Holistic healthcare systems, such as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), have been used for thousands of years. The holistic model is one that treats the whole person – body, mind, and spirit – concentrating on ongoing wellness versus simply treating symptoms.
The philosophy of Chinese medicine is that we are not separate from nature. Nature’s constant motion of seasons and cycles matches the inner ecosystem of our own human bodies. When we engage in gardening, we strive to be in harmony with nature’s rhythms. This allows us to reap a bountiful harvest. Life flourishes when the elements of air, water, light, and earth are balanced.
Your body is a garden
The concept of gardening offers us an excellent illustration of the holistic theories behind TCM and acupuncture, and how you can use them to achieve health and wellness.
Imagine you are a gardener whose job it is to help a garden thrive. To nurture your garden you must provide necessities such as fertilizer, and water, you must make sure the plants receive the right amount of sun, and you must till the soil and weed out any undesirable elements.
Your garden is a dynamic and self-regulating system, which takes these necessities and transforms them into living plants, flowers, fruits and vegetables. This takes time and effort, but the reward is a beautiful, healthy garden.
When you consider your body to be like a garden, your acupuncturist becomes one of the gardeners, whose role and goal is to help cultivate life. They will work with you to support and rebalance your natural energies. By taking your entire self into account, your practitioner can help identify – and weed out – any imbalances that may be contributing to your health concerns. Your acupuncturist’s goal is to nurture your inner ecosystem so that you can reap health and harmony.
Nurturing your garden
Acupuncture isn’t a “quick fix.” Instead, it provides you with the tools and knowledge you need to nourish the garden of your body.
Your participation in the process is essential. You wouldn’t simply plant seeds in the ground and expect them to bloom untended. Its the same with your health. Working with your acupuncturist and committing to long-term care can create positive changes now and into the future.
Just like a plant needs fertilizer, humans need food in order to revitalize and energize our bodies. In general, a healthy, balanced diet is made up of unprocessed, organic foods, including a wide variety of whole grains and vegetables. Your acupuncturist may be able to provide you with nutritional guidance based on what your garden requires.
Every living organism needs water to survive. Our bodies are made up of 70% water. We need its life giving forces to cleanse our bodies of toxins, regulate our body temperature, and to properly mitigate digestion and circulation. Irrigate your garden by drinking 64oz of water per day.
Plants need the sun’s energy in order to grow and thrive. Humans need the sun to provide our bodies with vitamin D, which promotes strong bones, supple muscles, and a healthy immune system, and also improves our mood.
Till the Soil
When planting a garden we need to till the soil, loosening up the rocks and dirt. This oxygenates the soil. Exercise is our way of pumping oxygen through our bodies. Adding aerobic exercise, Tai Chi, Chi Gong, yoga, or other types of exercise to your daily routine will strengthen your body, improve your general health. A nice walk keeps the body limber and the spirit calm.
Weeding your garden is vital to keeping the soil clean and making space for your plants to grow freely. Your body also needs cleansing. One of the easiest ways to keep toxins moving out of your body is to sweat. Exercise and visits to a sauna can be beneficial. Drinking water also helps flush out unwanted materials. Ask your practitioner about other safe ways to cleanse and detox.
Daily integration of these suggestions may require some lifestyle changes. Your acupuncturist is here to support these changes, and assist you in making easy, stress- free choices.
Most of all your acupuncturist is here to help you cultivate your internal garden so that you can reap the bountiful harvest of health!
Your body and a garden are reflections of nature. Nature’s seasons can be observed by witnessing the cycles of a flourishing garden-sprouting, growing, maturing, ripening, harvesting and then returning back to the earth. This is an endless process and eternal cycle.
Humans have our own seasons- birth, growth, maturity, aging, and dying. Our cycles fluctuate daily, monthly, annually, and seasonally for our whole lives. When an acupuncturist attempts to understand these fluctuations, they take into consideration the complex relationships of the body’s inner ecosystem. With this understanding, your gardening acupuncturist can help you to cultivate a bountiful and fruitful harvest of health.