systems are found in Chinese medicine and Ayurveda. They have a systemic, integral model of the body that defines health as consisting of strong movement of blood and qi (vital, subtle bio-energy) and a dynamic balance of five basic elements. Chinese medicine and ayurveda have well-established classifications and principles which explain how blood, qi and the elements work in biological systems and how to transform them—balance them, increase functionality and regenerate the body.
When blood or qi is deficient or excessive, it can cause functional problems in the body and a disturbed mental and emotional state. When any of the five elements becomes out of balance, specific signs and symptoms emerge, which produce a variety of “patterns of disharmony” that can be precisely determined. Imbalances lead to organ dysfunctions and are the root cause of disease and poor health. Imbalances and disharmony determine how herbal remedies are used.
Specific foods, herbs and minerals are used systematically to affect and transform blood, qi and the elements in order to return the body-mind to a balanced equilibrium. Re-establishing equilibrium reduces internal bodily and mental stress, strengthens the immune system, and promotes health and well-being.
Drawing from long-established health and healing traditions of Asia, I integrate classical Chinese healing methods, the Japanese meridian system, Ayurveda, and Western body-mind research, into my own comprehensive, integrated approach:
Five elements found in nature.
Chinese model: – fire – water – metal – air – wood
Ayurveda: – earth – space – air – fire – water.
All animal, plant, mineral and human physiology have a unique combination and pattern of these five elements.
Three bodily humors and doshas
1) air and space
2) fire and water
3) earth and water
Categorize by body — constitutional types:
– ECTOMORPHY (vatta) – lean, delicate
– MESOMORPH (pitta) -compact, muscular
– ENDOMORPH (kapha) – stocky
- The interrelationships of bodily organs.
- Qi or prana (vital, subtle life-energy) and the patterns of yin and yang.
- The energetic pathways known as meridians, sinews and connective tissue (myofacia).
- The health of bodily substances (blood, fluids).
This approach does not diagnosis or treat disease, but works to unburden, balance and regenerate the body by promoting increased functionality and health. The approach stimulates self-healing by improving the body’s function, energy and blood flow, and balancing specific elements. It locates and corrects imbalances that create the conditions for illness and other health problems. Though they manifest differently in each individual, imbalances can present in a unique way in each individual. Changing these patterns allows the body-mind to be brought back into dynamic harmony and balance.