The Ancient System Of Self-Care For Your Modern Life
Tired? Anxious? Stressed? Sleepless? Bad digestion?
The 5000-year old Chinese practice of Yang Sheng can help. Although it’s a huge part of Classical Chinese medicine, it’s not well known to many of us – yet. It’s not the more well-known herbs or acupuncture, but the part you can do yourself, the self-care part.
As a practitioner of Chinese medicine, Yang Sheng is a system that I most often share with patients. What I love about it is, once you’ve learnt how to do the simple exercises, you can treat yourself. And you can do them daily, wherever you are in the world. All of the techniques I teach are about helping you find physical, mental and emotional balance.
It takes more than kale smoothies and the gym to nurture your health. Food and digestion are important of course, but so is the right kind of breathing and exercise, self-massage and looking after your emotions and spirit, too. You may be a super-fit gym bunny, but you can’t be healthy if your emotions are all over the place, for example. Once you have all these elements in place, you’ll be in balance.
The Beauty of Yang Sheng
Despite having such ancient roots, I’ve seen how yang sheng can deal with the challenges of modern life, from stress to sleeplessness and anxiety to acne. That’s because it’s based on Chinese medicine’s holistic and sophisticated understanding of how we function.
Classical Chinese medicine is an ancient form of Chinese medicine. Despite being thousands of years old, it’s hugely relevant to you today. Best of all, it offers a vast array of phenomenally powerful self-healing techniques.
If you fell sick in ancient China, it was regarded as a failure of preventative medicine. The principle of yang sheng – and indeed of Chinese medicine – is that if you eliminate small health niggles as they arise, you’ll prevent bigger ones happening. There’s an ancient Chinese proverb: ‘Waiting to treat illnesses after they manifest is like waiting to dig a well after one is thirsty.’
When you adopt yang sheng as a daily practice, you are being proactive about your health maintenance, using what I consider to be the most powerful and time-tested of techniques. Think of it like this: regular yang sheng will do for your wellbeing what tooth brushing does for your mouth. You wouldn’t dream of not brushing your teeth each day – and once you see and feel the benefits of yang sheng, you will want to continue doing it every day, too. It is daily maintenance for your body, mind and spirit.
Katie Brindle is a UK born Chinese Medicine practitioner and founder of the critically acclaimed Hayo’u Method. She has developed a range of rituals, products and tools and specialises in a remarkable combination of detailed diagnosis and self-treatment drawing upon ancient Chinese Medicine.