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About Oriental Medicine  Protect Your Body by Yourself

About Oriental Medicine

Protect Your Body by Yourself

So far, I have introduced you to some of the important concepts in Oriental medicine. I am certain that the more you understand the logic and concepts of Oriental medicine, the more it will impress you. Here, I would like to give you advice on how to avoid getting sick. Broadly, there are three points.

1. Smart eating

1. Smart eating

Beware of gourmet foods

Beware of gourmet foods

Something that I see in Japan that I think demonstrates people’s indulgence is the numerous tempting takeaway dishes displayed on the lower ground floor of department stores. People can get anything they want and as much as they want reasonably cheaply. At the same time, when a person is under stress, he or she may eat too much because stress due to physical or mental tension causes heat retention in the stomach. People crave sweet foods to relieve the tension: especially chocolate, which seems to have a greater tension-relieving effect.

However, eating too much sweet food, and indeed, overeating generally, damages the spleen and stomach, the most important organs in Oriental medicine. In addition, takeaway tempura and other fries are not good for you because the oil has been oxidized. Furthermore, takeaway food usually contains a lot of salt as a food preservative.

 

Eat in moderation

Eat in moderation

Today, overeating, lack of exercise and excessive stress are normal, and these familiar phenomena are the causes of disease. Young people who are growing quickly and people who do physical labor use up the energy they take in, even if they occasionally eat too much. But people who don’t exercise and people who spend a lot of time in front of a PC at work do not use up much energy, so I recommend that they eat in moderation ? stop when your stomach is 60 to 80% full. Your head is clearer when your stomach is empty. Overeating exacerbates irritation. There is a saying: “Food is medicine.” This is a very important idea.

Food that is good for your health

Food that is good for your health

What food is good for your body? Generally speaking, beans, peas, sesame seeds, seaweeds, vegetables (including potatoes), fish and mushrooms are good. The modern diet seems to consist largely of oily foods, meat, sweets and carbohydrates (udon noodles, pasta, etc.). Japanese people are originally from farming tribes and have long intestines, and as such, these types of food are a burden on the intestines and cause colorectal cancer.

Chew well

Chew well

In modern times, most food has become soft, and that’s what we’ve become used to. It does not require much chewing, so it’s gone from your mouth after just a couple of chews, unless you consciously chew more. Don’t forget that chewing is very important!

a. Chewing promotes the secretion of saliva, which breaks down
   and detoxifies various impurities.
b. Chewing reduces the work of the stomach and facilitates absorption of
   nutrients and bowel movements.
c. Chewing gives you a sense of being full quickly, which prevents overeating.

  • a. Chewing promotes the secretion of saliva, which breaks down and detoxifies various impurities.
  • b. Chewing reduces the work of the stomach and facilitates absorption of nutrients and bowel movements.
  • c. Chewing gives you a sense of being full quickly, which prevents overeating.

These days, more people eat brown rice as a staple part of their diet. When you eat brown rice, chew well; I wouldn’t say 100 times, but at least 50 times per mouthful. If you don’t do that, it won’t be digested properly. Furthermore, brown rice is very nutritious, so small serves of vegetables would be appropriate side dishes; otherwise you’ll end up taking in too much nutrition.

Local food in season

Local food in season

Today, all vegetables and fruits are available all year round, which means it’s difficult to have a sense of the season. In principle, the most appropriate food is locally grown food currently in season. The regional food is suited to the microclimate of that area. A person living in a particular area for a long time becomes adjusted to the microclimate of that area, so the local food is the best food to eat.

 

For example, in Okinawa, there are many fruits that are not available on the main islands of Japan. These fruits are suited to people living in Okinawa’s hot climate because they reduce heat and keep the body in balance.

There is a much wider variety of vegetables in Japan than in the United States (although they are bigger in the US). This suggests to me that Japanese people need to eat more vegetables. I think this is a law of Mother Nature.

In accordance with your current constitution

In accordance with your current constitution

I am amazed at the influence that TV has over people: when a person on TV says a particular food is good for a particular health condition, that food is sold out by the next day. I think it is reasonable to take that information as just a reference, but I wouldn’t recommend that you treat it as an absolute truth because that food may not be suitable for you. A person who quickly forgets what they have previously heard and just jumps onto the next thing they hear on the TV may be better off than someone who sticks to one thing, because taking one thing to excess causes an imbalance.

As I mentioned earlier, if a person with a heat disease such as atopy or sinusitis eats too much spicy or oily food, the condition definitely worsens. Conversely, if a person with a cold pattern eats too much cooling food such as raw food or fruits, the body gets colder and if there is any disease, it will get worse. It is therefore necessary to keep eating a wide variety of food, in balance. A person who is severely ill and whose natural healing power is no longer working is very sensitive to food, so he or she needs to pay great attention to what he or she eats.

If you follow the six points explained above, you will have an intelligent relationship with food, which will definitely contribute significantly to your health and longevity.

2. Adequate exercise ? Walking

2. Adequate exercise ? Walking

It is well known that a person who does some type of exercise is healthier than a person who does nothing. I recommend walking. Because the psychological state often corresponds to the calmness of breathing, exercises that regulate breathing are important for your health. The beneficial effects of walking are as follows.

◆1. It regulates your breathing and makes it calm.
◆2. Going for a stroll relaxes the whole body 
   (releases tension in the body), and if qi has ascended, 
   it pulls it back down.
◆3. It gets you outside into the fresh air, which is refreshing.
◆4. You can get earth qi from the ground and
   heaven qi from the sky.

  • ◆1. It regulates your breathing and makes it calm.
  • ◆2. Going for a stroll relaxes the whole body (releases tension in the body), and if qi has ascended, it pulls it back down.
  • ◆3. It gets you outside into the fresh air, which is refreshing.
  • ◆4. You can get earth qi from the ground and heaven qi from the sky.

 

It is best to walk slowly for 40 minutes in the morning and early evening, without carrying anything. Qi flows very smoothly in a person who exercises, and acupuncture is more effective in these people. If a disease is still in its early stage, walking can be expected to improve the situation.

3. Emotional stability

3. Emotional stability

As I mentioned earlier, an excess or lack of any of the seven emotions adversely affects the visceral organs. The relationship between the seven emotions and sickness is inseparable. You must protect the spleen and stomach (stomach qi); this is absolutely necessary for maintaining your health.

A person who tends to hold onto a negative feeling for days or who is facing a serious problem is prone to damage in the spleen and stomach, the center of the body, even if he or she has a healthy diet. In other words, these people are at high risk of becoming sick.

In order to maintain your health, it is essential to have a flexible mind like that of a child who laughs, and then cries, and then laughs again (this is different from being selfish) and a youthful spirit to take on new challenges, regardless of your age.

You may say, “Well, if I could do that, that would be great, but…”

For people who feel like that, I have something to say. As I mentioned in the section About Oriental Medicine, people have a natural healing power, and the fact is that there is no limit to that power. It is ourselves that think there is a limit or put a limit on it. If the balance is lost, cells in the body work frantically to restore the balance. Everything is by nature complete by itself (nothing is missing), and if something is lost, it tries to restore its completeness. This is a law of Mother Nature and of the universe. For us, it is acupuncture and moxibustion that bring out our natural healing power and help it when we cannot restore the balance by ourselves. If we are physically and mentally healthy, we can have hope that our natural healing power will keep us disease free.

However, can one say, “I now have a disease because I have not lived in the right way; I have lived against the laws of Mother Nature.”? I definitely think not. I believe that to live in accordance with the laws of Mother Nature, we must seek meaning in life from everything around us, and accept everything around us. I feel that even a person who is sick has an important mission: that is to sympathize with people who are suffering, and to help those people.

I want to keep telling you about the marvels of Oriental medicine for your health and happiness.

   
  • The Causes of Disease
  • Qi and Blood
  • Know Your Body
  • Important Terms in Oriental Medicine
  • Protect Your Body by Yourself
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