In a previous article, we looked at an Eastern Medicine health condition known as “Blood Deficiency”. Somewhat similar to the Western diagnosis of anemia, Blood Deficiency is a weakness and inability of the Blood to properly perform its job of bringing nourishment to the rest of the body.
In the traditional martial arts is a concept known as zanshin. Literally translated as “remaining mind”, zanshin refers in part to a state of calmness and complete awareness of one’s surroundings, even when there appears to be no immediate threat or danger.
The Jujube Date, or Da Zao as it’s known in Chinese, is equally at home in both the kitchen and the herbal pharmacy.
The main use of Dates in Traditional Oriental Medicine is to strengthen and support the digestive system. Some of the symptoms commonly associated with weak digestion include fatigue & general weakness, poor absorption of nutrients, a reduced appetite, and a tendency towards loose bowels & diarrhea.
A strong blood circulatory system, in both Western and Eastern Medicine, is vital to maintaining our good health.
“Blood Deficiency” is a concept unique to Traditional Chinese Medicine and can be thought of as a decreased ability of the Blood to provide the proper nourishment to the rest of the body.
As a New Year begins, many of us tend to make resolutions for ourselves, whether it’s losing weight, getting in better shape, or improving our overall health.
Unfortunately, most resolutions – however good-intentioned they may begin – don’t seem to last for very long. Our modern society, with a focus on quick fixes, immediate results, and instant gratification, makes it easy to fall back into old habits and patterns.
Although stress seems to be just an accepted part of everyday living in our modern society, it certainly is nothing new. In fact, one of the oldest Chinese medical textbooks, written over 2,000 years ago, was advising people on how to lower their stress levels so that they could live healthier and better lives.
In Eastern medicine, stress can be roughly categorized into 2 types – physical and emotional – although there is quite a bit of overlap between them because Traditional Oriental Medicine views the body, mind, and spirit as being inter-related to each other.
In a previous article, we looked at the concept of Yin and Yang, and how Traditional Oriental Medicine classifies things in opposite pairings (as in the example of pain, is it at a fixed location or does it move around, does it improve with rest or with movement, is it better with heat or cold, etc.)
To add further to this concept is what can be described as the “see-saw” effect” – when one side of something increases, the opposite side tends to decrease in the opposite direction.
A downside with playing sports or engaging in other physical activities can be the occasional injury, whether it’s spraining your ankle while out hiking, separating your shoulder making that diving catch, or finally getting out and playing that round of golf only to feel pain in your sprained lower back the next day.
Fortunately, the Eastern medical approach can be very useful in the treatment of these kinds of injuries and pain, allowing us to recover faster and get back to our activities.
Heart disease, including high blood pressure, heart attacks, and stroke, is one of the leading causes of illness and death in North America and is a major focus in Western Medicine.
Eastern Medicine also places great emphasis on the Heart system and in fact describes it as being like the Emperor of the body – all of the other organ systems are there to work for and support the health of the Heart, as without healthy blood and energy circulation disease soon follows.